South ParQ: The Vaccination Special (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
TREY Parker and Matt Stone return to the controversial small mountain town of South Park, Colorado, for their second 60-minute special which explores how the local denizens are coping with the ever-present and long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic; The Vaccination Special.
One year after coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic, the locals of South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) have begun clambering for a newly-initiated Covid-19 vaccine. But when Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny find themselves to be in possession of the vaccine, alongside the return of former United States President, Mr Garrison, the town becomes ruthless as they begin to ask for their vaccines - by force.
Since the series' premiere in 1997, South Park has been engrained into pop-culture for generations to comes due to its hilarious satire and controversial opinions. The Vaccination Special has been deemed the most recent controversy, being compared to "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants"; an episode which tackled the devastating 9/11 attacks a mere two months after.
Much like the aforementioned 9/11 episode, The Vaccination Special provided plenty of laughs while also managing to give valuable knowledge and closure to anyone still coming to terms with the sudden change of landscape, with this episode's message being that while the worst days of Covid-19 may be over, the long-term effects will stay forever.
This is expertly translated through the four boys being hostile towards each other for majority of the show as social distancing and lack of interaction has systemically affected their personality and friendship far worse then they ever imagined.
The Vaccination Special brings the series back to Earth, with fan favourites such as Mr Garrison returning from the White House to his regular role as an outspoken teacher unafraid of the impending consequences; an element which was sorely missed from the show's most recent seasons as Randy Marsh and Towlie's story-arc of operating a successful weed farm became exhausting and stale by Season 23's conclusion.
Political and ethical beliefs may steer some away from Season 24's second episode, but if you're looking for levity through dark humour during a time where laughter truly is the best medicine, South Park's Vaccination Special contains plenty of pleasantries alongside meaningful advice to those carrying mental baggage from the devastating year that was 2020.