South Park: Post Covid – Different Time, Same Jokes
South Park has made many changes to its formula over the years. The current recipe is not good when extended from twenty minutes up to two hours. It’s easy to imagine any Post-Covid jokes being acceptable in an episode. But when it’s strung over a feature-length story, hitting the same note again as again then, it’s daring for you to lose your interest.
There isn’t any real development in any of the Jokes. That’s part of the problem. It’s easy to see how they are driven into the show as stakes, separate things that stand alone without much concern for what’s happening around them or what’s happened. Each Joke is almost identical in its first instance.
This is made worse by Post Covid’s two-hour-long TV movies. It seems like an experiment in how much tinsel is needed to keep your audience’s attention.
Because South Park is a comedy series, I focus on the jokes. It seems a bit dishonest to deem Post Covid as such. As I said, the Jokes are there. They seem to be the foundation from which all the rest of the show hangs.
Post-Covid is more than just transplantation South Park’s characters and setting into a straight drama. A few old jokes are left at the bottom but occasionally rise to the surface. It’s the same heightened reality that you would expect from South Park or any cartoon, but it is played straight through – remarkable for something that involves time travel.
All of this is in service to one of South Park’s capital m Messages. This was historically a major feature of the show. At the end of each episode, one would proclaim ” you’ve learned something today….” It’s clear (slight spoiler alert) that Covid has been terrible, so let’s all give each other some grace. This is a very laudable sentiment. It sounds familiar to the jokers who spent two hours laughing about Alexas being moody women.