The highly-anticipated 20th season of South Park kicked off Wednesday with an episode that revolved around presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, whom the Comedy Central show branded “Turd Sandwich” and “Giant Douche,” respectively.
In addition to presidential politics, the new episode tackled Hollywood’s obsession with reboots, bullying in schools, Black Lives Matter, and embattled San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before NFL games in protest of police brutality.
South Park’s take on the latter involves the recruitment of Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to “reboot” the National Anthem: “He saved Star Wars; now we will ask him to save our country.”
The episode kicks off as the town of South Park gathers to watch a fourth grade girls’ volleyball game; but instead of speculating about the action of the actual game, all the crowd and announcers want to do is predict who will stand or sit during the National Anthem, including Randy Marsh, who has a $100 bet on one of the players sitting down.
When the Anthem concludes, everyone files out of the arena.
Meanwhile, Mr. Garrison — an avatar for Donald Trump — quickly realizes that he and his running mate Caitlyn Jenner’s chances to win the U.S. presidency are becoming more likely, especially after seeing the results of a new Gallup poll between he and his opponent Hillary Clinton, aka Turd Sandwich.
In a not-so-subtle sustained criticism of Trump, it becomes clear that Garrison is fearful of winning the White House because he doesn’t believe he’s qualified to do the job. “Are you telling me we’re about to be voted into office and have no f*cking idea what we’re going to do?” Garrison asks Jenner.
Meanwhile, Eric Cartman (donning a Token’s Life Matters) t-shirt, continues his social justice crusade at South Park Elementary that he’d begun last season. He rages against an online troll who’s terrorizing girls at the school, even though everyone believes it’s him.
In a dead-on send-up of social justice warriors, Cartman says that students who didn’t find this summer’s Ghostbusters reboot funny are “sexist” haters, and tries to prove women can be funny by asking girls to tell jokes.
“I don’t feel like being funny,” Wendy tells him, which Cartman immediately and hilariously dismisses as more sexism.
At this point, Mr. Garrison believes he’s found a way to intentionally lose the election; by sitting through the J.J. Abrams-rebooted National Anthem in front of a national television audience. Everyone waits breathlessly to see what lyrics the new anthem will include; but in a funny twist, Abrams simply adds a line at the beginning of the song urging people to “please stand… or sit, or kneel” to honor America, thereby nullifying the dissenters’ protests.
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