||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (May 2011)|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 12
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||April 16, 2008|
"Over Logging" (or "The Day the Internet Stood Still") is the sixth episode of the twelfth season of the animated series South Park, and the 173rd episode of the series overall. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 16, 2008. In the episode, the Marsh family joins a mass-migration west when internet access starts to "dry up" in Colorado.
The episode was written and directed by series co-founder Trey Parker and co-written by series co-founder Matt Stone, and was rated TV-MA in the United States. The episode parodies John Steinbeck's 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath (which portrays the plight of the Okies during the Dust Bowl) and the subsequent film release.
The episode begins with the Marsh family performing various online activities: Stan is browsing randomly, Shelley is iChatting with her online boyfriend Amir from Montana, and Randy is (discreetly) watching internet porn. Sharon sends them all to bed for the night, insisting that the internet will still be there the next morning.
However, the next morning they discover that they have no internet connection. They then hastily walk to the Broflovskis' house to use their internet connection, but soon find that the internet does not work there, either. Both families head to Starbucks for free wireless internet, but when they arrive it soon becomes apparent that the entire town's internet connection is down. The TV news, which has nothing to report without the Internet, gives vague rumors of Internet access in Silicon Valley. After eight days without internet, the Marsh family decides to "head out Californee way". As they spend the night in a transient camp, a man delivers a monologue that California is so crowded from other travelers that there is "not enough internet to go around."
When the Marshes reach California, they are placed in a Red Cross "Internet refugee camp" which is so overcrowded that each family is only permitted 40 seconds of Internet access a day, which Randy says is not "even long enough to check Wikipedia." Shelley is angry that she is unable to communicate with Amir, and subsequently beats up Stan repeatedly out of frustration.
Randy quickly becomes agitated and complains to a guard that he has not jacked off in over two weeks. Randy explains to the guard that he has become so used to being able to find any fetish he wanted with a click of a mouse that he "can't exactly go back to Playboy." Following the guard's refusal to help, Randy encounters a fellow traveler who informs him that many men have come to California because of the same problem. The traveler offers to Randy an "Internet Porn Simulator", a tent with a cardboard computer in which an unseen man displays crudely drawn pictures. Randy leaves disappointed, telling the traveler that it's "just not the same". The man then charges Randy $49, to which Randy replies "Well at least that part's the same." Afterwards, the camp's computer is locked inside for the night. Randy decides to sneak in to use it in secrecy, looking up bizarre sexual fetishes such as "Japanese girls puking in mouth", "Brazilian fart porn", and bestiality. As he masturbates while watching pornography, his loud moans attract attention and he is discovered in front of the computer covered head-to-toe in semen. He tries to explain that "a spooky ghost" slimed him with ectoplasm. A guard discovers that Randy has used up the little amount of connection they have left.
Meanwhile, the government has attempted to find a way to fix "the internet," a large machine resembling a giant Linksys wireless router, which has stopped functioning for an unknown reason. Several fruitless attempts are made to repair it: negotiating with it, communicating with it musically, and even shooting at it. Acting on a hunch, Kyle disconnects and reconnects its power cord. The network indicator now glows green to indicate that nationwide Internet access has been re-established, much to everyone's surprise.
Back at the camp, everybody discovers that their laptops are working and rejoice at the return of the Internet. Shelley, ecstatic that she will now be able to communicate with Amir, suddenly hears a boy call out her name. It is the actual Amir, whose family had also traveled across the country to get Internet. The two are awkward around each other, and make plans to e-mail each other instead of communicating in-person.
At the end of the episode, Randy delivers a speech wearing a Native American-esque outfit, warning about overuse of "natural resources" (a parody of the long monologue speech that Steven Seagal gives about the environment at the end of On Deadly Ground). Randy says that people should learn from the experience and stop "over-logging on", because they may be unprepared as a result if the Internet is lost permanently. He advises people to stop browsing pointlessly, to only use it when truly necessary and to only view porn "twice a day... max."
While most of the episode is a parody of The Grapes of Wrath, other works referenced include a parody of Steven Seagal's speech from the ending of On Deadly Ground, and the five-note musical motif used to communicate with aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Travis Fickett of IGN said that "Ultimately 'Over Logging' attempts to be a satire on our over reliance on and addiction to the Internet. However, it only raises the topic without actually having much to say or jokes to tell" and that "it's all build up with not much pay-off. That's the way much of the episode functions – as if there's a big joke on the way that never really arrives. There's a Close Encounters reference, and the revelation that "The Internet" is just a giant router. Kyle figures out that all you have to do is unplug it and plug it back in – the catch-all solution". Fickett gave the episode 7 out of 10.
Josh Modell of The A.V. Club gave the episode a "C" grade and noted that "There was one big message – we're overly reliant on the Internet, and we mostly use it for time-wasting bullshit – which was beaten until it wasn't all that funny anymore."
Brad Trechak of TV Squad said of the plot "As someone who works with the Internet for his day job, I had some problems with the simplistic way that it was presented. The Internet is used for much more than shopping or e-mailing (or, indeed, porn). Entire industries rely on it. The only part that struck me as truthful was seeing people live in a Great Depression-type state without the Internet."
- "Episode 1206 Announcement". South Park Studios. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- Trechak, Brad (April 17, 2008). "South Park "Over Logging"". TV Squad. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- Modell, Josh (April 16, 2008). "South Park "Over Logging"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- Fickett, Travis (April 17, 2008). "South Park: "Over Logging" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
- Note the "Router" tag on the official video clip
- "Over Logging" Full episode at South Park Studios
- "Over Logging" Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "Over Logging" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Over Logging" at TV.com