Saturday, March 07, 2009
South Park - The Complete Twelfth Season (Comedy Central DVD, $49.99) takes you back to that quaint little town in Colorado for more adventures of our favorite group of fourth graders, their parents, and the faculty and staff at South Park Elementary School. The series, always determined to go one step further in each and every season, doesn't stop in this season by any means. Season twelve is perhaps one of the raunchiest and button-pushing seasons yet of the series, and this DVD set presents all fourteen episodes of the twelfth season in a three disc set.
The season begins with a very special episode--I guess--called "Tonsil Trouble," where poor little Cartman accidentally contracts AIDS. But not everybody feels sorry for Cartman, in fact, Kyle finds this to be hilarious, until Cartman intentionally gives him AIDS for making fun of him. How will this saga end? Britney Spears is in South Park and is going for the new headless look in "Britney's New Look." Can you get high off of cat pee? Find out in the episode "Major Boobage." Mrs. Garrison is ready for a sex-change operation (here we go again...) while Cartman is teaching a group of underachievers the "white man's method" (how to effectively cheat) in "Eek! A Penis!" The Internet has disappeared in South Park in "Over Logging," so how will the townsfolk survive? The kids go on a field trip to 1864 (and it is a disaster) in "Super Fun Time." Butters and Cartman are determined to save the USA from China, one P.F. Changs restaurant at a time, in "The China Problem." Flute bands are taking over South Park and the boys of South Park Elementary want in on it in "Pandemic," but it all backfires very quickly. We find out the truth about Barack Obama and John McCain in "About Last Night...," that they are working together as international jewel thieves! What is the difference between a vampire and a Goth? Find out in "The Ungroundable," where poor Butters goes to the dark side after drinking some blood.
The DVD set comes in the same type of packaging that we've seen for all of the South Park sets so far--a five panel digipak, with the discs in the three center panels and the listing of all of the episodes on the two outer panels. The cover art features Kenny driving the car from the episode "Major Boobage," with all of the other boys (except for poor Butters, who honestly has become a major part of the cast lately) in the other seats of the car.
Now, for the menus--I'm going to have to spare some details on the menus, because not all of them are appropriate to describe on our website! You'll see what I mean if you get the set... we are talking sexually graphic on the menu for Disc 2! But basically, the menus give you an Episode Selection option, as well as an individual listing for any special features and a Play All option. Once you select an episode, it plays right away, with chapters placed throughout each episode.
There isn't a problem at all with the video and audio quality, as each and every episode on the set looks and sounds fine. Each episode is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo Sound and is closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired. As mention, the episodes are unedited and uncensored, which means that you'll bee seeing and hearing a little bit more than what you saw and heard on the Comedy Central airings of the episodes. Expect a lot of f-words, for sure, and many other words that were bleeped out on the broadcast versions. Each episode consistently runs around 22:05 per episode.
The set features bonus features unlike most of the previous sets. Fans have gotten used to basically bare-bones sets for this series (aside from the mini-commentaries), but this set goes a little bit further. Of course, to start off, yes, there are still mini-commentaries for each episode. It seems that the creators aren't interested in doing full episode commentaries, which I guess is fair enough, as that is probably very time consuming and they may not have enough to say to fill an entire episode. But we have other special features this time as well, including "Six Days to South Park," where we get to see the process of making the series--in six days. Yep, that is all it takes to make an episode of South Park, six days! This is one of the first true behind-the-scenes things I have ever seen related to the series, and it is interesting to watch. It runs at 1 hour, 22 minutes (yes, I am serious!) and goes through the entire process of making the episode "Super Fun Time." Next, we have a "Behind the Scenes" featurette for the episode "About Last Night..." that runs at 22 minutes, but don't be fooled too much by this featurette. It is really more of a full commentary for the episode with a few drawings thrown in here and there. Finally, the episode "Major Boobage" has its own 13 minute behind-the-scenes featurette. So, as you can see, if you like behind-the-scenes footage, this set has plenty of that!
