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South Park: Volume 4

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. (Same introduction again, and if you've read the past ones, I'm sure you haven't been re-reading it all over again.)

Volume 4 of the DVD series does have some signifigance. It includes the two part episode "Cartman's Mom Is A Dirty Slut" and "Cartman's Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut", as well as the classic "Chicken Lover" where "Respect my authori-tah!" was born, and the drug binge episode "Ike's Wee Wee".

First off is "Cartman's Mom Is A Dirty Slut". This was the first season cliffhanger, and followed Cartman as he went on a quest for his dad, where most of it is told in flashback from a certain party many years ago, and ties in themes with a genetic test and "America's Stupidest Home Videos". What makes this cliffhanger so important is that the ending to it was supposed to be aired a few weeks later. However, the creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, pulled a stunt as the show was supposed to air on April Fool's Day, and did this stupid "spin-off" episode of "Terrance and Phillip", the kids's favorite TV show. So many people complained about it, Comedy Central bumped up the cliffhanger finale a full month, so it aried two weeks later, and not an additional six weeks later.

That's where "Cartman's Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut" takes off, as we find out who Cartman's dad really is. I won't spoil it for you, and I do think it is disgusting, but all in all, hilarious.

"Chicken Lover" follows Officer Barbrady as we learn he can't read at all, and he needs to in order to solve the mystery of the "Chicken Lover" (a much more dirtier term is used in the episode, and due to the dirty term, they made the episode title "Lover"), a guy who more or less screws chickens. As Barbrady goes back to school to learn how to read, Cartman takes up a police posistion to teach everyone to "respect his authori-tah!". A very funny episode.

And last, "Ike's Wee Wee" has the school guidance counselor, Mr. Mackey, loses his job after marijuana he brings in turns up missing. In spite of his new depression, Mackey turns to drugs and alcohol. We also learn that Kyle's brother Ike is having a bris, the traditional Jewish ceremony where a baby is circumsiced. A revelation is revealed in this episode about Ike, but I'll let you check that out for yourself. This episode is a scream and really entertaining.

Presented in the standard full frame of 1.33:1, this volume of South Park retains the nice clean transfers as the previous ones. Colors are solid, and the picture has a nice bright tone to it. No Comedy Central logo in the corner either, and detail is nice. Pretty sharp here.

Dolby Digital Stereo is used for the episodes, and two channels is all that it needs. It's nothing that's going to blow you away, but fits fine with the show. Everything is easy to understand and listen to, it's sounds crisp and clear.

You get bombarded with a long Comedy Central promo, as well as the usual Trey and Matt introductions which were on the VHS versions as well. The intros are sketches basically, and provides just a little on the episode itself. You probably won't watch the intros more than once.

Once again, another great South Park collection with some really funny episodes. The sound and video are perfectly fine, and the price is right too.

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




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