There are some who think South Park has lost its touch. However, judging from this season’s premiere episode titled “Stunning and Brave,” South Park hasn’t lost its touch, but isn’t as brave as the show used to be.
Warning: Spoilers ahead
South Park opens with a school meeting in the cafeteria. Mr. Mackey laments that one of the students referred to rape as a “hot Cosby.” The crowd thinks it is funny enough until they learn that Principal Victoria has been fired and replaced with PC Principal, who will work to make sure that South Park Elementary keeps up with the increasingly PC times.
Kyle gets called to PC Principal’s office and his father is called in from work. The crime: Kyle told a 4th grade girl that she doesn’t think Caitlyn Jenner is a hero. Even at a college bar where the adults meet, nobody can say anything bad about Caitlyn Jenner. Even mentioning the name leads to a college student threatening the adults, even though they didn’t say anything bad.
Cartman tries to turn things around. He blackmails PC Principal in the bathroom by wiping his DNA on Butters’ underwear. PC Principal beats up Cartman and accuses him of exploiting his male privilege, racism, etc. PC Principal is the ultimate social justice warrior and Randy Marsh soon becomes a pledge at his PC fraternity to combat all the “isms.” Soon, Cartman is brainwashed into becoming a social justice warrior as well.
Randy Marsh has to check Kyle’s privilege by drawing penises on his face and doing other nasty things. Cartman invades the fraternity with a pregnant Mexican woman, tacos, and refugee children. Kyle ends all the ruckus by announcing that he believes Caitlyn Jenner is a hero. Then, everybody lives happily ever after. So, in the end, it took a very non-PC event to bring people together.
The ending felt a little anti-climatic when compared to the rest of the episode. Matt Stone and Trey Parker wanted to portray the ridiculousness of the PC world, but the end of the episode leaves viewers scratching their heads. Even A.V. Club thought the writers could have done more.
“Granted, outrage culture is a much bigger problem in 2015 than it was in 1997 or even 2010, but the episode never digs deeper into its initial statement.”
South Park has remained relevant by taking on social issues and always going too far to prove a point. Perhaps, the PC Police caught up with South Park this time, not allowing them to make the most of an otherwise decent episode.
[Photo Credit: Hulton Archive for Getty Images]