Millions of Americans weren’t just excited about South Park’s return. In fact, I’d venture to say that many people needed it. With all the insanity that 2016 has given us, South Park was a welcome break from the dog and pony show that’s been forced on us. Though the show is an exaggerated lampooning of politics and pop-culture, it’s hilarious, and sometimes gross exterior gets closer to the reality of everything in 30 minutes than CNN can do in 5 hours.
And this season premier of South Park pulled this off beautifully, tackling almost every major subject we’ve been buried with. From Black Lives Matter, to the feminist conquest of pop-culture, to the 2016 elections, South Park slapped it all across the face with the irreverent comedy we’ve come to expect.
The episode revolves around the politically correct, SJW culture that has infected the country, with more people showing up to sporting events to see who will kneel during the National Anthem, and leaving before the game even starts, as if the game itself is not even the main event anymore.
An anonymous person on the South Park elementary forums anmed “skankhunt42” is saying mean things on the internet about girls, all believing that the perpetrator is none of other than show favorite, Eric Cartman. Wearing a “Token’s Life Matters shirt, he gathers the students for a rally, where he attempts to pressure some of the girls into being hilarious and awesome, just like in the Ghostbusters reboot, because as he says “women are funny, get over it.” The girls, however, are not at all amused, and demand PC Principle punish Eric.
To see to it that America is appeased, congress decides to reboot the National Anthem with the help of the reboot king, JJ Abrams, stating that he made the world love Star Wars again, he can do it for the National Anthem.
Meanwhile, the election is ramping up between “Turd Sandwich and Giant Douche,” or Hillary Clinton and Mr. Garrison, who has taken the place of Trump in the South Park universe, due to Matt Stone and Trey Parker not wanting to award Donald Trump anymore media time than he’s already getting.
According to an interview they did with the Daily Beast, they “didn’t really want to service Trump as a character,” adding “We were like, f*ck him, we don’t want to give him the satisfaction.”
To make sure people understand the connection, however, they sloppily painted up Garrison’s face a shade of orange.
Garrison soon becomes worried about his Presidential tenure, however, as he soon realizes he doesn’t have a realistic plan. Furthermore, none of his advisors seem to have any plans either, beyond Garrison’s unrealistic promise of killing America’s enemies by “f*cking them to death.” Still, despite Garrison’s outlandish, and completely unfulfillable promises, he continues to rise in the polls to the point of overtaking Hillary.
Garrison then realizes he doesn’t really want to be President, as being elected will make him look like a complete ass. Thus, he decides he’s going to secretly help Hillary Clinton win by any means necessary. One idea he has is to sit down during the new National Anthem, rebooted by J.J. Abrams in order to appease everyone doing it for some reason or another.
Garrison, and indeed everyone – such as Colin Kaepernick – seeking their 15 minutes by sitting out the National Anthem are thrown when people are encouraged to stand, sit or kneel “in solidarity” for the new Anthem. Not sure what to do, they alternate between the two positions as they try to figure out how to best draw attention to themselves.
It would seem that Parker and Stone wanted to pick up right where they left off with their theme of making fun of social justice, and PC culture. Even their promo for this episode, titled “Member Berries,” made fun of Kaepernick. While the episode had many branching story lines to the point of being just shy of chaotic, Parker and Stone expertly tie it all together. This is nothing short of what fans have come to expect from the comedy duo, and their return to TV shows us just how good they have become at it.
With so much ridiculousness happening in the world to the point of being overwhelming, South Park’s episode is a fantasy cartoon that grounds us back in reality. It points out that everything you’re seeing is as absurd as you think it is, but instead of lamenting about it, Parker and Stone make you laugh at it.
If this premiere is any indication as to how the rest of this season will go, then we’re in for a hysterical, but refreshing ride.