This South Park review contains spoilers.
South Park Season 21 Episode 3
The hallmark of South Park is putting fairly ordinary kids into extraordinary situations and watching them react with either profound maturity or blistering ignorance. What’s been the saving grace for this show in the last decade has been using Randy Marsh as the wrench thrown into their playtime and the boys having to make the decision whether or not to dig him out of whatever mess he’s created.
“Holiday Special” is just that, a Randy episode that features a real kid-friendly problem, the loss of a school holiday. For the third week in a row we get a fairly topical episode, as Randy is hell bent on removing the honors bestowed on Christopher Columbus. Not only does he want to take down a statue in a neighboring town (Columbus statues have been vandalized in real life recently), but he wants to rid the school of an October holiday, and strip the city of Columbus, OH, of its name.
We’ll save the history lesson for another day, but anti-Columbus activists on the far left are a group that makes a ton of sense for Randy to join forces with. Randy’s always been obsessive when it comes to the latest trend (Food Network shows, Informative Murder Porn, baseball fights, Warcraft, and taking huge shits) and lately that’s morphed into political progressivism. In many ways, I think it’s his attempt to stay young and woke. He was giddy when PC Principal let him rush the PC Frat, a place where he felt accepted. And that’s continued on despite a brief detour into Member Berry get-off-my-lawn conservatism.
With Columbus and ancestry DNA tests, Matt Stone and Trey Parker are prodding into the lengths perceived social justice warriors might go to the win the moral high ground. Randy goes as far as hiring a man of Native American descent to make out with before he gets a DNA test. Of course in classic Randy fashion, this is done less out of empathy for genocide and more for saving his ass when Stan and Kyle find embarrassing photos of him dressed as Christopher Columbus on multiple occasions. We’ve seen Randy put up a fight when something is threatening his cause many times before, but it’s always a little more fun when it’s directly his fault since he used to be stoked on Columbus.
He’s not the only one, though. Cartman’s rant to fire up the boys is pure South Park:
“Is that what Columbus did, just give up? On his dream? No. Columbus believed that kids should have a day off skewl. And even when his own country wouldn’t support his cause, he said ‘fine, I’ll go find a new land where kids can have that day off.’ And when Columbus traveled to distant places only to find people who said ‘stay off our land we want our kids to get off skewl.’ He said ‘No! It’s just one day off in October, they need a break!’”
What makes the episode is the lengths they’ll all go to get what they want. Randy nearly has sex with the Native American man just to get the anal test results he wanted. Instead, he goes Mission: Impossible. Meanwhile, the boys resort to kidnapping the school calendar guy to prove Randy is a fraud and a Columbus lover.
It’s all worth it to see Randy wipe that indigenous look off his face when his quest for victimhood falters. So South Park gets a new holiday, where everyone lets their nastiest feelings out.
In 1492, Columbus got us all a day off skewl. Let’s keep it that way, at least for the kids.