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TV Review: Some Kneel for the Anthem but All Bow to ‘South Park’

As the November presidential election approaches, we have noticed that the two leading candidates are … a giant douche and a turd sandwich? Wait, is this 2004? No, it’s definitely 2016 and Comedy Central’s hit television show South Park has just kicked off its 20th season with a nostalgic twist for cult fans.

The best part? Just like any episode of South Park, no one and nothing is safe from scrutiny, criticism and mockery. In a season opener that featured flashbacks to 2004’s “Douche and Turd” and 2011’s “You’re Getting Old” (an episode that flat-out mocked the show and its creators), South Park has brilliantly answered last year’s crusade against liberal PC culture with what seems to be a parallel storyline lampooning conservative PC culture through the use of the titular “Member Berries.” These magical ‘superfruits,’ which look similar to grapes, seem to give adults a sense of euphoria through nostalgia.

The purple berries (which can talk) satirize the old man at your local watering hole who may say something like, “Hey, ‘member when there weren’t so many Mexicans?” or “Yeah, ‘member when marriage was just between a man and a woman?” (The berries actually said all of this.) This was also the vehicle that last night’s episode used to mock Hollywood reboots such as Star Wars and Ghostbusters.

But this is Philly Influencer, so let’s get to the sports aspect of last night’s show.

The episode opens with two sports broadcasters explaining that the South Park Elementary girls’ volleyball team has packed a sold-out gym for the first time in school history. The reason? Always topical, South Park took on Colin Kaepernick and the recent string of NFL protests during the national anthem. As some girls chose to sit during the playing of the anthem, the announcers and crowd went wild including a few cuts to Randy Marsh who in true degenerate fashion has placed bets on who will sit and who will stand.

When the anthem comes to a close, the crowd storms to the exits with excitement and anger as the main event has come to a close. With about three people remaining in the stands, the actual volleyball match, which some may argue is the true reason we watch and love sports, gets underway. If you didn’t see the poignant irony and contemporary social commentary unfolding in this scene, please disregard my bullshit and get back to BuzzFeed so you can find out which skanky Real Housewife of Whogivesashit you and your friends are.

Later in the episode, J.J. Abrams, who directed the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, is commissioned by a government task force to effectively make the national anthem great again which will hopefully fix America’s problems. There were multiple facets of this episode that portrayed the citizens of South Park as longing for the past with the intent of addressing and correcting today’s issues. Check out this clip of J.J. Abram’s new national anthem (Note: The song remains the same while a minor tweak changes how we are supposed to honor America. It was a bit of shot at Abrams’ Star Wars reboot which some described as just a flashier adaptation of the same old story.):

Colin Kaepernick, the backup quarterback of Chip Kelly’s San Francisco 49ers, looked like a fool as he alternated between standing and kneeling. Some may say it was deserving. Just don’t ask PC Principal about it, bro.


Instant Observations:

  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone have voiced their hatred for both the left and the right. In fact they have probably lampooned liberals more often than conservatives. This includes many jokes at Hillary Clinton’s expense before she was even running for president. I enjoyed the fact that an orange-faced Mr. Garrison has assumed the role of Donald Trump while Hillary Clinton has been mentioned by name. I feel that it’s definitely an attempted blow to the ‘yuge’ ego of the GOP nominee. I’m no Clinton fan but it’s honestly a joke that the unqualified Trump has secured a major party nomination.
  • Kyle talked about German collective guilt following the Nazi regime which saw six million Jews perish in the Holocaust. Although many of the regular German people had nothing to do with what the people in power carried out, there was still a sense of guilt and anguish in most citizens following World War II. Kyle said that he didn’t feel guilty with the fact that the girls were upset with a male internet troll because that singular person doesn’t speak for all males. After watching this episode twice, I get the feeling that the girls and boys of South Park Elementary are going to play out the volatile issues of race in America. We’ll have to wait and find out.
  • Some people have complained that South Park has changed for the worse with the serialized episodes that follow a season-long story arc. I will be the first to say that I enjoyed (and still enjoy rewatching) the old one-off episodes that have no carry over from week-to-week. It was great when Kenny died every week and no one remembered. But the show is in its 20th season. They’ve done it all. They even addressed this issue in 2002’s “Simpsons Already Did It.” The jokes of the last two seasons require time to mature and unfold. There aren’t as many instant gratification zingers as the past. But the product that we get from South Park in 2016 is quite possibly the only sane social and political commentary in American mass media. This program doesn’t skew the facts or tell you how to feel. It satirizes the actions of everyone in your workplace, your college campus, your community and yes, even your home.

  • Cartman did take some shots at female comediennes who base their acts around their weight, their sexual promiscuity and of course … their vaginas! It felt like a shot Amy Schumer and I can only hope it was.
  • Cartman’s shirt. Enough said.
  • Finally, Kyle’s dad, Gerald Broflovski, delivers a plot twist at the conclusion of the episode as he logs in under the troll account Skankunt42, which all the girls in school have believed to Cartman. The girls claim that the account has been disseminating sexist hate speech which indeed sounds right up Cartman’s usual alley. As Gerald sits down at his computer, he pours what appears to be wine. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is an intoxicating “Member Berry” juice. Just before Gerald goes to his computer, he asked his son Kyle is everything is alright. He seems like a loving and caring father. I’m also going to predict that this season will explore the loss of inhibitions that regular people feel when there are anonymously interacting online. For reference, check out any comment section ever and just know that some troll in there has probably held the door for you at Wawa.

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