South Park has never shied away from tackling controversial topics and lampooning societal norms. And in its latest season, Post Covid 2021, the show has taken on perhaps the biggest topic of our time: the ongoing pandemic and its aftermath.
From the opening moments of the first episode, it’s clear that South Park isn’t going to pull any punches when it comes to the pandemic. The town is shown as a ghost town, with many businesses closed and residents holed up inside their homes. But even in the face of such bleakness, the show’s irreverent humor shines through.
The season’s central storyline revolves around the Covid vaccine and the various conspiracy theories surrounding it. The characters are divided into two camps: those who believe in the vaccine and those who don’t. Throughout the season, we see the characters grapple with their beliefs and their fears, with the show taking shots at everything from anti-vaxxers to big pharma.
But as always with South Park, the humor is just the surface level. Underneath it all, there’s a deeper message about the role of science and belief in society. In one episode, a character who is initially skeptical of the vaccine is convinced to take it after talking with his doctor. It’s a reminder that sometimes, we need to put our faith in experts rather than conspiracy theories.
Of course, South Park wouldn’t be South Park without some truly outrageous moments. In one episode, Cartman becomes convinced that he’s part of an elite group known as the “QAnon Shaman Society.” He dresses up like the infamous Capitol rioter and spouts off nonsensical conspiracy theories. It’s a hilarious (and terrifying) look at how easily people can be drawn into extremist ideologies.
But perhaps the most poignant episode of the season is “South ParQ Vaccination Special.” In this episode, the town’s teachers are finally able to get vaccinated, but it’s revealed that one of them is transgender and hasn’t been able to get the vaccine due to discrimination. It’s a powerful reminder that even in the midst of a pandemic, marginalized communities are still facing unique challenges.
Overall, South Park’s Post Covid 2021 season is a masterclass in blending humor and social commentary. The show manages to both make us laugh and make us think about the world around us. And while the pandemic may be a difficult subject to tackle, South Park does so with its trademark wit and irreverence.