SOUTH PARK: TYLER'S COMMENTARY 10/12/17Picture by FOX                                                                                                  Written by Tyler B.

This week’s episode of South Park, “Franchise Prequel,” begins with the boys holding tryouts for their superhero conglomerate, Coon and Friends. They aren’t here to save the day, though; Cartman and friends are just trying to capitalize on the wave of superhero movie franchises that have been so popular in the last decade. They already have a three-phase plan mapped out which involves numerous prequels, sequels, origin movies, and Netflix series.

Trouble arises for the heroes when they learn that someone is spreading malicious lies about them on Facebook, suggesting they engage in activities like burning the flag and peeing in each other’s mouths. They quickly realize that Butters (a.k.a. Professor Chaos) is the culprit, but when they confront him he refuses to stop, insisting that as a villain he prefers to cause chaos and doesn’t want his own villain spinoffs because “Suicide Squad sucked!”. It’s soon revealed that Butters has a whole team of villains working for him at his headquarters in an abandoned Circuit City. Clearly mocking the many news sites nowadays that strive to look legitimate while simultaneously spreading misinformation to drive traffic and revenues, Professor Chaos has fashioned his lair into a corporate environment, even boasting that he’s working on getting health and dental insurance for his employees. Explaining his business model to a new hire, he says, “I make money from my fake content in order to pay Facebook to promote my fake stories.”

Meanwhile the parents, who have also seen these stories, conclude that children can’t tell truth from fiction on Facebook and that that’s the reason for their abnormal behavior, oblivious to the fact that they themselves are falling for fake stories. They decide to invite Mark Zuckerberg to town to talk about their concerns. When Zuckerberg arrives, it becomes immediately clear that he has no solutions to offer. He responds to questions by saying he cannot be blocked, and soon makes himself at home in the town by sleeping in people’s beds and eating their food. When confronted, he claims he was invited into town and therefore has the right to invade everyone’s lives and personal space.

Coon and Friends’ problems continue when Netflix, who are green-lighting shows as soon as they pick up the phone and before even knowing who’s calling, refuses to give them a show until they clear up the stories on Facebook. The boys make it their mission to take down Dr. Chaos, who has earned the support of Mark Zuckerberg for a small fee.

The town now wants to be rid of Zuckerberg, who has infiltrated every part of their lives, but the police warn that they should have thought harder about the consequences before letting him into their lives.

In the end, even Zuckerberg is not immune to the harmful effects of his own platform. The kids attack him and though they’re defeated physically, they caught the whole thing on a Facebook Live video stream. The showdown is portrayed by Cartman as Mark beating up minority children, since Token (a.k.a. Tupperware) is black, Kyle (a.k.a. The Human Kite) is Jewish, and Jimmy (a.k.a. Fast Pass) is physically handicapped. Zuckerberg has to shut down Facebook, and he and Professor Chaos are both defeated.

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