Just got the DVDs for Season 11 of South Park. This
is pretty impressive just from a quick glance at the episode titles. I'd
figure at least 11 of these 14 are just classics right off the bat. 1107,
1113 and 1114 might be merely quite good.
Episode 1101 - With Apologies to Jesse Jackson The setup on
Wheel of Fortune for "people who annoy you" and the resultant public
humiliation was one of the more inspired premises of the series. The
more I think on it though, the more this episode actually manages to be a
little on the stupidly PC side. Parker and Stone in the commentary said
that they'd had an idea that if there was a derogatory term that hurt white
people feelings as bad as a black man being called "nigger" then it'd be
banned. Well, no it wouldn't. In fact, the real chief advantage
that white American men have at this point is that we don't get to play victim
and whine and make excuses as much as officially recognized victim groups.
A white guy shitlicking like Randy Marsh in this episode would be ridiculed
into shutting the hell up, and just accepting the shame, and knowing not to do
it again. I was particularly wanting to ridicule the creators for their
final denouement of the Stan and Token subplot, which was that Stan finally
accepted and acknowledged that he could just never understand how bad it must
feel for any black person to hear that awful mean name. Really now, is
this kind of BS hypersensitivity worthy of the creators of this show?
Episode 1102 - Cartman Sucks This just worked beautifully on
every level. The whole business with Cartman taking a picture of himself
with Butter's weiner in his mouth was just classic Cartman domination and
humiliation. The absolute self-infliction of showing this picture to the
class to spite Kyle the pleasure was perfect Cartman self-sabotage. But
what really makes this kick ass was rare hot anger at the anti-gay camp, with
Butters poor tortured accountabilibuddy and the numerous young suicides.
That bitterness from Parker and Stone is unusual, a break from being too cool
to be other than amused, and really makes this a Very Special Episode.
Episode 1103 - Lice Capades It's always good when they
expand their palette with settings other than South Park, in this case the
scalp of one of the students becomes a whole lice world. The heroic
louse was actually fairly touching. You had to root for his just reward,
and you couldn't get any better for the location of louse Valhalla than Angelina Jolie's crotch.
Episode 1104 - The Snuke This was basically a love
letter to Jack Bauer. Of course, Eric Cartman would be only too happy to
torture the shit out of some Muslims on the slightest pretext. They got
an especially good point in the denouement when Cartman proves logically that
it was his bigotry against innocent Muslims that saved South Park from getting
blown up by the suitcase nuke hidden up Hillary Clinton's schniz. Even
despite the "snuke" premise, this show really wasn't knocking Hillary.
The worst satire of her was the cheesy Southern accent like she briefly
affected on the campaign trail. In the context of South Park, this
portrayal is practically a love letter.
Episode 1105 - Fantastic Easter Special You could sometimes
fault South Park for being didactic, which is unbecoming in a cartoon - except
that their teaching comes out so outrageous and funny that the lesson point
about exactly why Jesus actually named Peter Rabbit as the first pope is
planted without most people likely noticing. Plus, you have to give them
special points for the setup by which the Jew Kyle just had to kill Jesus.
That's just one of the wrongest things they've ever come up with.
Episode 1106 - D-Yikes! This show parodies the 300 movie, which I
haven't seen, so I'm probably missing a lot of little clever plot points.
But you have to love Miss Garrison as a militant dyke.
Episode 1107 - Night of the Living Homeless This was probably
the one show of the season that made the least impression on me. But
they have to have a merely average good episode somewhere to set a baseline, I
Episode 1108 - Le Petit Tourette God bless Eric Cartman. He
thinks he's gotten a Willy Wonka golden ticket when he discovers the
uncontrollable Tourette's syndrome. I could have done without some of
the actual sensitivity towards Tourette's kids. Yeah, yeah. But
exactly how the allure of the license of not filtering his thoughts led him to
uncontrollable confessions was perfect.
Episode 1109 - More Crap Personally, I often wish that these guys
would dial down the poo related material. The general premise of this
episode is that Randy Marsh has taken a world record large dump, only to find
that Bono is literally the world's biggest shit. This goes to the
explanation of why Bono acts like such a shithead, desperate for every
possible bit of award and recognition as first in absolutely every way.
"I'm not a #2!" In the theory, I could do with less poo, but these are
poo jokes worthy of Aristophanes.
Episode 1110 - Imaginationland
Episode 1111 - Imaginationland: Episode II
Episode 1112 - Imaginationland: Episode III This
trilogy may be the greatest artistic peak of the entire history of South Park.
Terrorists have taken over our imaginations. Our imaginations are
running wild. Parker and Stone really are at the forefront of the culture in
combating terror, unraveling those issues. It's exactly right that
Butters turns out to be the key. It's not a Cartman will-to-power thing,
but the most sensitive soul in the group that has to come to grips. Butters
emerging from the white screen to will the world back into existence was extra
awesome. But besides that actual serious stuff, they
get more groovy side licks in than you can shake a stick at. Cartman's
bet with Kyle, the depth of it's motivational power to Cartman, and the
denouement are priceless. The military bringing in the film makers for
ideas was excellent, including Michael Cameron's confession that he knew not
the difference between an "idea" and a "special effect." Plus, they get
great mileage every time they bring in Mel Gibson "My nipples, they
hurt! They hurt when I twist them!" Still, you've got to admit
that the sonofabitch knows story structure. Then there are the Woodland
Critters, god bless them. You have to love their creative energy in the
tortures they had for Strawberry Shortcake.
Episode 1113 - Guitar Queer-O The last two episodes of the
season are among the "kids being kids" episodes, with minimal social
commentary or such. This is at least the second episode about a
particular video game. As I have absolutely 0 interest in video games,
some of this is doubtless lost on me. But I note the messed upness of
kids being so interested in pretending to play guitar in a video game over
someone actually being able to pick up a guitar and play the damned songs.
These damned idiot kids today.
Episode 1114 - The List Again, kids being kids. I
really like the premise about the girls having a top secret list ranking all
the cutest boys. But the execution of this seems a bit limp. The
broad ideas of the intergender politics are cool, but they only seemed to
generate middling actual jokes.
Looking through the list, this is as good a season as South Park
ever ran, which is to say as good a season of memorable art as any animated
cartoon series ever. God bless Matt Stone and Trey Parker.