“Did someone over here say illegal immigrants?”
Well, this is definitely the South Park we know and love! Last week’s ‘Stunning and Brave’ felt as if it was labouring the same point, over and over again. Yes, South Park may have tackled immigration before, in the ‘They Took Our Jobs!’ episode, but due to the rants of Donald Trump, it was a welcome return to the controversial issue. Also, for us Europeans, the issue is in the headlines almost every day. The refugee crisis certainly boosted the appeal of ‘Where My Country Gone?’ for me! Of course, the episode lost it’s way a little towards the end of the episode, but for the majority of it, ‘Where My Country Gone?’ was a great slice of South Park.
Who’d have thunk it? Mr. Garrison is the Trump of South Park! He decides that he’s had enough of all the immigrants coming over the border and invading South Park. But he doesn’t mean Mexicans…he means Canadians! His growing irritation over their integration in society, and how South Park has had to accommodate them, was a great play on the usual racist mantra. Principal PC making Garrison teach the Canadian alphabet (A, B, C, D, E, F,Guy!) and the bilingual road signs increased Garrison’s irritation until he eventually stood up and did something about immigration! Of course, the Americans will be reminded of Trump, but it reminded me of Nigel Farage. Garrison was fed up of not being able to say anything about immigration, and that people were afraid to say in in fear of being labelled a racist.
“Where had my country gone?”
Garrison’s song “Where has my country gone?” was a highlight of the episode and fully ripped the urine out of the racists (including such lyrics as “When they said this was the land of the free, I’m pretty sure that they were referring to me!” “It took 43 Presidents to make us stand tall, and just one black guy to ruin it all!”). Of course, the Canadians took over Garrison’s song! Truly, in the top 10 South Park songs. Garrison interrupted a Canadian history play to say that he was going to make his country great again by getting rid of all the immigrants! In his own words, he wanted to “f**k them all to death.” Obviously, the satire here was aimed at Trump and his increasingly ludicrous statements.
I felt that last week’s episode didn’t critique or satirise the whole Caitlyn Jenner situation enough. However, South Park was pretty merciless in attacking her in this episode. She appeared on screen at the start of the episode to take Kyle for a drive, and that was almost enough of a joke! Caitlyn Jenner looked…well, not very pleasant, let’s put it that way! Not once, but twice, was she involved in a hit and run incident. Yes, it was cutting pretty close to the bone! Subtlety was thrown out of the window, and the critique was all the better for it!
The resolution of the episode probably took everything a little bit too far. But the great majority of the episode was a relentless and accurate satire on Trump/other immigration ‘truthers.’ Of course, Cartman blamed everything on Kyle, in a humourous sub-plot. But by twisting the situation and putting the Canadians in the spotlight, South Park highlighted the ridiculousness of the immigration situation and reactions. South Park is best when it’s topical and no holds barred, and ‘Where My Country Gone?’ was a lot of both!
VERDICT: 9/10. A brilliant episode, taking the satire of Trump and Jenner to the extreme! Everything South Park does best, plus a great song!
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(Click here for my review of South Park, Season 19, Episode 1: ‘Stunning and Brave’)