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"Band in China"
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Episode no. Season 23
Episode 02
Production no. 2302
Original airdate October 2, 2019
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Band in China is the second episode of Season Twenty-Three, and the 299th overall episode of South Park. It aired on October 2, 2019.

Synopsis

Randy lands himself in big trouble on a visit to China. Meanwhile, Stan starts a band to work out his frustration over having to move away from South Park.

Plot

The episode begins with Stan writing a song for his band, before Randy bursts in to call him downstairs. In the living room, Randy brings all the family together to tell them his idea about bringing Tegridy Weed to China. When he tells them he's flying out tomorrow, Sharon takes him aside to remind him about Stan's concert. Randy then asks Stan to wear his Tegridy t-shirt in the concert to promote the brand.

The whole town gathers at Autumn Fest. The mayor introduces Stan's band, Crimson Dawn, to the stage. Stan takes centre stage, while Jimmy plays the drums and Butters and Kenny play the guitar. The town are excited, but later shocked when the band start performing heavy metal music, raging about life on a farm.

Randy boards the plane to China, where he starts talking to a passenger. The passenger tells him about his intentions to bring his business to China, to which Randy reacts with anger, since he thinks the passenger stole his idea. More passengers start discussing about bringing their business to China, angering Randy more.

Crimson Dawn practise their music at Tegridy Farms when the PC Babies' producer enters. He explains that, since there's no money in records or albums, he's looking to make the biopic for Crimson Dawn. The boys are immediately excited about making money through the biopic.

Randy arrives in China, where he is stopped at customs. The inspectors check his bag and find his marijuana in there. Randy is unaware that marijuana is illegal in the country and is taken away by the police.

At Spinny Mountain Records, the producer speaks to the boys about their biopic, collecting information for the three act structure. When Stan mentioned about Kenny learning how to play bass by watching YouTube videos of Elton John performing with the Dalai Lama, the producer tells them they can't mention the Dalai Lama for the movie to sell well with the Chinese, which he explains is needed so the biopic can make plenty of money.

In the Chinese prison, prisoners are beaten and forced to do labour, with some even being executed. When Randy is in his cell, he meets Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, who are in prison after people saying Winnie looks like the Chinese president. At the tribunal, Randy shames China for not having integrity. He then tries to make a deal with the Chinese.

The Crimson Dawn biopic continues to have issues, with the producer censoring mentions of Winnie the Pooh, homosexuality, organ transplants and America being a free country. Two Chinese officials even come to help them with their censors, leading Stan to have to rewrite the second act.

A group of Disney characters and Randy are in a convention room as Mickey Mouse bursts in. Mickey yells at the characters for being critical of Chinese politics, before Winnie mentions that Randy was just defending them. Randy berates Mickey for not having Tegridy, before offering a deal with him.

At a tribunal, Mickey and Randy try to make a deal with the government, but the government do not listen. Mickey explains to Randy that they're still annoyed about Winnie, so Randy suggests they show the government they understand.

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet walk through the Chinese streets looking for honey, only to find some down an alley. He starts eating the honey before Randy pounces behind him. He then begins to strangle Pooh with a cable, eventually killing him, much to the horror of Piglet.

After the Chinese officials literally start watching over him while he writes, Stan realises he can never make a biopic with Crimson Dawn, since the only bands that can get approved would be vanilla and cheesy. Kyle and Cartman return from the ICE detention camp, giving Stan an idea for his biopic.

Live Aid 1984 is shown, with a wide crowd of people cheering. Jimmy and Butters start playing their instruments, before the boys roll in dressed as Fingerbang. They then start singing their eponymous song but Stan stops, refusing to betray his ideals to make money. The boys all agree with him, deciding anyone who would betray their ideal isn't worth a lick of spit.

The scene then cuts to live footage of life in China, with beatings and riots still occurring. Randy narrates, explaining that Tegridy Weed is now being sold in China. This makes a large amount of money, which is delivered to the farm in a truck. Inside the house, Stan questions why Randy is covered in blood and honey, deducing that Randy killed Winnie the Pooh. After Randy confirms this, Stan goes to write another song.

Critical Reception

AV Club gave "Band in China" a "B" rating saying: "After a funny-but-uneven premiere, “Band In China” is a much more sure-footed episode, and one that shows Trey and Matt remain unafraid to go after a big target. It’ll be interesting to see if this episode will become as controversial as the “Cartoon Wars” saga, or if it’ll slip through the cracks. At any rate, this was a strong episode that should have anyone put off by “Mexican Joker” feeling a lot better about season 23's potential."[1]

References

  2302: "Band in China" edit
Story Elements

Randy MarshStan MarshChinaCrimson DawnTegridy Farms (location)Winnie the Pooh

Media

ImagesScriptExtrasWatch Video

Release

South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season

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