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 - "The Wind Chimes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Frankie pleads with a mean and unyielding Rita Glossner (Brooke Shields) to take down her wind chimes, whose noise is driving the Heck family crazy. Meanwhile, Axl and Hutch find a ratty, old couch abandoned on the street and try to figure out a way to retrieve it, instead of complaining to a pretzel manufacturer for skimping on the salt, Brick instead commits himself to coming up with a new pretzel snack idea for the company, and Sue informs the family that she and Darrin are dating again.
Suburgatory - "No, You Can't Sit With Us" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Tessa takes a young social outcast under her wing, she decides to mentor her protégée for the Miss Chatswin pageant to make a statement to Chatswin society. The pageant rivalry between Tessa and Dalia comes to a head and Tessa finds herself stooping to Dalia’s level to win. Meanwhile, George, Noah, Fred and Victor go on a boy’s weekend camping trip where Fred accidently loses Victor in the wilderness.
Modern Family - "Australia" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The entire family tags along as Phil fulfills his mom’s wish for him to return to his roots and visit the country where he was conceived, Australia. Unfortunately, Phil’s attempts to embrace his native land are met by a lot of rejection, while Jay and Claire let work eat into vacation time, and Mitch and Cam get reacquainted with an old friend (guest star Rhys Darby) they can’t stand but is now a big-time celebrity in Australia.
Mixology - "Dominic & Kacey" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After countless meaningless hookups, Kacey confronts Dominic about their relationship status and is taken aback by his response. Dominic then finds himself in unfamiliar territory and turns to Tom of all people for advice. Meanwhile, Maya and Fab try to help a drunken Liv, who has been knocking back drinks all night, after they spot a flock of bar vultures eyeing her. And the chance of hooking up with someone is being hampered for Bruce and Cal as they fend off a table interloper.
Melissa & Joey - "More Than Roommates" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel wants to get rid of the ugly chair that Joe inherited from his late grandmother.
Baby Daddy - "Livin' on a Prom" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Ben tries to score Bon Jovi tickets for Bonnie; Riley and Danny act as prom chaperones.
Hot in Cleveland - "Elka Takes a Lover" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
On the eve of Victoria's big movie premiere, Emmy (Jennifer Love Hewitt) visits with some surprising news while Elka announces she'staken a younger lover (Chris Elliott).
The Soul Man - "Back in the Day" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
A disagreement between Stamps and Kim causes Boyce and Lolli to reminisce about the early days of their relationship. Deion Sanders guest stars.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "A Stalker for Hire" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jennifer and the guys think Joseph hired Leslie's stalker.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Being Responsible" (OWN, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer's fearful of getting tested for HIV.
Wednesday, April 23
- Sally Field (Gidget/The Flying Nun) - Watch Sally on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Timothy Simons (Veep) - Timothy drops by The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim appears on on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Tim Allen (Last Man Standing/Home Improvement) - Tim visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
- Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Chris Messina (The Mindy Project) - Chris will be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
- William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William will be on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
- Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari is a guest on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
- Max Charles (The Neighbors) - Max will be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
- Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.