|South Park episode|
A pubescent Ike yelling at Kyle
|Episode no.||Season 17
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Featured music||"All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie
"The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey
|Original air date||October 30, 2013|
|South Park (season 17)
List of South Park episodes
"Taming Strange" is the fifth episode of the seventeenth season of South Park, and the 242nd episode of the series overall. It premiered on Comedy Central in the United States on October 30, 2013 and was rated TV-MA L. This episode parodies Miley Cyrus' controversial performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as the technical problems encountered during the launch of the HealthCare.gov website.
At South Park Elementary, Mr. Mackey announces to the students that the school will be operating entirely on a new computer interface system called Intellilink, but his demonstration of the system shows that it does not work properly. The system also reveals the gulf that has opened between Kyle and his brother, Ike, who as a result of undergoing precocious puberty, has become hostile towards Kyle, and has developed habits that include speaking of engaging in sex acts with child entertainment characters, which Ike refers to as "taming strange". Told by Mackey that Canadians like Ike may experience puberty differently, the two boys view a Canadian health film, in which Terry, the Canadian Minister of Health, explains that sexual reproduction among Canadians involves a woman queefing in a man's face. When informed by someone off camera that this is wrong, Terry confronts his wife over the fact that she once explained to him that she queefed in his face for this reason. She explains that she was being sarcastic, out of anger that Terry has refused to attend relationship counseling with her. All of this is shown in the film, which fails to resolve Kyle and Ike's problem.
As the Intellilink malfunctions continue, an engineer named Cody shows up at the school and suggests to Mackey that the school upgrade to the Intellilink Silver package, to which Mackey agrees. Kyle takes Ike to a live Yo Gabba Gabba show, where Ike takes to the stage, and tells the characters that he wishes to "tame Foofa's strange", before removing his clothes and grinding against her, much to the horror of the other characters and everyone in the audience. When Ike and Kyle are subsequently reprimanded for this, Ike says that Foofa is an attractive woman, and should not be limiting herself to children. Foofa shocks the others when she agrees with this, saying that she wishes to play to adult audiences, and add sex appeal to her persona.
At South Park Elementary, the school faculty tell Mackey that after spending $22,000 USD on Intellilink, the system is "a disaster", but Mackey dismisses this criticism and informs the faculty that he has hired a new faculty member, Pat Conners, to oversee the system. As soon as Conners sits down, however, Mackey excoriates her for failing to take responsibility for the malfunctioning system that she has only just been placed in charge of, and fires her. He then announces that the school will spend another $10,000 USD to upgrade to the Intelilink Gold package.
Foofa, meanwhile, and her new manager, Ike, have been cultivating a new, adult image for her, and plan for her to give a raunchy performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Foofa's Yo Gabba Gabba castmates, along with Sinéad O'Connor, try to talk her out of this and go back to entertaining kids, but are unsuccessful, and Ike continues his derisive treatment of Kyle, whom he is now addressing as his "little brother". Kyle is then contacted by Terry, and learns that because the Canadian health care system is managed by Intellilink, Ike has mistakenly been given NFL football player Tom Brady's hormones, while Brady has been given the medication for Ike's laxatives, which now causes listlessness and involuntarily bowel movements for Brady on the football field. When Kyle informs Terry that Intellilink does not work, Terry becomes angrily defensive, asserting that Intellilink works fine and needs to be given time to work, adding that Kyle sounds like his wife. Terry and his friend, Rick, realize that it is the health care system's integration with Intellilink that has made Terry defensive and hostile, and that this is what led to his marital problems.
At South Park Elementary, Intellilink's failure to work properly continues, and Mackey angrily tells Cody that he simply wants the school's resources to work, so that the students can use them in the easiest, most streamlined fashion. Cody recommends upgrading to Intellilink's Centurion package, which involves removing the system entirely from the school, so that the school does not have to deal with Intellilink any more. When Mackey accepts this, Cody removes all the Intellilink hardware and software from the building and burns it, before pulling out a pistol and shooting himself in the head, killing himself.
Backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards, Foofa is about to give her performance when Kyle arrives. When Ike asks him why Kyle cannot just leave him alone to grow up, Kyle steadfastly says it is because Ike is his little brother, and even when Kyle is 50 and Ike is 45, Ike will still be his little brother, a statement that gives Ike pause. Kyle then sincerely tells Ike that he does not care if Ike wishes to grow up, as long as Kyle is there by his side when he does so. Realizing Kyle is right, Ike tells Foofa that while rebellion is part of growing up, he would rather let it happen naturally instead of pushing it. Foofa, by contrast, takes to the stage in a revealing outfit, and sings "Pound My Sweet Strange".
Terry returns home and makes amends with his wife, telling her that trying to reform Canada's health system was a mistake, and that anyone who thinks that streamlining health care into an integrated computer system would go smoothly "deserves a giant queef in the face". He tells her that soon Canadians will be receiving their right medication again.
In South Park, Kyle is happy to see that the effect's of Ike's early puberty have faded, and that he is back to normal now a little five year old again. Sitting down to watch Dora the Explorer together, however, Ike says, "Aw man, I wouldn't mind hitting that. I bet she's got that hot Puerto Rican strange".
Max Nicholson of IGN saw the episode as part of a pattern of recent South Park episodes that start off with a strong concept, but which do not yield successful results throughout the rest of the episode, referencing the Ike puberty and Canadian Board of Health storylines specifically. While Nicholson thought that some of the gags were funny, he thought that overall, there were fewer of them. Nicholson thought the use of Yo Gabba Gabba to comment on Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" video and her performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards served little purpose in the episode, and that the commentary on Obamacare at the end of the episode felt like an afterthought.
- "Taming Strange". South Park Studios.