South Park: “Safe Space” Season 19 Episode 5 Review

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You know, I had been waiting for a good Randy story all season. Sure, he played a big role in getting a Whole Foods in South Park, but that was much more a story about the town itself than Randy. “Safe Space” finally delivered what I’ve been waiting for, as Randy doesn’t want to give a dollar for hungry children while paying for his groceries.

It has all the makings of a great Randy story. It’s just the type of arbitrary thing that he would blow out of proportion. “Safe Space” does a great job building on his guilt and embarrassment the more we see him go to Whole Foods in the first half of the episode. The second time he goes, when he has to poke the child’s belly on the little screen and we hear it go “Ow!,” was probably the loudest I’ve laughed all season.

Meanwhile, Cartman complains about being fat-shamed on social media, causing PC Principal to assign Butters the task of monitoring all of Cartman’s social media outlets and deleting the negative comments. This leads to Butters being forced to sift through the social media outlets of Steven Seagal, Demi Lovato, Vin Diesel, and plus-sized models. His major adversary is a dastardly devil from yesteryear named Reality.

The musical number that introduces Reality fell almost completely flat, but having Randy convince himself that being shamed at the supermarket is comparable to fat-shaming put the episode back on track. Randy doing “Saving Grace” commercials with hungry children to bring attention only to people shamed at the supermarket for not giving money.

Of course, South Park ran this joke into the ground by the end of the episode. But the final moment of the citizens in town cheering at the hanging of Reality was a perfect way to end this episode. So if you nix some of the big jokes that didn’t land, this was a pretty strong episode overall. Halfway through and season 19 continues to impress and, more surprisingly, remain consistent. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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