It’s that time of the year, when for 10 weeks I don’t consider my Hulu subscription a waste of money. South Park, the animated show made by the hilarious duo of Trey Stone and Matt Parker, has come back for its 23rd season on Comedy Central.
The show, known for its over-the-top satirical comedy, started the season with a bang: an episode called “Mexican Joker” which highlights the issues of the Trump administration detaining immigrant children at the border. In the week before the new “Joker” movie was released, the South Park team took the movie’s idea of society creating a monster through mistreatment of its people and transferred it over to the group of illegal immigrants the United States has been mistreating. From that idea, the character Kyle Broflovski is mistakenly taken to one of these detention centers and scares the government officials with the promise of a “Mexican Joker” created from the maltreatment of the children.
For those who are not aware of South Park’s production schedule, Stone and Parker create the episodes as the season progresses, thinking up ideas and creating the content every single week. This flexibility has given them immense creative freedom and lets them make fun of current events. This season, the production schedule has also allowed them to inadvertently step into a war with China in their second and third episode.
In episode two, “Band in China,” the show pokes fun at the recent National Basketball Association (NBA) controversy where Houston Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for protestors in Hong Kong. The NBA and the owner of the Rockets distanced themselves from Morey to maintain good relations with China and stay in the Chinese market, leading to social backlash domestically.
In the episode, character Randy Marsh travels to China to sell his local marijuana, Tegridy Farms weed. “I did a little research,” Marsh says, “turns out there’s a lot of people in China. If we can get like two percent of that market to buy our weed, we’d make millions of millions of dollars.” In the process, he interacts with other businessmen, NBA stars and even Disney characters.
Hilariously, the Chinese government banned the episode in China leading the South Park team to issue a satirical apology where they said, “we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts.”
Episode three, titled “Shots!!!” has an anti-vaccination storyline while continuing the China storyline as Randy realizes that his money-grab has led to tension in his business relationship with Towelie, an actual speaking animated blue towel. The business partnership is rekindled after Towelie forces Randy to say “F*** the Chinese government.”
Images affiliated with South Park Studios