South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season Review

You’ll notice the set isn’t labeled as “uncensored”, so let’s just get this out of the way right up front: the controversial 200th and 201st episodes are still censored, just as you saw them on TV. But it gets worse/better. Each episode has a mini-commentary with Trey Parker and Matt Stone talking about the episode for 2-4 minutes before signing off and the episode playing as normal. You usually don’t miss anything of substance in the episode itself, so you may as well just watch it this way straight off the bat. However, and this is either Paramount going overboard on censorship or Stone and Parker with a stroke of meta-genius, the commentary for the 201st episode is, shall we say, unique. Parker and Stone come in talking about the circus that surrounded the episode, reiterating what a bumper card preceding the episode says regarding the episode appearing on the disc just as it aired. Then, just as they’re about to offer their thoughts on how it was handled…the commentary track bleeps. It bleeps out for a full minute and you’ll honestly think you have a concussion, and that it’s a ringing in your ears. Then it cuts back in to Parker and Stone, seemingly satisfied they’ve said their piece, signing off. Again, I hope it's genius comedy, but it's hard to know for certain. What is clear is that South Park's fourteenth season is one of the most consistently funny seasons in years.

Will we ever be able to see and hear the episode as it was created? Will we ever be able to hear the thoughts of Stone and Parker on the episode as they recorded it? It’s unclear.

On the bright side, save for that one sore spot, the season has an excellent assortment that covers the typical range of South Park’s episodes: social commentary, political agenda, goofy, and episodes catering specifically to the longtime fans.

The episodes are as follows:

“Sexual Healing” – A sex addict scare sweeps the nation after an analyst realizes rich men (like Tiger Woods and David Letterman) seem to like having sex with lots of women.

“The Taste of Scrotie McBoogerballs” – Shocked to learn that Catcher in the Rye is or ever was considered obscene, the boys write the most disgusting novel they can dream up…and it’s a hit.

“Medicinal Fried Chicken” – The men of South Park, led by Randy, induce testicular cancer in themselves so they can take advantage of the medicinal marijuana stores replacing KFCs, a trend which outrages Cartman.

“You Have 0 Friends” – Kyle friends a Facebook pariah who has 0 friends and consequently loses all of his own; meanwhile, Stan’s profile goes Master Program on him and a Tron parody ensues.

“200” and “201” – South Park’s version of a clip show; it’s a homage to every celebrity bashing and major political subject they’ve ever lambasted, and it had unexpectedly nasty results.

“Crippled Summer” – Exhausted from the debacle of the previous two episodes, Stone and Parker give us a goofy story centered on Jimmy at summer camp, while charting Towelie’s drug addiction a la the show Intervention.

“Poor and Stupid” – A little jab at NASCAR sees Cartman “faking” poverty and stupidity, the two main requirements to be a NASCAR driver, to chase his dream of becoming a driver himself. When you compare it to the wrestling episode, it’s not nearly as sharp despite having a similar idea.

“It’s a Jersey Thing” – South Park is “annexed” into the lands of Jersey causing people to adopt behaviors as seen on The Jersey Shore and Real Housewives.

"Insheeption" - This episode might be the best joke to have been off of Inception's back. The dream exploration from the film is used to root out a deeply routed childhood trauma, only to take on truly ridiculous proportions.

“Coon 2: Hindsight”, “Mysterion Rises”, “Coon vs. Coon and Friends” – Who do you call when the Gulf is flooding with oil? Superheroes. This time around it’s Captain Hindsight, which again enrages Cartman, aka the Coon, for stealing away his attention. The Coon forms his own mock Justice League, only to have it taken over by Mysterion just as the dark lord Cthulhu rises from the netherworld threatening to destroy the world. Guess who has to save the day and guess who goes to a new level of evil.

“Crème Fraiche” – Stan’s parents’ marriage is on the rocks as Randy, inspired by watching too much Food Network, decides to become the new chef at the school cafeteria.

The animation, even if it is modeled off of paper cut-outs, is done by computers and the Blu-ray HD makes the colors incredibly rich. The whole 1080p widescreen presentation is incredibly smooth and vivid, though we’re kidding ourselves if we say South Park’s particularly simple style is the kind of animation that really shines in an HD format. Save for a few moments (like in the presence of Barbara Streisand) where 3D animation is used, South Park doesn’t really push HD visuals to the limit. Still, South Park looks terrific in HD. The same can be said of the audio, it’s so simple that there’s only so much the HD can do for it, but it sounds great in Dolby True HD 5.1 surround.

Blu-ray Bonus Features

To help give you context for the three-part Coon episode, “The Coon”, the first Coon episode (Which aired in the previous season), is included as an extra. However, beyond that the only extras are the aforementioned commentaries (which, again, you should just turn them on right away as they only last 2-4 minutes) and unfinished deleted scenes.

It should be noted, this is easily some of the best box art that Comedy Central has released for any of its South Park sets.

Overall, it was a solid season of South Park, but if you were really hoping to get some insight, of any kind, into the 201st episode situation, you’re going to be sorely disappointed until Comedy Central deems it worthy to release an uncensored version of the season.

"South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season" is on sale April 26, 2011 and is not rated. Animation, Comedy. Directed by Matt Stone, Trey Parker. Written by Matt Stone, Trey Parker. Starring Matt Stone, Trey Parker.

May
01
2011
Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.

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