Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Massive spoilers hide in the mountains of Colorado!
The first in a series of films exclusive to the TV channel Paramount+, South Park Post Covid is set in 2061, forty years after the events of the South ParQ Vaccination Special. And honestly, if you’re not a fan of the Colorado boys and their shenanigans, what are you even doing here? We’re goin’ down to South Park!
So here we are, some forty years in the future as they rather often point out, the Covid pandemic still endures and affects all of us in the most interesting of ways. The boys have not only grown into, well, we can’t really say adults per se, but perhaps aged versions of themselves, they’ve also grown far apart too. The only thing that could bring them all back together again is the, wait for it, death of a certain infamous scientist, one Dr. Kenneth McCormick.
Nothing brings people together like a funeral and the Covid pandemic has certainly caused far more than we ever wanted, so the older alcoholic and severely depressed Stan has to come back to Colorado with his Alexa-girlfriend, where he promptly clashes with adult Kyle, now the guidance counselor for South Park Elementary. Far worse than that as far as Kyle is concerned, is the appearance of Rabbi Eric Cartman, his very Jewish-stereotyped wife Yentl (Mona Marshall) and their three children, ostensibly here for Kenny’s wake but also to try and slip a spark back into the bro-ship of old by investigating Kenny’s death.
Also in attendance are adult-ish versions of other South Park favorites – Tweak and his partner Craig, still a couple; Wendy Testaburger (April Stewart) and her husband Darwin; late-night talk show host Jimmy Valmer; our beloved Token Black (Adrian Beard), who’s now unsurprisingly a law enforcement officer; anti-vaxxer Clyde Donovan; and Scott Malkinson is now a priest that no one listens to. Just as in the beloved show, the now-adults get together to try and puzzle the mystery of Kenny’s death, yet again!
And what was Dr. McCormick, scientist , philanthropist, well-known if more than a bit eccentric but beloved by most, working on when he died this time? Finding a cure for the Covid pandemic, of course. It should come as zero surprise that Tegridy Weed, Randy Marsh’s damnable marijuana business that consumed far more than an entire season of South Park, was found mentioned in Kenny’s notes, so Stan gets to suck it up and go visit his dad in the nursing home!
Stan and his dad had a serious falling-out over the fiery destruction of Tegridy Weed Farms and the accidental deaths of sister Shelly and the on-purpose death of mom Sharon, so the two guys snarl at each-other and lay blame rather than trying to come together to investigate Kenny’s death.
Meanwhile, of course, the cause of Kenny’s death has been determined as yet another new Covid variant, causing widespread panic in South Park and sending Cartman’s oh so Jewish family to seek shelter with, wait for it, ‘Uncle Kyle’.
After determining that Dr. McCormick’s one surviving associate, a madman known as Victor Chouce (as in, just say it aloud and you’ll know who they mean), has been institutionalized, the would-be sleuths try to go visit him, only to get stopped because good old Clyde is an anti-vaxxer, still.
The boys are trying to figure out where Kenny left his missing information, especially after figuring out that this whole time, their bestest pal Kenny has been trying to puzzle out time travel so he can go back and stop the whole Covid-19 pandemic, and that yes, he blames his old purportedly best friends for everything horrible that’s happened since then. This of course involves a wonderfully Cartman-like scene where the Rabbi gathers his little Jewish family together and vows to not let his old friends change the past, for fear of losing his current-tense future. And over at the asylum, surviving lunatic Victor Chouce is just waiting for his chance to … raise a little chaos.
South Park has been on the air for more than two decades at this point, and creators (and main voice actors) Trey Parker and Matt Stone have made their disdain for conforming to any kind of standards and practices well known, poking fun at everything from actual curse words to Mecha-Streisand to PCism to member-berries and much more. The trend towards nostalgia while the real Covid-19 pandemic rages on is well-known at this point, but South Park Post Covid offers us a look at what could happen, the real dangers of living your past nostalgic glory and nothing else, and shows us all that despite growing up, the South Park characters will never ever actually grow into adults, or anything resembling contributing members of ‘polite society’!