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South Park 21.1 Review – ‘White People Renovating Houses’

September 14, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Lambert
South Park - White People Renovating Houses
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South Park 21.1 Review – ‘White People Renovating Houses’  

It’s been nearly a year since the last episode of South Park and boy have things changed in the world.

Last season of South Park was more miss than hit as Donald Trump getting elected seemed to throw off their entire story. The last episode of the season promised to “end serialization as we know it,” leading fans to believe that serial episodes of South Park were in the past and that singular episodes would return.

If the season 21 premiere “White People Renovating Houses” is any indication, it might be too early to say that Matt and Trey are done doing season long stories based on Wednesday’s episode. There was no mention of member berries or President Garrison, but Heidi, Cartman’s girlfriend from last season, returned.

And that’s where we’ll start, as Heidi and Cartman was having relationship problems. In true Eric Cartman fashion, he’s the immature one who doesn’t know how to communicate, but he turns things around to make Heidi feel guilty. Seeing Cartman, cold and pained, talking to Butters, Token, Jimmy, and Clyde about not understanding what it’s like to be manipulated and mentally abused gave me a nice laugh. Aside from Kyle, no one has taken more abuse than those four from Cartman over the years.

Cartman maybe found a way out of the relationship, finally standing up for himself at the end of the episode, but whether that sticks remains to be seen. If this is a serial season, I expect to see more of Heidi. If the episodes are singular, hopefully it means a return to form of Cartman. No one wants to relationship Cartman. We all want evil and immature Cartman, which is exactly who he ended up being in this episode.

The main plot centered on Matt and Trey going after the low hanging fruit of Charlottesville as Daryl and the other members of the “took er jobs” gang waved the confederate flag and complained about technology.

This didn’t do a whole lot for me just because the story is a month old and it’s really hard to top the actual unintentional comedy of our President. How do you say something more outrageous than, “we have to hear both sides” when one side is White Supremacy?

It seemed like Matt and Trey knew that they couldn’t get an entire episode out of confederates rioting, so they paired it with Randy’s latest adventure, which involves flipping houses. Anytime Randy decides he’s going to do stop being a geologist for an episode and do something crazy like dad’s at baseball games or become a chef, I’m all for it.

Randy was used as the voice of reason, likely projecting the true thoughts of Matt and Trey. Randy ended up telling Daryl and the gang that it’s possible to change. You just have to find a way to knock down that load-bearing wall.

I’ll give Matt and Trey credit for freshening up the commentary on the topic, relating it to technology and the future instead of going with the easy, “they’re just Nazis” angle. They made it seem like the white supremacists weren’t stuck in the past, they’re just unable to change with the future.

If we learned anything in the episode, I think we learned that HGTV can solve all the problems in the world. Also, a lot of people are going to be adding items that you won’t find in a normal grocery store to their grocery list.

Tonight’s episode was good, but it’s like South Park continues to struggle to find that balance between political/social commentary and being hilarious. The show will always have moments and scenes that stand out. Waving the confederate flag to cool down the soup and Jim Bob playing a country version of ‘Humble’ were laugh out loud funny. But whatever happened to the kids going on adventures and getting into trouble at school?

Follow me on Twitter @jeremylambert88

5
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
After a year long wait and a disappointing 20th season, "White People Renovating Houses" didn't exactly provide hope for this year. There were some funny moments and I appreciated how Matt and Trey spun the narrative, but it didn't "wow" me the way I was hoping. Next week we'll see if serial episodes are done and if they can re-find their form with a singular approach.
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