Film reviews and more since 2009

South Park: (Not Suitable for Children) (2023) review

Dir. Trey Parker

By: Steve Pulaski

Rating: ★★★★

South Park: (Not Suitable for Children) marks the sixth South Park special released to Paramount+, and it’s unquestionably the funniest, most accomplished of the bunch. Disappointingly, it was released onto the streaming service with little promotion days after a strange trailer leak. It’s difficult to believe Trey Parker and Matt Stone would drop another special, unconnected to their last one, Joining the Panderverse, less than two months later. Maybe that’s not the case at all and it’s really just an early Christmas present.

There are two simple yet effective and entirely relative plots at work here. The first involves a new hydration drink known as Cred (a parody of Logan Paul’s ubiquitous PRIME). The drink has become rapidly popular amongst children, with Eric Cartman, Butters, and Tweek forming their own ultra-exclusive club that revolves around consuming the drink and wearing backpacks with pouches that make their “Cred” visible. Everyone at school is drinking the beverage except for Clyde, whose father and stepmother forbid due to its high caffeine content. Clyde is forced to be the odd-man-out at school while watching videos of his favorite YouTube influencer, fittingly named Logan LeDouche, peddling the beverage.

The other subplot involves the discovery of the school art teacher being a model on OnlyFans. An all-parents meeting at the school sparks outrage in everyone except for Randy Marsh, of course, who begins posting videos of himself naked while doing crafts and cooking food. When he fails to make money, let alone garner subscribers, his wife, Sharon, hops on the website and racks up followers by the thousands in no time. Randy phones OnlyFans support for tips, and they tell him, in so many words, that hopping on the latest trends and products is usually a good way to gain popularity. So, Randy makes Cred an intricate (and erotic) part of his videos, but doesn’t take into account that the views could be coming from minors.

(Not Suitable for Children) revolves around the insidious marketing tactics every entity from big corporations to YouTube influencers use in order to court the young, impressionable social media crowd. The special is underscored not only by its rapid fire jokes, but more than a handful of well-handled elements. For one, this is the first time in a blue moon where Clyde is at the forefront, and his arc perfectly suits his (often-shunned) character. In addition, Cartman acts with something of a moral compass here. He’s still an impulsive and exclusionary tyrant, but he does prove to have his heart in the right place the longer the special persists.

Even Randy, whose overuse has been one of the singular problems with South Park as of late (as parodied in The Streaming Wars Part 2 no less), shines in this special. His ultra-competitive side emerges as he fights for OnlyFans subscribers with his wife, and the videos he posts are riotously funny to boot. This special has Trey and Matt firing on all cylinders, serves as a strong companion piece for Joining the Panderverse, and lays the groundwork for a follow-up.

NOTE: South Park: (Not Suitable for Children) is now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.

My review of South Park: The Pandemic Special
My review of South ParQ: Vaccination Special
My review of South Park: Post COVID
My review of South Park: Post COVID: The Return of COVID
My review of South Park: The Streaming Wars
My review of South Park: The Streaming Wars Part 2
My review of South Park: Joining the Panderverse

Voiced by: Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Directed by: Trey Parker.

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About Steve Pulaski

Steve Pulaski has been reviewing movies since 2009 for a barrage of different outlets. He graduated North Central College in 2018 and currently works as an on-air radio personality. He also hosts a weekly movie podcast called "Sleepless with Steve," dedicated to film and the film industry, on his YouTube channel. In addition to writing, he's a die-hard Chicago Bears fan and has two cats, appropriately named Siskel and Ebert!

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