Though South Park has mined some stable comedy out of Randy Marsh’s hashish enterprise Tegridy Farms, it’s time for the sequence to convey its focus again to the present’s true stars, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Butters. The system of South Park has modified quite a few instances over the present’s 25 seasons. Early on, South Park turned notorious in a single day because of its bawdy, usually grotesque humor, its goofy surrealism, and its surprisingly gory black comedy.
Nonetheless, as South Park started to achieve crucial approval for its sharp satirical components, the present started to transition from an anarchic black comedy right into a extra pointed political satire. Notably after the success of 1999’s movie spinoff South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, South Park began to cowl weekly occasions for the reason that present’s uniquely fast turnaround allowed the sequence to touch upon tales as they unfolded. Famously, South Park addressed the Elian Gonzalez affair and the seize of Saddam Hussein inside days of those occasions being main information tales.
Nonetheless, this was not the final time that South Park modified the present’s system. From as early as season 9, Stan’s father Randy Marsh was singled out as a fan-favorite character who labored properly as a supporting star on South Park. On account of this recognition, when South Park started to serialize its storytelling in season 19, it was not lengthy earlier than the present centered on Randy’s story arcs as a lot as Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny’s plots. Nonetheless, South Park season 25 focused less on Kyle, Cartman, and firm and extra on Randy and the Tegridy Farms plot to its detriment, and the present’s fixation on the continuing story now detracts from its main attraction. South Park, firstly, is exclusive amongst televised political satire for taking the angle of kids and depicting their reactions to the world’s absurdity—one thing that’s misplaced when the sequence as an alternative revolves round Randy.
South Park’s Children Are The Present’s Stars
For the reason that sequence started, South Park has been acclaimed for the present’s capability to stability filthy, R-rated humor and surprisingly candy, harmless little one protagonists. A lot of what made South Park work in its early seasons was the plain dissonance between its tales (gory, gross-out plots about zombies, anal probes, and speaking turds) and the protagonists (young children who, whereas believably sweary, had been usually blissfully unfamiliar with these darkish, disturbing story components). South Park’s Children of the Corn parody “The Wacky Molestation Journey” (season 4, episode 16) supplies an ideal illustration of this stability. The episode might simply have been tremendously tasteless given its premise (a gaggle of kids takes over their hometown by accusing their dad and mom of “molester-ing” them) however turned a fan favourite as a result of the kid characters are too harmless to comprehend what they’re accusing their dad and mom of doing.
This joke distills the essence of what makes South Park so efficient—specifically, that the Comedy Central hit is a present about kids, that’s definitively not appropriate for youngsters. South Park’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have stated the sequence is about “children being children” and “what it’s prefer to be eight years outdated,” one thing that was made extra apparent as South Park started responding to present occasions in real-time extra often. Due to the present’s terribly quick manufacturing schedule, episodes like South Park’s successful Russia/Ukraine satire can channel pointed political commentary not by way of usually smug, cynical satirical characters, however as an alternative by way of the eyes of kids who’re unfamiliar with the realities of grownup life and due to this fact uniquely positioned to level out absurdities, contradictions, and hypocrisies many satirists take as a right.
How Randy Marsh Turned South Park’s Lead Character
Whereas South Park had finished some artistic reshuffling earlier than (most notably with Butters changing Kenny round season 6), Randy Marsh regularly gained extra of a starring position from season 16 onwards. The preliminary reasoning for this was that it gave the present extra tales to inform, with Randy’s standing as an grownup permitting him extra freedom to undertake absurd quests than the elementary-age boys. Nonetheless, the place later South Park seasons went wrong was in making Randy the present’s main protagonist. In season 23 (and a few episodes of season 25), Randy is successfully the present’s major character, one thing that South Park can’t maintain since his absurd habits turns into the plot’s focus greater than the real-life occasions being satirized.
Why The Tegridy Farms Plot Labored In Season 22
As South Park continued to aim its serialization experiment in seasons 21 and 22, Tegridy Farms and its satire of hashish legalization giving rise to one other gentrified cottage business allowed the present to floor the overarching story in a plot that wouldn’t change week by week. The place South Park’s earlier makes an attempt at serialization went mistaken was when the present relied an excessive amount of on present occasions shaking out in the way in which that the author predicted. Most infamously, South Park season 20 floundered because of the surprising end result of the 2016 election. The Tegridy Farms story prevented this difficulty as a result of the legalization of hashish was a regularly unfolding information story that stayed within the public consciousness for greater than solely per week and could not all of a sudden be rendered irrelevant in a single day. Nonetheless, South Park’s shorter season 25 proved that even Tegridy Farms wasn’t at all times in a position to maintain itself as a satire of gentrification since Randy’s antics as a small-business proprietor had as a lot of a shelf life as any earlier long-running serialized plot the sequence tried.
Why Season 23’s Tegridy Farms Story Failed
Randy was South Park’s lead for the primary half of season 23 and the season finale, in addition to the primary Pandemic Particular. Whereas he’s a humorous character, one grownup won’t ever have the balanced dynamic of 4 children, and the Tegridy Farms plot turned grating by season 25 because of this. It didn’t assist that there wasn’t a lot for the Tegridy Farms plot to say after the sequence satirized Randy’s preliminary opportunistic funding within the authorized marijuana business. Paradoxically, South Park’s best season 25 gags about gentrification got here from a narrative of Cartman and his mom promoting actual property to unthinking, zombie-like Metropolis Folks, which means Tegridy Farms did not even find yourself factoring into one of many present’s episodes a couple of subject carefully related to the authorized hashish enterprise.
Past drug decriminalization, gentrification is one among few related social points that the Tegridy Farm plot could possibly be used to touch upon. Nonetheless, within the South Park season 25 finale, the sequence as an alternative used the story to make a complicated, half-baked joke about cultural appropriation, a largely irrelevant subject that hardly related to Randy’s hashish farm. The compelled plot was additional proof that the Tegridy Farms story has run its course and South Park must relegate Randy Marsh again to being a supporting character in season 26, ending the present’s obsession along with his marijuana enterprise within the course of.
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