Robert Lockaby Staff Writer
On Wednesday, Sept. 26, the new season premiere of the popular animated show “South Park” aired on Comedy Central. This marks the 22nd season of the animated series that, as many already know, is not exactly for children. The premise follows the adventures of four boys—Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny—and their peculiar adventures. Despite the abundant criticism the show has received for touching on highly offensive topics, “South Park” still aired the first episode of the new season titled “Dead Kids” and it received great praise from fans and critics alike.
The title alone gives a hint to the complicated matter discussed in this first 22 minute long episode—it openly mocks the growing epidemic of school shootings in the United States. Stan Marsh’s mother, Sharon, grows emotional every day as school shootings continue happening at Stan’s elementary school. Everyone else has grown numb to the fact that the shootings happen everyday and act as if kids dying at the elementary school is normal. As Sharon expresses her rational concerns to her husband, he blames her feelings on her menstrual cycle by stating “it’s that time of the month again.” Thus, Sharon appears to be the one overreacting while everyone else is oblivious to the severity of the issue.
For those who enjoy dark comedy, the adult animated sitcom not only conveys a satirical message many may find humorous, but it also reflects a deep social concern: Americans are becoming desensitized towards the fact that children are shot at schools where they are supposed to be safe. I believe “Dead Kids” as a whole did a great job of turning a gruesome issue into a darkly funny topic and simultaneously transmitting a serious statement and some common sense regarding the issue of gun violence. Even though it is not the first time “South Park” tackles the controversy behind gun control, this episode made it more of a central focus. It offers a message that gun laws should be stricter, the take on such opinion is quite original and humorous enough to make fans of the show love it no matter their political beliefs. All the characters are also written perfectly as in previous seasons.
Even though the show seems like it wants to ends itself in the eyes of some of its fans, it really should not come to an end anytime soon if the rest of season 22 continues to be as mesmerizing as this first episode. The new season is looking out to be a fantastic, darkly humored season and everyone would not like it any other way.