Teens hate hypocrisy.
It’s directly tied to their brain development: millions of neural connections are being developed, so they feel and act like geniuses. With this “super power” they can spot hypocrisy at a 1,000 yards in high wind.
It seems like “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are preternaturally stuck with the teenage brain (that’s a compliment). They never tire of mocking hypocrisy, often with brilliant results. They’re still riding the high from their Broadway smash, “The Book of Mormon,” yet this current season of “South Park” is one of the lowest rated in the show’s 19-season history.
They’ve been playing with this kind of storytelling recently, mostly stories involving “Mysterion,” but this season they’ve fully embraced serial television. You can’t catch just one episode of season 19. You have to start from the beginning, and it’s more than worth it.
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Season 19 starts with Principal Victoria being replaced with PC Principal. Transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner features prominently in the 10-episode run which also explores ISIS, Political Correctness, Whole Foods, gentrification, homeless, guns, school shootings, police violence, racism versus bigotry, immigration, the tyranny of Yelp, Internet shaming and, shockingly, so much more.
It’s the hardest-hitting comedy out there. Nothing even comes close to touching the depth and nuance of the arguments shown each week, except maybe FX’s “Louie” on a good night. And yet why aren’t the ratings bigger, longer?
It’s partly due to the changing TV landscape. The series now generates a fraction of the ratings it drew during season one. That comes with both age and the splintering of the modern audience. Season 19 still generated plenty of chatter in social media, and for good reason given the times.
Another episode wonders why dressing up as a Ninja is “gay” but dressing up as ISIS is not. It’s no wonder the show will piss some people off.
If, however, you like being challenged, “South Park” is better than it’s ever been.