South Park Season 19 Episode 3 Review: “The City Part of Town”

South Park

By choosing to make such strong statements towards the American public in its first two episodes of the new seasons, South Park knew it would receive backlash for their claims. The show is a veteran when it comes to responding to critics, and in years past, we’ve seen Parker and Stone waste no time in formulating a response. When the whole incident with Spin Magazine happened last season, South Park spared no one when the show tied it into the plot the following week. “The City Part of Town,” in a sense, is South Park‘ s response for anyone who had problems with the previous episodes.

To this point, I’ve really enjoyed the season-long plot that South Park has been establishing within these first couple of episodes. The questions that the series has brought up relating to the general public are all fair, not that it would matter. South Park isn’t for everyone, and as the show has echoed, there will always be one person out there who doesn’t like what the writers are doing. “The City Part of Town” lets us know that they really don’t care.

The episode focuses on South Park post-Garrison campaign. The twon is the butt of the nation and even Jimmy Fallon makes fun of them on his show, calling them uneducated for thinking it was a good idea to support Garrison. Randy won’t stand for this and decides the town needs to show off that it is PC and a town filled with hip people current on the trends. The town decides that the solution is to build a hip city style portion of town to display an attempt at gentrification and have a Whole Foods be approved for South Park. Of course the location is around and on top of Kenny’s house.

South Park is a show that wouldn’t work if it were another cardboard cut-out TV show. The show has become known for it’s raunchiness and willingness to always walk on the border of offensiveness. “The City Part of Town” has everyone in South Park feeling embarrassed, and they feel the need to fit in. Randy is, of course, leading the charge to create this new part of town in the same way that he was the first (and only?) character to join the PC frat.

I really love how South Park sets this episode up because it utilizes the A and B plots to present an honest representation of both sides to the message. As more and more of South Park’s residents hop on board with the Whole Foods train, their oldest restaurant establishment, City Wok, suffers. City Wok represents Matt Stone and Trey Parker; the two guys who will continue to make their show how they want to with no care for what people think. Most people nowadays will say something that is not politically correct and have to make a public apology for it; South Park will never do that. The show is going to keep being itself and won’t change for having an opinion.

Throughout the episode there are real commercials advertising the new “SodoSopa” section of South Park with luxury PC clips and images. Each commercial just feels more and more fake because they are all surface value. These commercials are fantastic and all come together at the end when we see the new Whole Foods being advertised in this style but with the normal South Park animation. Everyone has eerie fake smiles on their face and are doing things that nobody would ever do in a supermarket; yet, this is an exaggeration of what South Park would look like if the writers tried to make it completely politically correct. It’s something that would never happen because of how stupid it would be.

“The City Part of Town” was another really clever episode in this new season. I like how deep the concepts are going so far and that the writers are being bold and addressing the public and media head on. I feel like South Park wants to comment on so many different problems with culture but has to be creative in how it addresses them in a single season. The show has been on fire to start off Season 19, and I’d be interested to see if the Whole Foods somehow ties into next week’s show as well.

Other Moments:

  • The scene when the Whole Foods representative arrives is hilarious. They have the children singing and make it a big deal as if it’s the POTUS himself.
  • I did think it was funny that they used the gentrification idea in this episode. They make it feel like a “get rich quick”-type scheme for Randy and the Mayor to get South Park back “in” with the rest of the country.
  • The B-plot featuring City Wok was really great as well. I don’t go into it too much, but it’s really the perfect representation of the show and its attitude to never back down from Trey and Parker’s honest opinions.
  • The use of Cartman at the end of the episode was pretty funny and rounds out South Park’s message by taking the character back to his roots.

[Photo via Comedy Central]

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