The Importance of South Park

By Allison Johnson
Blog Content Contributor

Mark your calendars. South Park returns today! Tune in to Comedy Central at 9pm to catch the season premiere of season 21. Yes, season 21, can you believe it? South Park premiered on Comedy Central on August 13th, 1997. The show is older than me. There is no doubt about it that there is something special about a show that can run for 20 seasons and still uphold its creativity and prominence. Especially to a generation that were toddlers and even babies when the show made its debut.

The show works because it is relevant. Check out 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park. It is a documentary focused on the six day production schedule of creating an episode of South Park. By far one of the neatest things I have ever watched. It inspired me to get into production. One of the most shocking things in the documentary I learned is that the episodes are not sent to Comedy Central until hours before the premiere. I just want someone to believe in me the same way the executives at Comedy Central believe in the producers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

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South Park pays so much attention to detail. I truly am amazed. Yes, satirical writers on staffs for talk shows and even correspondents for The Daily Show pay attention to the media. That is expected, but I am so impressed with every South Park writers’ abilities to scrutinize the media days leading up to an episode. Photo via Facebook.

I became a fan of South Park around eleven years old. I remember having my remote in hand, thumb over the “last” button ready to jump right back to Disney in case my Dad walked upstairs. I guess the language in the show was not his taste, so he did not want me to watch it. Besides the explicit content the show contains, it does convey important messages. I feel like people that are not fans of South Park just do not see it that way.

South Park is full of satire and I love every bit of it. A lot of my favorite writers often get backlash for writing satire pieces. That is usually from people not understanding the concept of writing satire. I do agree there are times when writers do not successfully use satire, but when it comes to South Park, the job is done well. The humor may be dark, but Parker and Stone get the message across.

An example I used in an essay I wrote in high school was season eight episode seven, Goobacks. This episode was aired in 2004 and it is one hundred percent relevant to what is happening in our country right now. I thought I had my heart set to write about DACA this week, but this episode says enough. I highly recommend watching this episode, especially if you are not an avid watcher and do not understand satire and/or the underlying messages. This episode successfully executes the hatred Americans have towards immigrants (who have jobs because they are not the lazy people that some people make them out to be.) One of my favorite South Park one-liners comes from this episode. South Park pays so much attention to detail. I truly am amazed.

Here is what we know so far about season 21. When asked about Garrison, Trey Parker told The Hollywood Reporter, “We would always talk about how great it is because on South Park, one week it can be about the kids and then the next week it is about Garrison and then the next week it is about Randy,” he said. “And that’s what I really miss.”

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Here is what we know about season 21, episode one! Photo via Comedy Central Press.

Thankfully for the season premiere we get some insight on Randy, and some awareness of what went down in Charlottesville last month. I love a good South Park episode where the storyline revolves around Randy Marsh, and who better to explain how it feels to be white today? Also, recognize anyone in this screenshot? I feel like this might be a spin off from Goobacks.

A lot of fans miss the concepts of earlier seasons mostly revolved around the boys’ lives. I think we can expect to see more of that this season, but we should expect for Garrison to portray The President still. Parker also told The Hollywood Reporter, “we just wanted to go back to the kids, which we still do. But it’s also like, you can’t avoid [Mr. Garrison as Trump]. So, we are not actively putting it in, but we are not actively leaving it out. It’s the world we live in.”

I hope to see more storylines revolved around the boys, but the election made an impact on last season, so I feel like they should follow up on it for a bit. Remember, 9pm tonight. You can even look forward to season 22. South Park has a renewal through 2019.

Featured image via IMDb.com.

Asia Daggs

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