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South Park: Volume 3

review by Zach B.

 

Studio: Warner/Rhino

Running Time: 100 Minutes

Retail Price: $19.99

Features: Comedy Central Trailer, Trey Parker and Matt Stone Intros

Specs: 1:33:1 Standard, English Dolby Digial Surround Stereo

No one could account what kind of phenom "South Park" would be when it debuted during August 1997. I must admit, I was one of the watchers who tuned into the first broadcast, and after it ended, I was hooked to the show. I thought it was hilarious, really original too. I taped the episode, and from episodes then and on, and have seen them tons and tons of times. Of course, the show spawned a hit movie and a ton of catchphrases "They killed Kenny!", "Respect my authori-tah!" etc.) I consider myself a fan from the start, and was happy that Warner and Rhino were releasing episodes every year on DVD. Now I could finally replace my worn out tapes. (Once again I'm recycling my intro...)

Volume 3 of the South Park discs feature four episodes of the series, and shows that it's truly begun to establish itself. The episodes are "Starvin' Marvin", "Mecha-Streisand", "Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo" and "Tom's Rhinoplasty". Except for "Mecha-Streisand", these are all holiday themed episodes.

"Starvin' Marvin" follows the boys, Cartman, Kenny, Stan and Kyle in a little case of mistaken identity. Cartman orders a sportswatch off a TV informercial, and instead gets an Ethopian who the boys name Starvin' Marvin. Of course, when Marvin is trying to be retrieved, they take Cartman instead and he's stuck in Ethiopia with Sally Struthers (nooo!). Meanwhile, it's almost Thanksgiving, and genetincally altered turkeys are invading and destroying South Park, which leads to a "Braveheart" parody.

"Mecha-Streisand" is sort of a "Power Rangers" parody, as Barbra Streisand herself is really a huge robot monster, and Chef is called upon to help stop her with Leonard Maltin, Robert Smith of the band "The Cure" and Sidney Poiter. This is a pretty funny episode, but I do admit the whole fighting monsters bit does get old fast.

Definently one of the most beloved episodes of the show, "Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo" was the first holiday episode, and has Kyle feeling jealous and sad about Christmas, due to the fact he's Jewish. He tells his friends that "Mr. Hankey", a talking piece of poo, comes out of the toilet each Christmas to reward those with good fiber in their diet. Still, no one believes Kyle and he is eventually comitted to a mental hospital. A sideplot involves the school's Christmas Pagenent, and in the end everyone catches a little holiday spirit and gets to see if Mr. Hankey is real or not.

Finally, "Tom's Rhinoplasty" has Mr. Garrison getting a nose job, and is replaced by a hot, young subsitute named Ms. Ellen. All the boys in the class love Ms. Ellen (who's voiced by the chick from "Species", Natasha Henstridge"), and Stan has nurtured a crush on her. Still, Stan's real love, Wendy, gets a bit jealous as she proves no one should mess with her.

Presented in the original TV aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the episodes look really nice and digital. There is some slight shimmer, but detail is good and colors are really good, as you can see a lot of things pretty clearly.

The sound is decent. The older disc pressings had a "popping noise", and this disc is in Dolby Digital stereo. Things are easy to hear and nothing overpowers anything, which is always good. Nothing spectacular, so a two channel mix fits fine, but I wish they'd let them curse and take the beeps out.

The usual standard "Trey and Matt" intros are included before each episode, as it is some stupid skit involving them as they give some really slight background on it. There's also a nice, big Comedy Central ad which shows off all their programming.

It's nice to see all these episodes in a nice package. While the video and audio are like the others, along with the intros, South Park fans should be pleased overall.

(4/5 (average of all four episodes), NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(.5/5)

(3/5, NOT an average)

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