South Park—Season 1

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7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some really fun episodes

Not as clever as later seasons, not as clean looking in its visuals

 
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Come on Down to South Park!

Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny are just kids living their lives in the quiet mountain town of South Park, but South Park is one of the strangest places to grow up.  Things are always happening in South Park…be it an attack by Mecha-Godzilla, clones, and zombies, or probes by aliens, gay animals, or pigs having sex with elephants, growing up in South Park never is dull.

South Park was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (who give fun introductions on the season 1 DVDs) and originally appeared in a short called “The Spirit of Christmas” (it can be glimpsed in the opening credits).  The series immediately took off and drew flack from parent groups.  “Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boat Ride” was nominated for an Emmy, but lost to The Simpsons’ “Trash of the Titans”.

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You all smell so flowery

The first season of South Park is pretty juvenile.  The series isn’t very politically active and many of the episodes are goofy.  The series doesn’t really start maturing for a couple of seasons, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still good for laughs.  The episodes aren’t as thought out and tight as later seasons and Cartman hasn’t become the uber-villain that he is today (though he is on the way).

There are a number of good episodes in this season, and it does start to become self-reflexive in episodes like “Death” which has “Terrance and Phillip” being criticized for its crassness.  Despite the criticisms, some of those crass episodes like “Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo” has some of the funniest imagery of the series.  It is the crass combined with the smart which makes South Park bigger than simply a cartoon where kids talk foul.  The season finale cliffhanger left people wondering who Cartman’s mother was, but also leads to one of the cruelest jokes of the series at the start of season 2.

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The love between Trey and Matt comes off the screen!

The art in season one is much more rough than the smooth art of later seasons.  It is obviously more hand illustrated through actual cut-out while later episodes do end up utilizing computers more.  It sometimes is a shame because it could look much better.

South Park starts out with rather humble beginnings but grows into something smarter and greater.  This first season is somewhat rocky but worth it for fans who might have missed it or if you followed South Park from the beginning, go back and watch how far it has evolved.  “Go on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine!”

South Park—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Cartman Gets an Anal Probe”

1.1       Cartman Gets an Anal Probe Airdate:  08/13/97

Cartman reports that that he was visited by alien invaders and Kyle, Stan, and Kenny learn from Chef that he probably got an anal probe when he starts farting fire.  Stan tries to deal with his crush on Wendy without throwing up.  As South Park is slowly raided by aliens that seem infatuated with cows, Kyle learns his baby brother Ike has been kidnapped.

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“Weight Gain 4000”

1.2       Weight Gain 4000 Airdate:  08/20/97

Cartman is selected by a national board for his environmental article against Wendy’s distain.  When Kathy Lee Gifford is selected to give Cartman his prize, Mr. Garrison suffers flashbacks of childhood.

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“Volcano”

1.3       Volcano Airdate:  08/27/97

Jimbo and Ned take Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny hunting and teaches that they kill anything that is coming at them.  When Stan finds he can’t kill, he tries to impress his uncle.  Randy learns that the area where the children are hunting is experiencing seismic activity that could erupt Mount Evanston.  Cartman tells the story of the monster known as Scuzzlebutt, and the kids become trapped on the mountain by a volcano.

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“Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boat Ride”

1.4       Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Boat Ride Airdate:  09/03/97

The South Park Cow waits for their big rivalry, and Jimbo mistakenly gets everyone to bet that South Park will beat the spread due to Stan’s quarterbacking.  When game day comes, Stan is missing due his discovery of Big Gay Al’s Gay Animal Sanctuary and his attempt to get his dog Sparky back.

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“An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig”

1.5       An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig Airdate:  09/10/97

Kyle gets an elephant and decides to attempt to create a hybrid pig through genetic engineering and learns that simply mating the two is the solution from Doctor Mephisto.  Stan deals with his sister Shelley’s abusive nature.  When Mephisto makes a clone of Stan, South Park could be destroyed.

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“Death”

1.6       Death Airdate:  09/17/97

Stan’s grandfather wants to die and Stan debates helping him.  Kyle’s mom decides to boycott the Terrance and Phillip Show when it is blamed for Stan’s accidental attempt to kill his grandfather.  When Stan realizes his grandfather has to die, the kids are pursued by Death.

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“Pinkeye”

1.7       Pinkeye Airdate:  10/29/97

Kenny is killed by a falling satellite and becomes one of the undead.  As the town is slowly consumed by zombies (under the guise of pinkeye), the boys hope that Halloween won’t be ruined.

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“Starvin’ Marvin”

1.8       Starvin’ Marvin Airdate:  11/19/97

Hoping to get a digital sports watch delivered to them, Kenny, Cartman, Kyle, and Stan get Starvin’ Marvin instead.  Cartman finds himself delivered to Ethiopia when he is mistaken by officials and the town of South Park deals with a mutant turkey invasion.

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“Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo”

1.9       Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo Airdate:  12/17/97

When Kyle’s mother demands he be pulled from the Christmas pageant at school, Kyle feels left out.  The town of South Park tries to make a non-offensive Christmas as Kyle continues to see Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo.

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“Damien”

1.10     Damien Airdate:  02/04/98

Damien starts school at South Park Elementary and finds everyone hates him despite being the son of the Prince of Darkness.  As Damien tries to get acceptance, Cartman finds his birthday party threatened by Jesus’ fight with the Devil.

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“Tom’s Rhinoplasty”

1.11     Tom’s Rhinoplasty Airdate:  02/11/98

Mr. Garrison takes off school to get a nose surgery and the class finds themselves with their substitute teacher Ms. Ellen.  As Wendy feels challenged by Ms. Ellen, but the kid learns from Chef that they have to become lesbians for her to like them.

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“Mecha-Steisand”

1.12     Mecha-Streisand Airdate:  02/18/98

Cartman discovers a strange diamond called the Triangle of Zinthar on a fieldtrip to an archeological dig and unwittingly put Barbra Streisand on his trail to gain the ultimate power of the diamond to rule the world…if Leonard Maltin, Sidney Poitier, and Robert Smith of the Cure can’t stop her.

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“Cartman’s Mom Is a Dirty Slut”

1.13     Cartman’s Mom Is a Dirty Slut Airdate:  02/26/98

Cartman finds himself wondering who his father is and sets out to discover what happened at the Drunken Barn Dance the night he was conceived.  When Cartman learns that the only way to find his father is a DNA test.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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