South Park: The Complete Seventeenth Season
- Street Date:
- September 16th, 2014
- Reviewed by:
- Bryan Kluger
- Review Date: 1
- September 18th, 2014
- Movie Release Year:
- Comedy Central
- 220 Minutes
- Release Country
- United States
The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
It's amazing that a little foul-mouthed cartoon called 'South Park' has had seventeen glorious and uproariously funny seasons, and has still not missed a step. It continues to be very relevant, up-to-date, and one of the smartest and funniest shows on television. Whether they're making a political satire, a social issue, or just a plain ole episode about farts, it's crafted perfectly. Since season eight, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have given us fourteen episodes a year of 'South Park', splitting them up with seven at the beginning of the year, and the latter seven towards the end of the year. It was a solid schedule.
But due to their recent success on Broadway with 'Book of Mormon' and opening up their own film studio, they only made ten episodes this past season. Although there were four fewer episodes, this season had some pretty spectacular stories. What season seventeen will be most remembered for will be for their epic trilogy in the vein of HBO's 'Game of Thrones' that had the town going to war over Black Friday Sales at the mall, specifically between the Xbox One and the PS4. It was some of the funniest moments in television when it first aired.
Parker and Stone keep up their unique brand of story telling and animation with season seventeen, commenting on some of the social and political issues that occurred around each episode's air date. They kept the political satire to a minimum this time around, only diving into it into the first episode of the season with 'Let Go, Let Gov', where the NSA were spying on people, and Eric Cartman set out to find out what just is behind the NSA, which had amazing results.
Another hot topic this season covered was the whole Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman case, titled 'World War Zimmerman', which had Cartman basically play Brad Pitt's character from the zombie film 'World War Z'. Other episodes included a cow with red hair that could cause world peace or an all out world war, according to Cartman, the return of the Goth kids who listen to the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, Ike hitting puberty, dealing with cable companies, playing MineCraft, and the return of a certain gay fish who tries to tell people he is not a Hobbit either.
But again, the real shining piece of the season is the trilogy of 'Black Friday', which had episode titles like 'A Song of Ass and Fire' and 'Titties and Dragons'. In these three episodes, Stan, Kenny, Kyle, and Cartman are all wanting to be one of the first few customers in their local mall to get the best deal on the new gaming consoles. Even Stan's dad Randy takes up a job as mall security to get in on the deals. But when the kids and adults form alliances on who is wanting the Xbox One or Ps4, things get ugly very quickly. Cartman leads the Xbox One side as Kenny turns into a Japanese princess for PS4. And what epic mockery of 'Game of Thrones' would be complete without a Red Wedding sequence and George R.R. Martin himself conducting an all male choir singing the theme song for his show with a certain funny word. It's a very catchy tune. It even serves as the main menu's theme song. 'South Park' season seventeen packs the laughs in through each episode and is nowhere near ending it's creative genius.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
'South Park: The Complete Seventeenth Season' comes with an excellent 1080p transfer is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The image is very crisp and crystal clear. The many planes and surfaces in the show have some decent detail, and since 'South Park' studios has much more money than they did a decade ago, you can make out different textures in their unique yet simple animation style. Also, some of the new digital shots, including the new opening looks very good and vivid. Colors always pop off screen and are beautiful and simple. Reds, greens, blues, and browns all look magnificent. I noticed a tiny bit of banding in a few places along with some murky images when the insert live-action footage, but other than that, the picture looks great. Black levels are deep and inky as well here, leaving this video presentation with great marks.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
This release comes with a very good lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix. This is a lively soundtrack, with a great score, explosions, and farts. This is mostly a front heavy mix, but when there is an angry mob of Black Friday zombies or a mob of religious zealots screaming at Van Halen playing on stage, the surrounds pour out a robust sound that puts you in the center of everything. Sound effects are well balanced and timed very well. Ambient noises flow from the rear speakers often as well. During the heavier action sequences or musical sequences, the bass kicks in nicely. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. The directionality is decent, the LFE is excellent, and the dynamic range is very wide. There are no instances of any pops, cracks, or hissing to mention, leaving this audio presentation with high marks.
The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
Mini Commentaries - Like each season before this one, Trey Parker and Matt Stone talk about each episode for about five minutes. As usual, their commentaries are hilarious and offer some information on how they came up with each story line and how it evolved. They are all definitely worth listening to.
Social Commentary - Here is a fun bonus feature, which you can access in each episode that allows a pop up comment from Twitter with information on making the show. Unfortunately, they are all from South Park's twitter handle and not from the general public. That would have been great.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 6 mins.) - Five episodes have deleted scenes. While none of them are particularly amazing, they are worth watching, because it's more 'South Park'.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
There are no HD exclusives.
'South Park' Season Seventeen made me laugh from start to finish and has me singing the 'Game of Thrones' song differently now. Still, seventeen seasons later, Parker and Stone have not lost their touch to connect with their ever growing audience with current events, political satire, and social issues. All the while, they still make time for fart jokes on an epic level. The video and audio presentations look great and the standard commentaries as always are amazing. I just wish there were more behind the scenes features in the extras. This season of 'South Park' comes highly recommended!
- 2-Disc Set
- 1080p MPEG-4 AVC
- English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
- English: Dolby Digital 2.0
- Mini-Commentaries for Each Episode with Parker and Stone
- Deleted Scenes
- Social Commentary
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