South Park (season 20)

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South Park
South Park (Season 20).png
"Member how bad the 20th season of South Park was with seasonal flanderization?"
"Ooooh I member!"
Genre: Animated sitcom
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: September 14 – December 7, 2016
Network(s): Comedy Central
Created by: Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Distributed by: ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks (original broadcasts)
CBS Television Distribution (syndication)
Starring: Trey Parker
Matt Stone
April Stewart
Mona Marshall
Jessica Makinson
Jennifer Howell
Episodes: 10


South Park is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. While seasons 1-19 (1997-2015) and 21 onwards (2017-present) were well-received, the same cannot be said for season 20, which received mixed to negative reviews and is considered the weakest season of the show.

Plot

Eric, Kenny, Stan, and Kyle confront online trolling, face the Member Berry epidemic, and come to terms with Eric having a girlfriend.

Bad Qualities

  1. While this season is nowhere near horrible, the main problem with it is that it is very unfocused, and it took far too long for anything to happen.
  2. A majority of plots are rushed. This mainly can be attributed to the fact that the surprise victory of Donald Trump threw the season out of whack with the unaired "The Very First Gentleman" episode, which later had to be reworked into "Oh, Jeez" and consequently forced Matt and Trey to scrap their plans for the entire season.[1]
    • Because of this, there are so many plots with unanswered endings, and things that get brought up are never mentioned again, such as:
      1. What happened to the gentlemen's club?
      2. What happened with the Member Berries exactly?
      3. What was the deal with Star Wars and J.J. Abrams?
      4. Did the feud between the boys and girls at South Park Elementary get solved?
      5. Why did Hillary Clinton need to get Skankhunt42 (Gerald)'s help?
      6. Who paid for Eric's stuff to be replaced?
    • The bigger problem from the rushed outcome is that it's clear Matt and Trey did not plan the entire season out properly, despite the season being solely reserved as a story arc. While having a story arc isn't a bad thing, if it is not planned and executed out well, it can lead to an entire group of episodes becoming pointless and wasted in the long run. Hence why some many unfinished plots or ideas were brought up from the first episode and never touched upon afterward, as well as the sudden rewrite of the last few episodes due to Trump winning the 2016 election (i.e. the first few episodes were made assuming that Clinton would win the election, which is too early of an assumption to make a plot basis out of given the time at when season 20 first started).
    • Because of this, the season ended up getting a plot flow similar to "Toilet Paper," an episode made by them that fans compare to Family Guy.
  3. The show also made the questionable decision to make all nine of the episodes (except the tenth episode, the finale) end on a cliffhanger, which is infuriating to someone who just wants to watch an episode out of order.
  4. Speaking of Trump, almost all of their mockery was aimed at Mr. Garrison (who is the show's version of Trump), and they made Clinton look like a reasonable authority figure who deserved to be elected.
  5. Most of the characters are acting off, doing their own thing, and none of them are united:
    1. Gerald, Kyle's father, is the most unlikable, as he turned into a very unsympathetic asshole who hides being a troll to his whole family, causing the Danish to start the whole Troll-Trace program in the first place by causing Freja Ollegard to commit suicide after trolling her constantly, makes the split of the boys and girls at South Park Elementary (which also causes the boys to turn on Cartman at first), and frames Ike and Kyle for some of his actions. He doesn't even get a punishment for his actions and he gets away scot-free with his trolling, which makes him a huge Karma Houdini.
    2. The boys are separated the entire season and Stan and Kenny hardly do anything proactive. Kenny only has one line in this season outside a deleted scene.[2]
    3. Because of Trump winning the election, halfway through the season Mr. Garrison changes from someone who is trying to lose the election, to becoming full of power.
    4. Kyle’s mom, Sheila, is unlikable in the last three episodes as she acts all crazy when she thinks Kyle and Ike are Internet trolls.
    5. Butters (while he has the right stand up for himself), is out-of-character in this season as well, as he divides the school's "gender war" even more with his protest, and he didn't get better until the last three episodes of the season as he falsely accuses Stan of being a "traitor" when he tries to get back with Wendy, with no explanation at all, which is a shame because he is rarely unlikable at times. And on top of that, in the season finale, he rubs his negative feelings onto Eric severing the relationship between him and Heidi, therefore making Butters responsible for their relationship becoming toxic.[3]
    6. The girls (except for Wendy and Heidi) are also unlikable because they falsely accused the boys of being Skankhunt42 and went on to break up with their boyfriends. Wendy tried to get out of it, but her friends forced her to break up with Stan anyway.
    7. Stan, Kyle, Token, Jimmy, Craig and Clyde were also unlikeable in "Skank Hunt" as they just jump to the conclusion that Cartman is Skankhunt42. Their method is to destroy all of his electronics. They could have just looked on all of it and found that he doesn't have the account. They also never get punished for what they did nor do they apologize (aside of Kyle).
  6. The Member Berries are useless, as most of the humor associated with them gets very repetitive and dull very fast by stating that they remember something great from the past, especially elements from the Star Wars original trilogy.
  7. There is a stupid twist that comes out of nowhere in the ninth episode "Not Funny", about the villain in the Troll-Trace plot, Bedrager, in which he tells Gerald that he was faking being a Dane and that he had designed Troll-Trace to set the entire world against each other just for laughs, which by the way, is barely mentioned again, as he is killed in the next episode.
  8. Overall, This season almost damaged the reputation of South Park and although Trey and Matt planned to give a fresh air with this season, in reality, all the events that happen in this season do not go anywhere, on top of that, as incredible as it seems Season 20 can be skipped without any problem since in the later seasons practically everything that happened in this season is omitted or ignored as mentioned in point 2, so you can without any problem skip out on this season and you can just watch Season 21 as the next season, so you won’t miss out anything important.
    • Practically all the events that occurred suffer an absolute retcon in season 21 or 22 respectively, for example, Gerald was a troll, but returned to being a lawyer; Garrison was going to lose the elections, but he ended up becoming president of the USA, at least until Season 24; the boys fought with the girls "fought I don't remember", the girls in retaliation ended up with the boys "all couples are intact and we don't remember if they finished", Cartman became Heidi's boyfriend when they left the network "Cartman got a girlfriend just to boost his ego", Randy and the other parents were undecided on who to vote for "Everyone voted for Garrison", among many others.
  9. Abysmal Ending: Gerald gets away with what he did and the students haven't reconciled. It's implied that in South Park: Phone Destroyer that Gerald was exposed for what he did in the season, but still.

