South Park has officially entered its 22nd season and with its season premiere episode. The show touched upon a very important topic that is plaguing America. Gun violence was the topic of discussion and it was shone in a clever way.
How South Park Has Changed for The Better Over the Years?
South Park, in general, has not been a show that has not been known for its solid plots and social awareness. However, in recent seasons South Park has changed its formula for its show and this has seen a great rise in its awareness. South Park shifted from comedic, one and done episodes to producing seasons that have an overarching consistent story. This one change has really benefited the show in my opinion and is one of the main reasons why I watch nowadays.
South Park is not only able to have a consistent season-long story but due to its sporadic production, each episode is able to stay relevant with current topics in the news and other social events. A season that followed the US presidential election and made a mockery of Trump and Hilary is a perfect example. This season, week after week made relevant episodes that were not only hilarious but had an impact on the culture of the present landscape. South Parks political and social depth over the last few years has really added a layer to the show which has made it more than what it first was.
A Strong First Episode
With the first of episode of the new season, it looks like South Park is looking to continue this approach with by mocking how normalized gun violence and school shootings are now. The episode runs as it would normally but while the kids are at school, gunshots and violence occur. At one point a teacher runs off and says, “I got this one” as he goes to confront a shooter, sparking contrast to political statements of having teachers armed.
Essentially we see that there have been plentiful shootings that have happened in the school and now students and the rest have become numb to it. The only person who seems to be worried about these shootings is Stan’s mother, Sharon. She seems to be in disbelief that everyone is turning a blind eye to all this gun violence and does not understand why. Her husband Randy, on the other hand, spends the episode convincing her that her period is the reason for her moody outbursts.
The episode ends with Sharon finally surrendering to the indifference that has succumbed the rest of the town and accepting that “It’s not the end of the world” as she learns her son Stan is shot at school.
This was a very impactful episode and made a great satire on current gun violence that is happening in America. Through comedy South Park shows us to not normalize shootings and other violence because Sharon was right, it is not normal to be having so many shootings and we should not forget so easily what has happened. All in all, this was a very good start to South Park and I look forward to seeing what they shall dive into in further episodes.