'South Park's' HUMANCENTiPAD Premiere: What the Critics Think
Wednesday night's South Park 15th season premiere was called HUMANCENTiPAD -- a mash up of Apple's iPad and horror film Human Centipede. It featured Kyle and two other animated characters connected butt to mouth in order to power Apple's newest tablet device, a job they inadvertently signed up for after signing Apple's user agreement without reading it.
Overall, critics loved it.
"The half-hour was an unspeakable pleasure," writes Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker. "The HUMANCENTiPAD one hinged on the notion that people don’t read the Apple agreements they sign off on, and thus allow themselves to be tracked at any location and human-centipeded… The themes were Parker-Stone perennials: Knowledge really matters; many people are lazy and thus prey to exploitation. Humanist misanthropes, Parker and Stone are some kinda evangelical libertarians."
The Onion's A.V. Club notes that Human Centipede has been mocked before, and Apple has been the butt of many jokes. But Sean O'Neal writes, "All in all, a target that’s already been well-bashed, but handled here with a deft balance of sharp observation and grotesque absurdity. (Even better, a welcome lack of obligatory preachiness: Other than maybe always reading your user agreements, did anyone “learn anything today”?) It’s the sort of thing I believe South Park does better than any other show on the air when it wants to, and all over again I’m looking forward to Parker and Stone doing it some more—even if they’re not entirely sure they’re up for it." (The South Park co-creators explained their mixed feelings about the show in The Hollywood Reporter cover story.)
TV Fanatic's Eric Hochberger wasn't as big of a fan of the premiere, but praised Parker and Stone.
"Overall, I thought South Park got some clever shots at Apple's ridiculous ever-changing user agreement and the shit they try to get away with. But it just didn't have the humor of some prior satires," he wrote. "Even though the season 15 premiere may not have been the best South Park ever, it still is a testament to how amazing Matt Stone and Trey Parker are. These two, after their broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, opened last month, still managed to put out a more than above average episode."