OK, that may be a bit of an odd question to ask after a season-premiere episode that included a filthy-mouthed Mickey Mouse, references to girls “gineys tickling,” and the line “You like taking the Jonas Brothers’ hot foam in your faces, girls?” But besides being funnier than anything (unless there was a standout I’m forgetting) from the show’s fall season, “The Ring” also demonstrated that the cartoon is best when it focuses on the four kids and when it is driven by a white-hot moral fury.
In this case, a brilliant parody of not only the Jonas Brothers but the entire Disney company ethos attacks the absurdity of using a hot boy band wearing “purity rings” to sell sex to young girls. (To be honest, not having daughters, I’m not immersed enough in the Jonascult to know if I agree with the specific charge, but they make a hell of an argument.)
Like many classic South Parks—for instance, the Mormonism episode—it was unsparing about religion, but the real villain here was a corporate culture using religion, and parents’ fearful desire to protect their daughters, to a lucrative end: “I’ve made billions off of Christian ignorance for decades now!” brags Evil Mickey. “And do you know why? Because Christians are retarded! They believe in a talking dead guy!”
Watch it now if you haven’t yet, in South Park Studios’ new widescreen viewer. It’s 99.44% impure, and I love it.