A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Monday, November 13, 2006

South Park: Season 10

I missed pretty much all of seasons 3-9 of South Park, being a Luddite hater of cable-- okay, not really, but it was hard to justify the cost when we didn't really NEED cable. Then the Time Warner Cable Nazis made it affordable by bundling long distance, digital cable and high-speed internet at a very reasonable price. Woot! All because of competition from ATT and others. The free-market system-- it's not perfect, but it's a whole lot better than the suckhead alternatives.

Anyway. Jumped into the middle of season 10 with episode 1007, the Dog Whisperer one. Fabulous! Sharp, satirical and hilarious. The skewering of the "super nanny" shows was particularly funny to me, and the scene where Cesar Milan takes Cartman for a walk had me in stitches. Matt and Trey at the top of their form skewering pop culture while still making a point.

The World of Warcraft epsidoe was only okay, imo. It had its moments-- like when Stan's dad doesn't know how to transfer the Sword of a Thousand Truths to Stan-- but overall it was too self-indulgent, relied on cheap sight gags too much, and had trouble balancing the adulation for WoW with the satirizing of it.

The 9/11 conspiracy epsidode was outstanding, however, one of my favorites so far. Any episode with Mr. Mackey featured prominently is off to a good start, and the observation that a 1/3rd of the world's population are retards is awfully funny-- if somewhat discouraging in being more accurate than you'd like it to be. But the part that just killed me was the running gag of having Kyle tip his head to the side and with this quizzical expression say, "Really?" in response to all the crackpot "theories" about 9/11. Outstanding.

Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy, episode 1010, was almost as good. Cartman's 'Dog, the Bounty Hunter' impersonation is DOBA, and having Ike (Kyle's kindergartener brother) as the object of the teacher's affection is South Park at its best, over-the-top satirization of our culture's stupidity. The reaction of the police and other male "authority figures" to the concept of a female teacher having sex with a male student is pretty good, too.

The Halloween episode, Hell on Earth, is okay, but not on a level with the two preceding episodes. Pretty much seemed like Matt and Trey having fun (similar to the WoW episode), though the three stooges parody with Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Gacy is pretty good-- the 3 Stooges taken to their "natural" extreme when the eye poke isn't blocked in time.

Go God Go and Go God Go XII is the uneven two part time traveling episode most recently aired. Parts of it are brilliant-- the replacement of God with Science in the 26th century is both ironic and poignant. Humans, and otters, will always find something to fight and kill over.

Bottom line-- Matt and Trey still got it. If they get a bit self-indulgent and willful in seeing how far they can push the boundaries, I'm willing to forgive them their excesses because the majority of what they put out there is some of the funniest, edgiest, and most satirical material on television. In a era dominated by crappy "reality" TV, South Park remains a breath of fresh air and a source of hearty laughs.


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