In South Park’s 100th episode “I’m A Little Bit Country,” the issue was about the Iraq War and the two-party system of the US; it was a huge deal. South Park’s 200th episode “200” is a two-parter with “201” that dealt with Tom Cruise and the controversy about the use of images of the prophet Muhammad that would have been used on the show; Comedy Central censored Muhammad’s image and Kyle’s satirical speech with a continuous bleep. This drew heavy criticism from fans and audiences because they felt that Comedy Central gave in to Muslim violence threats. It was an even bigger deal.
Now we are at South Park’s 300th episode “Shots!!!” and the joke here is that NOBODY cares about the accomplishment…
Beware of spoilers ahead!
… except Randy in the form of his milestone of making 300 thousand dollars for growing and selling weed. His family points out, however, that Randy is living his dream. Sharon, Randy’s wife, also points out that the weed Randy sold to the Chinese government so that they can frame protesters and justify the arrests. Randy sets that notion aside as he paid for a “300 parade” with the town of South Park not caring.
The theme of this episode, besides Randy, is the issue of vaccination; Cartman does not want any shots. He and his mother Lianne, reading from sources written on their hands, believe that there is a connection between vaccines and becoming “artistic” because of them. Whenever Cartman is about to get a shot he strips naked and runs around like a scared pig, squealing as he avoids the doctor. Lianne then confesses that she just couldn’t restrain her son and she doesn’t know what else to do. So the town decides to hire a champion of pig wrestling Big Mesquite Murph, who puts Cartman in a pen and sets up a rodeo for him and other non-immunized children.
Lianne then shares a spiff with Randy and they share each other’s problems. She realizes that her best role in life is to be a mother to Eric and she heads to the rodeo, but not before telling Randy that he should be thankful for having someone in his life. Randy then sees that he wasn’t kind to his loved ones. He apologizes to Towlie (and not his loved ones) for being greedy. Towlie accepts but only after he gets Randy to admit to stop burning private marijuana farms, stop dealing with MedMen and stop having business with the Chinese government.
As Cartman is about to be successfully immunized, Lianne takes the shot by accident. She angrily tells her son that he’s not getting a toy for not getting a shot and the pair heads home. Cartman then proceeds to finally get his shot but is now horrified because his mom is now “artistic” because of the dosage of the shot meant for him.
After “Band in China,” South Park was indeed banned in China for their critique on China’s government with the American entertainment business. This time, Randy’s denouncement of the Chinese government is seen as South Park’s response to their being banned in China. I like the fact that they have not sold out to popular demand over serious topics. The show’s take on the anti-vaccine movement is brilliant as there is no conclusion to the matter: Lianne becomes “artistic” but it’s because she receives the shot as she saves Cartman. But forced immunization could become a dangerous theme in the future if immunization is not regulated humanely. This topic will probably be a continuing plot for the rest of the season. As for Randy and Tegridy Farms, we’ll just have to wait and see if he sticks to his promise with Towlie at the expense of his family; they look like they will burst and break apart.