On September 13, South Park kicked off its 21st season. It started with “White People Renovating Houses.” Just like in the past few seasons, South Park will continue its social commentary-focused episodes. Expect lots of comedy about current events/hot-button issues done in satirical fashion.
I have always loved South Park since I was a kid, but how was the Season 21 debut episode? Well, I found the initial episode to be so-so overall. Expect some spoilers below as I explain my reasoning why.
Less Funny with More Social Commentary
Perhaps it was just me, but I did not find the debut episode for Season 21 particularly amusing. In fact, I thought the episode was kind of on the average side for South Park. I chuckled at a few scenes and jokes here and there. However, there was nothing I thought was full-blown hilarious.
Then again, a lack of laugh-inducing writing is not necessarily a bad thing for South Park, especially because the political/social commentary has become a focus throughout the past few seasons.
For “White People Renovating Houses,” this episode had three subplots:
- Randy and Sharon Marsh, like the episode’s namesake, start a home-renovation TV show.
- Eric Cartman has relationship issues with his girlfriend Heidi and turns to personal assistant devices like Alexa for comfort.
- And the “redneck” population of the town think the personal assistant devices are taking their jobs.
The result for all three subplots taking place in a single episode? Kind of a mixed bag if you ask me.
First off, I did not like the home-renovation aspect. I thought the Cartman subplot was weird. Finally, I found the aspect of the redneck population becoming Alexa replacements to be unpleasant and cringy.
Heck, there is even a scene where Cartman gets a bunch of personal assistant devices to say bad words. Maybe I would have found that humorous as a teenager, but come on…
Still Early in the Season
South Park has had its share of spectacular and terrible episodes. “White People Renovating Houses” would probably be somewhere in the center if I had to give it a grade. It was not particularly great, but it was not a complete mess, either.
After watching it last night, it would be accurate to say that I felt underwhelmed by the episode. I doubt I would rewatch it anytime soon.
Still, the season is still young. It was just the first episode, after all. I have high hopes for the season to pick up steam and put forth some quality storylines and jokes. Here’s hoping.
South Park belongs to the Comedy Central television network.
Also published on Medium.