July 13th could not have been a better day for Paramount+ to drop this special as today perfectly encapsulates the title of South Park The Streaming Wars. Look at how much streaming shit, just with adult animation, dropped today. Add in Disney+’s big finale for Ms. Marvel, and you can definitely see where franchise creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are coming from and that’s in one single day among a multitude of streaming providers.
One of the biggest competitors for streaming video services that require a subscription, is all of the free social media content that is made available across a breadth of platforms like Tiktok, Youtube, and others. One the most popular genres of said platforms, the “Karen” videos. For those that don’t know, “Karen” videos feature whiny women in public places complaining about Christ only knows what and sometime even getting violent as a result. The male equivalent of a “Karen”, i.e., a “Ken”, is typically allocated towards men, but in an increasingly non-binary world, “Karen” has become more of a branding for a certain subset of people regardless of race, creed, sex, or gender identity.
South Park could very well have used a multitude of people as the defacto “Karen”. The likes of Eric Cartman, Sharon Marsh, Sheila, and a litany of town folk could have been used, but over the last bunch of specials, Randy has obviously been the star of the show and so it makes sense that a Karen persona would be the Hyde to Randy’s Dr. Jekyll (yes, Randy is a doctor again), which comes in handy when the inevitable climax between Randy and Pipi comes to pass.
Early on in the hour-long special, I was getting a bit worried that South Park The Streaming Wars Part Two was swerving a bit hard into the Team America: World Police lane, mostly when it came to the hilarious commercials featuring celebs like Reese Witherspoon, Matt Damon, and Gwyneth Paltrow getting drunk on urine in an effort to aid a marketing campaign commissioned by Pipi to convince the country that urine is the true future of humanity’s hydration needs. Fortunately, Matt and Trey right the ship and give us enough course correction that the focus on the plot isn’t just trashing celebs. Randy, a one-time geologist, is able to come up with the solution to the issue, but he’s gotta get past Pipi’s army of thugs led by ManBearPig.
Cartman’s got big ol’ boobs this episode and right away you can tell the animators were having a hell of a time finding ridiculous ways to show them off. Aside from Cartman attempting to avoid the constant mind bullets coming his way, Cartman’s got other enemies to contend with in this arena, mainly gravity. As the hour marches on, Cartman’s pushing every cliched big boobed action star motif that can be mustered so much so that even Baywatch viewers are gonna feel ripped off. Noticeably absent this episode, or at least not prominent enough to notice, Kyle and Kenny. We DO get new characters that I’m not going to spoil here that are more of the animalistic variety and potentially open up arcs in the future as it pertains to climate change seeing as how the ending almost has a Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom feel to it.
In the last 45-days, Paramount+ has sandwiched two South Park movies with a new Beavis and Butt-Head movie in the meaty middle, making this the most fulfilling event-filled summer yet for adult animation. I don’t know if more specials are hitting by the end of the summer as of this writing, but I’m loving this back and forth between Mike Judge and Matt/Trey as it’s making both creative camps come forward with their best stuff. As stupid as it is that Cartman gets boobs in South Park The Streaming Wars Part One, it’s equally as dumb for Beavis and Butt-head to be sent to space. South Park The Streaming Wars Part Two answers back with a piss-filled tour de force that will have people talking for weeks…just in time for Paramount+ to hit us with hopefully another adult animated comedy special of some kind.