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"Basic Cable"
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Episode no. Season 23
Episode 09
Original airdate December 04, 2019
Episode chronology
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"Turd Burglars" "Christmas Snow"
List of all South Park episodes

Basic Cable is the ninth episode of Season Twenty-Three, and the 306th overall episode of South Park. It aired on December 4, 2019.

Synopsis

Scott Malkinson’s future with the new girl in his class depends on him getting the latest and greatest streaming platform. Scott’s dad works for the local cable company and refuses to move beyond basic cable.

Plot

SPW pic -- Spoiler Spoiler warning!
Plot details follow.

The episode starts with Scott Malkinson's normal routine of checking his insulin level. When he gets to the breakfast table, he asks his dad if he can get Disney+. Clark refuses, since he believes cable is enough and streaming services are going straight to hell.

Scott heads to school, where Mr. Mackey introduces a new girl, Sophie Gray. When Sophie tells the class that she has diabetes, Scott falls in love with her, and speaks to the boys for help. Cartman warns him that if the two has a baby it would have "super diabetes", while Jimmy warns him that there will be stiff competition. Cartman and the boys then make fun of Scott's diabetes.

Clark is called on when the Stotch family has issues with their cable. He is warned that they are losing customers because of their slow service, but Clark still procrastinates, going shopping and bowling before getting to the Stotch house. Stephen then says that they should get streaming services and Clark hits back, saying that streaming is destroying the town.

At school, Pete Thelman introduces himself to Sophie, saying that the other people who have hit on her are posers. Scott then comes over and, after Pete leaves, tells her that he has diabetes too. He then tries and fails to connect with her until she brings up the Mandalorian. Scott lies and says he watches it, and the two arrange to watch it at his house.

Scott then goes home and tells his parents about his girlfriend, and says they need to get Disney+. Clark once again refuses, and, after mocking his son, calls up the other cable guys to arrange a meeting about the streaming services.

Most of the cable guys arrive late, angering Clark. Clark then explains they were the ones who laid the cables for the companies and they should take them out. The group then split up to collect the parts, but procrastinate again instead of getting the parts, once again angering Clark.

Scott goes to Cartman's house for help with Sophie, since Cartman used to have a girlfriend himself. Cartman tells him he should give up, since love is "diabetes times 10". Scott convinces him that he can handle in it, and Cartman tells him how to get Disney+. Scott then goes to meet Nathan, who is selling streaming accounts and passwords. He asks for Disney+ and trades it for some of his insulin.

Scott gets his house decorated just as Sophie arrives. The two sit down to watch the Mandalorian but Disney+ goes down just as he starts it, thanks to Clark and the other cable guys taking the cables out. The two head to Jimmy's house, but find Disney+ down there as well. The boys all try to comfort Sophie, angering Scott.

With the whole town's Disney+ down, people call up the cable company to help. Meanwhile, Sophie arrives home to find her Disney+ not working. The boys introduce themselves to Sophie's mom while Scott goes to get some sugar for a sugar rush. He then yells at the boys for trying to steal his girlfriend, only for Sophie to tell him she's not his girlfriend. She then berates everyone for hitting on her when she only just moved here. Scott tries to explain they were meant together since they both have diabetes. Sophie explains she's more than her diabetes, but Scott realizes he's not.

Scott sits alone in the playground and Sophie comes to comfort him. She tells him she's glad there's someone she can talk about diabetes with, and that she likes the Scott Malkinson show. The episode ends with a message saying "Streaming Rights Now Available" with a number. The cable company then turn up, only to realise they're too late.

Critical Reception

AV Club gave "Basic Cable" a "B+" rating saying: "Now that South Park has hopefully gotten all of the shit out of its system this season, it’s back this week with a new target, streaming services. I have been hoping Trey and Matt would tackle this growing worldwide problem. We’re at code level dragon, I don’t even think One Punch Man could take care of this particular crisis, but Scott Malkinson’s dad believes he can. It’s like Oprah came to South Park this season because everyone has been getting their show within THE show. Last week it was the ladies, this week it’s time to spend some quality time with Scott Malkinson for episode 9, titled, “Basic Cable”."[1]

IGN gave "Basic Cable" a "8.2" rating saying: ""Basic Cable" can't compare to the uproariously entertaining "Turd Burglars," but it does continue the show's recent, welcome trend of returning to a more classic mold. This episode is surprisingly heartfelt, fleshing out a formerly forgettable character in Scott Malkinson and even showing the softer side of Cartman. The cable TV-related humor is a bit stale, but not enough to ruin the fun. This episode is nothing if not a solid lead-in to next week's finale."[2]

References

  2309: "Basic Cable" edit
Story Elements

Scott MalkinsonClark MalkinsonSophie Gray

Media

ImagesScriptExtrasWatch Video

Release

South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season

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