Twelfth season of cult cartoon series South Park comes to DVD, with all fourteen episodes spread over three discs.
Language and subtitle options are as follows:
Languages: English, German.
Subtitles: English, Dutch, French, German [but the commentaries don't have french subtitles].
Episodes are as follows:
'Tonsil trouble': When a routine operation goes wrong and gives Cartman AIDS he retaliates against Kyle's response to this by infecting him also. Desperate for a cure, the two turn to the only man to ever beat it.
Despite having one sharp movie parody and some excellent Kyle/Cartman scenes, this is a surprisingly patchy episode. It doesn't raise many laughs, just the occasional smile.
'Britney's new look': With Britney Spears in South Park and in Meltdown the boys attempts to get a photo of her leads to her being horribly disfigured. And them having to protect her from the attention of the world.
One of those episodes where if you get the joke you will love it, but it won't appeal to all. Nevertheless, it does contain some very sharp observations about how we build celebrities up to then knock them down, and it works very well when focusing on that.
'Major boobage' is a homage to the film heavy metal, as the boys try to get Kenny off the latest drug craze. Cat Urine sniffing. Which takes people into a fantasy world reminiscent of the movie. The adults are in a panic. But they're not entirely unfamiliar with the effect of the drug...
Probably the highlight of the first half of the season, with some sharp observations about parents panicking over children's crazes nd some clever animation, it's a superbly funny episode.
'Canada on Strike' sees Canadians go on strike because they're tired of getting no respect from the rest of the world. And then wishing they hadn't. Meantime the boys turn Butters into the latest overnight internet video sensation.
As the commentary makes clear it's a parody of the american writers strike, but even without knowing that it's reasonably funny, although the parts about internet video stars are funnier.
'Eek, a penis!' sees Cartman become a teacher and try to reach out to inner city latin american kids, whilst Miss Garrison tries to have a sex change to become a man again. Only one thing required for that operation is missing.
A pretty funny parody of teacher helping deprived kids movies, the commentary explains this is a satire of cheating in american football. Thus some of it may go over british viewers heads, but it's still pretty funny anyhow.
'Over logging' throws the boys into a grapes of wrath parody when the internet suddenly vanishes, and their families head out west because you can still get a few seconds of access a day whilst in California.
A great satire on internet addiction, the movie in question, certain things that you can find online, and certain things that go wrong with computers, this is a superb episode.
'Super fun time' sees the school class visit a replica pioneer village, where the staff are under orders never to break character. And then they find themselves in the middle of a die hard style hostage situation. Meanwhile Cartman's attempts to sneak off are hindered by Butter's determination to not let him.
Fun movie parody and getting a lot of laughs from character conflict, it's a great episode.
'The china probrem' is set in the autumn of 2008, and sees Cartman, worried by seeing so many chinese people at the olympics, determined to stop them from taking over the world. But everyone else won't help as they're preoccupied by the horrible violation of a loved one.
When the second plotline is revealed it becomes rather clever, and throws in a few good movie parodies. The first manages some fun character conflict, and the two come together very well at the end. But it's a good rather than great episode.
'Breast cancer show ever' sees Cartman mock Wendy's attempt at raising breast cancer awareness. As a result she swears she'll beat him up. With the whole school looking forward to the fight Cartman is in trouble if he wins it, or if he backs out. His efforts to deal with the situation get ever more funny and the whole thing is a great character comedy and a great episode.
'Pandemic' and 'Pandemic 2 the startling' see the boys become a peruvian flute band as a way of making money. But with the government cracking down on the spread of such bands, they find themselves deported. However the government has a hidden reason for this. Which leaves the world under threat. And Randy recording it all with a camcorder.
A little slow to start but ultimtely a very good two parter, which parodies horror movies that use camcorder shots and contains some amazingly ambitious animation. It's great fun.
'About last night...' is set on the evening of the US election in 2008. As Obama's supporters celebrate and Mccain's fear for america, the politicans have plans of their own. A daring heist.
A sharp parody of the ocean's movies and people's attitudes to the two candidates, this is sharply funny and a superb piece of work.
'Elementary school musical' sees the high school musical craze sweep through the school. As the boys won't get involved they become outcasts. But the star singer and dancer has a secret ambition. He'd rather play basketball.
With a good look at peer pressure and, as with the best episodes of the season, getting great comedy from character interaction, it's another strong one.
'The ungroundable' sees the vampire craze hit the school. And Butters joins in. Although the goth kids hate the fact that everyone thinks they're vampires. And have to fight to protect their style.
A rare episode in that the four main characters barely feature but there's some good Butters moments and the Goth kids really come into their own here and are very appealing. It's a fun little episode.
DVD extras: Short commentaries from the show's creators on each episode. They run no more than six minutes each but they say all they need to in that time and they're excellent commentaries. Articulate and interesting and entertaining.
They do, like the episodes, contained uncensored strong language.
Disc one has a feature about the way the animation in the episode heavy metal was done. This runs for no more than twelve mins approx and can be watched in short sections or all in one go. It's pretty interesting.
Disc two has a feature in regards to super fun time which shows how the animation for an episode is done over the course of six days, the full film being gradually built up in that time. There's a commentary from the animations on it. It can be watched in six daily sections or all in one go. It's very interesting but the whole thing runs for eighty minutes in total so it's a bit long if you're not into the subject.
Disc three has similar for the episode about last night although it only shows the sixth day and thus runs for no more than twenty mins approx. The commentaries on both of these features are pretty good though.
All in all not the strongest season with some episodes better than others. But the best ones are so good it makes the whole thing worth five stars.