All pre-seasons raise questions and run rampant with speculation. Take our favorite sport, sarcastaball, for instance. Before a single bra had been fastened or tin foil hat folded this season, debate raged on about which players would be the most polite, possess the gooiest centers, and reap the most on-field benefit from rigorous off-season hugging regimens. The South Park pre-season, if you will, likewise posed several hard-hitting questions. Now, entering Week 3 with two episodes under our foil hats, we can start determining just how much creamy goo we can expect this season.
After a hit-and-miss Season 19 and a Season 20 that eventually collapsed under the gluttonous weight of its own “membering,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone had us Starvin’ like Marvin for something different … a hunger that, sadly, no free Tako digital sports watch could quench. And so far, so hearty. Cartman has returned to his evil self again (and, no, not Evil Cartman, who is actually a lovely person with an enviable goatee) and begun notching mortal sins on his bedpost with his Hootie Owl round-tip scissors; Kenny found a brand-new way to die (off-screen by a distracted driver); and whether it’s Jim Bob throwing down a braggadocios redneck version of Kendrick’s “HUMBLE.” or gay duo Tweek and Craig delivering the most important musical message (stop Tweeting, Giant Douche!) since “We Are the World”, the music has been the show’s best in ages. It’s all been so satisfying that most of us have hardly noticed that we’ve barely seen or heard from Stan, Kyle, or Kenny — so far, bit players.
And what of the giant douche in the Oval Office? Although Parker and Stone made it clear prior to the season that they had neither the desire nor the stamina to begin satirizing real-life satire, they’ve quickly learned what the rest of us have: orange clashes with everything and gets everywhere. The plan some of us had of hibernating for four years clearly isn’t going to work, and when you have a president, as Tweek acutely pointed out last week, that seems to make everything worse, ignoring him ceases to be an option. So while Mr. Garrison may only appear in Tweets (that’s pretty much all his real-life giant douche counterpart does anyway), I think it’s safe to say the loose theme for the season will be how a giant douche — contrary to his hygienic namesake — manages to shit on everything.
Need a chuckle before we get started? Just touch my little, gay flipper and click the video below:
“Nobody celebrates Columbus Day,” Chris Rock once joked during an SNL segment. “Nobody puts three ships in their front yard … All you gotta do is not work.” The boys and girls of South Park Elementary, especially Eric Cartman (“In 1492, Columbus got us all a day off schoo”), would agree. Unfortunately, PC Randy Marsh is out there, and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let the genocide of Native Americans score the kids, or even Nelson, a holiday. How serious is the situation? “Stan, I have to deal with my mom doing shit like this all the time,” Kyle empathizes, “but she’s never tried to take away a holiday.” (To quote Randy himself: “Oh my god.”) Yes, it’s that bad, and it can only get worse because, well, it’s Randy Marsh. That means it’s not enough to simply raise awareness about the bloody history behind this government holiday and make people stop and think for a moment; statues need pulled down (or shit upon) without approval, people living in cities named Columbus need harassed on the phone, and the official school calendar needs changed.
Can anybody or anything stop Randy’s “indigenous” crusade? Sure, his own stupidity and checkered past. As the boys come to find out, Randy used to be super stoked on Columbus a long, long time ago … circa 2013. Hell, who wasn’t? If any photos of him should leak to the public or if anyone should stumble upon his extensive collection dedicated to the famous explorer (Columbus figurine salt and pepper shakers?), they’ll know and shame him for the hypocrite he is. As the boys gently nudge the head of the school calendar committee towards the truth (yes, kidnapping is a “gentle nudge” in South Park), Randy goes as far as paying to kiss (and god knows what else) a middle-aged Native American man in order for his DNA test to register “Victim,” um, I mean Native American. But don’t worry, Southparkateers. It all ends up as well as can be expected. Randy finds out he’s part of an even more ancient and victimized people than Native Americans and poses a solution as dumb as you’d suspect after all the lessons he’s learned. In the end, it’s true love that meets the saddest fate, as out there somewhere a middle-aged Native American man pounds out the melancholy beat of heartbreak on his tribal drum. It’s more tragic than those litterbug commercials.
While it’s true that Parker and Stone appear to be letting their cannons cool down a bit after last week’s full-on assault on Giant Douche, it’d be mistaken to think that our most detested “counter-puncher” doesn’t take his fair share of blows in “Holiday Special”. Sure, there are allusions to the statue debate, “white oppression,” and even “fake news,” all of which bear Douche’s tiny, orange fingerprints, but this episode focuses more on examining the type of society that would elect this dotard as president. “You have to overdo it in today’s society,” Randy explains to Stan. “You can’t be nuanced and subtle anymore, or critics go, ‘What was the point of that?'” That’s the Douche’s America right there. It’s why we can’t convene as a nation and have a nuanced discussion about, say, racial injustice and patriotism. Instead, we get “sons of bitches” and a patented “You’re fired” slogan, which, of course, rakes in applause in Alabama. And what does Randy do when he realizes his hypocrisy might bite him in the ass? Try a little accountability, maybe? (Silly rabbit.) Why, lie and play victim, of course — standard Giant Douche modus operandi.
But ain’t that America, friends? Land of the loud and non-liable. Where the gravest issues facing our society are discussed in sound bites and 140 characters. No, Parker and Stone don’t explicitly call out Giant Douche in this episode. But, as mentioned before, you can’t satirize American society right now without bumping into his fat ass or slipping on the trail of orange slime he leaves on everything. He’s not the reason we’re a stupid country. If we’re lucky, though, he’ll be the reason we get wise.
As they say in sarcastaball, next week is a bye week. That means no new South Park episode, and we’re just so sad about that. In the meantime, stand up, take a knee, scratch your ass — we don’t care. Just don’t follow the lead of some giant douche. See you in two weeks. I’m really looking forward to it.
Click ahead for this week’s scorecard and grade.