..

SOUTH PARK
Season Seven

Review by Michael Jacobson

Creators:  Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Audio:  Dolby Digital Stereo
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Paramount
Features:  Mini-Commentaries, Previews
Length:  330 Minutes
Release Date:  March 21, 2006

“MOM!!  BEN AFFLECK IS NAKED IN MY BED!!”

Shows ****

You rarely get to say “the seventh time’s the charm”, but that’s just what we have here with the illustrious seventh season of South Park.  The consistently funny and risky show really hit stride in year seven, where pretty much every episode was an instant classic.  There are more laughs for your entertainment dollar found in this set than you’ll get investing it anywhere else.

The crazy cartoon creation of Trey Parker and Matt Stone continued to push envelopes, poke at sensibilities, and stick a finger in the eye of authority, but no season before this one had done it to such constant perfection.  I could take a moment here to list my favorite episodes from the set, but if you really want to know, pick it this DVD and just read all the episode titles to yourself.

Some of the funniest ones ever are included here.  An episode that really rocketed to the top of my all time favorite list was “Raisins”.  In it, Wendy breaks up with Kyle to the tune of some really heart wrenching 80s ballads, and his pals try to console him by taking him to a restaurant where the girls are fun and flirty.  In the meantime, our beloved Butters finds true love!…sort of.

Fan fave Cartman gets into some of his most twisted adventures in Season 7, starting with “Fat Butt and Pancake Head”, where he turns his hand into a Senor Wences styled puppet of Jennifer Lopez, who eventually takes him over, gets her own recording career and makes out with Ben Affleck.  How will the real J-Lo respond to all of this?  Find out here or on the next Jerry Springer.

I also loved Cartman’s selfish and elaborate scheme to get himself invited to Kyle’s birthday party at “Casa Bonita”.  That kid will do anything and has absolutely no sense of scruples.  No wonder we love him!  And if you thought that was bad, wait till you see Cartman starting up a religious rock band in “Christian Rock Hard”.  The finale of that has to be seen to be believed!

There’s also the rather ironic episode “Red Man’s Greed”, when the town’s Native Americans plan to seize land from the white folks for their casinos.  Talk about turning the tables!  The boys also answer the question of what our Founding Fathers would do about the Iraq war in “I’m a Little Bit Country”.  And how about the mayhem that ensues when our favorite handi-capable kids Jimmy and Timmy decide to form a club for disabled children and call themselves the Crips?  If you think you know what happens, you really should check out “Krazy Kripples”.

Of course, it wouldn’t be South Park if Trey and Matt didn’t kid around with some big social issues of the day.  In “Grey Dawn”, South Park is terrorized by seniors who are getting too old to be driving…hysterical stuff!  And the town gets a Queer Eye For the Straight Guy makeover in “South Park is Gay”…everybody adopts the gay lifestyle, much to the dismay of the one true gay resident Mr. Garrison!

And what South Park season would be complete without a Christmas misadventure?  “It’s Christmas in Canada” has our foul-mouthed fourth graders invading our neighbor to the north in a Wizard of Oz styled escapade to get Kyle’s adopted baby brother back.  Where’s Mr. Hankey when we need him most?

But if I had to label one episode as the most clever, it would have to be the one that tells us “All About Mormons”.  Being an ex-Mormon myself, I don’t think I ever laughed so hard as when the new family from Utah educates Stan and his family about the history of their faith.  Why is it so funny?  Because what they say is all true…seriously, they didn’t make any of it up!

Viewing the full fifteen episodes of Season 7 is an experience in unbridled hilarity.  It’s watching Trey and Matt step up to the plate and depositing the ball in the bleachers time and time again.  I almost hated having to stop watching long enough to pen this review…I’m going back to watch “Raisins” again as soon as finish.

South Park has earned a reputation for taking chances, tackling taboo subjects, and going for the funny bone in the most merciless ways imaginable.  But believe me when I say…if you thought it was good in the first six years, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

BONUS TRIVIA:  Television legend Norman Lear joined the writing staff of South Park for a few of these episodes.  Wonder what he thought about the one that turned Rob “Meathead” Reiner into the ultimate anti-smoking Nazi?

Video ***1/2

As with most animated presentations, South Park looks great on DVD.  Maybe even better than ever in Season 7 because the guys seem to get more frisky with their layouts, effects and designs.  Colors are bright and vivid throughout, and images are crystal clear and sharp.

Audio ***

The stereo mixes offer a fairly good amount of dynamic range.  The front stage panning effects work well, and there’s plenty of good and funny music to enhance the listening enjoyment.

Features **

Apart from some Comedy Central previews, the main attraction here continues to be the mini-commentaries from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.  Basically, they tell you all they have to say within the first few minutes of each episode, then politely let you know they’re done so you can move ahead to the next one.  Despite the brevity, I kind of like the format.  Plenty of good information and humorous anecdotes with no waiting, and the boys never wear out their welcome.

Summary:

Fans keep headin’ on up to South Park, and Trey and Matt keep rewarding us with more and more indelible and insensitive comedy.  Season 7 is an absolute apex for them.  Enjoy, friends…taco flavored kisses to you all.

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com