Kenny, Kyle, Stan, and Cartman return for a ninth season of bizarre happenings, including Tom Cruise getting trapped in a closet, Mr. Garrison’s sex change, the boys trying to get a whale to the moon, and so much more. But, is it any funny? It sure is! While not as strong as previous seasons, South Park: The Complete Ninth Season is a must-own for fans!
As the press release goes, all fourteen episodes from South Park’s infamous ninth season are now available for the first time in this exclusive 3-disc collector’s set. This season features Kenny’s epic battle between heaven and hell, uprising of redheads and adventures surrounding a certain closet. For these boys, it’s all part of growing up in South Park!
The ninth season is one that occasionally divides fans. Some fans view this season as a bit of a lowpoint between season eight and ten. Others see it as a season that’s the usual top-of-the-game work from Stone and Parker before the show went a bit off kilter in the tenth season. Personally, I can see where the comments of mediocrity can come from. Not every episode in this collection is a home run, but the show does try a few new things this year that I found quite fresh and interesting. Episodes like “Free Willzyx” seems to build up to a hilarious closing image instead of the using laugh-a-minute formula of previous episodes.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable collection of episodes, including the controversial “Trapped in the Closet” and “Bloody Mary.” Despite the complaints of the show’s erratic quality in the Ninth season, South Park won it’s first Emmy during this season, for “Best Friends Forever,” and was nominated for a second in 2006 for “Trapped in the Closet.” On top of that, both “Trapped in the Closet” and “Bloody Mary” stewed up controversy and were eventually temporarily pulled by Comedy Central. Of course, this decision was reversed quickly, but the kicked up dust was enough to give the show newfound attention and a newfound spark for the next season.
The episodes included in this collection are:
“Mr. Garrison’s Fancy New Vagina,” “Die Hippie, Die,” “Wing,” “Best Friends Forever,”and “The Losing Edge” round out Disc One. Disc Two contains “The Death of Eric Cartman,” “Erection Day,” “Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow,” “Majorine,” and “Follow That Egg. ” The third and final disc houses “Ginger Kids, ” “Trapped in the Closet,” “Free Willzyx,” and “Bloody Mary.”
It’s a solid collection that, if you’re a South Park fan like myself, you’ll gobble up in a couple days (if that). The best part about these collections are how watchable they are. Each disc provides almost two hours of great comedy, and the episodes themselves fly by. They rarely feel short, with only a few episodes in this collection, such as “Wing” or “Ginger Kids,” that feels a bit long. Some of these episodes also throw in some gore, such as “Mr. Garrison’s Fancy New Vagina,” or change the formula bit, such as “Free Willzyx,” to add something new to the collection. It’s not a perfectly balanced season, but the entire set is still so easily watchable.
The DVD itself is presented in the same fashion as previous sets. Matt Stone and Trey Parker sit in for mini-commentaries (or “Commentary-Minis,” as they call them) on each episode, divulging sometimes new but usually recycled news. As usual, there’s also trailers before the first disc menu and the usually enjoyable Comedy Central Quickies. The audio and video remain exactly the same as before. The episodes do look sharper, but that could be due to the evolution of the show’s look over the past few seasons. Having watched some of the earlier DVD collections, it’s remarkable to see how the show has changed over the years.
This collection is worth picking up. Some die-hard fans may be skeptical to get it, based on the mixed comments from the season, but it’s worth having. Even for episodes like “Bloody Mary” alone, it’s worth having. This show has remained one of the new consistent performers on television, and even this season shows the creative team still have the chops. Yes, some episodes are dicey, but it’s still a collection worth owning. The extras are the same as before and still enjoyable for the brief amount of bonus materials, but the big draw is the main show (i.e., the actual episodes).
South Park: The Complete Ninth Season comes Recommended. The pros definitely outweigh the cons by a wide margin, with the laughs coming (usually) fast and furious. As the show continues to evolve, it’s interesting to see the seasons during the transition, or during a temporary lull in the quality. While not as strong as previous seasons, South Park: The Complete Ninth Season is still a strong product and worth picking up.
South Park: The Complete Ninth Season hits shelves March 6th, 2007.
Originally posted on DVD Discussion forum in March of 2007