South Park (season 10)
release year: 2006
genre: animated comedy
viewing setting: home DVD, 4/5-18/18
synopsis: This show revolves around the odd adventures of four kids (and a large supporting cast) in a fictional Colorado town where damn near anything can happen.
impressions: I watched these back when they came out fifteen years ago, but hadn't kept up with anything after early season two from 1998. So here I am catching up, and delving into new material I'd never seen before. This season's satire targets include...well, you can look at the episode briefs below to see. This is one of those shows that you either know about and watch(ed) or else never have and never will. It's loosely-continuous, meaning that someone could die in one episode and be fine in the next, and it's often a biting satire of popular people and events. It's also crude, with profanity and other references that will drive away critics...which I suspect is the point. This show is basically a way to satirize and make fun of whatever's in the news each week, and then wipe the slate clean for the next episode. However, this season had several low-key references that I appreciated: The Dark Crystal, Paul Stanley, Buck Rogers. Episode briefs:
(1) (episode 140 overall) Chef returns, but isn't right
(2) Everyone becomes obsessed with hybrid cars
(3) Cartoon wars over Family Guy, part 1
(4) Cartoon wars over Family Guy, part 2
(5) Towelie episode (third stupid episode in a row...)
(6) Al Gore's obsession puts the kids in danger in a cave
(7) Cartman's mom gets nannies (and then Cesar Millan) to help her control her son
(8) The kids get into World of Warcraft
(9) Conspiracy theories abound
(10) Cartman becomes hall monitor, and takes after Dog the bounty hunter
(11) Satan throws a Halloween party (and a tantrum)
(12) Ms. Garrison objects to having to teach evolution, and Cartman is frozen
(13) (part 2)
(14) (episode 153 overall) Stan must coach a peewee ice hockey team
acting: n/a but it's pretty impressive when you consider that two guys basically provide almost all the different voices. Isaac Hayes is hilarious as Chef, who often spontaneously breaks into song to try and explain something.
final word: This was groundbreaking stuff, and people typically either love it or hate it. Like Beavis and Butt-Head there's some clever humor and satire hidden there, for those with the patience and intelligence to find it...though with the bold and brash nature of this show, it's a lot easier to find.
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