South Park has taken on America's school shooting issue, and it's being called 'one of the best takes on mass shootings television has produced in years'.
'Dead Kids', episode one of season 22, is about the unprecedented rise in school shootings in America, and it makes them seem as mundane and normalised as a maths test, something that you might casually mention over dinner.
As soon as the episode begins, an unidentified school shooter begins attacking the school that the boys attend, while they're studying fractions. The teachers don't even acknowledge it.
In one scene over dinner, Sharon asks Stan if he wants to mention to his father what happened at school that day.
Oh, I flunked my maths quiz.
No, the other thing!
Stan replies, casually:
Some kid shot up the school.
In response, his father, Randy, says:
Who shot up the school? Was it you? Did you get shot?
When Stan replies in the negative, to all of these questions, Randy responds:
Well, what's this about you failing a maths quiz?
Sharon, Stan's mother, is the only one who reacts with any emotion to the shooting, while Randy and his friends casually brush off the attacks, likening them to problems like faulty equipment.
She embraces her emotions, crying, screaming, and reacting in the only way logical considering children are being murdered, reports news.com.au.
In response to her grief, Sharon's husband, Randy, blames her behaviour on the fact that she must have just got her period, or that perhaps she's going through the menopause.
According to the news site, Sharon finally caves to the general apathy towards shootings, just as she learns that her son Stan has been shot.
Many people took to social media to praise the powerful episode, and to note that Sharon's voice is the only one of reason.
Tonight’s episode of @SouthPark is about the abject absurdity - and tragedy - of America’s gun violence crisis. The… https://t.co/BA5B94wLq4