If season 5 of South Park teaches anything, it’s not to anger Cartman. Seriously, you don’t want to do it! And so begins Season 5, shock after shock with a drugged up towel in between.
Season Five brings a heap of changes to the South Park format. It starts with an episode which uncensors the use of ‘shit’ and it only gets more radical as the episodes fly by. It features cripple fights, an inclusion of a prophet no longer allowed to play out in animated form, a sex ed class gone wrong, Bin Laden and his Looney Tune adventures, and the death of our friend Kenny. For good! Well, for a season, but back then it felt like he’d forever remain buried as the episode manages to create emotion outside of the usual laughter the series brings. The series is the boldest yet, and experimentation on format can be seen all over the show.
Aside from temporarily killing off one of the main characters, the show attempts episodes with only one plot-line rather than the usual two which end up combining by the finale, and while episodes like ‘It Hits The Fan’ and ‘Terrance And Phillip: Behind The Blow’ tire out by the finale, treats like ‘Scott Tenorman Must Die’ show that sometimes you don’t need to distinctive plots fighting for space in a twenty-minute show. There is also another standalone character ep like Pip’s before, with ‘Butters’ Very Own Episode’ which is used to introduce us to Kenny’s replacement. A sweet story of a father who goes to gay bath houses and a mother who tries to murder her own son. Everyone knows that’s Butters!
Season 5 feels is willing to experiment with established traits of the show and the quality of the writing rarely suffers because of it. In fact, the show feels grander than ever as it balances the kids adventures with statements on current society trends. The series peak is fast approaching.