Sunday, May 17, 2009

Top TV Pilots of All-Time, #4

#4 South Park (1997)

Looking back at the first episode of South Park is a lot like looking back at the first episode of The Simpsons. The animation is cruder than in later seasons, the voices are less refined than the ultimate product, and the humor is tilted less towards satire and more toward shock value. Even so, the pilot of South Park is a hilarious introduction to what has become one of the best, most important and most enduring examples of contemporary comedy. In an animated landscape which includes Family Guy, not to mention countless other shows of a similar nature, it can be hard to remember just how groundbreaking South Park really was. It's also a testament to the show that it began as one thing (shock-value hilarity) and was able to evolve into another (satirical hilarity mixed with bar-raising shock-value). I remember watching this pilot at least a half dozen times and trying to get my friends to watch, too. I just couldn't believe what these little kids were saying and doing. I still can't.

Here's part 1 of the pilot commentary from Trey Parker and Matt Stone (on YouTube). I suggest synching it up to the full episode at South Park Studios---link below.

Full Episode Here

#4) South Park
#5) The Shield
#6) Hill Street Blues
#7) Mad Men
#8) Boomtown
#9) Battlestar Galactica
#10) Police Squad


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