Sexual Healing (South Park)

"Sexual Healing"
South Park episode
Episode no. Season 14
Episode 1
Directed by Trey Parker
Written by Trey Parker
Production code 1401
Original air date March 17, 2010
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"Sexual Healing" is the fourteenth season premiere of the American animated television series South Park, and the 196th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on March 17, 2010, and on Comedy Central UK on March 19, 2010. The title of the episode is derived from the song of the same name by soul singer Marvin Gaye. In the episode, the sex scandal of golf pro Tiger Woods has the media and public frantic to determine why rich and successful men would suddenly crave sex with multiple partners. Meanwhile, schools are screened for the condition and Kyle, Kenny and Butters are diagnosed with sexual addiction.

The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker, and was rated TV-MA L in the United States. "Sexual Healing" parodies several elements of the Woods scandal, including alleged fights with his wife Elin Nordegren, which are portrayed as part of a new Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game played by Cartman, Stan, and Kenny. In addition to mocking Woods himself, the script parodied the large amount of media attention surrounding the scandal, and suggested because it is natural for men to crave sex, Woods's actions can be understood, although not condoned.

Cartoon parodies of several celebrities who have experienced real-life sexual scandals were featured in the episode, including Bill Clinton, David Letterman, Charlie Sheen, David Duchovny and Ben Roethlisberger. The treatment these celebrities received is portrayed as ineffective and ridiculous, suggesting celebrities should not have to undergo insincere acts of public apology for their sexual transgressions. "Sexual Healing" received generally mixed reviews from critics.

According to Nielsen Media Research, "Sexual Healing" was seen by 3.7 million households, making it the most watched South Park premiere since " Rainforest Shmainforest" in 1999, and helping make March 17 the most-watched night of the year for Comedy Central to that point. Shortly after the episode aired, Internet rumors spread that EA Sports planned to sue South Park creators Parker and Matt Stone over their portrayal in the episode. EA Sports specifically denied the claims.

Plot

The new edition of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of video games incorporates elements of the alleged physical altercations Woods had with his wife regarding his extramarital affairs, and resembles a fighting game more than a golf simulation. Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny become big fans of the game. Meanwhile, scientists at the Center for Disease Control determine that sex addiction is a disease reaching epidemic proportions. They decide to screen schoolchildren for the disease, and Kenny, Kyle, and Butters are diagnosed as sex addicts. Kenny is killed after attempting autoerotic asphyxiation while in a Batman suit, while Kyle and Butters are sent to attend a therapy session for sex addicts consisting of Michael Douglas, Michael Jordan, Ben Roethlisberger, David Duchovny, Charlie Sheen, David Letterman, Bill Clinton, Billy Bob Thornton, Kobe Bryant, Eliot Spitzer, and Tiger Woods.

When performing an experiment on chimpanzees, the CDC determines that money is somehow responsible for infecting males with sexual addiction. Because an image of Independence Hall appears on the back of a $100 bill, they believe the origins of the disorder can somehow be traced there. They submit their findings to President Barack Obama, who believes that a virus for sex addiction had previously been brought to Earth by extraterrestrials. He accompanies a SWAT team on their raid on Independence Hall in search of the "wizard alien" that is responsible for the sex addiction epidemic. When one member of the team suggests that the mission is irrational and that sex addiction is simply an inherent part of the male ego, he is ordered by Obama to be hauled away.

Because Kyle also feels sex addiction is not a disease, but rather a natural male desire that can be kept under control with the proper discipline, others suggest he is somehow immune from the "spell" of the wizard alien. He is brought to Independence Hall along with Butters and both are given rifles by the SWAT team. The hauled-off SWAT member, gagged and bound in an alien wizard costume, stumbles into the room. On orders from the SWAT team, Kyle and Butters shoot the costumed officer dead and the "spell" is suddenly lifted. Woods announces he is cured of his sex addiction, and the next incarnation of his video game once again focuses on golf. Cartman and Stan reject the new game, with Stan proclaiming that "golf is stupid again."