South Park - To clarify, I like South Park from Season 1 through Season 8. After that, the show is awful. The idea of "Let's see what's going on in the news right now and take it to it's most extreme" got really old after a few episodes. The fact that they keep doing it now for nearly every single episode just makes me want to bang my head against a wall. I really wouldn't mind it so much if they bothered to try some new formulas of episodes, but they don't. Every time, it's one of three episodes: Randy being a dumbass, Butters being a queer, or Cartman and Kyle continuing their "rivalry/secret love/whatever". It's the same thing, day in and day out. It really gives off a vibe like they're not even trying anymore. Like the creators say to themselves "We're so popular, that we can put out anything we want and people will love it!" And I really hate that lazy attitude.
You've been out of the game too long, because they haven't done most of that in a while. Cartman and Kyle have barely fought for more than a few moments since Season 13 and teamed up quite a few times ("You Have 0 Friends", "Crack Baby Athletic Association", "Ass Burgers", "Faith Hilling") and Butters has generally done fine in episodes where he stands alone ("Butters' Bottom Bitch", "City Sushi") as long as Cartman isn't in the way. Stan's Dad being a dumbass has kept on, but it's gotten a bit more bearable, especially since they finally gave a full explanation for his behavior.
Seasons 6, 7 and 8 were way worse in terms of political commentary then Seasons 13 forward have been - the difference was back then it was funnier so people enjoyed it a lot more, whereas now the fact it's commentary is more plain and out there, instead of just being funny. "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset" is from Season 8 - it has a great message and is hilarious, but it's still a bunch of crazy political commentary.
Not to mention the entire "You're Getting Old
" episode last season, where they completely intentionally skreeonk with the formula beyond the belief of any long-time viewer.
even saying you're completely wrong - Trey and Matt can be pretty uncreative guys at moments, and they reuse the skreeonk out of certain plot formulas. Most devoted fans these days are pretty skreeonk sick of Cartman taking over every episode. And the political commentary can be annoying as skreeonk. As for "We're so popular, that we can put out anything we want and people will love it!" they summarized it themselves at the end of aforementioned "You're Getting Old
" quite nicely. We also need to keep in mind the Writers' Room is essentially two guys who don't get fresh air for the seven weeks they work on the show, and episodes are made in usually about six days total.
The one thing that gets to me is how often I hear people say things like Seasons X - Y were great, but Seasons Z forward all suck! Because that's never completely true. The show's quality is and always has been horribly inconsistent. That and most of the main complaints predate whenever people say the show went sour. All the political commentary began way back in Season 4, yet most people claim it's becoming overbearing just now. The same formulas being reused? Seasons 7 - 12 are the most formulaic of the show. Too much of certain characters? Season 14B had 7 episodes with a Kyle episode ("It's a Jersey Thing") a Randy episode ("Creme Freiche") a Stan episode ("Insheeption") a Kenny story arc ("Mysterion Rises"/"Coon vs. Coon and Friends") and of course Cartman episodes ("Poor and Stupid", "Coon 2: Hindsight") - so the variety isn't dead. Not funny anymore? Completely opinion-based, but taking in majority opinion, basically true.