After over 18 years, South Park is still entertaining — and more than likely offending some — people everywhere with its 19th season, which premiered this September 16 on Comedy Central.
After 260 episodes (making it the third longest running animated series in the US), South Park has managed to maintain its staying power by utilizing pop culture and hot topics in current events as subject matter for satire. Many people dismiss the show as mindless toilet humour — but while there is still foul language, slapstick, and dirty comedy abound, the show is far more witty and intelligent than a lot of people give it credit for. Trey Parker and Matt Stone do an excellent job creating and incorporating parodies of current issues into each episode, while combining their style of outrageous, often very controversial, humour with an underlying opinion piece and a message that they wish to convey to the audience. As Kyle often says, “You know, I’ve learned something today.”
Just to give you an idea of some of the crazy shenanigans going on down in South Park so far this season: first, the boys have had to deal with the arrival of “PC Principal” at the school, who is always ready to (often violently) “check your privilege” if you say or do something possibly offensive to others. Unsurprisingly, Caitlyn Jenner also makes an appearance in South Park, and she’s not the only one; Mr. Garrison decides to run for president (and also writes and performs a country song titled “Where My Country Gone”) after the town is flooded with Canadian immigrants, followed soon after by well-to-do, pretentious young hipsters. With the addition of a fancy “SoDoSoPa” district — a portmanteau of “south of downtown South Park” — and even a sophisticated Whole Foods grocery store, is our beloved little redneck mountain town in danger of becoming some kind of deformed, modern yupster community?
It will definitely be interesting to see exactly how the show is going to progress this season, although things are most likely only going to get worse for Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and all of the other citizens of South Park, as it seems doomed to remain a black hole which specifically attracts all things outrageous and insane — or possibly even worse for the entire United States, if Herbert Garrison somehow actually ends up being elected president. (I’m not sure who would be worse, him, or Donald Trump.) So, as Caitlyn Jenner says in the season opener, “Buckle up, Buckaroo,” because it looks like this season is setting up to be a pretty crazy ride.
You can catch all-new episodes of South Park on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (PT) on Comedy Central (American network), as well as Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (PT) on Much / the Comedy Network.