South Park S25, Ep 1 Review
For the first time in three freaking years, South Park has returned to grace the collective screens of people everywhere! Comedy Central’s long-running hit show had to forgo a new season of satirical comedy in 2020 and 2021 thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Yes, there were the Pandemic and Vaccination specials, as well as the Post-COVID films on Paramount+, but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t the same as getting to sit down every Wednesday night and see what South Park would make fun of. Now, as COVID is starting to get under control (more or less), South Park is back to making episodic content.
So what sort of current events do they poke fun at in their return to a half-hour format? Nothing. They just make a silly episode about a silly problem that has nothing to do with what’s happening in the world.
Five Minutes In, and Mr. Garrison Causes Trouble
With Donald Trump out of office, Mr. Garrison’s able to return to South Park and resume his role as the kid’s fourth-grade teacher…and he’s just as terrible about it as before. He spends his class time gushing over his love life, then berates the students when they don’t respond. PC Principal walks in at the wrong time and unfairly punishes the kids by banning them from taking part in Pajama Day. Uh-oh.
When Matt and Trey decided to have Mr. Garrison be their stand-in for Donald Trump, few people thought that Trump would actually become President. Thus, when he did win, the two got thrown for a loop, and Garrison got stuck in the White House for four years. Now he’s returned to his classic job without missing a beat, and it looks like the show’s happy to have him back to doing what he does best: being a pain for everyone, especially the kids. Thankfully, they only use Garrison in two scenes, but the way they do it is so ridiculous, it’s funny. It’s nice to see him back to normal.
South Park Really Went There, Because Only South Park Could Go There
None of the kids are going to take PC Principal’s decision lying down, and they raise hell to their parents about it. Being the insane town it is, it doesn’t take long for the dispute over Pajama Day to get the entire town riled up. First, all of the grown-ups start wearing pajamas to work to support the fourth-graders. Then they start shaming the people who won’t wear pajamas to work or in public. Then people start arguing about it, and the next thing you know, people are remarking “what is this, Nazi Germany?” So, the show takes the joke to its conclusion by having a reporter dressed in full SS uniform and speaking in German on Pajama Day.
If it were any other show, then they’d get derided for being insensitive, racist, and the like. However, this is South Park. They make fun of everything, including themselves; nothing is too sacred for them. So, seeing them take the “Nazi Germany” joke to its logical, over-the-top extreme is par for the course. That, and the jab at Matt Damon’s Bitcoin commercial. Funny stuff
The Moral: Admitting You’re Wrong Can be the Bravest Thing
PC Principal has mellowed out a lot since he got introduced back in 2015 (which is good, because I hated him at first.) While he’s still very disturbed by the Nazi Germany stuff, he doesn’t back down out of pride and the need to stick to his integrity. Cue the moral of the story: sometimes, admitting that you’re wrong can be the hardest thing you can do. Rather than do that, though, PC Principal manages to give Pajama Day back without losing face.
Overall, this episode had no jabs at current events, no political overtones, no celebrity parodies besides the Matt Damon joke. And it’s all the better for it. After three years away, Matt and Trey wisely decided to avoid diving headfirst back into the thick of things. Thus, we got a low-stakes episode that harkens back to the simpler times of South Park. It’s great to have them back.