• The 'South Park' season 22 premiere on SBS VICELAND. (SBS)Source: SBS
'South Park' is back - here's everything you need to know to get primed for the new season.
Tony Morris

1 Oct 2018 - 10:22 AM  UPDATED 3 Oct 2018 - 1:47 PM

When’s it coming back?

Relax. It's already back.

So, maybe check out episode one streaming right now at SBS On Demand and be sure to be on your couch every Monday on SBS VICELAND at 8.35pm to make sure you don't miss any more. Episodes will also be available to stream right after at SBS On Demand.


This is season 22, right?

Correct – they’re never going to catch up to The Simpsons (South Park does much fewer episodes per year), but there are people old enough to vote who weren’t even born the first time “Kyle’s Mom’s a Bitch” was heard.


What happened last season?

While previous seasons had been built around extended story lines, season 21 went back to stand-alone episodes. It was the right move: previous continuity-based seasons tended to fall apart towards the end as creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone struggled to wrap everything up. The 2016 season was clearly meant to be one long hot take on American politics, so when Trump was elected mid-season (forcing Parker and Stone to come up with a massive last-minute course shift), the show came off second-best.

So last year they threw most of that approach out, re-focusing on stand-alone episodes built around the core cast. For the most part it brought the old magic back - they even did a Halloween episode. The one long-running subplot that did continue based on Cartman’s relationship with his girlfriend Heidi went from being one of the least interesting storylines in 2016 to one of the best in 2017, as Cartman’s unique brand of pure evil slowly dragged her over to the dark side.

The series didn’t entirely abandon continuity. Characters continued to develop from week to week (even the previously painful PC Principal gained some depth), and Mr Garrison continued in his role as Trump-esque President. Parker and Stone had said earlier in the year that they’d be laying off Trump, but going by last year’s season finale where President Garrison remained at large as a creepy child-terrorising monster, they may still have something left to say in 2018.


What’s happening this season?

Well, if you've been on the Internet searching for news about the show recently, you know the first episode tackles school shootings. Don't dig too deeply though - you'll only spoil it for yourself.

Otherwise, Parker and Stone haven't had much to say about what we can expect from this year’s season. Not that this is a big surprise, as it’s no secret South Park is largely put together the week before it goes to air. There’s no doubt they have some idea where this seasons going, but as far as specifics? Aside from fan speculation (a #MeToo episode?) we’re in the dark.

One news story that might have an impact was the report earlier this year “outing” Parker and Stone as Republicans. The only problem with this breaking news is that the event where they supposedly revealed their right-wing leanings was an awards dinner in 2001. Considering they’ve also spoken openly about how they like to take on dissenting views to stir things up –  as they say in the clip below, “we play Devil’s Advocate all the time” – it’s hard to take any definite statement on their political views seriously.


Will we get more Kenny?

Good point. There wasn’t much Kenny at all last season. Fingers crossed that now the Heidi story line has wrapped up he’ll get more time hanging out with the rest of the guys.


Are they really going to #cancelSouthPark?

Speaking of Devil’s Advocate, this year South Park has taken an… unusual approach to promoting the show: they’re calling for it to be cancelled.

First they promoted the new series with the #cancelSouthPark hashtag. When people started using it to either agree that the show had run its course or freak out that South Park might be coming to an end, they replied like this:

Now they’re running promos like this:

And this:

So now you know: the cure for pretty much all of the problems that face the western world can be found in South Park.

Does the cure involve watching the show or having it cancelled? There’s only one way to find out (and it’s not by cancelling it).


South Park airs Mondays at 8:35pm on SBS VICELAND and streams immediately afterward at SBS On Demand:


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