SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
Reviewed June 20th, 2003 by Dan Jones
“If some girl tried to kick my ass, I'd be like, HEY! Why don't you stop dressing me up like a mailman while you go and smoke crack in your bedroom and have sex with some guy I don't even know on my dad's bed!”
At this point Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, basically owned Comedy Central, and could obviously do whatever they wanted with little to no repercussions; just look at how they decided to start season two. Season one left us with the cliffhanger question of, “Who is Cartman’s father?” Stone and Parker decided to answer, or not, with a nice April Fool’s day prank: a show dedicated entirely to the farting twosome the boys of South Park occasionally watch on TV, Terrance and Phillip. Not until the following week was the answer revealed.
Nevertheless, the second season proved to be an excellent step forward from the first; it’s obvious that Stone and Parker were given more creative room, or simply little to no censorship of ideas by the higher-ups at Comedy Central. South Park is simply a brilliant satirical show that oftentimes has a lot to say in a very effective manner, through the mouths of our four favorite mountain-town children, Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny.
All eighteen episodes from season two are found in this set, here’s a rundown: “Terrance & Phillip in Not Without My Anus”, “Cartman's Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut”, “Chicken Lover”, “Ike's Wee Wee”, “Conjoined Fetus Lady”, “The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka”, “City on the Edge Forever (Flashbacks)”, “Summer Sucks”, “Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls”, “Chickenpox”, “Rodger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods”, “Clubhouses”, “Cow Day's”, “Chef Aid”, “Spooky Fish “, “Merry Christmas Charlie Manson”, “Gnomes”, and “Prehistoric Ice Man.”
Video wise, all eighteen episodes included here are in their standard 4:3 aspect ratio, with much of the same result as the first season set. Compression artifacts still show up and the picture is generally low on detail. Colors look generally okay and darks are fairly solid. A serviceable transfer but nothing special.
Audio wise, we are given a Dolby Surround 2.0 track, which, like season one, does little to expand the normal stereo field (occasionally we do get some minor surround action). Yet, dialogue is for the most part crystal clear and detailed, which is the most important thing. Also included are English closed captions, and subtitles in Spanish, French and English.
The main extra on this season two set comes in the way of the 50-minute documentary, “Going Down to South Park.” This provides a ton of interviews, some looks at Trey and Parker’s early work, and some behind the scenes looks at the making of the show. Truly an excellent addition, far surpassing any extra from the season one set, which is nice to see.
Nevertheless, that’s about all we have for extras, besides a music video for Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls, and a promo spot for the Daily Show (I have no idea). Therefore, once again, we have no commentary to be found on the set, yet this time it seems Comedy Central is not releasing a multi-disc CD set to supplement it.
Overall, this is an improvement release wise over season one, if for no other reason then a quality documentary. The video and audio is once again average, and the extras are far from expansive, and again no commentary. Nevertheless, this is South Park, and therefore, by content alone, this is an easy recommendation. Bring on season three!
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