South Park Season 22 has actually unquestionably gone through a transformation. Hilariously, no one can concur on what that alter methods, or what it even is.
Nothing exhibited that more than the most recent episode, “The Problem with a Poo.” A conclusive juncture for a program that’s been through the TELEVISION equivalent of a quarter-life crisis over the last few years, the controversial episode will definitely decrease in history.
But what, precisely, it will be kept in mind for stays to be seen.
On the surface area, it appeared like company as typical when Mr. Hankey (yes, the Christmas Poo) appeared with a timeless, “Hidey ho!” The episode title and occurring character arc, which ended with a call to #CancelTheSimpsons, exposed that it was taking on much more than fart humor.
Namely, it handled the whole principle of “ cancel culture .” With direct recommendations to the debates around Roseanne Barr , Brett Kavanaugh, and the continuous argument over whether The Simpsons‘ Stereotypically Indian Apu character has a location in our existing culture , it dove in face.
But in what is possibly among the program’s biggest tasks in trolling, nobody can find out which “side” South Park is really promoting for. Which’s the whole point.
In the episode, Mr. Hankey, who (like Apu in The Simpsons) is an unrefined antique of an old South Park age, is being pressed out of the Christmas pageant by the town due to issues of bad representation. He does not react well to these criticisms, shooting off unbelievably offending tweet storms at everybody from grade school kids to the mayor — prior to blaming Ambien and doing it once again anyhow.
Kyle is the just one in the area ready to get “smeared” by defending this actual piece of shit, and as Cartman cautions, “Good luck with that in 2018.” Sure enough, this escalation ends with Mr. Hankey battering the third-grade kid attempting to assist him, prior to getting tossed out of South Park since he’s too distressing to the (once again, actual) PC infants.
That summary may seem like a recover for South Park, after a couple of seasons of explore serialization and after that preventing the issue of Donald Trump .
But the 3rd episode of Season 22 continued its subtle yet unique subversion of expectation. For the very first time, South Park appears to be truly engaged with questioning its own location in the present cultural environment. The #CancelTheSimpsons was really an extension of the season’s #CancelSouthPark marketing project , a hashtag likewise playing into the program by appearing at the end credits of each episode up until now.
Many have actually been left questioning what this attempt to “cancel” South Park methods. It might simply be more normal fuck-you humor — or it might be a sign of a big juncture for the animated TELEVISION legend.
Arguably, both “The Problem with a Poo” and #CancelSouthPark project is including a meta layer of indicating to South Park‘s social commentary that’s never ever existed in the past.
And it’s a gamble with a prospective to settle as much as its transfer to serialization did.
No one can make claims about a cumulative season this early. For a program that’s understood for reacting to the weekly cultural zeitgeist, the subject matter in Season 22 took a tough turn into the evergreen rather: school shootings, predatory Catholic priests, public debates that took location months earlier.
Previously, we would’ve anticipated South Park To do a whole episode on the Kavanaugh hearing. Now, it just referrals topical problems in passing, rather setting its sights on even larger fish.
It’s not simply the concerns, either. The more indefinable modification to South Park depend on a shift in mindset. Each episode’s takeaways, while definitely less specific than its more typically smarmy lethargy, are now determined, genuine, evasive, and bafflingly well balanced.
At times, this hard-to-pin-down modification in viewpoint feels wishy-washy. It can drift on being too “both sides”-ish to stomach. Is the program condemning The Simpsons for its abysmal action to the Apu cultural criticism , or is it having compassion with the ever-present hazard of being mobbed by performative political accuracy?
That ending was the animated equivalent of “I feel your discomfort.”
— Alan Spencer (@MrAlanSpencer) October 11, 2018
Hilariously (and most likely intentionally), both sides of the Apu dispute translated the episode in a manner that fits their worldview on the concern. And if that isn’t the most apt 2018 meta commentary to ever exist, we do not understand what is.
In a now-deleted tweet, Hari Kondabolu, the comic behind The Problem with Apu documentary, stated, “Did @SouthPark simply side with me? WHAT IS HAPPENING? #CancelTheSimpsons #PleaseDontThough.” His critics were fast to notify him he ‘d missed out on the point and really, he was the sobbing PC child.
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