South Park (season 12)
release year: 2008
genre: animated comedy
viewing setting: home DVD, 12/29-31/19
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 of the time. 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. Episode briefs:
(1) (episode 168 overall) Cartman has a medical issue
(2) the kids try to help Britney Spears
(3) sniffing cat urine leads to Heavy Metal type hallucinations
(4) Canada goes on strike
(5) Mrs. Garrison decides to have another sex change
(6) the internet dies
(7) the kids go visit a frontier-era living museum
(8) Cartman decides that the Chinese are taking over
(9) Wendy challenges Cartman to a fight
(10-11) Peruvian flute band pandemic
(12) the truth behind the 2008 Presidential election
(13) the school is taken over by a musical
(14) (episode 181 overall) a vampire fad takes over the school
acting: n/a but it's pretty impressive when you consider that two guys basically provide almost all the different voices.
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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