Well, that was an episode. Nightrider here.
South Park is back in full force with satire, or rather, PC Babies is in full force with satire. We went from a Randy miniseries to a spin-off show within a show that still resembles South Park. There are many (and they aren’t happy) reviews left and right about South Park irking the PC bunch and mocking transgendered athletes. So, let’s tread carefully.
Beware of spoilers.
Vice-Principal Strong Woman trains with PC Principal so that she can retain her championship at the latest StrongWoman competition. When asked by Dick Perry about competing against transgendered athlete Heather Swanson, Woman considers the question as bigoted because Perry mentions that Heather isn’t an “average trans athlete.” Perry retorts Woman’s comment by introducing Heather Swanson herself, a parody of the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage. We essentially have a parody of classic WWE promos from Swanson as she indicates that she identifies as a woman two weeks prior to the competition; she wins the competition without any problems.
Cartman and some of the boys start a gaming club at school called “Dice Studz.” As they play “Dungeons & Dragons” Mr. Mackey introduces Tammy and Nicole to the club per the rules of the school. Cartman tries to scoff them off with his “expertise” but is destroyed when Nicole properly displays her D&D skills against him. Taking offense, Cartman wants to segregate the boys and the girls so he can enjoy board games without girls who do math.
This episode was hilarious with many board game references, Cartman’s plea in Congress and how Mr. Mackey summed up Cartman’s subplot by stating that the girls were just smarter than him in board games. What was also hilarious was Heather Swanson’s antics as “Macho Man” and cutting classic WWE-like promos whenever she talked about beating Strong Woman. She even cut a promo of “falling” through a table after getting pushed by PC Principal. Swanson met her match when she lost to the Board Girls Gaming Club. Cartman suggests they start a new club after Swanson’s rant of her growing up as a boy left her at an unfair disadvantage struck a chord with Cartman.
This part is where things get serious. South Park usually pokes fun of the PC culture with the PC Babies and their parents as avatars depending on certain issues in today’s changing world. The issue this time is that the world is not black and white for the PC culture; there will always be shades of nebulous grey that can confuse anyone. Strong Woman reveals to PC Principal that Heather Swanson is actually her ex-boyfriend Blade Jaggart. He was an asshole to Woman and that lead to their breakup, but Jaggart felt that he was beaten by a woman. Because of his misogynistic anger towards Strong Woman and women in general, he identified as Heather Swanson on purpose so she could get revenge on Woman and women in general. PC Principal is left confused because he knows there’s something wrong with what Swanson is doing but shouldn’t do anything because of his principles of being a supporter of transgendered athletes.
What South Park is showing is that the world is full of unexpected moments and they are poking fun of society because society cannot handle sensitive issues without difficulty. There are headlines that state that the show is mocking transgendered athletes and showing stereotypes involving PCs. Surprise, it wasn’t the first time South Park addressed this issue and shocked everyone: remember their portrayal of Caitlyn Jenner from the season 19 episode “Stunning and Brave”? What about the season 18 episode “The Cissy”?
“Board Girls” is a good episode, and the South Park crew have a lot of guts to handle such a situation with humor and criticism on both sides of a sensitive issue. Maybe like the PC Babies, people can finally grow up and rationally see the nuance.