South Park Season 27 Will Struggle After Snow Day’s Critical Disappointment

Summary

  • South Park season 27 needs to impress after the failure of Snow Day video game. Can the show turn it around?
  • Recent South Park seasons and specials have struggled with humor, satire, and direction. Can season 27 fix these issues?
  • South Park must surprise viewers and sharpen its satire to succeed in season 27. Can the show adapt and thrive?



While South Park season 27 will arrive later than usual thanks to South Park: Snow Day’s release, the video game’s dismal reviews have only put more pressure on the upcoming outing. South Park has been around for a long time. The animated comedy began in 1997, released its first feature film in 1999, and has since produced 26 seasons, eight feature-length specials, and ten video games. As such, South Park season 27 is unlikely to be the show’s final outing, no matter how the season is received by critics and fans. However, the show’s longevity isn’t necessarily a good thing.


South Park seasons 25 and 26 earned middling reviews thanks to their brevity and their limited satirical bite, with only one or two of each season’s episodes nailing the right balance of topical satire and character comedy. South Park season 27’s delays mean that hopes will be higher for the next outing, but one recent letdown proves that viewers may want to adjust their expectations. In late March, South Park‘s latest game, Snow Day, arrived to lackluster reviews. This doesn’t bode well for season 27, particularly after the show’s earlier game spinoffs were met with acclaim.


South Park Season 27 Needs To Impress After Snow Day Didn’t

The show’s latest game was written off as flat and forgettable by reviewers

South Park: Snow Day was highly anticipated after the success of both its predecessors, 2014’s The Stick of Truth and 2017’s The Fractured But Whole. South Park’s earlier games successfully fused the show’s ribald comedy with strong gameplay, but something went very wrong with Snow Day. Critics called South Park: Snow Day slow, predictable, unfunny, and toothless, a set of criticisms that will be unfortunately familiar to viewers of the show. Although South Park season 27 could improve many of the show’s persistent issues, the series has been plagued by similar problems in recent outings.


Both seasons 25 and 26 weren’t the show’s strongest hours, with only season 35, episode 4, “Back to the Cold War,” standing out as a truly good episode. Meanwhile, while the show’s feature-length specials were relatively strong in 2022 thanks to the two-part Streaming Wars storyline, 2023’s specials both left a lot to be desired. Both “Joining the Panderverse” and “Not Suitable for Children” were aimless, unfocused specials that took aim at too many disparate targets and failed to land any decisive blows as a result. Like Snow Day, South Park’s recent specials felt tired.

South Park’s Snow Day Failures Mirror The Show’s Recent Issues

Brevity, a lack of edge, and few surprises hurt both recent seasons and the game


Snow Day’s critical struggles would always have been bad news, but the fact that South Park itself has faced the same problems as its game spinoff is particularly unfortunate. Critics who complained that Snow Day relied too heavily on toilet humor and didn’t feature enough clever satire might have been talking about South Park season 26, which attempted to mock public figures like sex trafficker Andrew Tate and Prince Harry but instead ended up feeling disjointed and pointless. Ironically, that outing’s strongest episode centered around literal toilet humor when Randy bought a fancy new commode in episode 3, “Japanese toilet.”


While this outing might have mined most of its humor from an absurd conspiracy surrounding global toilet paper sales, the episode at least had a satirical target in mind. Suggesting that industries were pushing toilet paper to keep the demand for lumber high was undeniably silly, but it was strong enough to sustain an episode-length parody of conspiracy thrillers. In contrast, most of South Park’s recent episodes and specials have suffered the same issues as Snow Day. The humor is scattershot and uneven, with Not Suitable For Children never even deciding whether its main character was Randy or Craig.

What South Park Season 27 Needs To Save The Series

South Park must give viewers a real surprise to keep them invested

Custom Image by Yeider Chacon


South Park can win back viewers and has done so before. When the series began experimenting with serialization back in 2014, this resulted in one of its strongest seasons in years. Similarly, when South Park first started satirizing real-life news events as they unfolded, this risky strategy saw the series mature and sharpen its writing. While it might seem hard to believe now, there was a time when South Park’s humor barely touched on politics and social issues, with random shock value being the show’s main focus. South Park abandoning its original premise and focusing on satire saved the show.

This doesn’t mean that it will be easy for the series to succeed in season 27. If Snow Day taught the series anything, it is that the show’s current path is a dead end. The scattershot comedy, limp satire, and lack of direction aren’t working, but a focused, sharper, and more surprising outing could still impress viewers. As The Simpsons proved with the strong reviews enjoyed by its 34th season, longevity alone can’t kill a sitcom. South Park season 27 can fix South Park: Snow Day’s biggest issues, provided the series course-corrects in time.


South Park Season Poster

South Park

Cast
Trey Parker , Matt Stone

Release Date
August 13, 1997

Seasons
26

Franchise(s)
South Park