South Park: The Complete 17th Season Blu-ray Review
It’s crazy to think about the fact that South Park has been on the air for going on 18 seasons now. The show’s been running long enough that it might one day catch up with The Simpsons, if that show ever stops airing. Now that Season 18 has made its way to television sets around the globe, Paramount has released South Park: The Complete 17th Season on Blu-ray and DVD.
Season 17 of South Park proved that Matt Stone and Trey Parker still know how to give the fans what they want, with a moderate improvement over Season 16 – but not every one of the 10 episodes collected here is a winner. “Let Go, Let Gov” takes some jabs at the NSA and the DMV, and has some very funny moments from Butters, as well as a hilarious Alec Baldwin appearance – this episode revolves around social media and privacy. “Informative Murder Porn” has all the parents of South Park addicted to watching a graphic CSI-style show, leading the children to put a parental lock on the televisions. Stan’s dad is determined to learn how a horse is tamed in Minecraft, so he can unlock the parental lock and get back to watching his favorite show.
“World War Zimmerman” is probably the most controversial episode of South Park Season 17, merging together Brad Pitt’s zombie flick World War Z with the Trayvon Martin case and offering plenty of laughs. “Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers” features the goth kids exclusively, and has Henrietta being sent off to a camp by her parents and coming back as an emo. This episode is noteworthy for being the only South Park episode ever to miss its deadline, due to a power outage during post-production.
“Taming Strange” is a low point for season 17, with some tired gags poking fun at Miley Cyrus and ObamaCare, but never quite hitting their mark. “Ginger Cow” involved a cruel prank by Eric Cartman, which ended up bringing about, and of course destroying, world peace. The “Black Friday” trilogy, with its clever send-up of Game of Thrones and some great gags involving the PlayStation 4/ Xbox One console war, contained some of Season 17’s strongest episodes. For fans that played the South Park: The Stick of Truth video game, this trilogy is a must-watch, as it ties in directly with the game. The Night’s Watch subplot involving Randy Marsh and a group of mall cops during Black Friday was hilarious, as was the climactic battle between Bill Gates and Sony’s Kaz Hirai. The final episode, “The Hobbit”, involved Kanye “Fish Sticks” West and Kim Kardashian, and provided some social commentary on the impossible beauty standards that women are held up to, due to the prevalence of Photoshop.
South Park: The Complete 17th Season features a crystal-clear Blu-ray presentation and audio quality, but it’s a bit light on extras. There are mini commentaries with Matt Stone and Trey Parker for each episode, as well as deleted scenes and a Blu-ray exclusive #SocialCommentary on all ten episodes.
In short, South Park: The Complete 17th Season offers a solid collection of episodes, with a stellar audiovisual presentation. That said, I was a bit disappointed about the lack of special features, and also the absence of a digital copy. However, if you enjoyed the episodes when they aired, there’s no reason not to add this to your Blu-ray collection.