Good Qualities

  1. Matt and Trey seem to be somewhat aware of the problems in this season and improved on the next season.
  2. Many of the concepts were good on paper, such as the Member Berries, the 2016 election, Cartman's lost perception of girls, etc. Rather, the execution was where things went wrong for this season.
  3. The animation and the voice acting are still good as usual.
  4. The episode "Skank Hunt" has one redeeming quality:
    1. Gerald trolling while rocking out to Boston is amazing.
  5. Some characters are likable:
    1. Eric Cartman is really likeable and it's nice to see a more mature and kinder side of him.
    2. Wendy is still likable, even after she and Stan broke up, she still had feelings for him in "Wieners Out".
    3. Heidi is sweet and genial depending on your view. She also gave Eric Cartman a proper chance, showing how kind she is. And she gets a LOT of character development.
    4. To sum it up, Eric, Wendy, and Heidi are the only sympathetic characters.
  6. Although the feud between the boys and girls at South Park Elementary hasn't been solved so far, some boys and girls were able to reconcile their relationships:
    1. In South Park: The Fractured but Whole, Stan and Wendy got back together via the relationship chart made in the development of the game, stating that they were dating, and the flirtatious dialogue between the two.
      • And on top of that, in South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid, Stan and Wendy are willing to spend time together on New Year in the alternate future.
    2. In "Dead Kids", Nichole tells Cartman that she and Token are trying to make their relationship work again.
  7. At least Gerald would never again do anything horrible.
  8. The whole show has 2 fantastic messages.
    1. Sometimes, it isn't the obvious who are causing trouble.
    2. Even adults can't always be trusted.
  9. Although Eric didn't do anything in this season to deserve having his stuff broken, he did deserve it for all the bad things he did to the boys in the past.

Episodes with their own pages and other bad episodes

  1. "Member Berries"
  2. "SkankHunt" (The WORST of Season 20 and the 4th worst episode of the whole show behind "Raisins", "Board Girls" and "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina".)
  3. "The Damned"
  4. "Weiners Out"
  5. "Douche and a Danish"
  6. "Fort Collins"
  7. "Oh, Jeez"
  8. "Members Only"
  9. "Not Funny"
  10. "The End of Serialization as We Know It"

Reception

Season 20 got negative reviews, with a positive one from IGN's Jesse Schedeen,[4] but a negative one from Matt Miller writing for Esquire.[5] Stone and Parker themselves were disappointed on how the final product of the season turned out.[6]

Trivia

  • The song that played when Denmark is seen, is a real song from a 1994 Danish Christmas television show Alletiders Jul, named "Tjing Tjang Tjing".[7]
  • There is a change.org petition to get all of the relationships that were broken up in "Skank Hunt" reconciled and get "justice" for Gerald.[8]

Videos

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