South Park: The Complete Fifteenth Season Blu-ray Review

Neil Middlemiss

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Neil Middlemiss
South Parks’ fifteenth season shows that creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker haven’t run out of steam or passion just yet. Satire and social commentary in the form of the foul-mouthed escapades of four Colorado kids still makes for a very funny show. The show seems to have grown even from the heyday of the South Park movie which, at the time, was a landmark achievement (and remains one of the funniest films I have ever seen). I hold out hope for a second South Park film, but until that comes to fruition, the show is perfectly able to satiate appetite for this form of comedy.








South Park

The Complete Fifteenth Season


Studio: Paramount Pictures
Year: 2011
US Rating: TV-MA


Film Length: 308 Minutes
Video: 1080P High Definition 16X9


Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: Dolby TrueHD English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, English Stereo


Subtitles: English


Release Date: March 27, 2012

Review Date: April 1, 2012


“Here we were having a perfectly nice conversation about Kenny being poor and Kyle being a Jew you decided to go 9/11 and bust out the fat quip"



The Show

4/ 5


South Park is a show that continues to defy expectations. A fun show about four mischievous, potty-mouthed kids who frequently save their town, the world, reality, dreamscapes, and other realms has lasted longer than even the most ardent of fans could have predicted. A brave show where everything has the potential to find itself in the crosshairs of creator Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s skewering, mocking, lambasting, and ridiculing sting. The main characters Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny are an odd blend of personalities to remain friends. The racist, anti-Semitic, selfish zaftig grump, Cartman, persists in parading his selfishness proudly. Kyle, the smart, caring one of the bunch, and Stan, the other more rational boy, must suffer their self-serving round friends, as well as the mumblings of their dirt poor fourth friend of the bunch, Kenny. There is an extended group of entertaining characters including Mr. Mackey, Butters, Jimmy and Timmy, (as well as the kids parents) and each have become as indispensable as the core four. Around this collection of kids arise terrific lewd-language laden fun, commentary on life and society, and fun – unadulterated fun.


In the fourteen episodes that make up season fifteen, the stories range from small faking Asberger’s, the ruthlessness of Physical Education, Multiple Personality Disorder and Foster Care. Throughout the season, the bawdiness of tone and humor are continually enriched with a wicked sense of timing and an innate ability to both be a part of social culture and to tear it to shreds from the inside. This remains the chief appeal of this show – well, that and the adolescent joy of sex and fart jokes and inappropriate cussing.


Season fifteen saw the creators hint at a nearing end to the show (You’re Getting Old) – perhaps born of the exhausting nature of keeping up with the work or simply just a way to gauge the audience’s feelings on how relevant the show remains. Comedy Central was quick to sign the creators up for more seasons (leading to a third possibility for the hints at closure – a bargaining tactic). Whatever the reason, it is reassuring to know that this form of potty-mouth satire will remain on the air for at least the near future.


This season also saw (or rather heard) the airing of the word ‘shit’ uncensored. This Blu-ray set comes uncensored of course and as I have commented in reviews of previous seasons is less funny to me than the censcored version that airs on Comedy Central – but to each their own.



Disc One

Episode 1: HumancentiPad

Episode 2: Funnybot

Episode 3: Royal Pudding

Episode 4: T.M.I

Episode 5: Crack Baby Athletic Association

Episode 6: City Sushi

Episode 7: You’re Getting Old


Disc Two

Episode 8: Ass Burgers

Episode 9: The Last of Meheecans

Episode 10: Bass to Mouth

Episode 11: Broadway Bro Down

Episode 12: 1%

Episode 13: A History Channel Thanksgiving

Episode 14: The Poor Kid



The Video

4.5/5


South Park: Season 15 is presented in 1080p High Definition widescreen, 1.78:1, enhanced for widescreen televisions. As with previous season in Blu-ray, the image is excellent. Free of any issues, clean, free of aliasing issues, with strong colors, deep blacks, good contrast, and clean the entire season. The bright and warm colors of the show is another element that adds to the humor – friendly and bright animation with blue language and often dark subject matter – this high definition presentation helps up the funny. The animation continues to improve (though never so much so that the roots of the animation style of forgotten). This is the best way to catch this show, hands-down.



The Sound

4/5


This Blu-ray release comes with a Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 audio track, in addition to Dolby Digital 5.1 English and English Stereo. The TrueHD audio is good, especially with the musical score when in full swing. Dialogue is free of issue in the center channel. The surrounds experience some activity (some directional effects, echoing loud speakers and more), but generally this is a front-focused track.


The Extras

4 / 5


6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park (42:04) (HD): It is incredible to believe that each episode of South Park is written, animated, recorded and completed in just six days but this special feature gives a good glimpse into just how crammed and creative those six days are. Coming off the successful launch of their Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, Matt and Trey find themselves back in their writers room with seven episodes to come up with (for the first half of the season) and just 6 days before the first of them is to air. Perhaps the best featurette to accompany any of the seasons!


6 Days to Air: Behind the Scenes of ‘City Sushi’ (3:28) (HD): A very short look at another episode’s behind the scenes – very funny.


Mini-Commentaries by Matt Stone and Trey Parker (all episodes) (HD): Highly entertaining mini-commentaries from the fellas again.


Deleted Scenes (5:09) (HD): Watching the 6 Days to Air featurette shows the ‘why’ for the number of deleted scenes (trimming for time – too many ingredients in some episodes, etc.).



Final Thoughts


Most likely if you are reading this review you already know about the show and have made up your mind about picking this set up. Although not the strongest season, the show remains on a high note and is showing no signs of letting up. The shorter nature of the seasons works to the show’s benefit (too much of a good thing can work against it), and I think this set should certainly be on the shelf of even the most casual of fans.



Overall (Not an average)

4/5


Neil Middlemiss

Kernersville, NC





 

Adam Gregorich

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Thanks Neil. I appricate their pull no punches humor, but the show has never caught in with me. I do appriciate the fact that they are releasing seasons on Blu-ray. I wish more shows did.
 

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