I watched South Park: Joining The Panderverse South Park – Into The Panderverse this weekend and, in typical South Park fashion, they take aim at a lot of the culture war issues that we all can’t seem to get away from these days. But is it the red-pill panacea as so many on one side of the culture war are claiming?
There are three storylines that somewhat converge. One is Randy Marsh’s war on college and how it left him with no skills since AI is taking over so many college-educated jobs. The only jobs AI can’t do are ones that “require arms” leaving handymen the new big billionaires. As billionaires do, the handymen spend their new riches buying up tech giants and sending rockets into space.
The second takes aim at the idea of using multiverses as lazy storytelling. This shows us the woke-verse where all our favorite characters are minority women. Cartman’s sassy black girl variant ends up in the prime South Park universe (yes it’s stupid and that’s the point) while he ends up in hers, along with Kathleen Kennedy. Meanwhile, Disney is being run by a Cartman-Kennedy variant in the prime universe who screams at all her underlings for every movie pitch to “put a chick in it, and make her gay!”
It’s all a bit obvious but I also think that the normies who watch this will find it new. The biggest problem I had with this is that Prime Kennedy wasn’t portrayed that badly. There’s some heart-to-heart with Cartman that insinuates that fan backlash created woke movies and vice versa. Almost a chicken and egg scenario. Well sorry Matt and Trey, we didn’t create these movies.
When the MCU was at its peak, sure we criticized some things, but we went and paid our money. The discussion was always about whether the movie was true to the character, or did the plot make actual sense. They made bank and we entertained ourselves arguing around the edges a bit.
Then Force Awakens and Ghostbusters 2016 came out, clearly pandering. We reacted. They kept it up, kept doubling down. We didn’t start this fight, they did. Trey and Matt seem to want to blame fan backlash on the increasing wokeness and this is just nonsensical to me. If I get a bad burger at Mickey-D’s and complain about it, why would McDonald’s double down on making worse burgers and then call me racist for not liking their s-burgers?
No. They would go out of business if they didn’t respond to their customers. Companies have had focus groups and customer surveys forever to make sure they keep the revenue coming in. Disney, and the media in general, for the first time really blamed the customer for their lousy products. That’s just as much our fault as theirs?
Sorry guys, I’m not buying it.
That’s not to say there aren’t a few moments that are spot on. PC Principal telling Kyle that he’s the problem for not accepting a black female Cartman is gold, trying to compare this lazy race swapping to creating a new character as one and the same. For instance, Mile Morales is his own character and history. I’ve always liked him just fine. But making a black female Peter Parker is nonsense. The point landed great.
The digs at multiverse stories were okay but a little flat. Disney execs just come across as beleaguered victims of circumstances rather than agents of chaos that they’ve become. The college/handymen wars were amusing enough I suppose. If it gets one more kid to turn their back on the higher education scams, it’s worth it.
Overall, it’s a good episode and I would definitely recommend it to your normie friend. Those who are already in the woke cult will just be mad and pepper you with a lot of “Actually”… and who needs that? Red-pillers will just shrug and say “Welcome to the party, South Park.”
Better late than never, I suppose.