After a hit first season, and a mediocre second one, some people were wondering if South Park was a one trick pony that had run out of steam (to mix metaphors.) But creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were able to lay any such doubts to rest with the third year of their show.
South Park, for those who have never seen the show before, is about the trial and tribulations of four third graders growing up in South Park, Colorado. Though it is animated, this show is not for children. There is profanity, frank sexual talk, and the show is often sacrilegious. It is also incredibly funny.
In this season South Park really hit its stride. The first season was about shocking people, and a lot of the second was trying to find a direction for the show. With the third season South Park came into its own. The creators seemed to feel more confident in their writing. The parodies they did were more frequent and harder hitting in many cases. They continued to have objectionable shows, and even raised the bar a little. (Mr. Garrison's relation with his father in the last episode of the season being a good example.) They also made some strange shows that worked very well, such as "Jewbilee."
This set contains all 17 episodes from season three in broadcast order. They are:
Rainforest Shmainforest: Mr. Mackey punishes the boys by making them join an environmental activist children's choir, Getting Gay with Kids. The choir goes to Costa Rica to give a concert and tour the rainforest. But when their guide gets eaten by a snake, and the group gets lost it's up to Cartman to rescue everyone. Jennifer Aniston guest stars as the choir teacher.
Spontaneous Combustion: People are starting to burst into flame. Can Stan's dad figure out what's going on? Also, the kids look for an erection for Kyle's dad since his mother is always complaining that he doesn't have one.
The Succubus: Chef quits his
job and becomes an accountant. Is his new girl friend really helping
him, or is she a succubus who wants to drain his life force?
Tweek vs. Craig: The boys take a shop class (with the exception of Kenny who enrolls in Home Economics.) Cartman bets Stan and Kyle that Craig could take Tweek in a fight. The only way to settle it is to make the two kids fight each other.
Sexual Harassment Panda: Mr. Garrison's class gets a visit from the Sexual Harassment Panda, who educates the class about inappropriate behavior. After hearing this, Cartman sues Stan, and Kyle's dad represents him.
Cat Orgy: This episode and the next two all take place on the same night, but from different people's point of view. Mrs. Cartman is going to Mr. Mackey's meteor shower party, and gets Eric's 12 year old sister to baby sit him. She invites her boyfriend, who's over 20, to the house, and he brings his band. Cartman's cat is in heat, and invites all the felines in the area over for an orgy.
Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub: A great
episode. Stan's parents bring him to Mr. Mackey's party. Poor
Stan gets exiled to the basement with the other kids who want to dress
up in women's clothing and play Charlie's Angels. Stan and Kyle's
fathers both are in a hot tub alone, and end up masturbating in front of
each other. (Off camera of course.) Meanwhile, the ATF is convinced
that the party is a gathering of cultist who are going to kill themselves
during the meteor shower.
KoRn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery: A hilarious takeoff of Scooby-Doo. The band KoRn help the boys solve a mystery when South Park is invaded by Pirate Ghosts.
Chinpokomon: The latest, hottest toy from Japan hits South Park, Chinpokomon! But when the boys get the toys, their Chinpokomon start to brain wash them to bomb Pearl Harbor.
Hooked on Monkey Phonics: Two home schooled children are competing in the Annual South Park Spelling Bee. Cartman's mother buys him "Hooked on Monkey Phonics" to help him in the Bee.
Starvin' Marvin in Space: Starvin' Marvin finds a crashed space ship and flies it to South Park. There he picks up the boys and they all go to the planet Marklar looking for a home for his people.
The Red Badge of Gayness: Before the annual South Park Civil War reenactment, Cartman bets Kyle and Stan that the south will win this year. In order to win the bet, Cartman incites the drunken reenactors into attacking Topeka.
Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics: The all singing Christmas Special. Mr. Hankey and the gang sing songs from his album Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics.
Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus: Cartman is convince he's having his period because he's bleeding from his anus. Jesus gets upset when he thinks that no one cares about him.
World Wide Recorder Concert: A great show to end the season with. Yoko Ono is hosting the "Four Million Child Blow" an all recorder concert preformed by third graders from across the country. The boys go down and to participate. On the way there, Cartman tried to find the "Brown Noise" that will cause the listener to defecate in his pants.
This is a great season, possibly the best season they've done. Trey Parker and Matt Stone were able to get over the sophomore slump and turn out some quality shows. There are some classic episodes in this season. The return of Starvin' Marvin, The Meteor Shower Trilogy (especially the last chapter) and The Red Badge of Gayness are all excellent. They manage to parody everything from Pokemon to Star Wars to Scooby-Doo in these shows. This is even more impressive when you realize that they made the South Park movie, Bigger, Louder, and Uncut, while they were working on this season.
There is a weak show or two. I didn't care for "Sexual Harassment
Panda" too much, and the Jackovasaurs creatures were very annoying.
But the politically incorrect "Rainforest Shmainforest," probably my favorite
show from this season, more than makes up for it. Overall, a great
set of shows, and a good jumping on point if haven't picked up the previous
The stereo soundtrack sound clean and clear. I spot checked all the audio tracks, English, French, and Spanish, and they all had a similar sound quality, perfectly suited to the show.
These computer animated construction paper children look great. The colors are bright, the lines crisp, and the contrast is very good. The show strives for a cheap look, and that look is accurately reproduced here.
The main bonus on this set are the "commentary minis" that accompany each episode. Matt and Trey recorded about four minutes of commentary for each show. They explain that they didn't have enough to say about any single episode to fill the entire 22 minutes a show lasts, so they give their comments about a show and then move on to the next one. (The commentary is at the beginning of each show, and they are nice enough to tell you when they are done talking about each episode.) Having had to sit through my share of dull commentaries with long gaps between comments, I can't fault them too much for this decision. I'd much rather have them talk for four solid minutes than try to stretch four minutes worth if information over nearly half an hour. When they were talking, it was very informative and entertaining. They talked about what they liked and disliked, and explained some obscure jokes, including the "Fighting the Frizzies at 11:00" joke from "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics." Their comments on The Wild Wild West, which opened the same day as the South Park movie are hilarious.
The only other extra on the set are two "Quick Takes" from Comedy Central.
The first has the South Park kids singing as the boy band "Finger Gang"
and the second is a funny sketch from Chappella's Show, "Trading
In this season, South Park really found its voice. Though the second season wasn't bad, the third season was a real improvement. The short commentaries were very good, and though I wish that they were longer, and I can understand the decision to have them brief. Hilarious episodes and as politically incorrect as ever, this set is sure to please fans of the show, and is a good jumping on point for those who haven't seen the show yet.. Highly recommended.