Season 3, Episode 11
Season 3 was produced alongside the South Park film Bigger, Longer & Uncut. The improvements both in narrative and visual aesthetic are vast and noticeable. The Chinpokomon episode is a perfect example of this evolution: There are faux episodes of a Pokemon parody, large interiors at Japanese corporate toy headquarters, and several hilarious live-action commercials taking aim at marketing for children. BLU obviously gave the creators an appreciation for using the minimalist South Park aesthetic with a film auteur’s sensibility.
The episode also explores the parent’s perspective alongside the boy’s perspective, pivoting from the larger perspective of the madcap mountain town to a more streamlined look at specific relationships — more true to how the show would continue. While the lesson learned by Kyle seems to be a paradoxical “be an individual, follow the group,” the real lesson of the episode is that perhaps there is more danger in the uncertainty of entertainment properties built on the premise of marketability than a show like South Park that, while also shamelessly marketed, does not pretend to be anything it is not: notably an animated program for mature audiences that looks at Middle American society with a sharp, honest wit. Another lesson for parents unsure their children should be watching a show like South Park: Make it clear that you enjoy the show, and their interest will most likely wane.