Season 12 of South Park kicked off last Wednesday in the US, meaning that it was available to folks in the UK on Thursday morning if they knew where to look. Of course, I have no idea where to look and I’m having to base my opinion on the episode from things I’ve read on fan sites. Ahem.

It was okay. I hate saying that about SP, which to my mind is about the best reason to own eyes and ears these days. I hate being ambivalent towards it, but that’s pretty much how I felt.

Which was odd, because all the ingredients were there for a great episode.

* It was Cartman heavy. Usually episodes I’m ambivalent towards are Randy heavy. Or feature Towelie.

* There was socio-commentary, this week about people’s attitudes towards AIDS and how it’s no longer in the public eye.

* It was outrageous. Cartman, who had contracted HIV due to a botched blood transfusion following an tonsillectomy (surely the cornerstone of every great comedy moment), went on to inject the virus into Kyle’s neck while he was sleeping. My toes curled so much, they tickled my heels.

Judging by some of the fan sites, there’s a feeling that the opening episode of a season is usually a disappointment. So, of course, I had to remind myself of the previous season openers to see if that argument held water.

Season 11 — With Apologies To Jesse Jackson (Randy says nigger on TV and becomes an outcast)

Season 10 — The Return of Chef (following Isaac Hayes departure, the boys have one last dig at that crazy Scientologist)

Season 9 — Mr Garrison’s Fancy New Vagina (Mr Garrison undergoes a sex change, Kyle becomes a basketball player and Kyle’s dad becomes a dolphin)

Season 8 — Good Times With Weapons (an anime flavoured episode sees Butters hit in the eye with a ninja star and essentially stripped and furred)

Season 7 — Cancelled (yes, well)

Seems to me, the season openers all have their moments of controversy but recently, they’ve all been excellent … even the Randy heavy one.

I think my main problem with Tonsil Trouble is that the Cartman / Kyle feud took up so much of Season 11 that it feels a bit too soon to throw more of the same on us.

And about that, I’m not just sure … I’m HIV positive.

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