As an important note, this is the first set of South Park that is available not only on DVD, but also on Blu-ray High Definition. So for those using Blu-ray, you may want to consider purchasing that version of this set. We did not receive that version for the purposes of this review, as we prefer to focus on the standard DVD version (which is what most consumers will probably purchase), but the Blu-ray version is certainly available.
All in all, this is another great South Park set, and in my opinion, perhaps the best one yet. These episodes are among the best ones I have seen in the series, and the set is one of the best that I've seen when it comes to special features. There is absolutely no excuse in the world for any fan to skip this set. So head on up to South Park and meet these friends of mine today!
-- Reviewed by skees53
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The Middle - "Stormy Moon" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Frankie is gobsmacked when she is handcuffed, arrested and taken to the police station. But when she discovers that her arrest was over an unreturned library book, she sets her sights on the only person she suspects to be the real guilty party - Brick. Meanwhile, Sue doesn't know how to express her feelings of disdain to Reverend TimTom over his new partner and girlfriend, Reverend Tammy (Casey Wilson, “Happy Endings”), and Axl and Cassidy reunite during Spring Break but find themselves mostly kissing and not talking to one another.
Suburgatory - "I'm Just Not Into Me" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Tessa drags Malik and Lisa to a college party, she meets a male version of herself and becomes enamored. They see eye-to-eye on everything and it’s almost the perfect relationship. Meanwhile, Dallas enlists a matchmaker to set her and Dalia up, but the matchmaker convinces Dallas to date herself and she decides to get back to basics with a new look.
Modern Family - "Other People's Children" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
It’s male-bonding day when Jay takes Luke into the garage to show him the way around tools and impart some manly wisdom, and Gloria goes with Claire and Lily to shop for Lily’s flower girl dress. Elsewhere, Mitch, Cam, Alex and Manny go for a cultured day at the museum but it eventually becomes survival of the smartest. And Phil enthusiastically offers to help Andy with his anniversary gift to his girlfriend, which is an elaborate video expression of his love.
Mixology - "Bruce & Jessica" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Bruce is as abrasive as they come and when he sets his eyes on Jessica, a single mom from New Jersey, he thinks she’s easy prey. He’s very quickly rejected, but he ignores Tom and Cal’s advice to abort the mission and he continues to pursue her. Meanwhile, Liv decides to indulge her curiosity with Ron, but that leads to some unexpected trouble.
Men at Work - "Jude Awakening" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Tyler attempts to ask Jude out on a date, but her past gets in the way. Worried that Gibbs is bottling up his emotions, Milo tries to get him to cry. The big source of Neal's sexual anxiety is revealed.
Men at Work - "Odd Milo Out" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Tyler and Jude try to keep their new relationship a secret. Milo, already feeling left out since quitting Full Steam, has his traditional movie night taken away from him. Gibbs is hurt when Neal finds a new apartment. PJ tells a paranoid Myron to expect big changes in the office.
Melissa & Joey - "To Tell the Truth" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel and Joe's friendship with another couple is jeopardized when a secret is revealed; Zander comes to Ryder for help after he flunks out of art school.
Baby Daddy - "A Knight to Remember" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Tucker tries to hide the fact that he's not a lawyer when his father arrives for an unexpected visit; Riley develops a crush on a British stranger; a trip to a Renaissance fair leads to subway shenanigans.
Love Thy Neighbor - "Permission Granted" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Philip asks Danny for permission to take his mother on a date.
Wednesday, March 12
- Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Watch Krysten on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
- Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
- Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) - Busy talks about the new season of Cougar Town on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
- Jennie Garth (What I Like About You) - Jennie will be a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. She will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Dave visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Kevin Bigley and Jessica McNamee (Sirens) - The cast of Sirens will be guests on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
- Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) - Atticus appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Lori Loughlin (Full House) - Lori will be on Morning Joe on MSNBC between 6-9am.
- Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
- Wilmer Valderamma (That '70s Show) - Wilmer stops by Pop Sugar on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah is a guest on Pop Sugar on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.