The Cult of Cartman: Revelations Review
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Greatest hits collections are an old staple of the music industry. They provide new product for the industry to sell, they offer a highlights collection for those who don’t want or can’t afford to pick up every album in a musician’s back catalog, and they keep the artist’s name in the increasingly large mix of voices competing for audience attention. The trend is starting to catch on in DVD collections of TV series (like South Park) as well.

The one thing that South Park definitely does not lack, even after 11 seasons, is attention. Their literal weeklong turnaround between cracking a story and having finished animation ready for broadcast keeps it almost frighteningly up-to-date on cultural trends and national issues. Add that to its legions of devoted fans and equally devoted detractors (there’s a pending legal case in Russia to ban it entirely), and you’ve got a recipe for longevity that simply will not quit.

This brings us to The Cult of Cartman: Revelations, a greatest hits collection themed around, well, what may be Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s most enduring—if not endearing—creation, Eric Cartman. Cartman himself follows in the long tradition of mischievous imps wreaking havoc on an adult world, but he takes it to extremes that his predecessors never even imagined. Try as one might, it’s hard to imagine Dennis the Menace ever shooting up Mr. Wilson with his own HIV-positive blood (“Tonsil Trouble”). A Bart Simpson look-alike even shows up during one episode (“Cartoon Wars, Pt. II”) to get a lesson in real hardcore trouble making.

Since there have been so many episodes focused on Cartman, everyone’s bound to have a favorite or two that aren’t included in this set. For me, at least, there are two fairly significant omissions. The most obvious is “Christian Rock Hard,” in which Cartman attempts to get rich by creating and marketing a Christian rock band. The second is the heavy metal-themed “Major Boobage,” with a B-plot featuring one of Cartman’s very, very few genuinely good deeds, when he rescued the entire town’s population of cats after they’d been banned as an illegal drug (don’t ask).

For the most part, your enjoyment of this set will depend very strongly on how much entertainment you derive from Cartman’s various shenanigans. The two-disc set itself is slickly done, packaged to look like a Bible and featuring new animated introductions to each of the twelve episodes by Cartman himself.

If you’re a collector of the season sets, there’s really nothing here that’s absolutely necessary. For the casual fan, though, especially if Cartman’s your favorite character, it’s well worth it.

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