“South Park” has been building the anticipation for its new season. In the weeks before its premiere, the ads for “South Park” filled Comedy Central. The ads questioned the viewers’ humanity and political choices by prompting questions like, “Unemployment, pollution, homelessness. America has reached a crossroads. What will we do next?” followed by #CancelSouthPark. This made many viewers question whether the show is actually trying to get cancelled or if it is simply poking fun at cancel culture. Because “South Park” has always been a controversial show, it seems like the latter.
Season 22 aired on Sep. 26. The first episode of the season, “Dead Kids,” gave commentary on school shootings. Using well-known characters, it showed how little people seem to care and how nothing is being done about gun violence in schools. The episode focused on Sharon, one of the main character’s moms, and how she seemed to be the only one that cared that school shootings kept happening. Everyone else acted like she was overreacting. No one else was fazed. They blamed her reaction on other reasons. This was a strong episode to start the season.
When the title of the episode was revealed as “Dead Kids” and it was first released that the episode would be about a school shooting, many fans were concerned that the main character would be killed off. Once the episode started, it seemed like the characters were safe and would remain in the background. At the end of the episode, the main character is shot and now fans are upset. The way this episode was written and carried out is fitting considering in real life when it comes to gun violence, many people act as if they are not affected and care little about the problem until they are directly affected.
In true “South Park” fashion, the characters, attitudes, and situation stand as symbolism for the message. “South Park” has always been political and sometimes controversial and this episode was no exception.
Now, viewers must wait until next week to know what happens next and if this is, in fact, another serialized season. If the episodes continue to be as strong as this one, it could make for a really great season.