South Park (season 6)

release year: 2002
genre: animated comedy
viewing setting: home DVD, 1/21-27/18

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: Subway, ski resorts, daytime talk shows, those cheap sea creatures you can order in the mail, problems with organized religion, special/altered editions of great movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the primitive behaviors in Quest for Fire, child abduction, The Lord of the Rings, tolerance efforts, TV psychics. 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 80 overall) The kids get irritated/inspired by the Subway weight-loss guy
  • (2) The kids and their families go to a ski resort
  • (3) Butters gets a fake deformity so he can appear on the Maury show
  • (4) The kids try to save baby cows from becoming veal
  • (5) Try as they might, the kids can't seem to find a place to watch the trailer for the new Terrance and Phillip movie
  • (6) Butters gets fired from the gang and becomes a supervillain
  • (7) Butters comes up with various evil schemes but finds that none are original, while Cartman anticipates becoming king of the instant sea life he's ordered through the mail
  • (8) Amidst a greater religious crisis, Cartman finds that he can crap out of his mouth
  • (9) The kids take on movie directors' re-release special editions
  • (10) Bebe suddenly starts getting noticed by the boys
  • (11) The parents overdo their reaction to the risk of child abduction
  • (12) The kids decide to build a ladder into the sky, to find Kenny
  • (13) The kids go on a quest to return a movie
  • (14) The adults in town go overboard with their tolerance movement
  • (15) The kids seek out a psychic to help get Kenny's spirit out of Cartman
  • (16) Cartman induces a flashback to 1776 to gather intel for a school assignment
  • (17) (episode 96 overall) Santa Claus is shot down in Iraq

  • 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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