South Park is back with a Vaccination Special. But does it live up to the hype? Max reviews Trey parker’s latest offering.
After months of dryness, Trey Parker has released new content in the form of a second South Park special, following the hour-long special last September. This one is also an hour-long and satires the further phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. People wanting vaccines and not being able to get one because of lousy distribution systems.
The Pandemic Special focused a lot on Randy but in this episode, he is barely seen. The story focuses on the boys predominantly as they readjust to being back in the classroom. Cartman also worries about their “broship” surviving, satirizing the problems that arose in relationships during the pandemic. Cartman is quite a different animal than when the fans first were introduced to him. His voice is less annoying. He doesn’t rip on Kyle for being Jewish and speaks more respectfully and intelligently. I don’t like that. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a greedy, troublemaking pig. BUT he isn’t the manipulative, racist sociopath that we all loved to hate.
The adult characters also get very little screen time. Except for Mr. Garrison who is no longer president and tries to become an elementary school teacher again. I found it odd that the adults-only had snippets of dialogue. Perhaps Parker was trying to show the pandemic through the eyes of a small child and how they are always thought of last in the at-risk hierarchy.
The funniest satire of the episode was how the local Walgreens was recast as a cool happening nightclub. One with a jerk bouncer who won’t let anyone in. Well not anyone. Just the VIPs which happen to be old people. The Oldsters waste no time rubbing it in the faces of middle-aged people and youths that they are getting the vaccine and they cannot. The other story is about Garrison trying to get people to like him again. And unknowingly directs the QAnon, who believe he is sending them messages through code. They believe the vaccine is bad and that the celebrities kill children and drink their blood, known as adrenochrome.
It’s a great satire on how the crazed Trump supporters who sieged the capital have NO clue what they are doing and what to believe in. They just follow vague clues on the internet and through word of mouth by other crazy people. The boys manage to steal some vaccines. But are unsure whether to give them to the teachers, their parents, or themselves. It is a great finger on the pulse to how we are trying to decide who gets the vaccine first, and who is “important” enough to be inoculated.
South Park’s main formula for comedy is satirical substitutions, dark edginess, and lastly, a kind of humor that like a play on words. More like a play on phrases and ideas. It’s hard to explain. This special is nowhere near as funny as the Pandemic Special. And I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but it is implied that this WAS Season 24. And we will have to wait yet again for more South Park. Trey Parker still knows how to weave hut button topics into offensive mockery, but honestly, I feel this one was a little weak. Yet, the Walgreens/Nightclub satire was pretty darn brilliant, so I will boost the grade and give it a 6 out of 10.
South Park is currently showing on Comedy Central.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!