Monday, August 22, 2011

Season Four of 'South Park'

Time to dig into some season four of South Park, a fun-filled episodic batch full of pimps, pedophiles, time travel, and mentally retarded turkeys. In season four we are introduced to Timmy for the first time which really helped re-popularize the show. I felt threatened by Timmy at the time because he was getting so much recognition and I didn't want him to outshine the four boys. I am still not a huge fan of Timmy episodes but I can take him in small doses. This season holds a special place in my heart because it was the last time I got to watch South Park with my grandpa. The last episode I watched with him was "Probably" in the summer of 2000. He passed away before the final half of the season which somehow made the series less magical from that point on. I remember buying the new single "Timmy And The Lords of The Underworld" while he was in the hospital. That was the last time I ever saw him.

In season four the boys graduate to the fourth grade and get a new teacher, Ms. Choksondik. After living in the mountains for a while Mr. Garrison realizes he's gay and is reduced to teaching the kindergarten class. Another notable from this season is the "Quintuplets 2000" episode, which exposed how quickly South Park was thrown together for the first time. The exposure led Trey and Matt to do many more timely episodes in the future. I don't think I can really pick a favorite episode from this season, but I really love "The Spirit of Christmas" reference in "A Very Crappy Christmas". It was also great hearing Chef sing again in "Fat Camp" and seeing the boys make faces at sick people in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA". There was a little change after season four when they updated their animation software to Maya. Any hardcore fan will notice differences from the final season four episode and the first episode of season five. The textures never looked quite as construction papery. I definitely preferred the classic look of South Park. I am just old school I guess. I've never fully gotten over the changes in the look and animation. Call me O.C.D. McGee. I refer to this season as the last of the real classics.

- Ryan

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