We’re well into Season 20 of “South Park” and things feel, shall we say… a bit off? With the ongoing, and very odd, “Member Berries” storyline — which has encapsulated Mr. Garrison’s Trump-like run for president, Gerald Broflovsky’s perverted turn as Internet troll “SkankHunt69” and Butters’ role in the growing “Weiners Out” protest movement — we’ve come to the conclusion that Eric Cartman’s girlfriend has got to go.
Look, we’re not mad at Cartman. He’s gone 20 seasons strong with his offensively humorous take on pretty much every storyline that has been presented on the show. His schtick had gotten to be so accepted on the animated series that the horrible things he says about Jews, minorities and women, to name a few, have stopped anyone from batting an eyelash or having any second thoughts. But in “South Park’s” new narrative structure, which finds the story playing out over an entire season, as opposed to the previous manner in which stories were contained to each episode, the show has found that even Cartman’s rhetoric can grow tiring.
So, it seems that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have opted to give Eric a reprieve and, in being ostracized from Twitter as the suspected troll, he proceeded to find love in another Internet outcast, Heidi Turner. And with his sudden move away from the dark side, it seems that the balance in “South Park” has tilted a bit too far into crazy town.
In an alternate reality, Eric Cartman would be spewing awful things to women on the Internet while pulling his pants down during the National Anthem. And if he weren’t so distracted with all these lovey dovey feelings, he’d probably be Donald Trump’s — err, we mean Mr. Garrison’s — number one supporter.
But while all this chaos is continuing to unfold, it looks like Cartman and Heidi now exist on the fringe of “South Park.” Their love bubble offers a new perspective on the character of Eric Cartman but, without him filling his expected role of outlandish troll — on the Internet, and off — we’re left with a dark reality that finds women committing suicide at the hands of SkankHunt69 while young boys expose their genitalia all in the motivation of battling the school’s growing wave of “anti-boy” feminism.
Those Member Berries may ultimately be to blame for the road the show has gone down in Season 20. Last week, Mr. Garrison was finally introduced to the talking fruit, and while we’re not quite sure how this cute little threat will be squashed, we can’t help but hope that Eric Cartman will step up as the town’s true savior to do said squashing. And to do that, he needs to find his misery again. And to do that, Heidi needs to dump him.
Is the Comedy Central series setting us up for something big in Season 20? We have a feeling, with all the pieces that have been put in place, the answer there is a resounding yes. The trolls are about to battle the troll hunters, Garrison may just win this election and those Member Berries could actually conquer the town with their damaging nostalgia.
While things have felt a bit drab and off-kilter thus far, we believe to get the full payoff we’re hoping for this season, Eric Cartman needs to have his heart broken — and bad. If ever there was a need for “South Park’s” true villain to retake his throne, now would be it.
“South Park” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.