South Park wrapped up their season with #HappyHologram. It continued the story arcs from #rehash to their (il)logical conclusion.
In #rehash, we had three stories. The indescribable popularity of YouTubers, the music industry’s fight to stay relevant, and Kyle’s inability to grasp what younger kids find entertaining. These all merged into one basic plot point: the older generation doesn’t understand the younger.
The record label created the hologram musicians, enlisted Cartman Bra, and live celebrities and made a horrid Christmas special where Iggy Azalea sings out of her ass in a duet Elvis Presley. The Washington Redskins’ Go F*ck Yourself Holiday Special, which had the popular YouTuber (Cartman), pop stars (current generation), and holograms (older generations) was just to relate to his grandson. That’s the crux of the entire two-episode story.
The plan backfires. Instead of the holiday special trending on social media and comment sections, it’s #ihatecartmanbra. The hashtag and social interaction reaches critical mass and Cartman’s commentary window goes everywhere. Cartman goes into a power drunk rant about being “transgingered” and the school being forced to give him his own bathroom.
The show tried to generate laughs with a side story; andy and Michael Jackson’s hologram teaming up to stop the special. But it was more an opportunity to poke fun at South Park’s police department for being racist. That social commentary, referencing both recent cases of police using excessive force, seemed forced and felt more uncomfortable than anything else. The Bill Cosby and Taylor Swift gag felt forced and uncomfortable as well.
It’s not unreasonable to think Stone and Parker put those references in there to MAKE us feel uncomfortable. To put these issues in the audience’s face to make them think about it. But as jokes, for me, they seemed to miss the mark.
This Hologram story arc, #rehash and #HappyHologram, made an okay South Park story, but it was far from where it needed to be.