December 4, 2021

Publish COVID’ Skewers Anti-Vaxxers and ‘Woke’ Comedy

5 min read

The pandemic is sort of over in South Park: Post COVID. Sadly, Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s first Paramount+ made-for-TV film (“It’s not a film—it’s made for TV”) is ready forty years sooner or later, in a disease-ravaged America nonetheless grappling with the disaster. That’s the set-up for what seems to be the primary chapter of a two-part occasion (the second half drops someday later this yr) that finds the now-adult children of South Park trying to find the origins of our trendy plague—and discovering, alongside the way in which, that their friendship simply is perhaps an important factor on this planet.

An hour-long journey that finishes with a cliffhanger which is able to probably be resolved in December, South Park: Publish COVID (presently obtainable) begins with a cheery information story in regards to the imminent finish of our lengthy world nightmare. The following revelation that that is happening a long time from now’s the primary of many jabs that Parker and Stone make about our collective incapability to get this virus beneath management, which can also be demonstrated by the truth that just a few People proceed to refuse to get vaccinated. On this case, that will be Clyde, a pudgy doofus who tells his former classmates that he hasn’t gotten the jab as a result of he has a shellfish allergy, and that there’s an opportunity that scientists may contaminate the vaccine in a laboratory in the event that they’ve concurrently been in shut contact with shellfish, thereby begetting… shellfishness.

The extra issues change, the extra they keep the identical in South Park: Publish COVID, which dispenses the very kind of juvenile and topical lunacy that has lengthy been the present’s trademark. That ought to make it a major draw for Paramount+, particularly provided that its incomplete finale calls for that followers who wish to see the conclusion to its story preserve their subscriptions for an additional month—presumably after any free trial has expired. Die-hards will little question view that as a simple request to meet. Even those that haven’t stayed updated with the collection, nonetheless, ought to get appreciable amusement out of Parker and Stone’s newest dose of madness, which takes pointed purpose on the disagreeable actuality we’ve all been coping with since early 2020.

A lot has modified sooner or later depicted by South Park: Publish COVID. Stan is a lonely middle-aged loser who spends his days working a web based whiskey guide enterprise and yelling at Alexa, his Amazon assistant, who now takes the type of a holographic spouse who alternates between suggesting nice new retail offers and swearing again at her human proprietor/companion when he callously makes an attempt to close her up. Stan is drawn again to South Park by his estranged BFF Kyle after information breaks that their pal Kenny—a sunglasses-wearing well-known scientist with lengthy blonde hair and a group of Hawaiian shirts—has died beneath mysterious circumstances. Questions abound in regards to the shadowy circumstances beneath which Kenny has perished, and it’s quickly clear that they’re associated to the basis causes of the pandemic.

Stan shortly involves suspect that Kenny’s demise—and his covert analysis—might should do together with his dad Randy’s Tegridy weed farm, which South Park: Publish COVID reveals was burned to the bottom by Stan in an accident that immediately led to the demise of his abusive teen sister Shelly, and not directly introduced in regards to the suicide of his mother Sharon. Thus, Stan is compelled to fix fences together with his father, who lives in a 60,000-person retirement neighborhood tower the place residents are sheltered from the COVID-infested exterior world in an effort to maintain them perpetually alive. In the meantime, when a brand new variant emerges, panic as soon as once more sweeps society, with of us dashing to shops to hoard bathroom paper and “chin diapers” (i.e. face masks), in addition to frantically sticking their children in entrance of on-line Zoom courses.

Such jokes go hand-in-hand with Parker and Stone’s extra absurdist visions of the long run, which is overrun by consumerism (all the pieces is labeled “Max”) and has—through sights of geisha video ads and flying cop vehicles—taken on the grim dystopian character of Blade Runner. Scarier than these developments, nonetheless, is the transformation of Cartman, who’s turn into a religious rabbi with a spouse named Yentl and a trio of orthodox Jewish kids (Menorah, Moisha, and toddler Hackelm). This strikes Kyle as not solely offensive however as a clear prank geared toward making him livid. If it’s a ruse, although, it’s one which Cartman maintains with aplomb, replete with having intercourse together with his spouse (whereas staying at Kyle’s home) throughout which he exclaims about Abraham sacrificing his solely baby.

Scarier than these developments, nonetheless, is the transformation of Cartman, who’s turn into a religious rabbi with a spouse named Yentl and a trio of orthodox Jewish kids (Menorah, Moisha, and toddler Hackelm).

Grownup variations of different favourite characters additionally pop up throughout South Park: Publish COVID, together with Wendy (who’s married) and Token (who’s a cop). Most chopping of all are the scenes that includes Jimmy, who’s risen to the very best ranks of the late-night talk-show universe as “the king of woke comedy.” Jimmy’s humor is doggedly inoffensive (“What do you name a trans girl who walks into an abortion clinic? Her title is Rebecca, and she or he’s a incredible individual”), and it’s meant as a pointy commentary on the policing of speech that’s presently denounced by so many stand-ups (and others). Not that Parker and Stone elaborate on any such points; as at all times, their tack is to mix social satire and bonkers ridiculousness in rat-a-tat-tat trend, and so they show in strong type right here, segueing between numerous factors of curiosity with their traditional fleetness.

Maybe the dumbest, and subsequently funniest, recurring bit in South Park: Publish COVID includes everybody, and all the pieces, consistently reminding Stan and Kyle that they’re sooner or later (which they already know), be it a waiter who explains that folks now eat bugs as a substitute of meat for protein, or a motel worker stating that they solely take crypto as a result of “we’ve all determined that centralized banking is rigged, so we belief extra fly-by-night Ponzi schemes.” Such loony self-consciousness is each the least predictable and most hilarious facet of the particular, particularly when it’s completely random, as is the case with a singing doorbell that routinely drives Kyle up the wall. The place South Park: Publish COVID is finally heading with this two-part saga is anybody’s guess. But on the idea of this strong installment, its personal future seems to be amusingly brilliant.

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