‘South Park’ Hits Hypocrisy, Shames the Competition

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.

That’s unfortunate, because it’s one of the best seasons of all time. All the more reason to catch up with it now courtesy of your cable provider’s VOD service or South Park Studios via Hulu.

Deep into the show’s run, “South Park broke from the traditional “soup in a can” model of sitcom storytelling. Now, like “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” Stone and Parker realize you can tell powerful, long-form stories on television.

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.

ALSO CHECK OUT: ‘South Park’ Takes on Our Gluten-Free Culture

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.

Like most teens, Stone and Parker could care less about PC culture. They offend everyone equally. You can’t watch that show and not have your beliefs, left or right, tested. The show defends the use of the word “retarded” one moment, then questions the “good guy with a gun” argument the next.

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.


  1. I thought Season 19 was brilliant, after a brief slump that probably resulted from its creators concentrating most of their energies on the Book of Mormon. It never fails to amaze me how much Parker and Stone have matured as writers, and what sharp satirists they’ve grown into.

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