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Friday, October 11, 2013

DVD Review: South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season



South Park certainly hasn’t lost its touch or relevance, as is abundantly clear in the fourteen episodes that make up the series’ sixteenth season. The three-disc set includes some favorite episodes, including “Sarcastaball,” “Raising The Bar,” “A Scause For Applause” and “Obama Wins!” The episode titled “Cash For Gold” has the best musical montage sequence, which shows the entire story of the jewelry industry. The Randy Newman bit in “Raising The Bar” is hilarious. There are also short commentary tracks on every episode, as well as a few deleted scenes.

“Reverse Cowgirl”

The season opens with “Reverse Cowgirl,” in which Clyde’s mother is angry with Clyde for leaving the toilet seat up. And one night she falls in and gets stuck and dies. Ridiculous? Of course. And hilarious. I love the shot of her body at the funeral. And there are legal consequences. Who is to blame when something ridiculous happens? Just ask the newly formed Toilet Safety Administration, which of course pokes fun at those assholes at the airport who demand I take off my shoes. There’s a bit with a security official that is so bloody funny and surprising.

“Sarcastaball”

“Sarcastaball” is about how things are ruined in the name of keeping our children safe. Of course, they first make the point that professional players suffer from concussions (check out the documentary on the subject, Head Games), and we see old players baking imaginary cakes on the field and so on. After the school bans kick-offs because of the potential danger to the children, one of the parents makes suggestions on how to make the game even safer, but no one on the PTA understands that he’s being sarcastic. And so suddenly the school has a Sarcastaball team.

“A Nightmare On Face Time”

This excellent episode is presented like a horror film (specifically The Shining). It’s a Halloween episode, in which Stan’s father spends $10,000 on a Blockbuster Video store, and Stan is forced to work at the store on Halloween. But of course no one rents DVDs anymore, and Stan’s father goes mad.

“A Scause For Applause”

This is one of my favorite episodes of the show (from any season). It rips on those ridiculous “What would Jesus do” wristbands. People have them cut off after traces of a performance-enhancing drug are found on the Shroud of Turin. “Jesus did not suffer for our sins. He was, in fact, very high.” It also rips on the idea of everyone turning against an athlete simply because he took steroids (there’s a great joke about putting an asterisk next to Jesus’ name in the New Testament). There is also a great segment inspired by Dr. Seuss.

“Obama Wins!”

This is another favorite of mine, because it rips on George Lucas for selling Star Wars to Disney (which is a worse crime than creating Jar Jar Binks). Mickey Mouse shows up in Slave I and says: “I own the Death Star. I own Tatooine. It’s all mine.” One of my favorite things about this episode is the joke about Morgan Freeman narrating too many films. In the commentary track, Matt Stone and Trey Parker say that getting George Lucas out of Star Wars isn’t such a bad thing. But if the Disney castle logo opens the next Star Wars film instead of the Fox fanfare, I will likely have to kill someone.

Special Features

As I mentioned, each episode has a short commentary track by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Each of the commentaries is only a few minutes long. In the commentary for “I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining,” they talk about how the episode is based on actual experiences. The commentary on “Raising The Bar” is particularly enjoyable.

There are also a few deleted scenes. Oddly, these are included on the first disc, even though several of the scenes are from episodes on the second and third discs.

South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season was released on September 24, 2013 through Comedy Central.

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