Comedy Central // 2007 // 308 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // August 12th, 2008
"Dude, you don't understand. I'm a Jew. I have a few hangups about killing Jesus." -- Kyle
You know what I got when I turned 11? Actually, I don't really remember, as my brother and I went with our Mom to England, so I could meet some of my relatives who I hadn't seen in forever. Coincidentally, I'll be seeing some of them again shortly, but I don't know what kind of circular logic that shows, if it shows any. What was I supposed to talk about again?
What, you want to learn more about the magic of the kids of South Park? Well, continue on dear reader, as Kyle, Stan, Kenny and Cartman return for another run of hijinks and hilarity in an attempt to extend the South Park legacy just a little bit longer. Season Eleven gives us 14 episodes spread out over three discs, and they are as follows:
* "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson"
Randy gets on Wheel of Fortune, utters the N-word as an incorrect answer to one of the puzzles, and pays for it days (and weeks) after. Stan's friendship with Token has splintered as a result. Aside from a smartly placed message about Jesse Jackson's relevancy, the second storyline, where Cartman fights a midget, really isn't all that funny.
* "Cartman Sucks"
Cartman's endless punking of Butters while he sleeps has taken a strange turn and backfired on him. Thinking that Kyle is behind his sabotage, Eric does whatever he can to stop it, even exposing himself to ridicule. Butters is sent to a camp to weed out his perceived proclivities as well, but the main storyline was obviously the funnier one here.
* "Lice Capades"
Definitely in the "crab people" vein, as a lice epidemic breaks out in the school, and some bugs on the guilty party's scalp tries to save their friends in a Bruckheimer-inspired adventure. Definitely not one of their best moments.
* "The Snuke"
Someone placed a nuclear device in a secret area on Hilary Clinton to impact the then-fledging 2008 presidential primary campaign. You might remember it as the 24 tribute episode. The tributes and camera angles were great, the story, not so much.
* "Fantastic Easter Special"
Someone, in this case, Stan, has been dying to find out the reason why Easter is symbolized by bunnies and dyed eggs, so now's the time for answers. We get nods to The Da Vinci Code and Catholic League President William Donahue, and everyone's favorite prophet returns as well in what's the boys' best Easter adventure yet, even if that's not saying much.
In a tribute to 300, Mrs. Garrison and her newly found lesbian friends fight to save a gay bar from closing. It's hard to tell which was more boring, this episode or the movie that helped inspire it.
* "Night of the Living Homeless"
The nod to the film work of director Zack Snyder continues with the spoof of the Day of the Dead remake, which also helps illustrate that if creative solutions for the homeless are employed, the results might be worse than anticipated. It's a guilty episode worth laughing at, what can I say?
* "Le Petit Tourette"
Cartman encounters a young boy with Tourette's Syndrome and discovers a bit of an epiphany; exploiting that condition gives him the opportunity to swear at whomever he wants and say whatever he wants. When Chris Hanson and the folks at To Catch A Predator come calling and the Tourette's starts to backfire, that's when things start to get interesting. This one is kind of like the Butters episode earlier in the year, except not as funny.
* "More Crap"
Another Randy episode, this one in the second half of the season. It helps to debunk the obsession that men have with a productive bowel movement. Moreover, everything in the episode is perfect, from Randy's competition with a record holder in the field, along with the unit of measure used in said competition. It's not the best episode of the season, but it's pretty close.
Well you've heard a lot of the words by now from Judge Victor Valdivia, but in case you haven't, Cartman and Kyle see a leprechaun, which forces Kyle to honor a signed contract bet, and Butters is transported into a world where all of the imaginary characters ever created exist, like Zeus, Wonder Woman, and Luke Skywalker. When terrorists take over Imaginationland, and the government is forced to take to "get our imaginations under control," weird stuff happens. Count the number of imaginary icons you see; watch as Eric chases Kyle around each end of the country and back in order to get the paid bet and as Al Gore returns with Manbearpig. Plus, the government employs Kurt Russell to help get our imaginations back. Trey Parker and Matt Stone mentioned in the commentaries that this idea was something they had in their hip pockets for awhile, and this gem is a beauty, without a doubt. Spread over three parts, this is arguably the most ambitious story arc said creators have designed.
* "Guitar Queer-O"
You know a video game has truly made it when it's parodied in South Park. And any bad television show (or in this case, That Thing You Do!) was used to help chronicle Kyle and Stan's fake band, where they played fake guitars. Randy plays real guitar and is mocked, and when he tries to play video guitar, he fails miserably. Stan's rock star success is also shown in temptations with video game drug addiction that's also quite hilarious. Anyone who's ever played the game will get a kick out of this.
* "The List"
When they boys find out the girls have put together a ranked list of "do-able" boys, the boys try to stop at nothing to find out where they are on the list. Sometimes the episodes with the school concepts hit and miss, and this one falls in the "meh" category.
Honestly, there's not too much to Season Eleven of South Park that seems fresh or creative. In fact when rewatching these episodes again, I found myself enjoying the satires more than some of the more popular topics and figures in the pop culture universe. It was vindicating to hear that Parker and Stone agree that 300 is a little bit pretentious, in fact they say that without the slow motion, it really is only a 37-minute movie. I feel more vindicated on their stance on Bono, the target of much of the abuse in "More Crap," as well. They admit that he's a nice guy and all, but jeez, sometimes enough is enough, you know?
Supplements-wise, things stay the course with Parker and Stone's mini-commentaries that are on each episode. The commentaries are a little bit weaker in this season than in previous ones. This particularly hurts because the loyal DVD season buyer should rightfully feel a little screwed over that the extended commentaries that were in the standard DVD release of "Imaginationland" weren't included here. The boys talk about the usual inspirations for the episodes, including Stone's love of 24. They also talk about the overreaching of the To Catch a Predator show ("we like the show, but we like the Constitution more"), and they also discuss the reasons they made "Imaginationland" three parts. Overall, these are pretty boring this go-round.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Season Eleven of South Park is presented in an uncensored format, so all the bleeps have been removed and puritanical ears can be subjected to the swears of cartoon figures. And with the removed censorship, the question shouldn't be why this occurred, but why this hadn't happened sooner? If you get rid of the obvious episodes like "Le Petit Tourette," the swearing is almost an afterthought. I'm not asking for previous seasons to be re-released without the bleeps (unless an ultra-super-deluxe mega series release is in the future), but I'd suggest that there should be some sort of "Carlin Rule" that applies to future episodes that air on Comedy Central.
Season Eleven of South Park is notable for the Imaginationland trilogy, but otherwise, the episodes that accompany it are decent but hardly excellent. The audible swearing on the show is nice and all, but where was this a decade ago? If you've picked up the previous decade's worth of seasons on DVD, it's not like you were going to stop here anyway, right?
Comedy Central is guilty for the crimes of omitting the extras from the Imaginationland standalone release and finally releasing the seasons in an uncensored form and are sentenced to honor Kyle's commitment to Cartman's contract until they learn the error of their ways.
Review content copyright © 2008 Ryan Keefer; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Comedy Central
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 308 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Mini-Commentaries with Trey Parker and Matt Stone
* Official South Park Site
* Comedy Central: South Park