South Park Season 18 Review

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South Park has a lot in common with The Simpsons. Both shows have been on for ages, with no end in sight despite being well past their prime. Season 18 of South Park was hardly its best, but it was good enough that we’ll keep watching, just as those Simpsons devotees trudge through that show’s remaining steam.

But even after almost two decades of politically charged fart jokes, South Park is still able to find ways to keep us on our toes. Season 18 was the first to feature a week-to-week continuity. While it certainly felt like the degree to which it was featured depended on the writers’ mood that week, the first couple episodes did a really nice job using what happened the previous week to jumpstart what was about to happen.

Leave it to South Park though to give it up, reintroduce it, and repeat that process as many times as they saw fit. The finale featured callbacks to just about every episode of the season, but was only really a continuation of the previous entry, which set up the two-parter. It was disappointing that the continuity was abandoned on a whim because it made South Park feel fresh again.

One standout episode though was The Cissy, which paired sharp commentary on transphobia with the reveal that Randy Marsh is actually Lorde. Like the pop star. It was classic South Park all the way through, delivering a great message and one of the most quotable lines of television all year: “Ya, ya, ya! I am Lorde!”

But, this is South Park, so for every masterpiece, there’s going to be a few disasters (looking at you Grounded Vindaloop), along with everything inbetween. Season 18 was as uneven as they come, episode varying in quality week-to-week like the weather.

Still, South Park is a strong show, which is why it’s made it this far. The political satire and potty humor still mesh remarkably well under these writers. Not as well as they used to, but still more than watchable most episodes. And we’ll be watching Season 19, 20, and however many more come after. Because a television-scape without South Park would make our world seem a little too serious. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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