South Park: Post Covid, 2021.
Written and Directed by Trey Parker & Matt Stone
Featuring the voice talent of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, April Stewart, Mona Marshall, Kimberly Brooks, Adrien Beard, Delilah Kujala, and Betty Boogie Parker.
The year is 2061 and the old gang from South Park is called back to the town to deal with the death of an old friend. What they discover upon their return could alter the course of both their future and their past.
It seems crazy to believe that South Park has been on the air for nearly an entire 25 years and has never given us a glimpse into its character’s futures. Trey Parker & Matt Stone have finally taken that leap in their latest TV/movie special.
The one-hour special is part of the company’s new deal with Paramount and is the third such feature to focus on the effects that the Covid pandemic has had on South Park. Only, this episode isn’t set in the modern-day, it is set in 40 years when the pandemic is finally set to come to an end.
The set-up of the episode feels very much like It Part 2. The boys are all called back to their hometown to confront their past after the death of a close friend. When we catch up with Cartman, Kyle, and Stan, none of them are where you would think they’d end up. Stan is severely depressed and is married to an Alexa, Kyle is working away in South Park and Cartman has, allegedly, converted to Judaism and become a rabbi. Kenny is one of the world’s most influential scientists and was on a mission to end Covid once and for all.
The time jump allows the characters to have developed different relationships with one another and the world around them and it leads to some really nice callbacks and gags. Kyle’s relationship with Cartman continues to be a strong point and the addition of Cartman’s children just makes things even more amusing.
With some jokes, Parker & Stone have gone for the easiest options, but in what is beginning to feel increasingly like a post-satire world, who can blame them? The feature takes aim at many of the big topics of today – vaccinations, start-ups, virtual reality, globalisation, and more. These may have been done by other shows over the last couple of years, but few pull them off with the confidence that South Park does.
What feels so crazy about the world that Parker & Stone have created is that it really doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch. Granted, I don’t think anybody expects this situation to rage on for another forty years, but some of the impacts left behind by the pandemic in the show feel a little too realistic. The technological advancements also provide plenty of amusement. A lot of shows set in the future tend to lean on crazy leaps like flying cars and living on the moon but South Park has kept things surprisingly grounded for the most part.
In the end, South Park: Post Covid feels like it is setting the table for a more interesting feature a little later down the road. The movie/TV special spends most of its runtime introducing us to the new world that the group now inhabits. It has some really nice satirical touches and a lot of the Covid-related jokes land well. The development of all of the four main characters is strong and hopefully, it all pays off nicely with the follow-up.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★