Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Season 25, Episode 1: “Pajama Day.”
What was so remarkable about the return of basic cable’s most gleefully profane long-running comedy was how unremarkable it was. The Season 25 premiere of South Park on Wednesday (February 2nd) represented a refreshing return to normalcy for the Comedy Central series, capturing the essential spirit of the long, long-running animated series with far more loyalty to its roots than one might anticipate.
“Pajama Day” is a relatively simple affair, kicking off with the kids in school getting a bit more of a download than expected about what Mr. Garrison did on his “break” — specifically, get a nice new boyfriend named Rick. However, when Mr. Garrison asks the kids to help intervene when Mr. Garrison’s ex calls, and the kids don’t respond, the teacher proceeds to berate his students about not respecting his authority.
When PC Principal overhears Garrison yelling at the kids, he doles out what he considers to be an appropriate punishment: Mr. Garrison’s class is barred from participating in Pajama Day, that most sacred of holidays where students are allowed to come to school in their pajamas. While the kids try to figure out a way to change the principal’s mind, the adults in town take on the cause of wearing pajamas to work in support of the children — causing its own escalating problems.
What makes this such an effective season opener, though, is the fact that those touches of old-school South Park are accompanied by the usual sorts of evidence that this episode was written extremely recently. The most prominent example of this is the repeated jokes about Matt Damon’s “fortune favors the brave” Crypto.com commercial.