|"The City Part of Town"|
|Episode no.||Season 19|
|Original airdate||September 30, 2015|
|List of all South Park episodes|
Plot details follow.
Due to Mr. Garrison's bid for President in the US elections, South Park is ridiculed by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show as a backwards hick town full of stupid people. As a result, the town plans to have a Whole Foods Market built to boost their image as a modern, socially conscious community. In order to attract Whole Foods and make their town look better, Mayor McDaniels, with the help of Randy Marsh, arranges to have a fancy and modern district, SoDoSoPa ("South of Downtown South Park"), built around Kenny's house. The new district is intentionally built around the McCormick's dilapidated home to appeal to young hipsters who enjoy the "rustic charm" of the scenery.
SoDoSoPa runs several commercials (filmed in live-action) advertising that all of the new restaurants and shops are "supporting" the original poor residents - when in fact no one in Kenny's family actually works at any of them or receives any benefit from the new businesses. Soon, middle-class apartment units are built near the district, then high-class luxury residences - all while claiming that the gentrification is revitalizing the poor residents that in reality simply being built around. The new district quickly attracts many customers, leaving the Chinese restaurant, City Wok with no business. Proprietor Tuong Lu Kim hires a child labor force to try to cut costs, and Kenny (whom Kim calls "Dennis") manages to get a job in the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Randy phones Whole Foods to convince them to build a market in South Park, and they eventually send a representative. When he comes into town, all the citizens try to behave properly to give the town a good impression. After speaking with PC Principal and visiting SoDoSoPa, the representative seems to have a good impression of the town.
However, Randy and some other townspeople soon find out that Mr. Kim is creating his own gentrified district named CtPaTown ("shitty part of town"), staffed by his child labor force. A large group of citizens moves angrily towards City Wok, and upon reaching it, a huge fight breaks out between the angry townsfolk and the child workers. Suddenly, everyone becomes silent as the representative clears his throat, and the townsfolk realize he has been observing the fight. The representative states that he has never seen a town trying so hard to pretend to be socially conscious. He then adds that this is the exact type of community Whole Foods is looking for, and that South Park will have its market. Everyone cheers and leaves, except for Kenny and Kim, who pays Kenny his "child labor wage".
Kenny returns home and his father reacts cynically when Kenny says that he earned nothing at work. Kenny then enters his sister's room, and gives her a new doll - revealing that he did not "earn" anything for himself because he spent all his wages on the gift. She smiles and plays with her new toy. Kenny goes to sleep in his room, a difficult task amidst the lights and noise of the SoDoSoPa nightlife right outside his window.
The episode ends with a commercial showcasing the citizens of South Park celebrating the delights of shopping at a Whole Foods Market.
AV Club gave "The City Part Of Town" a "A-" rating saying: "Parker and Stone like to use stereotypes to prove a point, even when the stereotype in question is acknowledging how offensive they are, and some of the episode’s best moments come from the Kim narrative. As the presence of SoDoSoPa continues to push out the McCormicks, Kenny, along with an entire child-labor force of disenfranchised kids all too happy to work, picks up a job at City Wok. Even with his new employees in place, Kim’s restaurant is still floundering, so he tries to rebrand his neighborhood as its own yupster haven. But his commercial ends up being an unintentional inverse of the ads for SoDoSoPa, soothingly describing his product while the visuals expose the pile of greasy, deep-fried shit it actually is. At the same time, it’s no less valid than the lies being spewed out (at a nice, leisurely pace of course) by Randy, Mayor Henderson, and everyone else behind SoDoSoPa. In fact, it’s probably a little more noble (though not by much)."
IGN gave "The City Part Of Town" a "7.5" rating saying: "While Kenny's character-driven subplot felt like an afterthought, this week's South Park served up a clever commentary on gentrification -- most notably the SoDoSoPa ads. Granted, the main joke of renovating Kenny's house only had so much mileage in it, but it was still humorous enough for one episode at least."
- "The City Part of Town (Season 19, Episode 3)". southparkstudios.com.
- "AV Club: In tackling gentrification, South Park comments on itself—and its detractors.". AV Club.com.
- "South Park The City Part Of Town Review.". IGN.com.