On Monday, Alex took you into the world of a TV Party. Here’s how it all ended.
3. South Park Episode 20 Season 7 – ‘Oh Jeez’
I could see out the corner of my eye, just as we were about to begin watching the most recent South Park episode, the lip movements of a guest in what appeared to be the beginnings of a whispered form of defiance. I had been clear from the start – this was a TV party. The object of the evening was simply to watch TV, laugh together in front of the screen and drink some beer. Why then, with all this in mind, was Channel motioning towards the Xbox and, it seemed, encouraging Receiver to suggest we play some GTA?
Betrayal is not something I take to kindly. Who did Channel think that he was? The new emperor of TV Party? Had he misread my instructions? Had he forgotten? Was he intentionally trying to set me off? Regardless of what it was, I felt I had to make a point. TV Party was sacred, a brand new tradition that would transcend us all. Our children, in their old age, would still be gather together on a Friday night in memory of their parents to watch TV, smoke cigarettes and drink beer. It had to be established that this night was to be respected.
Once I had finished navigating my way towards kisscartoon, and set the show up, I turned to Channel, pulled from pocket a loose AAA battery and proceeded to drive it up his nose, the way a builder might slip a wall-plug into a recently drilled hole. Channel fell to the ground, writhing, shaking, squirming. I don’t remember what I was shouting, with my face by his head, but the rest of the guests sat rooted in their chairs, staring at this messy scene as it unfolded before their eyes.
I pushed Channel into the corner of the room, and left him there to think about what he had done, before turning back to the television and hitting play.
The new season of South Park has been an absolute joy to watch. The switch from stand-alone episodes to larger narrative arcs has been impeccable, and each twenty minute excerpt stands well on its own, so that even those watching for the first time can follow along with its jokes without feeling like they’ve missed out.
They have missed out, I mean, if you haven’t seen the first six then Randy’s ten second memberberry puking fit probably didn’t make much sense. But then, what am I to do? The TV Party schedule has no time to consider continutity – it is there only to guide the attendees and is created by the leader of TV Party for the benefit of his subjects.
I was a bit disappointed that my fellow guests stayed silent through most of the episode, even when that guy came over the Fort Collins wall screaming about how his wife was ‘so pissed’, before eventually being shot and falling to the ground. I had to ask Channel to quit gasping for air so noticeably from his position beneath the window, and I beat him with a copy of the Private Eye after he finally managed to dislodge the battery, sending slithering tendrils of reddened snot all over the carpet. At this point, he passed out, and if I can speak honestly, I was far happier knowing he wouldn’t be talking over the next few hours.
4. YouTube Intermission – Play Your Favourite YouTube Videos
YouTube Intermission wasn’t my suggestion. It came at the suggestion of Cathode, who felt that the night needed a change of tone, owing to the heaviness of the programming up until that point.
5. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
For Cathode and myself, this was what we had been waiting for. It was 23:30. I was about to open my final can of lager, a 1664 Kronenbourg. About a month prior, we had gathered together, along with the absent dish, to watch A New Hope. It had been everything I hoped it would be, having not seen a single Star Wars movie up until that point. I was fairly well versed in the culture. It’s impossible to get to the age of 24 and know nothing of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Their importance as cultural figures mean that you are never too far from a Star Wars reference in any popular form of entertainment. Episode IV was a visual masterpiece from start to finish and I had been waiting, patiently, for an opportunity to continue my progress through the series with Cathode.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Episode V could play on repeat, for eternity, and still blow minds and entertain. Each moment captivates and enchants, whether it be Luke’s desire to conquer the Force, or Han’s witty one-liners in his attempts to woo the Princess. Iconic scenes do not grow old. They still fill us with the same excitement they did the first time, or at least that’s what they say. Despite my lack of prior experience, I knew the ‘twist’ was coming. Did I feel cheated? Not at all. Instead, I tried to put myself in the mindset of the original viewer, the young American off to see it on the day of release. What would they have thought after the great reveal? Would they have shouted aloud, in mock anger? Would they have wept, like Skywalker? I cannot know the answers to these questions, but I can ponder.
The rest of the TV Party attendees sat watching with what I can only describe as faux-interest. I did not let them clock my realisations. I could not force anyone to like anything. All I could do was set a program, and ensure that it was stuck to, for the benefit of the evening itself. As the final five minutes approached, I saw that all, save for Cathode, were asleep. As the credits rolled, I realised, with great sorrow, that TV Party was over. We had completed what we had come together to do. To watch TV is to watch one’s own dreams reflected back at you. Why you would need to talk over this, I may never know. I feel somewhat guilty for depriving Channel of any future ability to breath easily through his nose, yet at the same time, I feel my actions were justified. TV Party is not a joke. TV Party is a way of life.
Any resemblance to real life is intentional because most of this nonsense actually happened.