Oh South Park, how I have missed you in these dark, turbulent times. Much like last season, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are once again doing a serialized approach to their storytelling with the first episode setting up several plotlines.
“Member Berries” starts off at the girls’ volleyball game where everyone attends to see if Nicole Daniels (the one black female student) sits out the National Anthem. She, along with three other girls, do sit in protest of an internet troll who is writing horrible things about them and their mothers on the school’s message board.
Parker and Stone are clever as ever with their sharp commentary on the string of NFLers taking a knee or sitting during the Anthem in protest of how people of color are being treated. The majority of the media are not talking about why these men are protesting, just about whether or not it is disrespectful or brave. In the episode, the announcers and spectators are talking over the Anthem (a big, disrespectful no-no) about the girls who are quietly protesting.
In the meantime, no one wants to talk about the reasons for the protest (or the civil unrest griping the nation), they just want a grand gesture to fix it. The Senate asks director J.J. Abrams to “reboot” the Anthem in order to unite the country which ended up being the exact same thing with one big caveat. It doesn’t matter if you sit, stand, or kneel during the Anthem, effectively taking away the method of protest. Cartman thinks going around and saying “girls are cool and women are funny” will diffuse their anger about the troll (while sporting a “Token’s Life Matters” t-shirt).
Kyle is the only boy asking if anyone cares “how [the comments and photos] makes the girls feel,” as the boys are laughing at what is being posted. He vows to look for the troll known as “skankhunt42” (if only he knew all he had to do was take a look down the hall).
Mr. Garrison is faced with the prospect he and Caitlyn might actually get elected (because an informal poll says he is ahead) and has no plan to come through on his campaign promise to “fuck ‘em all to death” or, you know, run the country. The Trump stand in decides he is going to throw his campaign to get Hillary “Turd Sandwich” Clinton to win. He was going to sit out the National Anthem before a football game, but Abrams’ “reboot” made that a moot point. So what now?
The adults are putting their heads in the sand (figuratively) by taking “memberberries” to remind themselves of all those things they loved like Chewbacca, Spock, Bionic Man and all the other nostalgic stuff that make them happy. But the berries also reminisce about a time when there wasn’t such civil unrest. Times those older white men (we all know those guys) like to talk about. “’Member when there wasn’t so many Mexicans?… ‘Member whe marriage was strictly between one man and one woman?… ‘Member when there was no ISIS?… ‘Member Regan?… ‘Member feeling safe?” If you want to relate it to the horde of trolls who hate on all the reboots, the memberberries are also saying “‘member the original versions of all those movies that are getting remade? ‘Member they only starred white men with women as eye candy and people of color as the sidekicks?”
Best Lines from the night:
Randy (making my point about ignoring the reasoning) after Jimbo asks if Nicole would really sit out the anthem in protest:
Randy – “Screw that. I got a hundred bucks riding on this!”
The Senator’s plea for Abrams’ help:
“I speak on behalf of Americans everywhere. We’ve come to ask you to reboot the National Anthem. Please, Mr. Abrams, we know you’ve been asked to reboot a lot.”
Cartman attempting to prove women are funny by putting Wendy on the spot at a school assembly:
“Just do women’s comedy stuff. You know, talk about how fat you re and how you want to have sex with guys, then say ‘my vagina’ a lot.”
“Why are we doing this again? Why are we back to Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich?”
Garrison to Caitlyn about his plan after the election:
“I’m gonna be the president and you’re gonna be in charge of all foreign and domestic policies.” (Trump’s son supposedly offered the VP position to John Kasich with the promise he could be in charge of all the foreign and domestic policies)
“There’s no guarantee every pool in Florida has Zika.”
What did you think of the South Park Season 20 premiere? Are you excited to see how Parker and Stone will tackle these big controversies? What was your favorite zinger from the episode? Talk to me in the comments section below.