Matt Stone and Trey Parker consistently make the headlines for offending with their almost criminally funny brand of humor. Their brilliance and not simply from the production standpoint of an animation style that can see a single episode completed in under week often gets lost because of those headlines. These two have no compunction whatsoever in crossing all lines, boundaries, and social graces to lampoon and ridicule the rich, the political, the famous, the infamous, and the day to day goings on of regular folk with their irreverent bunch of characters. In a world ridiculously erring on the side political correctness, it's a breath of fresh air.
While it would take too long to go through the entire series, this season has within it some truly outrageously funny episodes the highlights for this reviewer being the three-parter â€˜Imaginationland' and the one-shot â€˜Guitar Queer-O'.
In â€˜Imaginationland,' Cartman proves that a leprechaun exists as part of a bet with Kyle... who has to â€˜suck his balls' if proven wrong. But winning the bet is only the tip of the iceberg, and the boys are whisked off by a dubious looking character to a world where all our imaginary characters exist together. But terrorists attack the world, and the evil imaginary characters go to war with the good, threatening to overrun everyone's imaginations forever... Butters is revealed as the chosen one; Cartman couldn't care less and just wants Kyle to suck his balls; and the rest of the boys try to help save the world from being destroyed...
This set of three episodes was apparently going to be the next â€˜South Park' feature film. It is epic in content, if not animation (but since I haven't seen â€˜Bigger, Longer, Uncut' I don't know if they stepped things up, ala â€˜The Simpsons Movie,' or not). How they managed to get so many well-established characters into one set of episodes is beyond me, and what they do to them is nothing short of guilty fun. There is a lead-coated hand slapping on the parodies of well-known films, current dubious political policies, but the toilet humor is never too far away and keeps these episodes from ever feeling like the creators are trying to preach... or take themselves (or anything) too seriously.
But even better than this trilogy was their piss-take on the rock star biopic story: â€˜Guitar Queer-O'.
Stan and Kyle become obsessed and good at the latest Gamer craze: â€˜Guitar Hero'. A manager comes their way, and gets them signed to a producer. But soon after, Stan is lured away from Kyle, and the rock star clichÃ©s start coming thick and fast. The appearance of a Heroin-based computer game sold it for me this episode is comedy gold!
I have to say after the five or so random episodes I saw by accident and a complete series now under my belt, the show has won me over. Having read up on the series to do this review with some semblance of information, I can say I'll definitely be checking out the rest. For those who want people unafraid to offend, ready to mock everyone and anything, and all with an intelligent panache that also isn't too proud to go to the lowest common denominator, this is the show for you. Fun stuff.
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary; previews of Comedy Central shows.
o The only extra features that appear on this series of discs are mini-commentary tracks from the series creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
Number of Discs: 3 with Keepcase Packaging
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