South Park (season 2)

release year: 1998-1999
genre: animated comedy
viewing setting: home DVD, 1/14-20/14

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. Special season two note: the filler material between the episodes (set in an old folks' home and a bacon-oriented kitchen) was generally dry and stupid; after a while, I found myself fast-forwarding to the actual episodes. Anyway...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. Episode briefs:
  • (1) (episode 14 overall) special Terrance and Phillip episode
  • (2) Cartman learns the identity of his father
  • (3) The town learns that Officer Barbrady can't read, and when he resigns, chaos ensues because a chickenlover is on the loose
  • (4) The boys try to save Ike from an evil operation
  • (5) Everyone realizes that the school nurse has an unusual condition
  • (6) Jimbo and Ned's account of the Vietnam war gets them in trouble
  • (7) The kids' bus is stuck on the edge of a cliff
  • (8) After fireworks are banned for the Fourth of July, a giant snake firework threatens to destroy everything
  • (9) The town hosts a film festival which threatens to destroy it
  • (10) The kids' parents intentionally try to infect them with chicken pox
  • (11) The curator of a planetarium brainwashes visitors
  • (12) The kids build clubhouses
  • (13) South Park's Cow Festival gets out of hand
  • (14) Chef gets sued, so various musical greats come to his aid
  • (15) (Halloween episode) Beings from an evil parallel universe come to South Park
  • (16) (Christmas episode) At a Cartman holiday gathering, his uncle and Charles Manson break out of prison and visit the family
  • (17) South Park's local coffee shop goes to war with an evil mega-corporation coffee shop, while little gnomes steal everyone's underwear
  • (18) The boys discover a man frozen in ice and argue about him

  • 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.

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