Insheeption (14.10) – FAIL

Plot: Stan and Mr. Macky find out that they have a hoarding disorder, and they, as well as a local sheep herder, go under dream psychotherapy with a hoarding expert. However, the therapy goes wrong when Mr. Macky’s memory turns out to be so intense, he pulls Stan and the sheep herderInsheeption into it. Randy Marsh, the characters from the film Inseption, a pizza delivery guy, the local fire department, and Freddy Krueger must all go into the dream to pull them out, as Mr. Macky remembers the day in his childhood when he was raped by Woodsey Owl.

Analysis: Much of this episode lampoons current cultural phenomenons, such as the absurd complexity and unnecessary gun violence of the popular film Inception, the popularity of television shows about herding, and the hilarity of psychotherapy, specifically dream therapy. All of these are social-justice neutral topics, and are very entertaining parodies of popular culture. The latter (making fun of psychotherapy) can be seen in either a positive or a negative way, as such procedures have been both criticized and congratulated by patients. In general, the message about psychotherapy and hoarding as a disease is a positive one: hoarding, while shown as humorous, is seen as serious, and psychotherapy fails with Stan not because treatment should be disfavored all together, but because of the doctor’s impersonal and hierarchical approach to the very sensitive process.

This episode fails at social justice because of it’s careless use of rape as a plot devise and comedy. While childhood rape is very serious, Mr Macky’s rape appears not serious and funny. No concern is given towards the issues of childhood rape, and Macky receives no pity or even attention after remembering this childhood trauma. Instead, it’s simply a plot devise to further the story, holding no weight on its own. The mentions of rape are rampant throughout the episode, taking no account to the feelings of victims that may watch South Park, as well as the attitudes towards victims such treatment of rape promotes. Due to this failure (common to South Park), this episode is a failure.

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