SOUTH PARK: SEASON FOUR
Review by Michael Jacobson
and Voices: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Audio: Dolby Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Features: "Mini" Commentaries with Trey and Matt
Length: 380 Minutes
Release Date: June 29, 2004
what a gay time we shall have!...and I do mean gay as in 'festive', not 'penetration of the bum'."
if nothing else, the fourth season of South Park introduced us to our new
favorite handicapped character, and legions of fans who once reveled in
imitating the laughs of Beavis and Butt-Head were now shouting Timmy's name
far and wide. Only in America,
creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone had plenty more in mind for their fourth
year of hijinks in that quiet little Podunk mountain town called South Park.
It was a year that started off strong, then kind of faltered at the
finish line, but the best episodes of the year actually do rank as some of the
series' funniest and most memorable.
One is a true treasure trove, starting with the scheming Cartman convincing pals
Kyle, Stan and Kenny to scam the neighborhood kids out of their tooth money in "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000"...a plan that ends up getting them in trouble
with a kid mafia!
that, the fellows turned their creative and satirical energies on all sorts of
political topics. When Cartman
throws a rock at South Park's only black kid (named "Token"...wonder
why?), he gets charged and sent to prison in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime
2000". Then Timmy gets his first
starring role in "Timmy 2000", where he fronts a rock band called Lords of
the Underworld while all the other South Park kids get diagnosed with Attention
Deficit Disorder and put on Ritalin!
the funniest and possibly most disturbing turn is when "Cartman Joins NAMBLA".
In it, Cartman decides he needs some more 'mature' friends to play
with, and ends up bringing the ACLU's favorite pedophile organization into
Two keeps up the good stuff with "Chef Goes Nanners", where Chef protests
that the South Park flag is racist, because it depicts...well, no...you should
see that for yourself. It's
followed by one of the all time fan favorite episodes "Something You Can Do
With Your Finger", where Cartman dreams of turning himself and his friends
into the ultimate boy band named...nope. Again,
you need to see it for yourself.
two part episode begs the question "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?" and
answers it with "Probably". In
them, we get to catch up on the misadventures of Satan and Saddam Hussein, whom
we hadn't seen since the South Park movie, while on earth, children
frightened of going to hell take matters into their own hands and start a
church. You haven't lived until
you've heard Cartman preaching!
finally, after three long years, our boys graduate to "Fourth Grade", which
means among other things an upgrade in the opening title sequence and song.
Three is when the year starts to run out of steam. Two new holiday specials in "Helen Keller the Musical"
and "A Very Crappy Christmas" don't live up to the great ones of the
past...the latter even uses footage from the original short "The Spirit of
Christmas", but of course, without the language that made it so hysterical.
Actor Malcolm McDowell hosts "Pip", which tries to re-tell the story
of Great Expectations with minimal success.
The only highlight is "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", in which the
parents all go away and the town of South Park turns into a Village of the
Damned type of nightmare.
the way, Mr. Garrison finally admits that he's gay, we learn that our favorite
Christmas poo Mr. Hankey has a family (including a kid with an unusual
disorder), and of course, Kenny dies.
all in good fun, of course, but not for children. South Park managed to push the envelope a little
further year after year, making us squirm, gasp, and of course, laugh louder and
harder than ever. When it works,
it's one of the smartest and funniest shows on television.
When it doesn't, it can get a little trying.
for season four, the pendulum swings much further into success than failure.
Fans can add this one to their collection with no qualms.
usual, the animation looks pretty good for what it is, which is mostly
primitive, but with a few surprises along the way as the boys got a little
bolder with their computer tools! Colors
are bright and well represented, and images are sharp and clear throughout with
no bleedings or distortions.
the animation got a little bolder from time to time, so did the audio.
This season boasted a little more dynamic range and sound effects than
previous ones, so it gets a little bump up in the ratings department.
episode features a "mini" commentary by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, meaning
they say everything they have to say up front and then stop, rather than talk
over the entire length of the shows. They
always tell you when they're done, so you can move right along if you like.