TV Review | South Park Season 25: Episode 1 (Pajama Day)
South Park Season 25 Episode 1 does what it does best by pointing out the hypocrisy and silliness of the truths we often cling to!
South Park returned to Comedy Central on February 2nd, 2022. The first South Park to premiere on the channel since 2019. The series survived throughout the pandemic through widely spaced out “specials” that directly tackled the COVID-19 pandemic. Using its classic bizarre pseudo-realism and dark, offensive language and imagery, Trey Parker and Matt Stone really made some funny stuff that can help break up some of the anxiety and panic the pandemic caused for people.
Season 25 is the triumphant return to Cable TV. And while the South Park universe seems to have “re-setted” from COVID, its premiere satires a very well-known trend that occurred during the pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC and WHO advised citizens to wear masks in order to stop the spread of the disease. While many debated whether masks were effective, the population of America (and the world) had very different responses to mask-wearing. Some people embraced it. Others scorned it. And when asked to wear one in a public store or restaurant; some even turned violent and physically assaulted the person demanding they wear it.
The government itself even proposed mask mandates. Many people were angry because they felt it impeded their natural rights. South Park does what it does best. It takes an issue and substitutes it with something amusing and silly to make a point. In the South Park world, the kids (especially Cartman) are excited about Pajama Day at their school. And when the overly jacked Neo-Super liberal principal, named PC Principal decided to take pajama privileges away from the 4th-grade class, the main characters are in. Soon, the adults hear of this and decide to wear pajamas to support the “injustice”. Soon, establishments have “Pajama mandates.” And those who are unwilling to acquiesce, soon find themselves arrested by the police. This represents how freedoms were taken away during the mask debate, and how many people felt masks were not necessary. And even downright ridiculous when restaurants tried to have people wear them just to get to the table; but then not dine with them.
TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION
While I personally believe masks are effective, I see the silliness with the semantics of certain mask policies. And South Park cranks the ridiculous dial-up when there is a domestic dispute when a man does not want to wear pajamas to bed with his wife; claiming he doesn’t want to wear pajamas. I found this to be hilarious, and while this episode was not a gut buster, it brilliantly highlighted “mask anger.” Which has been with society since March of 2020, when the Pandemic began in America.
PC Principal also refuses to admit he was wrong and changes the rule to allow pajamas. Because he feels that it would make him look like a weak leader. This pokes fun at many politicians who poo-pooed masks in the beginning. But then realized how dangerous COVID was and didn’t want to look stupid by admitting they screwed up. Finally, PC Principal finds a loophole on Pajama Day by erroneously switching it to Opposite Day; seemingly negating all of the problems with wearing and not wearing pajamas. It is subtle, but this is a jab at hypocrisy and the tendency of people to change their views quickly and without question when presented with a red herring that appears to provide a solution. This red herring can be interpreted as all the information we absorbed from the healthcare professionals during the pandemic.
So, South Park does what it does best by pointing out the hypocrisy and silliness of the truths we often cling to without question. I thoroughly enjoyed this and feel that the episode gets a solid B.
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!