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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > TV > South Park - Complete Third Season (DVD)

South Park – The Complete Third Season

 

Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Episodes: B

 

 

For DVD, South Park switches from Warner Home Video to Paramount (Paramount parent company Viacom took over Warner Bros.’ majority holdings in the Comedy Central Network at this point), so the series and its success does not even recognize the boundaries of a single company.  The show that broke the Comedy Central Network on more conservative cable networks was getting into high gear at this point.

 

The three DVDs are in a folding Digipak with a slide-case that has raised graphics, very fancy in a marketplace that has more titles than ever striving to distinguish themselves from each other.  The seventeen shows total are as follows:

 

 

Rainforest Shmainforest – Jennifer Aniston adds her voice to this satire of field trips, environmentalism, and bad recreational ideas for kids that have more to do with conformity.  As a result, they become part of the “Getting Gay with Kids” touring musical program, which their teacher thinks could bring the first and third world together.  The rainforests will suffer!

 

Spontaneous Combustion – Why are people in South Park blowing up for no good reason?  Funny at times, but mixed at best

 

The Succubus – Did Trey parker and Matt Stone watch a Kolchak: The Night Stalker marathon at this point or something?  Chef (Issac Hayes) is the show’s great womanizer, but he is about to settle down, but the suspicious boys find out she may be demon ready to suck the life out of his soul!

 

Jakovasaurs – The crudest satire of George Lucas’ Star Wars Episode One – The Phantom Menace, displaying their distaste for Jar Jar Binks and their huge disappointment with the film in general.  Point taken, especially if you agree.

 

Tweek Vs. Craig – Two of the boys fight, and the others urk them on.  They are not the fighting kind, so that is where the humor is supposed to be from.

 

Sexual Harassment Panda – A very funny satire of children being exploited by the media and schools, as much as actual molesters, complete with the unforgettable title mascot from hell and insane courtroom drama.

 

Cat Orgy – Relationship insanity, human or animal, makes for one of the season’s most amusing shows.

 

Two Guys in a Hot Tub – The meteor shower party beings with latent homosexuality and a potential massacre from the U.S. Government ATF team.  Mixed satire here, partly inspired by Waco – The Rules of Engagement.

 

Jewbilee – Ethnic humor that works better the more you know about Judaism.

 

Korn’s Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery – Great Halloween special that is a tribute to the original Scooby Doo, Where Are You? with one of the only real rock bands left as guest stars: Korn.  A thoroughly thought out and on the money episode.

 

Chinpoko Mon – A great send-up of the ever-obnoxious Pokemon and all of its imitators that makes its points greatly.

 

Hooked on Monkey Phonics – Programming kids to be computing spelling machines is offered in this send up of (yes) conformity, teaching programs, and spelling bees.  Not bad.

 

Starvin’ Marvin in Space – Potential spin-off show with mixed results and Sally Struthers as Jabba The Hutt (or is that Pizza The Hut) that does not click like it should.  Pat Robertson is properly lampooned.

 

The Red Badge of Gayness – A send-up on the overkill surrounding the rediscovery of Gettysburg and its history asks some interesting questions.

 

Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classic – The talking scatta returns to celebrate the holidays.  Funny only if you like the one-joke concept.

 

Are You There God?  It’s Me, Jesus – Religious spoof that has its limits as God arrives in South Park, but in what form in another matter.

 

World Wide Recorder Concert – Mixed final show of the season is the least funny as the kids have to outwit a rival school on another field trip.

 

The full frame image is not bad with decent color for its time, but evidence of analog-like/composite digital transfer, while the limited animation looks good.  There are no scratches, noise, or flaws in any of it.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is available in the brief Stone/Parker commentaries, Spanish Mono, French Stereo, and English Stereo with limited surrounds.  The foreign languages are an amusing alternative to an already funny show, though there are no subtitles whatsoever, but there are closed captions.  If you have that option, but rarely use it, now might be a time to try it out.  The only extras are brief previews for more Comedy Central shows, and the brief “commentary minis” by Stone & Parker, which are worth listening to.  If they did not have much to say, that’s fine.  What they did say was worth hearing.  It should also be noted that any Pro Logic surrounds on the English tracks for the actual episodes are very limited.

 

Overall, this is one of the best of the Kenny seasons, with the comedy being much more of a hit than miss.  While The Simpsons has gone into decline, Daria has sadly ended, Beavis and Butthead long-ended, and Family Guy coming back with a vengeance, South Park continues its own glory run in all media.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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