South Park Season 20 Episode 1: Member Berries Review

The gang is back!

South Park season twenty premiered on Wednesday and the ostensibly ageless and not so innocent boys from the Colorado town are at it again. As we have come to expect from creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park is once again offering its satirical take on current social and political events.

It’s been an interesting nine months for Americans, from the current presidential election to the seemingly endless amount of political and social movements, and the new season looks to cover just that. The first episode, entitled “Member Berries” wastes no time by opening up on a packed gym at South Park Elementary where the girls’ volleyball team is ready for it’s (what I’m assuming) heated match against the Jefferson Sabers. But of course the crowd isn’t there for the game (and let’s be realistic, its elementary school volleyball), but instead is there solely for the national anthem. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months you may have guessed, but yes, this is a spoof on NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand during the national anthem out of protest for racial injustice. But instead it’s Wendy Testaburger and others sitting to protest all the harassing and trolling they’ve been receiving on the internet.

The harassment these girls have been receiving is coming from someone calling themselves “Skankhunt42” and of course Cartman is believed to be behind the moniker. Cartman, however, sporting a “Token’s Life Matters” shirt, (how long until those are for sale?) seems to be the ultimate social justice warrior and is instead standing up for women’s rights. He even says, “Girls rule. Women are funny. Get over it.” Are we sure this is the same Eric Cartman? Throughout the episode Cartman attempts to convince us he is no longer a prejudice, narcissistic, and manipulative fourth grader, but of course Kyle isn’t buying it.

The rest of the episode lampoons the current presidential election with a particularly orange looking Mr. Garrison and his running mate Caitlyn Jenner, as well as their opponent Hillary Clinton. The best part of the episode is how Parker and Stone decided to pay homage to the shows glorious past and refers to the candidates as none other than, Giant Douche (Garrison) and Turd Sandwich (Clinton).  As it turns out, Giant Douche has no idea what he is doing and thus decides to make sure Turd Sandwich wins the election.

 Other things from the episode:

  • PC Principal is back from last season. I have no idea how much of a role he will have in this season, but we can only hope it’s not very big.
  • Congress gets J. J. Abrams to reboot the national anthem in order to inspire America again and give everyone an equal voice.
  • Member berries, what the hell is with these member berries? All I know is Randy will probably have something to do with them.
  • Oh, and look out for Gerald Broflovski…

Overall this first episode of season twenty was about what I expected. It seems Trey Parker and Matt Stone are sticking with seasons being continues with a central theme. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this. However, my biggest problem with South Park, and it’s been like this for a while, is they have become too obvious with their social commentary and often beat it into the ground. The show is no longer about the town of South Park, Colorado and its unique and bizarre residents with certain underlying themes. Instead the town is now just used as a simple setting for these outlandish events. I didn’t find this episode very funny and if I were to guess, this season won’t be as good as the previous.

Score: 5/10

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