Judge Ryan Keefer would like a little boy to put on a cardboard box and be his best friend. Wait, that was worded wrong...
Our reviews of Christmas Time In South Park (published November 28th, 2007), South Park: The Complete First Season (published April 7th, 2003), South Park: The Complete Second Season (published March 8th, 2004), South Park: The Complete Third Season (published January 14th, 2004), South Park: The Complete Fourth Season (published July 19th, 2004), South Park: The Complete Fifth Season (published February 23rd, 2005), South Park: The Complete Sixth Season (published October 11th, 2005), South Park: The Complete Seventh Season (published March 21st, 2006), South Park: The Complete Ninth Season (published February 28th, 2007), South Park: The Complete Tenth Season (published August 21st, 2007), South Park: The Complete Eleventh Season (published August 12th, 2008), South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season (Blu-ray) (published May 1st, 2011), South Park: The Complete Fifteenth Season (Blu-ray) (published March 23rd, 2012), South Park: A Little Box Of Butters (published October 13th, 2010), South Park: Imaginationland (published March 24th, 2008), South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season (published March 9th, 2009), South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season (Blu-Ray) (published March 10th, 2009), South Park: The Cult Of Cartman: Revelations (published October 1st, 2008), South Park: The Hits, Volume 1 (published November 8th, 2006), South Park: The Passion Of The Jew (published September 13th, 2004), South Park, Volume 2 (published January 21st, 2000), and South Park, Volume 5 (published January 21st, 2000) are also available.
"See you don't understand what Mel Gibson was trying to do. He was trying to express, through cinema, the horror and filthiness of the common Jew. It has made people the world over open their eyes."—Eric Cartman, president of the Mel Gibson fan club in "Passion of the Jew."
"Dude, this guy is freaking daffy!"—Stan's obvious observation to Gibson's behavior later in the same episode.
We're long past "Oh my god, they killed Kenny!" or "Respect my authoritah!" in terms of sayings from Kyle Broslofski, Stan Marsh, Kenny McCormick, and Eric Cartman. Now in the 4th grade (and have been for a little while), the boys' antics have been delegated to other kids, mainly the somewhat ostracized (yet oddly adored) Butters. So even though Kenny doesn't die as much as he used to, does South Park still bring the funny?
Facts of the Case
All jokes aside, what episodes make up the Season Eight run? Look on dear reader, fourteen blocks of 22 minute comedy await thee on three silver discs. They are:
• "Good Times with Weapons"
• "Up the Down Steroid"
• "The Passion of the Jew"
• "You Got F'd in the A"
• "The Jeffersons"
• "Douche and Turd"
• "Something Wall Mart This Way Comes"
• "Pre School"
• "Quest for Ratings"
• "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset"
• "Cartman's Incredible Gift"
• "Woodland Critter Christmas"
Putting Season Eight of South Park within the context of an extremely busy production schedule for Matt and Trey (in the span of a year, the had to do Season Seven of the show, followed by work on Team America: World Police, then going back into doing most of Season Eight), becomes readily apparent that the boys were either tired and didn't care if a gimmick was reused (hence a lot of songs in these episodes, including a funny Japanese one in "Good Times with Weapons"), or if an episode would reach for too many straws (like "Quest for Ratings").
But it's all about context, and within that context, Trey and Matt were putting out so many consistently funny episodes (not to mention the movie, which was hilarious) on a wide variety of topics, so many that we still view in the pop culture (or news) prism today. "Up the Down Steroid," "The Passion of the Jew," "Something Wall Mart This Way Comes," and "Goobacks" all feature people, subjects, or topics that have been heavily covered this year, and these episodes aired in the spring of 2004.
And then there's a few different animation styles the show toyed with at random points during the season. "Good Times With Weapons" is clearly a nod to anime, but what it also helps to do is differentiate the kids' point of view from the adults, or from other kids, when playtime is over. Watch how Professor Chaos morphs into Butters after he is hit by a ninja star. No more fun and games there. Then you have the manipulation of still photos (like Gibson) or incorporating real footage into a show (like in "Quest for Ratings"), and if there was a drop in overall quality of the work, not that many people caught on. That should be a testament to the excellent comedy that Parker and Stone have provided over the course of their careers, proving themselves to be the best satirical writing team over the last decade, with or without the scatological references.
How can such a great show, with great writers get such a shabby DVD treatment? Parker and Stone return for more "commentary minis," which were apparently recorded earlier in 2006 during the airing of Season Ten's episodes. The commentaries are pretty quick, as they say up front that they don't have "that much to say" before following things up over the rest of the episodes with thoughts of the controversy surrounding "Up the Down Steroid" and how similar it is to The Ringer, while they show incredible foresight on tackling the baseball/steroid controversy and illegal alien debate head on, before talking about the hypocrisy of some of the anti-globalization demonstrators. They freely admit that "Quest for Ratings" was when they were officially "out of ideas" and "Cartman's Incredible Gift" was one that they "pulled out of their ass." More supplements with Matt and Trey, and produce them forthwith!
The Rebuttal Witnesses
This isn't really something against South Park, but just as a reminder, this is the second season released in 2006 on the show and the eighth so far, and The Simpsons had a head start if I recall. Just loosely wondering why Matt Groening hasn't knocked out more of these, that's all.
Absolutely still a funny show and a satirical touchstone far beyond us mortals can grasp. If this is how Trey and Matt write when they're drained, when they're on their game (as Season Ten just proved), they are appointment television, even after all these years.
Not guilty. Parker and Stone prove themselves ahead of the comedic curve on so many episodes in this season (even during a self-admitted down year creatively) that it's not funny. Wait, it is, which is the point. Court adjourned.
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Studio: Comedy Central
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