I’m just going to get into the meat of this review right away, so here’s my expedited intro: I’m a new writer for the UWM Post, I’ve been a fan of South Park for a good long while, and anything else about me is either too trivial or boring to matter to you. So here it goes.
For those who do not know, this season of South Park has been following a trend of serialization, a fairly novel twist in the show’s generally-episodic format. Themes and characters are being carried over through multiple episodes as the season goes on, with the core theme being South Park’s retaliation against the tsunami of outrage culture and political-correctness bearing down on contemporary society. The show has managed to distill the idea of outrage culture/political correctness into one entity: an entire fraternity of easily-offended, politically-conscious social justice warrior frat guys lead by the new principal of South Park Elementary, PC Principal, who is hell-bent on instilling a conscience into the citizens of his adopted town. The newest South Park episode deals mainly with Jimmy, the handicapped kid who works as the editor of the school newspaper, taking his business elsewhere when, after PC Principal finds that a reporter for the paper called the school lunch program “retarded,” instructs him to run all further editions of the school paper by PC Principal before final distribution.
Of course, in natural South Park fashion, things become more unhinged and surreal as the story progresses, which is now even more satisfying thanks to a story arc that has been developing as the season goes, making the payoff all the more enjoyable. This is something I’m personally incredibly excited to see occurring–the previous episodes of this season have been entertaining and fun to watch, but what I love about South Park is how quickly everything manages to devolve, from start to finish, in such a short amount of time. The plots of the more recent episodes have been pretty ridiculous, with kids being mistaken for ISIS or two classmates being at the epicenter of a Yaoi-fueled pseudo-relationship. But this episode has reopened the floodgates of the purely strange, with over-arching Blade Runner and other dystopian sci-fi references, the long-due initiation of the PC Fraternity’s unraveling, and the reintroduction of Mr. Garrison and his running mate, Caitlyn Jenner.
There is a bit of awkwardness as the show slips into its older skin of off-the-wall plotlines, but overall and as usual, South Park manages to deliver yet another satisfying story augmented by a sharp and scarily accurate commentary on modern society. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what the quiet little mountain town decides to bring us next.