‘South Park’ Eleventh Season DVD disgorges another “smug alert”

Time again to pay homage, respect, props and general huzzahs to the most cutting and subversive humorists on television today, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. As South Park’s Eleventh Season DVD (new  from Paramount) attests, the boys are back in town and they’re not backing down. No, they’re thumbing their nose at the world, pushing the pedal to the mirthful metal and otherwise firing away on all cynical-to-silly cylinders with 14 more bizarre and bent yet somehow topical, timely or otherwise pertinent adventures of growth-arrested but world-wary grade schoolers in a small Colorado town.

This season’s shows already have had a DVD preview, via an earlier release of the Imaginationland Trilogy on a separate DVD. That saga is reward enough, but it leaves 11 other shows, including such stinging standouts as “With Apologies to Jesse Jackson” (a sendup of racism and oversensitivity toward it); Lice Capades (a twisted worlds-within-worlds fantasy about a society of head lice); and “Le Petit Tourette” (Cartman ingeniously uses a claim of Tourettes Syndrome to get a free pass for swearing).

But my personal favorite (beyond “Imaginationland”) is “More Crap,” in which Randy Marsh vies with Mr. Big Shot World-Saver himself, U2’s Bono, to produce the world’s biggest crap. And in case you missed the pointed, pee-yew-smelling analogies, think “pompous, vain, egotistical show-biz types’ unsought global leadership  = crap” and voila! You’ve got it.

In a sense, “More Crap” is much in the vein of South Park’s “Smug Alert” show from its Tenth Season, in which George Clooney was the overbearing, self-righteous entertainer getting skewered for taking himself and his industry too seriously. As a longtime entertainment journalist who’s long endured too much of such  pretentiousness and phony philanthropy, I suppose I appreciate these rants more than most. We all have our peccadillos.

As usual, forget about extras, though Trey and Matt do offer mini-commentary tracks. But if you can get past the sticker price, the shows themselves are reward enough, as well as a heartening reminder that in today’s sliding entertainment world of too many lies, too many Britney/Lindsays and too much mediocrity, Trey, Matt and South Park, at least, still have a good thing going.

Thanks, guys. Keep the fires burning.


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