Wow! – Talk about a throwback to the beginning. This episode was actually made out of cardboard, it’s covered in shadows and the voices and art are primitive. And it’s in all of those things that it’s so awesome. Parker and Stone had to work so hard to produce this episode. Now they can throw them together in a matter of days with computer animation and a huge team of worker-bees. Not so for episode 101. They did it all themselves, by hand, with cardboard cut-outs. Does that make it better? No. But it does make it really neat.
That’s in part why I really like the episode in which Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are mocked for updating their movies. Episode 101 is recalled and the guys say that they meant to have different things in it but just couldn’t make it happen within the budget and technology at the time. Now, however, they can update it and make it better. No! This episode is great just like it is (which is, of course, their entire point).
The episode is also funny – and I don’t mean funny in South Park‘s profound and socially commentary-y way. Funny in that it’s filled with cursing eight-year olds and fart jokes and toilet humor. Funny in that when it was released, this sort of thing wasn’t on television. There were very few adult cartoons at the time, save the Simpsons. This was before the days of Adult Swim. At the very least, adult cartoons didn’t feature children. This was something new and fresh and though the show has become more ‘refined’ and profound over the course of the last decade plus, I’ll always love this first episode for its total ‘id’ quality.
What did you think about this episode? What was your favorite part?
Get a FREE Bonus Chapter from The Zen of South Park.
Read about other South Park episodes.