(S11E04) This was a hilarious episode, and yet I couldn't help but feel it's the sort of episode that comes easy to its creators. The "snuke in Hillary's snizz" gag wasn't exactly inspired, considering the very first episode centered on a gigantic satellite in Cartman's ass and just last season another episode focused on Oprah's "minge." Then there was Cartman's fart torture and the scene toward the end where the Queen shoots herself, both of which I laughed at quite uproariously but that still seemed a bit too easy by South Park standards.
The sixth season story line on 24 involving Islamic terrorists suicide-bombing soft targets across America and detonating at least one suitcase nuke (not to mention scenes of Muslims being rounded up in federal lock-up facilities) is raising red flags with some Muslim groups, according to the Boston Herald.
Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), urged 24 writers to be careful with their portrayal of Muslims on the program. She told the Herald that while her organization has a good relationship with 24's producers, "we do have concerns with the show . . . We are monitoring it and will be contacting our contacts at Fox to discuss those concerns."
I know that having a plot featuring Islamic terrorists does raise concerns about perpetuating negative stereotypes, but 24 has had quite a number of different nationalities serve as the villainous antagonists in previous years.
(S02E07) Wow... I'm not even sure how to react. Absolutely shocking. If it's even possible, I don't know how tomorrow night's finale could even top that. I'm sure it will, but that's a tall order. This was by far the best hour of this entire series up to this point.
All that being said, I'm still going to nit-pick a wee bit. The more I've been thinking about the whole Mina/Gayle thing, it's doesn't make complete sense to me. Why wasn't there a greater sense of urgency when Mina first made contact with Gayle? Russell and Co. decided to take advantage of this budding relationship, but why was it never considered a breach in Darwyn's cover? Technically it was, right? Even though Farik and Karrar had no idea who Darwyn really was, Mina's approaching Gayle should have signaled something to the FBI. Like I said, in retrospect, it just seems a little off to me. Regardless, the way it ended between those two (in the middle of nowhere) was gut-wrenching to watch. Darwyn's job got Gayle killed. How could you ever forgive yourself for that? I don't think I'd be able to.
(S02E04) This is turning out to be quite the mini-series. Plenty of twists and turns that I did not see coming, especially after the way last night's episode turned out. Sleeper Cell has been edgy since the beginning, but it would appear that nothing is off limits now.
The biggest development was Salim's story. I honestly did not expect him to turn out gay. I really thought his story was headed in a direction with Farrah and that their romance would lead to issues later on. I like the twist -- the scene in the gym completely caught be off guard. What I didn't like was how the revelation manifested itself. The entire story of Salim's disgust with the Muslim televangelist was a bit over the top. Not to mention the fact that it felt exactly like the story from last season when Christian killed that visiting scholar. It was the exact same progression. The only difference was that Darwyn was able to stop it this time around. From here on out it would appear that Salim won't be a problem anymore because Darwyn can hold that knowledge of Salim's preferences over his head. Unless Salim tries to revolt and take out Darwyn for good?
(S02E03) Speechless. When the idea of television was first conceived, I don't think it was ever expected that it could feel this satisfying. Sleeper Cell is some of the best stuff out there, ranking with only a few other shows currently on and this, the thirteenth episode of the series, may well have been the best one yet. The simplicity of the episode title, "Torture," doesn't begin to describe the pains our characters went through.
(S02E02) This episode perfectly displays what I think most people had problems with during the first season. Sleeper Cell is still spectacular but it can be very uneven at times. I think this is partially the reason that Showtime doesn't air it on a weekly basis because I don't think it would hold the attention of picky television viewers. It's much easier to stay with a show like this when you know it will be completely done in a week's time. Again though, that doesn't mean it's not good. It's beyond good.
Taking the cue from season one episodes, "Scholar" and "Immigrant," this episode basically dealt with one person and what he could offer to the cell (surface-to-air missiles). In question was Hassani, a washed up Pakistani arms dealer who now barely got by in the US by driving a cab and running a tiny halal delicatessen. It was the circumstances surrounding Hassani that made it worth watching.
And so begins Little Mosque on the Prairie, CBC's newest sitcom. Premiering in January and being pitched to US networks this month, the series has been forced to confront two big questions since its inception: 1. Can the post-9/11 world take humor about Muslims living in North America? 2. Will Muslims riot over the depiction of said funny Muslims?
The opportunity was there, and I missed it. You see, the most recent episode of South Park focused on an episode of Family Guy which (didn't) show an image of the Prophet Muhammed. In the episode, Family Guy, at least on one level, became a kind of symbolic representation of South Park. By the end of the show the question wasn't whether Family Guy would show an image of Muhammed, but whether South Park would (as many people pointed out, this was made clear in the last line of the episode: "If Comedy Central doesn't puss out").
I didn't focus much on that aspect in my review of the episode, choosing instead to examine the episode's negative assessment of Family Guy. My prerogative, of course, but by doing so I missed the chance to mention something that was staring me in the face the whole time: South Park already has shown an image of Muhammed, and they did it almost five years ago. The episode was called "The Super Best Friends" and featured Jesus and all of his religious super hero pals, one of which just happened to be Muhammed. So yeah, I could have sounded smart, but I didn't. My only consolation is that this will only happen about twenty more times today.
Note: I went back and read the comments on my previous post and noticed Elliott alluded to this, as well. Nice job, E.
Update: YouTube has the relevant portion of the episode available, embedded below.
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