South Park: The Streaming Wars is a Solid Return to Form

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer

Plot: Cartman locks horns with his mom and has a battle of wills, while an epic conflict threatens South Park’s existence.

Review: In all of the animated television series out there, no one else does satire quite as well as South Park. Besides The Simpsons, Trey Parker and Matt’s Stone look at the world through the eyes of four eternally young boys is one of the longest running cartoon series on television. But what makes it stand out is their ability to stay on top of whatever social topics are most popular/controversial at the moment. Which brings us to their latest movie, The Streaming Wars.

Well I think all of you are stupid. So there!

For the most part, The Streaming Wars does a good job of bringing South Park back to its roots. Showing what they do best, which is poke fun at the mess that is culture, specifically American culture. If you’re up to date with the series and its current format of keeping the entire season linked and doing less standalone episodes, you’ll know that Randy Marsh now runs his own weed farm called Tegridy Farm. He’s using a ton of water (way more than is necessary because it’s Randy) to tend his crops which has caused a drought in Denver. Well that, and ManBearPig of course (South Park fans will know ManBearPig is an allegory for climate change).

When his competing neighbor, Token’s Dad decides to sell his the excess water from his streams to Denver and starts making a ton of money on what he calls his “streaming service”, Randy (who everyone, including his own family, now calls Karen) gets upset and decides to join in, thus creating the titular streaming wars. Pun heavily intended. Meanwhile Cartman is tired of living in a hot dog-shaped building and comes up with a plan for his Mom to get breast implants so she can lure their new rich neighbor (who only buys property in the town with the intention of monopolizing the streaming service) into marrying her so they can finally have a great home.

My eyes are up here, guys!

It’s all as ridiculous as it sounds but it’s also what South Park does best, using outlandish stories to point at serious issues humanity keeps ignoring. In this case it’s not so much about the overload of streaming services we have available to us (although they are poking fun at how unnecessary it is to subscribe to multiple ones when the quantity of content available somewhat outweighs the quality) but more so the dangers of climate change being treated like an afterthought, with the conclusion of the special focusing on people wasting water on frivolous things while ManBearPig is destroying their water supply. Even Cartman’s laugh out loud plan, which leads to him getting the implants instead of his mother, shines a light on the disturbing trend of young people getting plastic surgery. “It’s 2022. They do surgery like this on kids now” he explains to his friends, which would be hilarious if it wasn’t based in horrific reality to a degree.

As South Park goes, this is one of their more solid specials of late (they also did ones on the pandemic) but I will admit I miss the days of South Park delivering more laughter with their stories. The Streaming Wars is decent but there is a sense of malaise to it all which feels like Trey and Matt might be growing a bit tired of the series as a whole. I miss the days when they delivered standalone stories that didn’t always have to be about anything in particular, but just had fun with its characters and the crazy town they lived in. Here’s hoping we get a bit more of that from them in the near future.

Score: 6.5 out of 10


 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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