South Park (season 3)

release year: 1999-2000
genre: animated comedy
viewing setting: home DVD, 1/23-26/14

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. This third season was stuff I mostly missed in 1999, and has a lot of satire; they criticize or at least poke fun at: activists, Jar-Jar Binks, lawsuits, camps, Scooby-Doo, Pokemon, homeschooling, Sally Struthers, Civil War re-enacters, and the Y2K panic, among other things. 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 32 overall) The kids go to South America to sing in a choir to save the rainforest
  • (2) People in town begin to spontaneously combust
  • (3) Chef falls for a woman who turns out to be a demon
  • (4) An idiotic species of dinosaur infects the town
  • (5) The kids try to force Tweek and Craig to fight
  • (6) Everyone sues everyone
  • (7) Cartman gets an unpleasant babysitter, while his cat goes in search of action
  • (8) At a party, Stan is stuck in the basement with some dorks
  • (9) Kyle brings Kenny to Jewish camp
  • (10) (Halloween episode) The band Korn helps the kids solve a mystery
  • (11) A toy fad from Japan consumes everyone
  • (12) The kids learn about homeschooling
  • (13) Starvin' Marvin gets a UFO and tries to save his people
  • (14) Cartman takes over a Civil War re-enactment and pursues his own agenda
  • (15) (Christmas episode) Mr. Hankey musical special (with 7 songs, 2 of which suck and 3 of which are great)
  • (16) As the year 2000 approaches, everyone races to reach puberty, despite not knowing what it is
  • (17) (episode 48 overall) The class performs at a concert, while Mr. Garrison confronts his father

  • 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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