Now I feel like it’s finally okay to talk about the mid-season finale of Southpark, after the episode has been up online for over a week, so anyone who wanted to see definitely would have. I suppose the question is, “Who cares about Southpark anymore?”
While Southpark is a big part of pop culture here in America, known for memorable characters, and taking effective jabs at the current politics and trends within America using their special brand of absurdity and toilet humor. Although the newest season has gone mostly ignored, on Wednesdays when the new episodes aired, I had class, and it was the perfect way for me to unwind. I’ll go ahead and say it–I have loved season 15. But Trey Parker and Matt Stone aren’t ones to not rock the boat.
The big thing about Southpark was the sad and serious note it left the series hanging on. Changes and events happen in the series, but Southpark is never serious about them. It tries to present things in a funny and light-hearted manner, such as Mr. Garrison’s choice to become Mrs. Garrison or the death of Chef. The dead seriousness with how the episode ended made it stand out.
But it was also a heartbreaking episode. Characters are in pain, and things don’t get better and everyone is happy again when it reaches the 30 minute mark. Stan starts seeing everything around him as crap, and he’s never cured of it. It leads to him losing Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman as friends (if you count Cartman as a friend). The worst moment in all this is when Kyle gears up to give one of his motivation speeches, but all Stan can see is shit spewing from his former best friend’s mouth.
Although Stan has a reason to see the world as shit, we come to see in this episode. One of my favorite parts of the series is the dysfunctional relationship between Stan’s parents fueled by Randy Marsh immaturity and stupidity but that they always make it work out of love for each other. During this episode, this changed. The two realize they no longer love each other and choose to divorce. As my mom commented, “When you’re home life goes to shit, everything around you seems like shit.”
I think the most powerful moment was without a doubt the Landslide montage. For me, I was watching it, waiting for things to get better, and when that happened, it’s when I realized without a doubt that it wasn’t going to get better.
There has been much speculation whether this episode is a message from Matt and Trey that this is the last season of Southpark with the theme of growing apart and no longer enjoying things you once loved. I’m not really sure if I can say one way or the other. If it is, it’s understandable, Southpark has enjoyed a great run, but with The Book Of Mormon, they’ve proved they can move on to bigger and better things. I also don’t know how the show will work without Stan.
But I honestly hope things get better for him someday. Maybe Stan and Kyle can’t best friends, but I like to think that at some future point, such as in high school, they reconcile.
No matter what happens, Southpark is never going to seem like the same show. As they’d say in Shortpacked, the drama tag has been pulled, and there’s no going back.