South Park: “Member Berries” Review


South Park is already off to a great start for season 20.

The episode, titled “Member Berries”,  is about as topical as South Park could possibly get. They satire the drama surrounding NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, when he sat down for the U.S. national anthem to protest the oppression that blacks face. The episode actually starts with everyone in South Park gathered to watch 4th graders play volleyball. Except they wont be watching them play volleyball, they`re only there to bet on who will be sitting down during the national anthem. Will it be the black girl? Maybe the white girl? It`s as funny and ridiculous as any South Park episode.

Sitting down during the national anthem actually becomes such a big event across the country that, Congress decides that it is time to “reboot” it. So who else is better to reboot something than J. J. Abrams. The logic being that if he can save Star Wars, he can save our country. Hell, maybe J. J. Abrams should just run for presidency.

The 2016 election is also included in the episode, partially continuing the story line from last season involving Mr. Garrison as a Donald Trumpesque character. Now sporting an orange Trump spray tan, Garrison must find a way to let Hillary Clinton win the election because he just realized he has no actual political platform. He just speaks his mind like a brash idiot.

Meanwhile, the city of South Park must decide between one of these politicians in the forthcoming election. Referring to them only as a ‘Giant Douche’ or a Turd Sandwich’. There is a particularly funny scene where someone from the Gallup Poll asks Randy who he will be voting for in the election. He responds with something like, “Well this is usually a turd family, but mark my wife and I down for the Giant Douche.” Scenes like that get me going every time.

South Park also throws in a little thing called member berries, which work like a drug for adults. It is a vine of grapes that citizens of South Park are eating, which talk to you as you eat them. The grapes say things like “remember Chewbacca” and “remember Reagan”, perhaps satirizing our lust for nostalgia. I`m still a little confused on what the member berries are, but I feel like they will come more into play down the road. This season is most likely going to be a single running narrative again, just like the previous season. Which would be very interesting to see, as I rather enjoyed last seasons take on PC culture and gentrification.

Everything about this episode reminds me just why I love South Park so much. They don`t stray away from dangerous topics and always seem to come up with a new, humorous way to look at things. They can talk about and make fun of politics without taking a side. They can joke about social movements like Black Lives Matter without being thrown off the air.

The mocking of both the Giant Douche Donald Trump and the Turd Sandwich Hillary Clinton was refreshing to here. In a culture where your supposed to take a side on every issue, I’m glad South Park still has the spirit to mock both sides of the spectrum.

Judging by how funny and clever this episode was, I can tell that South Park fans are in for a real treat this season. And with all the crazy things going on in the world, Matt Stone and Trey Parker will have a never ending list of good source material to use.

Zachary Flint



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