The sixteenth season of cult cartoon South Park comes to dvd. With all fourteen twenty minute long [approx] episodes spread across three discs.
These are all in one larger cardboard box. The style of packaging the dvds have used before, rather than the plastic boxes the reissued seasons come in.
Languages and subtitles are as follows:
Languages: English, German.
Subtitles: English, Dutch, German.
The only extras are three minutes worth of deleted scenes - six in total, some of which are unfinished - from across the season. These are on disc one and can only be watched in a row, rather than individually.
Plus the usual short commentaries from the show's two creators. Which as ever run no more than five minutes. And can have strong language but are also funny and well said and interesting.
The turnaround time for each episode is very fast, so most of these are just ideas of the week from around the time they were made. Some of the ideas may have had longer resonance than others.
Episodes on disc one:
'Reverse Cowgirl.' When Craig doesn't listen to his mother's warnings about leaving the toilet seat down so she can use it, a tragic accident follows. And toilet safety is taken to a new extreme.
A very solid season opener. As with most South Park scripts the story tends to escalate as it goes along, leading to a pay off. It's funny along the way and the pay off has some great moments.
'Cash for Gold'. Stan looks into cash for gold when his grandfather spends lots of money on jewellery from a shopping channel.
Another solid episode, with some good social points to make and a clever pay off. Plus some delightfully black humour in regards to shopping channels.
'Faith Hilling' looks at internet crazes like planking when the boys get hooked on the craze Faith Hilling, and some can't adjust when newer fads take over.
Another pretty good one, with some great parodies of such crazes and another strong finale.
'Jewcapabra' Sees Cartman spin a myth about a monster that spoils easter. Or is it a myth?
Not quite as strong as the first three, but not bad. One that makes you smile at it being clever rather than laugh. An interesting look at some stuff from the old testament, mind.
'Butterballs' sees Butters being bullied. Both by a bully and those who want to make an anti bullying video.
The idea being that those who want to pursue the anti bullying crusade are being equally big bullies themselves, it's another to make you smile rather than laugh out loud. Till a great pay off to the bullying story. The final scene is fun but based on something that went out of the news almost two years ago now. So this one might work better if you hear the commentary first, to understand where it's coming from.
'I should never have gone ziplining.' The boys go ziplining. An innocent trip that turns into a terrible ordeal. This parodies the style of certain documentaries. Not least the final third of them. As a parody of the style of such it's superb. But you'll either love that or it won't work for you at all.
'Cartman Finds Love' has Cartman turn into Cupid to help Token find a soulmate. Literally. Cartman in a romcom? It works. It's a very funny episode.
'Sarcastaball' when the kids aren't allowed to do certain sports due to the possibility of injury, Randy's annoyed response gets out of hand.
Another one where things escalate. Possibly not a great one for the British as it's all about American football, but it will make you smile a lot and does have some good laughs.
'Raising the Bar' is about obesity and reality tv. And the standards of such. With some sharp parodies of such tv and people watching them, plus a third plotline that pulls things together in a delightfully unexpected way, this is a very strong episode.
'Insecurity' is about home security systems, and how Cartman takes it to extremes. Featuring a movie parody that might not date and more escalation of situations this has some great moments and is a very funny one once again.
Disc three: 'Going native' Butters gets angry and he and Kenny go to Hawaii to discover his true heritage. The satire of the week is those who think they're locals after being in a place for a short while. It's another to make you smile rather than laugh but it does have some funnny moments and angry Butters is great fun.
'A nightmare on face time' Randy buys an old video store. Thinking people still want to rent rather than download dvds. Finding otherwise drives him crazy. With a decent movie parody that won't date and some fun comedy involving tablets and how you can use them, this isn't the funniest of the season but it's very good.
'A scause for applause' parodies the Lance Armstrong revelations as news of another celebrity being found to have used performance enhancements causes varying reactions. Another you might love or hate, thanks to a certain parody in the middle. But the comedy of escalation is very clever and very funny. I liked it a lot.
'Obama Wins' sees Cartman meddle with the result of the 2012 US election. But why? And who will explain things?
Dealing with an entertainment story that was big news at the time, perhaps more so than the politics, there's some fun appearances from old faces and it asks a question of the viewer without ever lecturing. It's a fun season finale.
Whereas season fifteen lacked a certain spark at times, even the not quite as strong episodes in this one all feel pretty good. All in all a very strong season.
Ok, this is the first time I've had to order a South Park boxset online. Normally, on their release date they are available in Tesco or Asda. However, this was not. I ordered it and received it very quickly. This series I have to say, is not South Park at it's best. It doe's have some genius moments that had me laughing away to myself but it was not consistent enough. Reverse Cowgirl, Butterballs and Raising the Bar where the standouts. However, while the show prides itself on it's "6 days to air" approach, it's starting to become very obvious that the episodes are being "thrown" together. There are too many moments where you are left wondering "what was the all about". Also the ziplining episode, in my opinion, is the worst episode they ever done. The only other criticism I have is that as each season goes by, Cartman seems to be getting kind of annoying. He always was an obnoxious little boy but now he's really starting to piss me off and I'm finding it hard to respect his authoritah!
Don't get me wrong, if you are a fan you will enjoy it, and some of the things it adresses are still fresh and up to date...but if you are new to the show, try earlier seasons.
I have been working my way through the south park series, as with everything some are good some not so good, In comparison to other south park series this one is probably just about average. As a fan though still like it.