The 18th season of South Park came to an epic conclusion Wednesday night with an episode featuring “performances” from Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, and holograms of Kurt Cobain and Elvis Presley. The episode marked the end of a two-part story revolving around what modern kids consider entertainment — i.e., whatever’s trending on Twitter and Let’s Play videos like PewDiePie. It’s all a bit long-winded and confusing, which was kind of the point.
Spoilers: Stay with me here. Some big-shot TV producer decides to put on a holiday special to combine new entertainment with the old; it’s an old-school Christmas special with Cartman providing live commentary via his YouTube web show Cartmanbrah. Kyle wants to shut it down because he yearns for families and friends to comment on things like the old days, together on a couch in front of their televisions. Stan, meanwhile, just doesn’t want his dad, aka Lorde, to make a fool of himself in public again (see last episode where he, well, rubs his clit on stage in a desperate ploy for approval).
The special, which Cartman dubs “The Washington Redskins’ Go Fuck Yourself Holiday Special”, opens with a hologram of Cobain singing “Up on the Roof Top” in front of a roaring fire. As Cartmanbrah comments that he’s “sure this is how Kurt Cobain would want to be remembered,” the hologram begins to load a shotgun. He then pulls the trigger and out pops a flag reading “Merry Christmas.”
Later, Iggy teams with Elvis for “A Holly Jolly Christmas”, though the rapper doesn’t do much singing; instead, her bodacious bottom, done up like a snowman, farts out the duet. The final performance comes from a clearly uncomfortable Swift, who sings a duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” alongside Bill Cosby. All the while, there’s a secondary storyline wherein hologram Tupac hunts down hologram Michael Jackson, which turns into a commentary on the country’s recent race issues as the all-white police force can’t decide whether to shoot them, choke them, or just laugh at them. (End spoilers)
Told you it was complicated. The whole point of the episode seemed to be that hashtags and YouTube commentators are just part of the culture now and something us old-school fuddy-duddies are going to have to accept. In an ironic coincidence, I ended up watching the episode via a SupTV stream with an active chat community that appeared to come together weekly to watch South Park together. Case in point, amiright?
Watch the full episode at SouthPark.cc, or via the video embed below.