‘South Park’ season premiere disappoints


“South Park” began its twentieth season last week. The show follows the misadventures of four fourth graders Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman living in the fictional town of South Park. 

It has become famous for its crude humor, along with its cut and paste style. The Comedy Central show was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

“South Park” is very satirical in nature; often mocking subjects in the news. A typical “South Park” is written and animated in one week, while most other shows take about nine months to make.

This allows “South Park” to touch upon current events in a way few other animated shows can’t. This episode definitetly touches on current events. 

The premiere episode “Member Berries” satirizes about Colin Kaepernick protesting during the national anthem for the wrong-doings against African-Americans and minorities, the presidential election, online harassment, Hollywood reboots, voter apathy and nostalgia. 

The episode begins with the local media speculating whether the sole black member of the elementary school girls’ volleyball team would sit out the national anthem. The media is shocked when the entire team does. 

The girls reveal that they are protesting the treatment they are receiving from an online troll, who everyone thinks is Cartman. He denies he is the troll.

Meanwhile, congress decides to address the protesting of the national anthem by getting J. J. Abrams to reboot the national anthem. 

Mr. Garrison, who is running against Hillary Clinton for the presidency in “South Park,” starts to panic when he realizeshe doesn’t have any plans if he wins.

Back in South Park, Randy discovers the residents of the town are using member berries; talking grapes that when eaten, help the user remember the old days.

This episode is setting up a season long arc, which is something the writers have been exploring over the more recent seasons. Unfortunately, by mixing current events over several subplots, dilutes whatever message the writers want to get out. 

The writers seem to just be throwing in anything that has happened since the last season ended. “Member Berries” fails to really say anything about the subjects they are talking about. 

The episode was so focused on setting up the season, it forgot to tell its own story. While a few of the jokes got a chuckle, the episode lacks focus.

Which is a shame because “South Park” has delivered some of the most biting satire over its 20 years. 

The show is known for its crude and surreal humor, but also being able to voice something about politics, religion, pop-culture and philosophy. 

“Member Berries” felt like it was made with very little passion. It seems like the writers were checking off a list more than anything. The plot might build to something later in the season but for now, give it a pass.