Wednesday’s new South Park managed to be the best of both worlds in terms of the show’s production. Season 21 is a return to the classic format for the show, telling single-episode stories that “let the kids be kids.” But at the same time, a lot of the continuing story elements and plot developments that have happened over the years are coming back too. Tweek and Craig are still a couple and might even be the healthiest couple on the show, Mr. Garrison is still president, though he’s not so much Garrison as he is THE president, and Cartman is still dating Heidi Turner from season 20.
All three come together to create a masterful episode that drops another one of the show’s quality musical moments, this time by parodying Logic and his VMAs performance of “1-800-273-8255.” While it’s not out to make fun of Logic or the message behind the song, the show doesn’t hesitate to use it to make fun of its characters and send out an important message of its own.
The central plot of the episode is Tweek’s paranoia getting the best of him over the continuing tension with North Korea. He tries fidget spinners and he tries baking cupcakes, but the president is there to ruin everything by picking up his phone:
At the same time, Cartman has essentially forced Heidi to take him back after his tryst with Amazon and Google by threatening to kill himself. He never actually intended to do it, but he does intend to milk it for all that it could be worth and bring out his musical weapons to to rap about himself in order to outshine the competing awareness drive for distracted driving. Folks online instantly took to who Cartman was mimicking and couldn’t help pointing it out:
It all leads to the conclusion and Tweek’s solution to not only his own anxieties, but also the ongoing North Korean tension (we guess) in the song “Put It Down.” Not only is this the actual slogan to get people to put down their phones when they’re behind the wheel, it’s being directly aimed at the president in the South Park universe to get him to drop his phone, at least while he is president. None of it is technically breaking the show’s decision to “ditch Trump” because it doesn’t mention him at all, but it also shows that they don’t even need to mention him to reach out to him.
Also, as fans quickly pointed out, Tweek and Craig cemented their status as the power couple on the show with this surprisingly positive take on everything.
Enjoy “Put It Down” below and assume that we’ll see it again in the future, possibly at an awards show or as part of some sort of protest video. We’ll have more on the episode tomorrow: