‘South Park: Joining The Panderverse (2023) Review – A hilarious and scathing satire

A hilarious and scathing satire worth its weight in gold

South Park has been going strong since 1997 and doesn’t look like stopping any time soon. While other comedies like Family Guy and The Simpsons eventually run out of steam and become recycled and bland, South Park continuously reinvents itself.

Whether it be new characters or scathing humour, all the way over to satirically pointing fun at different elements in the world, no topic is off-limits for Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

South Park’s success stems from its ability to walk that fine line apolitically; it doesn’t just make fun of the left and it doesn’t just make fun of the right. As a result, each episode feels fresh and funny. And Joining The Panderverse is no exception.

The story is simple enough, and revolves around Cartman experiencing strange dreams where all of his friends have been replaced by diverse women. As he explores this further, it turns out it could be linked to Kathleen Kennedy, Disney and a mysterious artifact.

Running parallel to this is a story involving Randy, whose lack of trade skill sees him turn to the use of AI and tradesmen.

Sometimes South Park tends to falter slightly with its subplot storyline but this one in particular is excellent, especially how it feeds into billionaires and immigration, before seamlessly integrating into the main story.

Both these storylines converge together toward the end in a deliciously scathing slice of satire, which involves the multiverse and billionaires fighting it out in space. There’s a lot going on in this 48 minute episode but the writing is sharp throughout.

In fact, the ending monologue from Cartman is a particular highlight to round things out, harking back to that earlier point about South Park not taking sides and pointing fun at both the left and right political spectrum.

There are numerous jokes throughout, from a funny KFC sign to a recurring gag about Baldur’s Gate. However, it’s the topic of diversity that’s going to be the big talking point here, and South Park nails that aspect of our current entertainment sphere brilliantly.

While there are better specials in the South Park repertoire, this is a great episode. Whether you’re a keen fan that watches everything South Park puts out, or someone who dips in and out, Panderverse is accessible to everyone without “pandering” to a specific audience. It’s a hilarious and scathing satire, well worth its weight in gold.

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  • Verdict - 8.5/10

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