9:29am PT by Ryan Parker
'South Park' Creators Look Past Rough Trump Season to Fresh Start
Matt Stone and Trey Parker are geared up for a new season of South Park — maybe even more than fans realize.
Following a rough 20th season that became disjointed due in part to the outcome of the presidential election, the Colorado pals who created one of the most beloved — and for some, despised — cartoons of all time are ready for a fresh start.
Hanging out in Parker's office at South Park Studios, the pair granted an interview to The Hollywood Reporter to talk about the upcoming season, which premieres Sept. 13 on Comedy Central. As most fans know, details can't be shared because Parker and Stone haven't thought them up yet. The South Park crew works on each new episode the week of air. Still, the duo were able to share some overall sentiments about last season and thoughts on the near future.
"Last year was such a headfuck, and we were so happy when it was done," Parker told THR. "And we just wanted to go back to the kids, which we still do. But it's also like, you can't avoid [Mr. Garrison as Trump]. So, we are not actively putting it in, but we are not actively leaving it out. It's the world we live in."
Unlike previous seasons, last year's 10 episodes had an overarching theme, which was Garrison as Trump. However, it was assumed Hillary Clinton would be elected president, which would allow Garrison to return to form. That didn't happen and the guys were stuck.
"Last season we really tried to do a serialized thing, and it was just really hard," Stone said. "In some ways it was cool and in some ways it trapped us. The way we do that show is not compatible with full serialization. We're going to do the first show (this season) and maybe don't have to sitcom wrap it up at the end."
He added, "The first 18 seasons of the show, we spent so much time thinking how do we get this back to resolution. And no TV shows do that anymore. You're so used to watching shows now where it doesn't end at the end, it teases the next one."
Parker said he didn't "appreciate" how tonally different South Park episodes could be until last season.
"We would always talk about how great it is because on South Park, one week it can be about the kids and then the next week it is about Garrison and then the next week it is about Randy," he said. "And that's what I really miss."
So, what will be in this season? Well, Parker said he was a fan of Cartman having a significant other, Heidi Turner, which showed a new side to the usually foul-mouthed, angry, fat kid.
"We don't want her to go away," Parker said. "But, I really liked in the end that he was now a dude stuck in a relationship."
It is too soon to tell about Member Berries, the adorable little fruit stuck in the past and always reminding each other how great things were.
"Now that Spielberg is doing Ready Player One — which is like the most Member Berry thing ever invented — we can't out-Member Berry that," Parker said. "All the Member Berries left our show to go be on that."
South Park season 21 premieres Sept. 13. The highly anticipated videogame, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, comes out Oct. 17.
Watch a trailer for the new season below: