‘South Park’ Season 18 Review Report Card: PewDiePie, Lorde, Ebola Made This The Best Season in Years

Randy is Lorde is in South Park Season 18 Episode 3 "The Cissy"
Randy is Lorde is in South Park Season 18 Episode 3 "The Cissy" Comedy Central

Season 18 of “South Park” ended with handing the future of entertainment off to PewDiePie, the last image of the last episode of Season 18 of “South Park” comprised of that oh-so-slappable face. But while “South Park” may no longer be at the center of our political and celebrity discourse (if there ever was a center), Season 18 of “South Park” proves that the Comedy Central show still has an experimental liveliness that keeps it from the endless waking death of “The Simpsons.” But is it any good? Let’s take a look back at Season 18 of “South Park.”

“South Park” Season 18 Review Report Card

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 1

“Go Fund Yourself”

Great premise and the perfect target. The pay-off is profane and very “South Park,” but somehow doesn’t feel like enough of a takedown. A better start to the season than “South Park” Season 17 opener “Let Go, Let Gov.”

Grade: B-

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 2

“Gluten Free Ebola”

Gluten is a pretty dull topic for parody, but the militarized Ebola panic is fun. Believe it or not, this will not be the last time a penis flies around a room in Season 18 of “South Park.”

Grade: B

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 3

“The Cissy”

The serial nature of “South Park” Season 18 begins to pay off, with Lorde leading us through an almost poignant exploration of identity. The bathroom gags are funny and Cartman is always best when sitting on a toilet. Wendy is quickly becoming one of the best secondary characters.

Grade: A-

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 4


Other than a funny “Wacky Races” parody, this one is better conceptually than in practice. Though “Crippled Summer” is great, Nathan and Mimsy feel overplayed by this point.

Grade: B-

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 5

“The Magic Bush”

Gets exactly as insane as every episode of “South Park” should get.

Grade: A-

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 6

“Freemium Isn’t Free”

Everything is funnier in Canada, even “South Park” Satan’s Canadian brother, Beelzeboot. This a funny episode with a clear message. It doesn’t get much better Than Randy’s alcohol-soaked crisis intervention. Plus, ever since “South Park” episode “You’re Getting Old” Stan has been one of the more complex characters, making his scene with Satan the “South Park” Season 18 highlight.

Grade: A+

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 7

“Grounded Vindaloop”

After a great start, with Butters believing reality is nothing more than a VR construct, this “South Park” episode abandons that for too-confusing layers of reality and a boring India call center joke. Still, a better Borges style “South Park” episode than Season 14’s “Insheeption.”

Grade: C+

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 8

“Cock Magic”

Another great episode, combining cock fighting, Magic: The Gathering, and Randy. I can’t imagine a better combination. Plus, more flying penises.

Grade: A

‘South Park’ Season 18, Episode 9


The strange phenomena of YouTube celebrity is a great target, but only so many “grandpa” jokes can land. Cartman Brah is perfect, but Randy is the least funny part of an episode for the first time ever. The hologram thing sucks up too much plot, even if Michael Jackson’s hologram repeating “allegedly” over and over is really funny.

Grade: B-

‘South Park’ Season 19, Episode 10


A good end to Season 18 of “South Park,” paying off a lot of continuity threads and making the plot elements introduced in “#Rehash” sing. Cartman trending so hard he gains real-world Let’s Play commenting power is hilarious (“Trendscending” and “Trendsgender” are both perfect coinages). A dense episode, loaded with its own Twitter feed, a dark Kurt Cobain parody of celebrity exploitation, and a thought-provoking ending that shoves PewDiePie right down our throats.

Grade: A-

'South Park' Season 18 Final Thoughts

More even in quality than the ups and downs of “South Park” Season 16 and light-years better than “South Park” Season 17, “South Park” Season 18 gives us a lot of great episodes. While the experiment in serial storytelling is only half-successful, it does make “South Park” feel fresh and different. After “South Park” series lows like “Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers” and the underwhelming (but perfectly okay) “Game of Thrones” trilogy of episodes, “South Park” Season 18 proves there’s still more for the boys to do, say, and see in future seasons.

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