South Park is at it again with the edgy material in their latest installment.
This episode seems to take a more relaxed tone to the previous episode. There aren’t as many side plots happening, and it sticks to developing the story that started off season 20.
Skankhunt42, the sexist internet troll, has now upped his ante and is taking the trolling to a global scale. Meanwhile, the boys at school have decided they must take out Cartman (who they assume to be Skankhunt42) before the girls at South Park Elementary take action against them. Little do they know that the actual identity of the internet troll is Kyle’s dad, Gerald, who has taken quite a liking to his new hobby.
The episode particularly mocks societies obsession with social media, equating somebody deleting their Twitter account to actual suicide. There is even a boy who continues to threaten to delete his Twitter account because “nobody cares about him” and “the world would be better without him”.
In another scene, it seems as though a little girl jumps off a bridge to her death, but instead she just deleted Twitter and threw her phone in the river. Yet everyone at South Park Elementary is torn over the loss, and the police even have an investigation and interview the teachers about the event. South Park does a great job at comically portraying our social media obsessions with such an extreme example.
The best aspect of this episode is, in my mind, the somewhat controversial message being made. I felt that there was an argument being made for pro-internet trolling. Not that Matt and Trey were saying its okay, but the show wasn’t completely putting it down.
The entire world, including South Park, gets wrapped up in what one internet troll is saying online. They can’t just block or ignore it, instead they focus on everything horrible Gerald is saying. Maybe our attachment to social media has gone too far, where we’ve become invested in what some asshole guy on the internet has to say about something.
And to hit this message home, Matt and Trey depict Gerald Broflovski not as your typical internet troll. He isn’t a disgruntled forty year old who takes out his anger on helpless people online. He trolls because he loves it. It makes him a more happy and pleasant person. In his daily life he has become a very kind and patient person to all people. But at night he puts on his Boston record, pours a glass of wine (perhaps made from member berries?) , and gets to work writing mean comments.
The ending to the episode is great. I will not give it away, but what happens is needlessly dramatic and very funny. A well fitting ending to a needlessly dramatic episode.
While I thought “Member Berries” to be much funnier and more politically relevant, I still thought “Skank Hunt” was a solid episode. It addresses serious issues with our addiction to social media, and our obsession with internet trolls. Hopefully in future episodes this will be kept up with and tie into nicely with the member berries subplot.
As usual, I can’t wait for the next episode.