‘South Park’ leaves fans wanting more

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"South Park" tackles shootings and menstrual cycles in an underwhelming season 22 premiere. Image courtesy of Comedy Central.

Assault rifles, “Black Panther” and menstrual cycles—an interesting formula for “South Park’s” season-22 premiere episode, “Dead Kids.” Comedy Central aired the episode at 10 p.m. Thursday.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone carry a well-earned reputation for unapologetically mocking touchy subjects. This premiere features their humor at its darkest, so it’s good to know they haven’t gotten shy. That being said, the new episode felt underwhelming and more than a little lazy.

“South Park” is famous for taking topical social issues and running with them in hilarious, twisted and creative ways. But this new episode just mulched over the same few comedic points for 23 minutes with no payoff.

Focusing primarily on school shootings, the concept begins with everyone in the show, except Sharon, being unfazed by gun violence.

Sharon yells at people for not caring about the shootings, and Randy makes the same joke about it being her time of the month over and over again. In a sub-plot, Cartman insists that Token—as an African American—loves the movie “Black Panther,” even though he doesn’t, over and over again.

While both these jokes made me grin in the first five minutes, after 23 minutes, they became extremely stale and downright annoying.

Certain characters—almost exclusively Randy—still have some comedic value, making the show somewhat watchable. But overall, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.

The setup had potential, but the writing didn’t even come close to delivering something special. Instead, the show spent 23 minutes running two mediocre jokes into the ground—leaving the plot half-baked and the audience wanting more.

For more coverage on this season’s progress, check back on The Orion’s Arts section.

[Final Score]: 2 out of 5 stars.

Grant Schmieding can be reached at [email protected] or @G_Schmieding on Twitter.