South Park Season 5 (2001)

 South Park Season 5 (2001)

South Park Season 5 TV Review

Trey Parker and Matt Stone in 2001 created probably one of the best ever seasons of their show. Yes, South Park Season 5 is incredibly good, hilarious and so smart. It is also the first truly classic season thus setting the bar for others to follow.

I will go from episode to episode as that is the best way to review such a show. It Hits the Fan is terrific when social commentary’s concerned, but gets somewhat repetitive later on. But Cartman is hilarious in this one episode and his lines directed to Kyle here are standouts. Cripple Fight is not this season’s highlight, the subplot with the fight is too simplistic, but the scouts subplot is better. Super Best Friends is without a doubt one of the best episodes of the fifth season. It is so inventive and clever with its making fun of all the religious leaders and of course some jokes are absolutely incredible, they made me laugh a lot.

Now we come to what is without any argument one of the best, and possibly even the very best South Park episodes ever and that is of course Scott Tenorman Must Die. This is the first episode where we really learn how evil Cartman is thus changing his personality from just an annoying brat to a plain evil person. That choice was great as it lead to the Cartman we know and love today. But the episode is also great for how it changed the formula and focusing on just one plot, instead of two subplots. That worked and the result is a hilarious, at times dark, extremely memorable and downright phenomenal piece of entertainment.

Terrance and Phillip: Behind the Blow is like any episode regarding the duo, very detour-like and mostly boring, but it is also better than most episodes with them as it genuinely has its moments and proving again that this is probably the first season where there is not a single bad episode to be had here. Coming next is Cartmanland and it is one of the highlights here. It is absolutely hilarious and another great Cartman-centric episode. This is one of the proofs that South Park can and should more often make episodes that do not try to have social commentary at all but rather just a fun and funny story. Here it worked wonderfully and it is a shame that they did not realize that.

Proper Condom Use is also one of the standouts. It not only deals very smartly with its subject matter of teaching sex to children but it provides one of the best character moments for Mr. Mackey as well. And of course Mr. Garrison is hysterically funny in this installment.

Now, Towelie is possibly the worst episode in this season. It introduces you to the character of Towelie quite well but he was never a good character regardless. It has its great moments with Stan being the best, but this is still very weak.

Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants is a politically-charged episode, but it did not go too far and I like how it explored the theme of many countries hating America. The best parts are the ones with Cartman and bin Laden as they are so incredibly inventive in style and perfectly paying an homage to Bugs Bunny cartoons.

How to Eat with Your Butt is honestly a great time for me, although not a favorite by fans. But it is superb for many reasons. First off, both Cartman and Kenny are incredibly funny with some of Cartman’s moments being just hilarious. But I also like the highly amusing ending and the inclusion of Butters in the mix and his crazy parents are once again the standout.

The Entity is not well edited and the two stories do not mash as well as we’d come to expect from this series, but it is regardless of that a very good episode as both stories are superb, one wonderfully exploring the Jewish stereotypes and the other being a great Mr. Garrison vehicle.

Here Comes the Neighborhood is an interesting experiment, on the one hand the inclusion of Token as the main character here did not quite work as he has never been that interesting, but on the other hand, the incorporation of the theme of rich versus poor and the hilarities that ensue are marvelous and they drive the episode as well as making fun of many black celebrities at display here. It is overall a very good episode.

Kenny Dies is naturally incredible. It is groundbreaking in concept as they killed the character for the whole next season here instead of bringing him back instantly. But it is Cartman’s show here and a further proof that this is his season as he shines here the most with his signature brutal humor and just fantastic delivery.

Butters’ Very Own Episode is phenomenal. It is the episode that put greater emphasis on Butters which is of course great. But his parents drive the episode and Stephen is so well established here. You also have the making fun of some celebrities near the end in a very funny, tense sequence and this is one of those rare episodes that perfectly work without the four main characters.

The fifth season of South Park is one of the best without a doubt. It is great for its emphasis on Cartman and he is the character that shines the most here. But Butters was also introduced for the next season, Mr. Garrison has a couple of terrific episodes with his twisted humor and this is the reason that not only does social commentary wonderfully, but it also has some episodes that are just fun without more meaning to them which is great. It has its weaker parts, but this is still the first season with not a single downright bad episode which is quite an accomplishment, it established Cartman’s character for the first time and it is the first ever truly classic season.

Worst Episodes: Terrance and Phillip: Behind the Blow and Towelie.

Best Episodes: Scott Tenorman Must Die, Cartmanland, Proper Condom Use and Kenny Dies.

My Rating – 4.5

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