Saturday, January 13, 2007

South Park: The Complete Seventh Season

3-disc set; 15 episodes (330 minutes)

When “South Park” premiered back in the halcyon days of 1997, I don’t think a lot of people thought it’d be on nearly as long as it has been. This was the season in which the show hit the 100 episode mark, ultimately priming it for a lucrative run in syndication (which it is currently in as a matter of fact).

Here are season seven’s 15 episodes, denoted by airdate:

Cancelled (air: 3/19/03) – This episode starts as a redo (with slightly altered lines) of “Cartman Gets An Anal Probe.” The boys figure something’s wrong, and eventually, with the help of Jeff Goldblum, discover Cartman’s satellite up his ass broadcasts images of earth to aliens. Turns out the planet is just a reality show. And it’s being cancelled. This was supposed to be episode 100, but with nothing else ready, this went on as the season opener. It ended up being a pretty good choice, because it had the swerve of looking like a rerun. Thumbs up.

Krazy Kripples (air: 3/26/03) – Interest in Jimmy’s comedy isn’t what it used to be thanks to Christopher Reeve, or as Jimmy calls him “Christopher ‘Butthole’ Reeve.” This show has the dubious honor of being offensive on two levels, with them A) making fun of Reeve, which is pretty funny actually and B) having him crack fetuses open to suck them dry for stem cells. And if that wasn’t enough, Jimmy and Timmy join the Crips thinking it’s for crippled people. Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny rightfully stay out of things. Thumbs up.

Toilet Paper (air: 4/2/03) – Since art class is mind numbing tedium, the boys decide to make a penis out of clay and get detention for it. In retaliation, they all TP the teacher’s house, and the police get involved. This one has a lot going for it. After it aired, I couldn’t get the hilarious bit with them buying the toilet paper out of my head, or the joke about Cartman trying to kill Kyle with a plastic bat. Now that I’ve seen it a few times, I love the kid in juvy hall doing the Hannibal Lecter impression. Thumbs up.

I’m a Little Bit Country (air: 4/9/03) – This ended up being show 100. Assigned a history project about what the founding fathers would say about today’s world, Cartman decides he can do it best if he tries to have a flashback. The scheme that finally works is dropping himself and a TiVo full of History Channel into a tub of water. It’s also the story of the pro war South Park residents versus the anti-war ones, and it literally takes center stage with a country/rock battle. Norman Lear consulted on this season and voices Ben Franklin in the flashback. An awesome episode. Thumbs up.

Fat Butt and Pancake Head (air: 4/16/03) – Cartman impresses the judges at Cultural Diversity Day with a Jennifer Lopez hand puppet. He takes it so far that the real J-Lo gets bumped from her record contract for the hand, AND Ben Affleck leaves her for it as well. Just like last season’s review, I’m short on superlatives. This is good. Thumbs up.

Lil’ Crime Stoppers (air: 4/23/03) – The boys play detective around town, trying to solve cases for the adults. When they beat a bunch of kids playing FBI in retrieving a stolen dolly, the cops make them junior detectives…only that means busting a crystal meth lab and drug scheme emanating from a strip club. Like Trey, I love the episodes where the four of them just act like kids, and thought this one was classic. Thumbs up.

Red Man’s Greed (air: 4/30/03) – The new Indian casino in town wants to build a super highway from Denver to their establishment, which would require demolishing South Park. After being bought out, and failing to win enough money at the casino to purchase the town for themselves, the townspeople stage a sit-in in front of the wrecking crew. My explanation doesn’t do it justice, but there’s a lot in here that’s funny. One joke that will stick with you is the South Park portrayal of an Indian comedy club. Thumbs up.

South Park Is Gay! (air: 10/22/03) – In light of the gay trend on TV at the time, and resentment from gay friends who hated their culture being taken by straights, Trey and Matt made this show. All of South Park’s men go metro, save for Kyle. Meanwhile Garrison hates that he’s no longer an individual amongst all the quaff-haired heterosexuals, so he and Kyle end up going to New York to slay the Queer Eye guys…who are really crab people. Insert your own record scratch SFX there. Thumbs up, though in case there was any doubt.

Christian Rock Hard (air: 10/29/03) – Yet another in a long line of classic Cartman schemes. An argument with Kyle breaks up their band, Moop, and sees Eric start a Christian band to try to make a platinum album. Meanwhile the other three get caught downloading music and end up joining Metallica and others to get fire-sharing programs to end. While this is going on, Cartman just changes terms of endearment in other songs to “Jesus” and sells a million copies of his album. If you’ve seen the show, you know I went out of my way to avoid most of the jokes, because you really should see this yourself if you haven’t already. Thumbs up.

Grey Dawn (air: 11/5/03) – Two incidents of old people mowing down shoppers in a Farmer’s Market leads to every senior citizen getting their license taken away, and Stan’s grandpa being put in jail. The AARP parachutes into town and takes over to set things right. Just the opening segment with all of the so-ridiculous-it’s-funny scenarios of old people driving is worth the thumbs up here.

Casa Bonita (air: 11/12/03) – Cartman puts forth his best malevolence again just for a tiny, tiny gain. Kyle decides to hold his birthday party at Casa Bonita, a Mexican restaurant filled with attractions like cliff divers and puppet shows. Only, Cartman isn’t invited. So he makes Butters believe a meteor hit earth and he’s the only survivor so he can take his place on the trip. What else would something like that get? Thumbs up.

All About Mormons (air: 11/19/03) – There’s a new kid in town, so naturally the boys have to kick his ass. Only, he’s so nice, he gets Stan to join his family for dinner instead. In the process, they tell him the story of Joseph Smith founding the Mormon religion. Comedy in truth there, people. Even if the Mormon stuff offends you and you subtract it, this is a damn funny show. Actually, Trey & Matt relay in commentary that their Mormon friends thought it was great so…so much for that. Thumbs up.

Butt Out (air: 12/3/03) – A lame anti-smoking school assembly called “Butt Out,” which is a great parody of those pieces of crap, convinces the boys they need to smoke lest they turn out like those assholes. When their parents get wind of it, they take on the tobacco companies with big-time anti-smoking activist Rob Reiner. Their take on this issue, and Rob Reiner’s weight, are both funny. Thumbs up.

Raisins (air: 12/10/03) – This one covers a nice deal of ground…goth kids, elementary school relationships, Hooters, etc. Wendy breaks up with Stan and he’s bummed. The guys try to take him to Raisins, a sort of kids version of Hooters, to cheer him up. While Butters has a romance with one of the waitresses, Stan ends up hanging with the goth kids to deal with his pain. This had some of the better belly laughs of the season, in my opinion. Thumbs up.

It’s Christmas in Canada (air: 12/17/03) – Just when you thought they had no Canada material left, we got this episode. Ike’s birth parents take him back on decree of the new prime minister. You see, it was hard to keep a child in the midst of the Cola Wars, so they had to give him up. Anyway, the whole thing turns into a great parody of the Wizard of Oz. Anything that brings back Scott the Dick From Canada gets points in my book. Not a lot of my peers talk about this one, and it’s an undeserved shun. Thumbs up.

The count (up-middle-down):

That’s two seasons in a row of pure gold. The show has now really matured, and despite still not taking a lot of time to think up ideas in pre-production, is in a whole new realm of brilliance. Of course, I’m reviewing the DVD release which comes packaged with Trey & Matt’s “commentary mini.” And as I’ve always said about these, the episodes themselves trump any lack of special features.


This was even better than the last season, but I gave that one the full monty too, so I had little place else to go.

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