Why South Park season 25 is so short and why it will change the future

Fans tune in South Park Season 25 was confused by the short 6-episode run. South Park was never your typical TV show, from the fact that the series started life as a viral email Christmas card to its boundary-pushing content (and shockingly fast production schedule), South Park is risky in relation to most television traditions. The daring animated satire is currently in its 26th season and has a theatrical release, but during its airing South Park has been protested, praised, challenged, awarded and banned in equal measure.


Now the controversial series faces a new challenge. South Park Season 25 ended after just six episodes, meaning the show’s prospects may seem bleak, but the future of South Park is not endangered. In August 2021, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone signed a $900 million deal with Paramount and guaranteed they would provide 14 more South Park films and six seasons of the franchise. Four feature length South Park Movies mentioned in the deal have already aired as South Park Season 24, and it looks like this South Park Season 25 was probably cut to make the next batch easier to write and produce. However, during South Park isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, this format change will likely change the style of the series forever.

RELATED: Every Banned South Park Episode (And Why They Were Controversial)

South Parks 6 episodes season 25 explained

Cartman in front of the South Park Season 25 logo.

Ends with “Credigree Weed St. Patrick’s Day Special” South Park Season 25 was canceled for the same reason South Park Season 24 consisted of four feature-length specials instead of a larger number of shorter episodes. The makers of South Park are still on the territory of dividing their plots between long-form films and standard sitcom episodes, hence the subversive South Park Season 25 is the shortest season by duration, but season 24 is the shortest by number of episodes.

While South Parks experiments resulted in a shortened season 25 with only six episodes, season 26 could return to a larger number of episodes after a longer break between seasons. Only eight weeks passed between the end of the 24th season South Park the season 25 premiere, while South Park season 25 began almost a year later. Half of the episodes of South Park season 25 were timely political satires about current events and half were character-driven adventures, a paradigm shift that is showing South Park is still not sure where to focus his energy as a series.

South Park can now focus on full-length stories

The South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut poster.

South Park’s shorter season 25 could signal a change in the show’s approach. With ten additional feature-length specials ordered by Paramount Plus, South Park can now turn to the show’s long-form storytelling format. The traditionally shorter episode lengths put increasing pressure to keep up with the weekly cultural zeitgeist. Without worrying about keeping up to date, South Park can tell more timeless stories that take longer to write but contain less instantaneous satire. Interestingly, this was not the approach South Park took with his first four specials.

The first two specials (“The Pandemic Special” and “The South ParQ Vaccination Special”) both focused on current events and acted as longer versions of the normal South Park episodes, while the second two (the “post-Covid” saga) were more similar to previous feature-length animated television spinoffs, such as The Simpsons Movie or South Park: Bigger, longer and uncut. The Post-Covid saga, while still dealing with the events of the time, was a more ambitious story that leveraged the feature-length format and felt more like a movie in terms of scope and scope of the story.

Also Read: Will the South Park Movie Ever Get a Sequel?

The two-part film was similar to both South Park: Bigger, longer and uncut and the earlier “Imaginationland” trilogy in terms of telling a larger story with a longer narrative. However, it is not yet clear whether South Park will continue to tell such larger, more cinematic stories with the remaining ten feature-length specials. South ParkThe unique production process of means the creators have an extraordinary amount of creative freedom, meaning the show could continue to produce feature-length specials focusing on hot topics like the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and capitalize on its shorter episodes to tell more timeless stories. However, this would not necessarily be the best split South Park‘s resources.

South Park’s atypical production schedule explained

Cold War in South Park

Telling bigger stories over a longer period of time is a break from that South Park‘s normal routine. Unlike almost all other televisions South Park is traditionally written, produced and directed from scratch the week before each episode airs. Which gives South Park an advantage over satirical competitors as its reaction time to current events was incredibly quick, something that is inevitably lost on more ambitious, feature-length specials. Sometimes that quick reaction leads to great satire, as evidenced by the critical success of South Park’s “Back to the Cold War” (Season 25, Episode 4). However, this approach can prompt the makers just as often South Park dreaming up ill-conceived plots and misjudged jokes to meet a deadline, leading to misguided efforts like the transphobic episode “Board Girls” (Season 23, Episode 7).

South Park should use his films for more timeless stories

South Park Adult Stan Kyle Cartman

South ParkThe fast-paced production schedule of offers the series an opportunity it shares with some other broadcasters. South Park can comment on current events as they happen, but ironically, that can make character-only episodes of the series seem like a futile endeavor. For example, viewers may reasonably wonder why South Park opted for the parody World of Warcraft Instead of one of the many messages that happened the week the episode aired, leading to some of the show’s classic outings earning less praise than they deserved for not being in time enough.

This is a double-edged sword, however, and the format change also brings benefits. The luxury of feature-length specials that are separate from the show’s production schedule is that they allow for this South Park to tell those less timely stories and give their characters a chance to shine. Go forward, South Park can use its longer specials to tell bigger, less easily dated stories and its shorter episodes to satirize current events as they happen — but season 24 and season 25 proved the show doesn’t know how to do it balancing these two different storytelling styles may be best so far.

Also Read: South Park Brought Back Its Best ’80s Nostalgia Joke

How South Park’s season format has changed over the years

Butters reads Catcher in the Rye in South Park

The South Park The changes in Season 25 are just the latest in the show’s history. South Park has been on the air for over 25 years and the reason for its longevity is its ability to adapt throughout its lifetime. This also does not apply to the season format or the duration of the episodes. The entire sound of South Park has shifted drastically over the course of the show’s development. The seasons of South Park The ’90s and early ’00s lacked the political satire that made the series known and popular.

There were flashes of it in the first few seasons, but most of the humor was more gross or slapstick comedy like Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo or the town wrecked by a 50ft Mecha Streisand. South Parks The very first episode was all about Cartman getting an anal probe from an alien and nothing more. The show only later delved into parodying pop culture or real-life news.

That was only in 2004-2005 South Park started getting political or parody real life events as they were happening. The first South Park Real-world references mainly came in the form of various celebrity parodies, such as the infamous Paris Hilton episode in Season 8. When Obama was elected in 2008, South Park was in its 12th season and had fully entered satirical territory, as the episode “About Last Night” proves. In contrast, there was no George Bush election episode in 2000 (although the 2004 episode “Douche and Turd” shook up the election in which Bush won his second term).

When Trump was elected 2016 the evergreen South Park had fully developed not only in terms of the depth of satire, but also in terms of their approach to serialized storytelling with a longer perspective. Her Trump-spoofing President Garrison arc ran through seasons 19-24. Season 26 continues to delve into breaking stories with episodes about Kanye West’s anti-Semitic rants and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving the royal family. While South Park Changes in Season 25 could make the show feel different to newer fans and more veteran followers of Unrecognizable South Park know that it just goes without saying.

RELATED: Why only 1 South Park episode didn’t air on time

How many episodes are there in south park season 26

South Park Season 26 Cartman

With Season 26 already airing, fans are understandably wondering if it will follow South Park Season 25 with a short episode count or will there be a longer season again. Unfortunately, although the season has already started airing, it has not been confirmed how long the season will last. Until now, South Park has returned with the usual 22-minute episodes and it doesn’t look like it’ll shorten things just yet. The new season continues dating aspects South Park Season 25, including Cartman’s noticeable transformation into a less villainous character. However, it’s still possible that the show could follow the previous season to end things after six episodes while the new format of South Park will be further elaborated.

MORE: All 4 problems South Park 26 needs to fix

https://screenrant.com/south-park-season-25-short-missing-episodes-more-movies-future/ Why South Park season 25 is so short and why it will change the future


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