Season 22 of South Park is out for blood.
“I hate conservatives,” said South Park co-creator Matt Stone. “But I really hate liberals.”
With that ethos in mind, and in this political and social climate, its refreshing to know that Stone and fellow co-creator Trey Parker are on the warpath for everyone. It’s not only impressive, it’s downright scary that within five minutes of the twenty-second season, “South Park” has re-taken the mantle as the most satirical show in television.
The blatant comedic haymakers Parker and Stone throw prove they don’t know how to pull punches. The season starts with active shooters in school, the lack of gun control, the desensitizing of the media and a runner of “Black Panther.”
And it’s not just saying “this is bad.” That’s too easy. The content of the joke, the bite of the punchline, and the machine precision of the comedic math and timing is a master class in finger wagging and eye winking. Most of this is due the bedrock that South Park, the city, is. Gone are the days where the pov was solely seen through Stan, Kyle, Kenny, or Cartman. They’re able to play the straight man to the craziness that is their city; save for Cartman, who will forever be their lightning rod.
It was great seeing a character like the supremely even-keeled Sharon Marsh equally be the voice of reason and the crazy character at the same time. It must be refreshing for Parker and Stone to pass the story around to keep them even more invigorated in their work.
Early offerings of the new season show a blending of the show’s early and most recent work. The return of “I learned something today” gives the show the opportunity to cut through the myriad jokes to clearly state what the meaning of the episode is. Even if, at times, it can be tongue-in-cheek, the sweetness offsets the other 21 minutes of sour and acid.
Also returning is the season-long story arc. Held hostage by the Trump administration last season, Parker and Stone are less obligated to skewer the president as it’s impossible to lampoon what is already absurd. Still, having season arcs will add a comedic slow burn to the episodic shock and awe.
Despite the cheeky promotion to #CancelSouthPark, this show isn’t going anywhere.