South Park: “Let Go, Let Gov” Season 17 Premiere Review

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It’s been a longer hiatus than usual for South Park, but this premiere brought the show back swinging for the fences.

It’s season 17, by now we know how well South Park can take on such topical things as religion and the government. Let go, Let Gov used the NSA’s recent controversies as a stepping stone to parody both to great effect.

First you have Cartman running around on speaker phone claiming he hates the NSA. He does podcasts from the elementary school cafeteria and invents a new social network that reads your thoughts and puts them on the Internet.

The only other member is, of course, Alec Baldwin, who cut off his thumbs after tweeting homophobic tweets (the commercial in which he explains all this is an absolute riot).

Meanwhile, good ‘ol innocent Butters prays to the ever watching government in his bedroom. He then starts using the DMV as a church and even gives Jehovah’s Witness some “literature” on the government.

In typical South Park fashion, I blinked and Cartman has infiltrated the NSA and Butters and a group of people are singing and clapping in the DMV. It sure has been a long hiatus. The absolute ridiculousness of it all is what makes this show great and why we are still sitting here for the 17th season premiere.

But the best moment of the episode by far was the reveal of how the NSA knows which people to keep tabs on: they kidnapped Santa Claus. You know, because of the naughty and nice list. Just genius.

Sadly the NSA and the DMV didn’t tie as well together in the end as they could have. Butters kind of just pulls Cartman out of his funk with the joy of the government. There must have been a cleverer way to bring these together.

But oh well. South Park has been well past its prime for a few seasons now. That doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a very good premiere. You had Santa responsible for the NSA, people celebrating their faith in the government at the DMV, and Alec Baldwin cutting off his homophobic thumbs. It is so good to have South Park back. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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