South Park: City Part of Town Review

South Park. A nice place to be

“We’re gentrifying. It’s all good!”

– Randy Marsh, South Park

South Park is very much a changed town; its residents are more socially responsible and sensitive than they ever were before. Randy is PC and the boys are politer. So it makes perfect sense for the town to indulge in gentrification.

In response to last week’s events, you know the part where Mr Garrison attacked and killed the Canadian President and then decided to run for US President himself, South Park is being ridiculed as a town full of bumpkins. The episode opens with Jimmy Fallon (who loves everything)  making fun of the town and, ironically, the town’s folk don’t like being made fun of on TV. “Apparently he doesn’t care that his jokes are at the expense of actual people”.

SP Fallon

Jimmy Fallon hates South Park

This will not do! The town decides to do something about their image to be seen in a better light. What better way is there to been seen as a more socially diverse and caring town than by developing the poorest area…Kenny’s house. Therefore SodoSopa ( South of Downtown South Park) is set up, an area of town where the nicest restaurants and houses are built a place to go to relax and unwind in style all whilst taking in the sights and sounds of “The Historic Kenny’s House”. The adverts that run for SodoSopa, with a mix of live action and animation, are actually really well executed and incredibly funny; at least the first time, this joke runs throughout the episode and does become boring by the third of fourth time.

The town decides that the mark of a truly gentrified district is of course having a whole foods store built. The episode revolves mainly around Randy and Mayor McDaniels as they try to tempt the whole foods representative to set up a store in the town. I have to note that this episode is easily the most gentle and inoffensive south park I have ever watched. It reminded me of early Simpsons episodes actually, with the town coming together to solve a silly problem with an equally silly solution.

SP SodaSopa1

The City Part of Town has no main character to revolve around which is part liberating for the shows writing and partly problematic. While it’s different to see an episode tackle something without going on the attack it’s difficult to be engaged with the episode because we don’t have the boys to follow through the story. In fact the boys are hardly present in the episode at all, making a brief entrance at the beginning and end of the episode.

The continuity is better handled in this episode as well; instead of just simply referencing events for the past two episodes this story is a reaction to last weeks actions. I was expecting to have updates to Mr Garrisons story thrust at me but he is only mentioned in passing and only to further the plot, PC Principle is even treated in the same way here; only appearing where it makes sense for him to appear and only to further the plot.

Along with a character to follow for the episode we are also missing a B story. Something that I found very odd since that’s where this episode in particular could have hit home some the ideas on gentrification that are put forward. Kenny is unhappy with what’s happening to his home and how the town is treating his family like an attraction. So he goes out to find work and better himself. That’s about as far as his story goes really.

Kenny and Mr Kim Go Child Labour!

Kenny and Mr Kim
Go Child Labour!

Kenny gets a job at City Wok in an area of town as far away from SodaSopa as possible. City Wok is where some of the best jokes this week come from including the benefits of child labour; I mentioned the gentler and inoffensive nature of this episode right? Kenny and Mr Kim conspire to take business away from SodoSopa to fix the town. The create CtPa Town (City Part of Town) and the end result? A whole foods store is built nearer to City Wok and the town actually gets what it wanted.

The episode ends with Kenny going back to his now empty part of town again with the status quo restored, and in a quite harm warming moment we see Kenny has spent all his earnings on a doll for his little sister, which is where the episode comes to a close.

All in all it’s an odd episode and is certainly in keeping with the more broad view of situations that this season has come to take. As nice as this episode was I did find myself wishing for something a little more “South Park” in the humour. But I suppose I have Mr Garrison’s Presidential campaign to look forward to so I can live with it.



Episodes: Series Ongoing (Episode 3 of Season 19, Episode 260 Overall)

Genre: Animation / Sitcom

Original Channel: Comedy Central

So what do you think? Have a think and let us know in the comments section below.

– Dan P



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