Finally, someone listened to Al Gore. South Park is on the road to addressing climate adjust in its latest episodes.

You are watching: South park season 22 episode 6


By Chris Longo | November 19, 2018 | | Comments count:0
*

This testimonial consists of spoilers for South Park.

South Park Season 22 Episode 6 and also 7

Just a decade back, it felt prefer we were founding to think even more critically around our influence on the environment. Al Gore was winning awards for warning us about an impending disaster. We were buying Prius cars and recycling. It was progression, but it sadly wasn’t enough. The reality is climate readjust is slowly compromising our world. It might not come as quickly as the day after tomorrow or two days before the day after tomorrow, however we’re getting to a critical tipping suggest at a time when the federal government is making decisions that seem to take us better away from solving the trouble.

The urgency have to be weighing on Matt Stone and also Trey Parker. In its two most current episodes, South Park finally attend to climate change head on, utilizing ManBearPig as allegory for made-man worldwide warming. Based on the show’s very own background of satirizing both deniers and also those functioning to proccasion climate readjust, the two-episode arc deserve to be understood as a mea culpa of sorts – they’re own “WE DIDN’T LISTEN” moment.


South Park’s suspect record on the topic goes back to 2005 as soon as it paropassed away the climate change blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow in an episode titled “Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow.” In the episode, the federal government and also townshuman being scramble to asauthorize blame for a disaster that, in the end, is incorrectly assumed to be brought about by worldwide warming. Stone and also Parker made the episode to take pot shots at a film they loathe, yet it was likewise South Park’s response to the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina. It caught both the panic of being late to a problem of our own development (“WE DIDN’T LISTEN”) and also the futility in squabbling over the response once people’s stays have currently been deeply affected by a natural disaster. Yet climate readjust and the impact we have on our setting was at best an afterbelieved. Despite the display mocking climate adjust deniers, from the rednecks blaming Osama Bin Laden to pushback from any kind of “cliche dissenting Republideserve to,” the adults refusage to listen to Stan as soon as he states the disaster is his fault, rather taking responsibility as a area only after the federal government falsely offers Crab People as an additional scapegoat. It was par for the course at the time – the citizens of South Park on a regular basis misinterpreting the boys’ moral leschild as justification to continue their comfortable way of living.


A year later in an underrated 2006 episode of South Park titled “Smug Alert,” Gerald buys an eco-friendly Prius to feign social duty once all he really desires to do display off exactly how progressive he is. One difficulty begets one more as soon as Stan convinces everyone to be environmentally consciousness and also buy hybrid cars, which creates the perfect storm of fart-smelling self-satisfactivity. Though the episode was a giggly mix of crass parodies and also gross-out humor, in hindsight you can make the dispute it did even more harm than excellent. South Park’s equal opportunity offfinishing took aim at the smug habits of Gerald, Hollylumber elites choose George Clooney, and the city of San Francisco, but it also unreasonably put a stigma on hybrids, labeling that eco movement as self-righteous and problematic (the cars lead to “Global Laming”) in a means that unfairly diminiburned the great they were doing in the initially area. In the finish of the episode, boys make the suggest that you deserve to drive hybrid cars without being smug, and the adults agree that they’re just not prepared for it.

See more: Why Do Bananas Split Open On Their Own, Help! My Bananas Are Splitting!

A few weeks after “Smug Alert” aired, Stone and also Parker unleaburned ManBearPig on South Park. In the fan-favorite episode, Al Gore reflects approximately warn the students about the threat, but no one really believes him. Now as The golden state burns amid report, after report, after report of terrifying climate readjust data, South Park is saying sorry to Al Gore, and they’re all set to acquire cereal. The 2 a lot of recent episodes, “Time To Get Cereal” and also Nobody Got Cereal” continue a season-long arc of the tvery own being impassive to college shootings, leading the police to ignore ManBearPig sightings and also instead lazily conflate them as part of the continuous and embraced society of college violence. 

South Park has actually been correcting some of its the majority of problematic areas in recent seasons, spending a complete season arc analyzing its role in a politically correct human being, and purging personalities prefer Mr. Hanvital, who proves himself to be a actual piece of shit. When it comes to the blissful ignorance of specific characters or the town in its entirety, South Park has actually relocated ameans from nitpicking the arguments on both sides, and also is even more came to with atoning by putting the complete weight of its over-the-peak satire into slowly relocating the tvery own forward. No one ever before shelp that would certainly be straightforward. The folks who were not all set to provide up smugness to save the environment in 2006 were no doubt affected by climate denial rhetoric in the years because. In a civilization wbelow climate change denial is given far more oxygen than it deserves, South Park literally had to rip its citizens apart by a vicious and also unforoffering beastern just to hammer home the point that human being are still hesitant around the influence of climate readjust in spite of all the evidence roughly them.


In bringing characters prefer Al Gore earlier, there’s always the question of whether they deserve to they do it in a way that moves the plot forward, serves whatever before current concern is top of mind, and doesn’t loss into the usual South Park pitfevery one of being overstuffed via ambition. Though his rerevolve gets repeated, the self-mindful storyline of Al Gore only wanting an apology for being right feels prefer the right thematic middle ground of “Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow” and “Smug Alert.” The finish of “Nobody Got Cereal” sees the people of South Park finally acknowledge that they’re all set to tackle climate change, and also that feels prefer progression. But not as well a lot progress: They still opt to make the wrong alternative in the end, which means ManBearPig will be earlier inevitably. They couldn’t give up Red Dead Redemption 2, and we don’t blame them. 

The combination of making a sequel to a fan-favorite episode, integrating a heavy social commentary on climate adjust and also the sickening ubiquity of institution shootings, and professing an inseparable love for Red Dead Redemption 2 need to not job-related. Yet somejust how the arc maneras to keep its emphasis, have actually an undeniable message about greed and our commitment to making the people a much better location for future generations, and also be really, really funny at times. South Park deserve to readjust, gradually, yet on their own terms. Though it might not be rapid enough to save the future if they store renegotiating. 

Chris Longo is the deputy editor and also print editor of Den of Geek. You deserve to tell him your favorite part about Red Dead Redemption 2 on Twitter