Fast back-of-the-napkin math on main headlines since final season’s South Park finale aired on Dec. 11 2019: the impeachment trial of the sitting president, a drone strike on Iran, the tragic demise of Kobe Bryant, the Democratic primaries and presidential election cycle, Brexit (properly, for actual this time), wildfires engulfing the west coast, police brutality protests and rioting throughout America, continued forgien election interference, and 200,000+ individuals useless from COVID-19 in the USA, with a curve nowhere close to flattened, and over 1 million useless worldwide.
In a 12 months that will get bleaker with every passing day, one may be forgiven if topical humor isn’t touchdown in the intervening time. And with South Park’s penchant for tying each storyline to the flavour of the week for higher and largely worse, returning amidst the pandemic was going to be one of many largest challenges the present has confronted since post-9/11, when the boys returned to the bus cease carrying fuel masks to guard in opposition to anthrax because the city feared threats of home terrorism two months after the Twin Towers fell.
The fears are totally different in 2020 vs. November of 2001. The bus cease is empty. The enemy isn’t in hiding like Osama Bin Laden and his farty pants. South Park is a shell of itself as a result of COVID-19 is invisible, spreads shortly, and has upended the world. Even a small mountain city in Colorado is way from immunity. That’s the place we discover the city in “The Pandemic Particular,” the collection’ first ever one-off, hour-long installment. Sequence creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, working remotely like the remainder of us who’re fortunate sufficient to have the ability to achieve this, selected to immediately deal with our the other way up current, and so they achieve this with a grim outlook on the present state of the world.
The diploma to which one thing like this may even land goes to fluctuate so extensively from individual to individual, and it’s laborious to fault anybody who discovered the episode in poor style from begin to end. I additionally think about lots of people are feeling like Stan or Butters do, remoted from their buddies and lacking the state of normalcy 2020 has ripped away from us. To that finish, the return of South Park shall be cathartic for some people and perhaps a welcome distraction for others, significantly as appointment tv has been uncommon for a lot of the quarantine. The place I’m standing, it was precisely the middling expertise we’ve come to anticipate from South Park, which can begin its 24th season at a later date.