The season opened strong with the episode "Tonsil Trouble" (in which Cartman gets AIDS). On the commentary, it is explained that this was the "safe" episode that was partially finished in advance to taking a mid-season break. They showed it first because they couldn't decide which of the first three to begin the season with.
I recall not being impressed as the season progressed during its initial broadcast, but upon re-watching it, I changed my mind. This season had some clever themes and some pretty disgusting images, such as Randy Marsh at the computer.
I often praise Matt and Trey and believe that under their guidance they produce one of the most witty, insightful and subversive shows on television. The fact that they had the foresight to retain non-television rights to their show in an era when television is becoming less important as a medium in our daily lives is outright brilliant.
They are always checking their emails or giving you weather updates you never asked for. They always let their phone ring longer than necessary with some ridiculous sounds such as one of those dumb novelty "Pick me up!" chimes or the theme to Sanford and Son to make sure it grabs your attention. Pretty soon, every time they stroke their finger across that smirking touch screen, it subconsciously sounds like fingernails across a chalkboard.
Now, you can one-up your personal iPhone a-hole with this comforting fact: Their almighty cell phone from God won't let them watch South Park because it thinks it's too offensive for their delicate sensibilities.
But as Stone said himself in my soon-to-be awarding winning interview (my boss said he would put a gold star on my next paycheck), How's Your News? -- which premieres at 10:30 tomorrow night on MTV -- aims to change the audience's perspective on more than one level.
It's a journey of self-discovery for both the participants and the viewers and that's a big step for a network that has had a hard time figuring out what it's supposed to be.
The creators of Comedy Central's South Park have a rare, carte blanche contract to write, produce, star and create just about whatever they want. If they think it's cool or funny or particularly meaningful, that's enough fuel to get things burning.
One of those projects found its way to the small screen, a weekly travel news show called How's Your News?, which premieres on MTV this Sunday at 10:30 PM ET. It features a band of handicapped reporters talking to celebrities and on-the-street schmoes about anything that's on their minds. It started as a series of short films and turned into a critically acclaimed documentary. Stone told me that this time, the ambition and imagination that fueled this project came from its true stars.
This year, my brother and I flew home with my old man - who hates it when I call him "my old man" - the day before Thanksgiving. That's when a shocker of "Who shot J.R."-esque proportions dropped on the table.
My Dad officially announced that he watches South Park.
For those who don't keep track, Viacom owns South Park. Viacom also owns Paramount which produces the Indiana Jones movies. See the problem?
Xay de Matos from Fanboy speculates that the reason behind ditching the tracks is that they were never intended for Rock Band. Rather, they were intended for Guitar Hero (specifically Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock), the video game an entire episode in Season 11 is dedicated to. Apparently, the people in marketing didn't know the difference.
I don't understand the logic behind this decision. It's an excellent promotional possibility, so why wouldn't the makers of these video games be all over this like a fly on rotting food?
The final specs for the DVD set haven't been released, so it's possible some extra goodies will still be on it (Trey and Matt have historically at least done mini-commentaries for every episode). It's a case of wait and see.
It looks like some extra goodies are being included with the South Park Season 11 DVD set. Not only do you get great episodes such as "Cartman Sucks", "More Crap" and the immortal "Imaginationland" story arc (I pray the season DVD includes the full commentary of the "Imaginationland" one), but the DVD also includes a 3-song download for the XBox version of the video game Rock Band.
This marketing move makes sense on a couple of levels. First, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are big gamers so they probably got some cool stuff that other gamers only wish they had access to. They even confess their hobby on one of their DVD mini-commentaries. Second, the season includes the episode "Guitar Queer-o", which uses the predecessor game Guitar Hero as central to the plot.
(S12E05) It must be very tough for Trey Parker and Matt Stone to keep outdoing themselves. I don't know which image from tonight's episode was funnier: the mouse with the penis on its back running all over town (and, at one point, singing at the moon) or the photo of Mickey Mouse with a huge erection. It's a tough call.
More after the jump...
(S12E04) The South Park guys are going after the Writer's Guild of America, and it's about time.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not members of any of the unions, and they negotiated Internet profit-sharing before it became an issue for the WGA. They have also remained consistent with their dislike of the Hollywood creative elite (including actors and writers, although they are both) and their willingness to take a different viewpoint than the popular media.
I'll say this: when the South Park team put their minds to it, they can come up with some fantastic animation. When you watch the crudity of the animation in standard episodes, it's easy to forget that they're pretty damn talented at their craft.
Britney Spears tries to escape her fame by hiding out in Colorado. Sadly, the paparazzi follow her and through a confluence of events, she blows her own head off with a shotgun. Fortunately, this is South Park and such things aren't fatal here.
Season Twelve is out of the gate pretty strong. Unfortunately, it seemed to lose momentum towards the end.
Matt and Trey tackle the issue of AIDS...again (they have done so before, such as in the episode mocking Jared from the Subway commercials). They tend to present AIDS as a shock-value joke, but this time their take is slightly different.
Since I've been informed that I'm taking care of the future South Park reviews for TV Squad, I thought I'd jump the gun and review the last season (the second half of Season 11 begins on Wednesday October 3rd). I'm a long-time fan of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's work and, with one exception, I felt every episode of this season was a home run.
It amazes me how quickly the production team of the show can turn around an episode. I feel it is under these rushed circumstances that Matt and Trey produce their best work. The best example of this is the first episode of the season, "The Return of Chef", which was a direct result of the controversial departure of Isaac Hayes from the show resulting from his association with Scientology.
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