Monday, September 21, 2015

South Park Sellout?


I'm of the opinion that South Park is a guilty pleasure for most people.  It's almost a badge of honor to be lampooned by the show that takes no prisoners in its satire and truth be told its targets rarely complain.

That is so long as you don't draw a cartoon of Mohammed.

The Internet, racism, video games, hybrid cars, politics and celebrities are all fair game.  If it's in the news chances are it'll show up in an episode of South Park.

Interestingly enough, it seems those kids from South Park with now familiar names like Cartman, Kyle and Butters never seem to progress past the fourth grade but still manage to remain relevant after almost 20 years.  It's a strange time warp that fans just seem to accept as the series that began in the Clinton Administration continues well into the latter half of the tenure of the first black President. 

The world's changed quite a bit since 1997 and the series has kept tabs on it.  Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have somehow managed to chronicle nearly 2 decades of popular culture while keeping the show fresh.

Over the years, the best barbs have been reserved for those who took themselves a little too seriously.  Tea party conservatives, tree-huggers, religious fanatics and the excesses of political correctness have all been frequent targets.

It's that last one, political correctness, that was the focus of the premiere episode of Season 19 last week. 

In it we find that the rest of the world has had it with South Park's politically incorrect behavior and have sent in a new principal of the school in the form of one Principal PC to correct the transgressions. 

Of course Principal PC is a ridiculous caricature best described as a mash-up between an overgrown frat boy and every politically correct tweet that's ever been feverishly beaten into a Smartphone.

For the most part the episode was a hilarious take on what is often an overheated politically correct culture that dismisses independent thought.

Except something happened at the end of the episode.

At the risk of spoilers I'll try to be somewhat vague in case you haven't seen it yet. 

The episode ended... Wrong....

Instead of staying with the theme of the ridiculous and driving the point home, everyone just kind of gave in.

I don't know if the show is starting to wear on Parker and Stone but this particular episode has me worried.

In the past, I've found myself, thrilled, bent over with laughter as well as grossed out and even offended but never was I lacking for closure when watching an episode of South Park.

I was on board with this one up until the last 3 minutes.  If ever there was a good excuse for an alternate ending this episode is it.

I'm just hoping all is put right with the world of South Park in episode 2 this season or I may be done with the likes of Cartman and Kyle.


My rating, 9/10 for the first 20 minutes, 0/10 for the ending.