Spoilers through South Park Season 20, Episode 1: “Member Berries.”
The hype has been intense for the newest season of South Park. With the political and social landscapes in prime positions for Matt Stone and Trey Parker to pick apart, fans of the animated comedy have been theorizing over what issues the newest season would tackle.
Luckily for fans, the Season 20 premiere, “Member Berries”, is up-to-date on all the hot button topics: protests against the National Anthem, internet trolling, reboots (member berries), and the choice of voting for either a giant douche (Trump) or turd sandwich (Clinton).
While current, “Member Berries'” commentary on its topics lacks the punch that we saw in the previous season with most of its jokes missing the mark. Season 19 did a great job shining a light on gentrification, yaoi, police shootings, and safe space while showing how ridiculous we were in our ways of thinking about them. South Park found ways to rip into these topics while making us laugh hard.
For better or worse, there were a few gems that stood out the most – the topics of reboots and the Presidential Race: choosing between giant douche or turd sandwich.
Everything appears to be getting a reboot nowadays (South Park included). Unfortunately, they’re not always that good. There appears to be a lack of good ideas out there. Take for instance the government reaching out to J.J. Abrams for help.
With Colin Kaepernick and others protesting by not standing up during the national anthem, the government has turned to J.J. Abrams to reboot the song in a way that keeps everyone’s favorite parts but changes it to involve everyone. Abram’s solution adds the choice of standing, sitting, or doing whatever you’d like during the national anthem. It’s a simple reboot without really changing anything (as some would comment Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be).
To cope with the changing times, the citizens of South Park instead try to “member” all the good times they had in the past. The member berries (think talking grapes that make your favorite pop culture references) definitely stole the show with their “member memories.” I can’t wait to see what impact they will have on the rest of the season.
The other really poignant topic that resurfaces every four years was the discussion on why Americans get to choose between a giant douche or a turd sandwich. Either one is bad but we can’t believe why some people would vote one over the other. There really is no difference! The parody of the commander-in-chief forum by Matt Lauer was especially good. No president will ever deliver what they promise and lie constantly during their campaign. The addition of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was particularly hilarious as well.
It’s clear to see that the continuous overarching seasonal story will continue in Season 20 by the ending of “Member Berries”. We will have to wait and see if the setup will payoff in later episodes. With so many questions left unanswered, we’ll have to wait and see what hijinks the citizens of South Park have in store for us in the remainder of this season.
South Park airs Wednesdays on Comedy Central at 10pm EST.