South Park’s 19th season was fucking brilliant. It really, truly was. This 10-episode mini movie of sorts wrapped up a few weeks ago, and, sad as it may be, I don’t think it received the amount of praise that it so rightfully deserved.
But that doesn’t surprise me. For the duration of the show’s existence, I find that it often hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves…the credit it’s earned. This long-running Comedy Central staple often speaks for the majority of society…as opposed to the overly vocal moral majority. In all sincerity, perhaps no one on television says, “I don’t give a fuck” and means it more than Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and that was none more obvious than in this past season. Time again they’ll brilliantly skewer subjects that even Saturday Night Live wouldn’t touch. They defiantly air grievances that are topics of barstool debate for the rest of us, acting as the televised voice of the otherwise voiceless.
If you’ve instantly disagreed with the entirety of that paragraph, you simply just don’t get it. Now I’m well aware that South Park is rather polarizing. The show doesn’t tend to have many fair-weather fans. Either you blindly disregard South Park as “a dumb cartoon you used to watch”, or you’ve agreed with my praise wholeheartedly. And here’s the thing – South Park is, in many ways, a dumb cartoon. I believe Matt & Trey would admit that themselves. It’s insanely sophomoric and juvenile, to a preposterous degree. Yet – and here’s where the show is unlike anything else on television – it’s also astoundingly sophisticated and layered.
There’s no one better at masking brilliance with stupidity than Matt & Trey.
Much like how someone may hide a pill inside of some food so as to trick their sick dog into eating it, South Park consistently hides it’s unparalleled intelligence in an easy to swallow stupid sandwich.
Case in point: The aforementioned season 19.
Society is currently plagued with an issue that all too few outlets tackle – relentless, disingenuous, overbearing hypersensitivity. Every other a day a new celebrity seemingly has to apologize for something that he or she said, did or tweeted, fearful that if they don’t they’ll lose a prominent role, a sponsor, or a portion of their fan base. These days it’s almost as if certain people get off on finding themselves offended, popping a metaphorical boner over the fact that they can now write a strongly worded letter, or a series or tweets, expressing their discontent.
These people suck.
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Hell, earlier this year Jerry Seinfeld – arguably the most successful CLEAN comedian of all time – openly said that he now avoids college gigs. And, in my opinion, his argument behind the call was entirely spot on. There’s a portion of our society that inexplicably loves pointing an accusatory finger. These easy-to-offend watchdogs sit idly by, patiently waiting for an opportunity to bark for barking’s sake, excited to call someone racist, sexist or prejudice.
I can’t stress enough just how much these people suck.
Much like last year, this season of South Park had an ongoing narrative woven throughout, as opposed to the standard protocol, which had been that each episode had a standalone storyline that wrapped up at the end of the half-hour. After 17 years, Matt & Trey had the balls to tinker with a proven formula…and it worked. This season was arguably this long-tenured show’s best ever. And I believe it was because this season the show’s writers had a proper villain to attack: Political correctness and society’s wildly annoying new affinity for hypersensitivity.
In fact, Matt & Trey decided to personify that idea through a hilarious new character named PC Principal. This welcome addition to South Park’s legendary roster is exactly what you’d likely imagine. He’s the school’s new principal, and, yes, he’s simply obsessed with maintaining political correctness at all times, by any means necessary. And if you’ve ever seen even one minute of South Park, you know that political correctness is always thrown by the wayside.
Hell, the one black student is named Token.
Because South Park now had a villain of sorts in PC Principal, this season at times felt like a film that was broken up into 10 parts. And when I mentioned how the show is expertly layered, I meant it. This season of South Park tackled just about every single hot button issue that 2015 had to offer, and it did so with the hilarious venom that only they could.
Let’s go down the list, shall we?
The previous principal – Principal Victoria – was fired after a student made a Bill Cosby joke. Mr. Garrison proclaimed that he wanted to “fuck all the Canadians to death” because he was sick and tired of them entering the country illegally. And then, yes, he did propose building a wall to keep them out of South Park. That became part of his platform when he decided to run for president, ALA Donald Trump. Kyle was given two weeks detention after he proclaimed that he didn’t think Caitlyn Jenner was a hero. Speaking of Jenner, she not only became Mr. Garrison’s presidential running mate, but she also killed countless innocent people by running them over in her car time and time again, all season long. They also tackled “Deflategate”, gun culture, police violence and Jared Fogle’s molestation charges.
More or less every single issue that society is collectively up in arms about was touched upon brilliantly in this season of South Park. When you think about it, this season could almost serve as a time capsule. We could look back on these 10 episodes a decade or two down the road, remembering how insane it is that we once watched the host of Celebrity Apprentice on an actual presidential debate.
All in all, this season of South Park was an absolute social commentary masterpiece, yet at the same time it was also as funny as the show’s ever been. It fired on all cylinders, ever single week.
Bravo, Matt & Trey. Also…hurry up and come back soon. The world needs you.
I mean, that Martin Shkreli guy? Come on. You have to attack him, right?