After Ike misinterprets seeing his father wearing a UPS uniform while having sex with Mrs Broflovski, the men of South Park become paranoid about the UPS guy sexing their wives. Cartman, among others, installs a home security system in the hopes of warding off any potential threat.
This is another case of everyone in South Park panicking over a very simple and stupid misunderstanding, beginning with Randy overhearing a conversation between the boys and flying off the handle prematurely. Furthermore, Randy and the other menfolk decide not to even talk to Gerald before getting themselves all worked up into a panic. It’s classic comedy stupidity, but I think we’re guilty of this sort of thing more often than we’d like to admit. How many times have we reacted before getting all the facts?
It’s a nice touch that the UPS guy shows up every morning not with traditional mail, but rather bearing packages from Amazon. That’s just about the only reason I and presumably many others see a parcel delivery worker with any regularity. For the average person, the Internet has all but eliminated the need for these services, beyond bringing us our Amazon purchases or eBay winnings.
The most brilliantly funny parts of the episode spring from a mysterious old man at the bar where the husbands meet, in overalls and a straw hat, drinking by himself in a corner. He tells the younger men about the days of the milk man and his voracious sexual appetite. If they want to get rid of the UPS guy and his Amazon packages, they’ll have to kill him and kill him good. Despite the obvious crazy, I could listen to this guy talk all day.
Cartman’s increasing obsession with home security throughout the episode is pretty funny, particularly his clashes with the security service call centre every damn time his alarm goes off. There’s always these sweeping camera moves around the call personnel, who are always sitting in some kind of CTU-ish command area. It’s pretty accurate too. Every home security ad I’ve ever seen features these ridiculous action-film camera techniques and high-tech command posts rather than the office cubicle they’re probably sitting in.
Cartman becomes more and more antagonistic towards the security company after realizing that they just took his word for it that he lived where he said he did and he really had just forgotten his code. If that’s the case, what’s to stop a criminal from saying the same thing? Being Cartman, in order to prove his point, he actually pays a criminal to break in, just to see how efficient the security personnel really are.
The Bane parody during the husbands’ confrontation with the UPS guy, Thad, was a nice touch. Whoever it was doing the Tom Hardy impression did quite a good job. I could kind of see it coming, but I enjoyed it all the same. Despite Randy & co.’s hope that it would scare away the UPS guy, all it does it cause a panic and prompts everyone to get security systems installed in their homes or, in Cartman’s case, inside their very bodies.
I can’t say I was ever really fully engaged with the episode. I like the idea of everyone’s insecurity, through misunderstanding, ballooning into a huge deal. It’s definitely one of the oldest comedy plots in the book, but it’s still in the book because it works so well. That said, I remain largely apathetic about “Insecurity.” There’s nothing wrong with the episode, exactly. The jokes are funny, the pop culture references work well, and the plot is interesting. It’s another solid South Park episode that just failed to make me care.
Watch full episode here: http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s16e10-insecurity (available 11/10/12)