‘South Park’ Season 23 Begins with Taking on ICE and Creating “Mexican Joker”

     September 26, 2019

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The twenty-third (!) season of South Park opens with a new credit sequence, introducing us to Tegridy Farms. Luckily, the entire episode is not set here, and I don’t think the rest of the season will be like this.

Randy goes into town and visits some of his clients, trying to figure out why his sales are down this month. He discovers that his clients have taken to growing their own weed as a sort of hobby. In a perfectly normal reaction, Randy tries to get the city council to ban home growers, gets mixed up with corporate weed millionaires, and blows up all the home farms in the town.

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Image via Comedy Central

In a parallel storyline, Cartman is excited to learn about ICE detention centers. As a way to get back at Kyle, he calls ICE on the Broflovskis and gets the family taken to detention centers. ICE agents are stunned to see a white face amongst all the brown ones, and are horrified when they find out he is Jewish. (“We don’t want people to think we’re racist!”) In the hopes of trying to teach the adults a lesson, Kyle compares this to villains in superhero movies, who are created by terrible childhoods. He suggests that these detention centers could create a Mexican Joker, which of course, the adults take to hysterical levels.

After twenty-one years on the air, South Park is… well, it’s South Park. Not a lot has changed with the show, other than it seems less outrageous nowadays. The social commentary has lost some of its bite as current events become closer to comedy. But this season, the social commentary is off to a better start than the last few seasons (such as the trolling or the election storylines).

They did a great job with the ICE storyline this week, even going so far as to give the head of the detention center a Cosby sweater (which takes on a disturbing double meaning now). The Broflovskis being taken by ICE because they didn’t have their passports, and the connection between Kyle being Jewish and being imprisoned related the current administration to Nazism in a brilliant way. It wasn’t particularly subtle; but it was a great way to draw the conclusion without falling prey to Godwin’s Law.

I am not a fan of the Tegridy Farms storyline. Maybe it is because I’m not a stoner; maybe it is because I have always fallen into the camp of Towlie being “the worst character ever.” However, the way it tied in with the Mexican Joker subplot was brilliant and hilarious. I truly hope Mexican Joker continues to be a subplot throughout the season.

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Image via Comedy Central

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