South Park’s second season came fast on the heels of the first season, but this time, there were eighteen episodes set in the snow clad Colorado town. To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, Paramount Pictures has re-released the early seasons on blu-ray, and I was eager to take a look at them.
Despite my recall of watching South Park when it was airing, it was amazing how many of the episodes were actually new to me. Of course there is the infamous Terrance and Philip special, the reveal of Cartman’s father but there is also a commentary on corporate America, and advertising.
Like the first season, almost all the episodes of the second season are introduced by series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, they give background on the episode, as well as make a number of humorous sketches, that occasionally verge on the intentionally uncomfortable.
Like the first season, the animation is intentionally crude, though has improved immeasurably since the first series. This could lead a number of people to think that the level of humour is simple and equally as crude. But there is where the series has always been misjudged.
Yes, there is a barrage of childish, juvenile humour, but there is also commentary at work here, social and political. Points are made on a number of subjects from religions to film festivals, all while paying homages to classic film and television, including a lot of Star Trek, so much so that there is an episode that is a direct nod to the classic episode Dagger of the Mind.
The transfer of the episodes looks great, the animation, is, as it always has been, enjoyable, and the further you get into season two, the less often the dialogue is censored.
I was surprisingly entertained by this collection, and there were even a few episodes that I hadn’t seen before, and I found myself laughing a lot throughout the course of the season. Yes, the crude jokes often push the limits of good taste, but mixed with the fun satire, it makes for a very entertaining watch.
There aren’t tons of extras involved in the early seasons, but the intros make up for it, and being able to watch some of them uncensored certainly is a highlight.
The two disc set is fun, affordable, and is a must for fans of the series. Check out this season, as well as Seasons One, Three, Four and Five, now available from Paramount!