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Trey Parker says the next season of South Park will be less serialized

South Park Trey Parker

The last several seasons of South Park have seen Trey Parker and Matt Stone experimenting with serialized story-telling, but the long-running series' 20th season was the first time that they fully embraced it and set out to tell one season-long story. It was an ambitious move, particularly for a show whose production schedule lasts just one week, but the South Park team were able to pull it off. While speaking with Chris Hardwick on The Nerdist podcast, Trey Parker explained how the serialized season came to be and why they're not likely to do it again.

It was totally accident, it started like three seasons ago. We kind of just started crossing some things over and carrying some things over, and then we did the big PC Principal season. At first we were like, ‘Oh man all these shows have to do with PC stuff we’ve gotta get off of it,’ but then we were like, ‘Why? If there’s that much material let’s just fucking do it.’ So we kept at it and we kept things hanging over and people kind of liked it, so we finally said, ‘Alright let’s just go all out, let’s actually do a serialized season where we kind of map it out and we know where we’re headed,’ and it was like the biggest disaster for us. Just production-wise, we’re not that kind of show, and I’m not that kind of person.

Trey Parker added that he needs to be able to "walk into South Park on Thursday morning and go, ‘What are we doing?’, and for me to walk in on Thursday and go, ‘Okay let’s see, this is left hanging here, this is here, this is here,’ it really became a nightmare, I really didn’t like it. Whereas doing it a little bit, where it’s like, ‘Okay let’s do something totally new, oh we could bring in that thing from last week,’ that’s fine. But I think we’re gonna go back more to that." Although I've enjoyed the serialized South Park experience, I'm also hoping for a return to back-to-basics South Park, and it seems that Parker is looking forward to that as well.

I miss Cartman dressing up like a robot and farting on Butters, you know what I mean? I wanna get back to that shit. Especially because now, everything you turn on in any kind of comedy it’s like, ‘Okay how are they making fun of Trump? What are they doing to rip on Trump?’ In the same way that I’m sick of it being the headline every day, there’s other shit in the world going on. And yeah I get it, everyone’s freaked out, but it’s just like other shit’s happening, life is happening still. We’ll see, I really wanna just get back to those things with the boys and hopefully have it be a nice break for everybody.

Although Trey Parker says that the plan is just to create the first show of the season from scratch, it doesn't mean that there won't be a few recurring story-lines as they pick up the treads which were left hanging last season.

There’s things we’ve left hanging that we’re gonna—we’ve left Cartman’s relationship hanging, and obviously Garrison’s president (laughs), but once every two seasons we would check in with the President of the United States on South Park, it’s not that show. So I definitely am not gonna just keep tracking Garrison because I don’t care, I’m over it. Maybe he’ll pop up once in a while when we need him, but I’m just kind of excited to get back to kids issues and what kids are dealing with right now, because it’s f**king crazy.

South Park will return on September 13th.

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