What else is there to say about South Park? With the eleventh season of the show now coming to DVD, it turns out there is plenty left to say. The show has truly evolved, while, at the same time, not losing any of the humor and sharp perception that have made the show not only a fan favorite, but a controversial series at times. Here, in the eleventh series of the famed cartoon show, the creators behind the series, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, take a look at some of the more ridiculous current trends (Guitar Hero for one) and events and lays them out for the world to see. The results? Well, off-the-wall comedy, of course!
All fourteen uncensored episodes from South Park’s eleventh season are now available in this exclusive three-disc collector’s set. Join the boys as they attempt to rescue Imaginationland from nuclear annihilation, discover the secret behind the Easter Bunny, and get head lice. Of course, the boys aren’t the only ones caught up in the trouble, as we see Mrs. Garrison try to save a lesbian bar while Randy tries to come to grips with not having any clue how to play a hot new video game. For them, it’s all part of growing up in South Park!
Whether it’s well-timed parodies, such as their hilarious version of 300, or a jarring look at today’s social climate (which happens to be designed as a perfect parody of 24), South Park can’t miss. Yes, some episodes can be a bit underwhelming than the previous one, but, regardless, they can’t miss. After a nearly perfect season last year, they come back with another strong one, creating some of the more bizarre and most enjoyable episodes to date. So, in an attempt to give this season a fair shake, let’s quickly see what this season has to offer and then take it from there.
It’s just another solid season from the South Park guys, plain and simple. I find that they’ve managed to grow where other shows, like The Simpsons, find themselves stuck or slipping. Sure, continuity and a relevant timestream are now chucked out the window completely, but it doesn’t matter here because the show doesn’t play on that. Continuity, in a way, both matters and doesn’t matter. Past events are referenced but not in a way that makes the continuity of the series crumble. But, at the same time, there’s been about ten or eleven Christmas episodes and these boys have only gone through two grades at school. Granted, they could be failing horribly, but it just works here.
Regardless, it’s a solid season but not a perfect season. I found myself, after watching the entire season through, going back to revisit certain episodes, but skipping over some. I found either some episodes lost a bit of steam as they went on, such as “The ‘N’ Word” episodes, for example. It starts off with something so ludicrously over the top, but classic in the South Park style, and then, as it progresses, it sort of…putters out. But hey, it does have Randy doing beat poetry, and ending it with “Respect,” which in itself is worth a whole episode by itself. But, like I said, it’s a solid but not perfect season. There’s a lot of great to be found within here, including Mrs. Garrison announcing she’s gay, hitting up a lesbian bar, and having just way too much fun for her own good.
The season ends with a whopping triple-home run. First up is the off-the-wall amazing “Imaginationland” three-part episode. It already received a separate DVD release earlier this year, one that was completely warranted. I’m not sure what else I could say here that I haven’t already said there, but, regardless, this is a staggeringly awesome three-part event and should be watched. After that we get “Guitar Queer-o,” a personal favorite given my bafflement at the popularity of the Guitar Hero franchise, and the absolutely perfect season finale “The List,” an episode that truly feels like classic South Park when the boys get their hands on a list revealing who’s the cutest and who’s the ugliest. A pitch-perfect episode, even if it does go a little over-the-top at the end. Regardless, just a great way to wrap up the season.
Overall, it’s just a great season of South Park. It’s not perfectly solid, as some episodes are a bit weaker than others, but the way it wraps everything up for the year is just perfect. An over-the-top adventure wrapped up by two episodes focusing on the boys. Perfect! It’s a great season of a fun series that comes Highly Recommended! And besides, after you’ve watched “Guitar Queer-o,” you may never look at Guitar Hero the same way again.
Released through Paramount Home Entertainment, South Park: The Complete Eleventh Season comes packaged in the standard cardboard digipack, the exact same packaging the series has used since the first season release. The cover art is a timely jab at Guitar Hero, and something that will likely help sell an extra copy or two. Overall, it’s another simple yet solid presentation for the set. It’ll stick out on the shelves without any issue.
As for the content itself, it’s also more of the same. The extras themselves are more the usual “commentary minis,” which, while informative, are just too short. Matt Stone and Trey Parker do manage to cover a lot of group, ranging from behind the scenes info to politics, but there’s likely so much more left undiscussed. Still, there’s always a helping of cool information to be found, plus it is nice to hear the inspiration behind nearly every episode, so the pros do outweigh the cons here. Rounding out the package are the standard trailers and “Comedy Central Quickies.” The audio and video is a few shades above broadcast quality, on par with past releases.
Overall, it’s another solid release that any South Park fan should pick up. South Park: The Complete Eleventh Season comes Highly Recommended, to both hardcore and casual fans. With the episodes “Imaginationland,” there’s the potential for this series to reach a far greater audience, especially with the constant nostalgia revisits Hollywood tends to do. There’s literally hundreds of characters included, and this could easily serve as a stepping stone for the casual viewer to more South Park. Overall, it’s a hilarious season with the best material capping off the end. It’s a solid purchase and a fine addition to anyone’s South Park collection.
South Park: The Complete Eleventh Season is available to own on DVD August 12th, 2008.