Saturday, April 23, 2011

Digital Digest: South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season DVD/Blu-ray Disc Review

Welcome to Digital Digest, where we give you your weekly fulfillment of all things digital in the world of home media! We've got a healthy bit of news for you this week (it's getting a little less anemic lately, thankfully!) and we've got a review of South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (DVD/Blu-ray Disc). Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

CBS Home Entertainment announced some time ago that they were going to bring more cat fights and caviar to DVD with the fifth season of Dynasty, and that got shelved for a bit, but as it turns out now, Dynasty - The Fifth Season is on the way, set for release on July 5. But it isn't JUST half a season being released on that day! You can purchase Volume 1, Volume 2, or both volumes (the entire season) on the same day. It would be nice if they would just release the entire season as one set, but at least this will speed up the releases a bit.

Dynasty isn't the only set coming out from CBS Home Entertainment on July 5, though. You can also see the fifth season of the classic action drama Mannix, with Mannix - The Fifth Season. No details are known about this set yet, but it probably won't include any special features (as the previous few sets have not), but we'll let you know if that is incorrect.

American Dad! - Volume 6 was just released on Tuesday, but information inside revealed some more animated releases on the way from Fox. The Cleveland Show - The Complete Season Two and the first season Bob's Burgers were both revealed (box art was shown for The Cleveland Show, even), but no dates or further information was given. Still, it is nice to know that these are on the way.

The Lucy Show - The Official Fourth Season is set for release by CBS Home Entertainment on Tuesday, but as is often the case, the set includes information for MPI Home Video's releases of Here's Lucy, and the latest set indicates that Here's Lucy - Season Five is indeed on the way! This is no surprise, of course, as MPI has indicated in the past that they intend to release all six seasons of the series. No release date is given just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we do.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (April 26) brings us more Lucy (a favorite of sitcom fans) with The Lucy Show - The Official Fourth Season. We don't have a review copy of this yet, but as soon as we do, we'll have a review for you. Also on Tuesday, you can "smile again" as Warner Home Video brings us more of the Seavers in Growing Pains - The Complete Second Season. You can read our review of this set here. Finally, just in time for Wednesday's premiere of the fifteenth season, Comedy Central DVD has South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (DVD/Blu-ray Disc) for Tuesday. You can read our review of this today in Digital Digest.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

A sweet little town in Colorado must be nice, clean, and perfect, right? If you live in the town South Park, you'd be wrong. Just in time for the April 27 premiere of the the fifteenth season (yes, it is the fifteenth season already!), Comedy Central DVD presents The Complete Fourteenth Season of South Park, the series about a group of foul-mouthed fourth-graders who seem to get themselves into all sorts of bizarre, controversial, and hilarious situations. Check out our review of South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (DVD/Blu-ray Disc)

DVD/Blu-ray Disc Review - South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season
by skees53

South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (Comedy Central, $57.99 Blu-Ray Disc/$49.99 DVD) gives viewers the opportunity to head back to South Park, Colorado for 14 more episodes of the most dysfunctional kids on the planet. The fourteenth season brings yet more comedy and controversy as the series takes on the Tiger Woods scandal, Facebook, Towlie's drug addiction, NASCAR, Jersey Shore, and more.

The season begins with "Sexual Healing," where some of the boys at South Park Elementary (care to guess which ones?) are diagnosed as being addicted to sex in the wake of rich and successful men wanting to have sex with many, many women. Butters writes a vulgar story that makes him into a critically acclaimed author in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs." KFC has been banned from Colorado, but medicinal marijuana is on the way in in "Medicinal Fried Chicken," but while Randy is doing whatever it takes to get some medicinal marijuana, Cartman is running a black-market KFC operation. In "200" and "201" (aka the "lost" episodes), South Park is about to be sued by all of the celebrities they've ever made fun of... unless they can convince a certain Muslim prophet to show his face in South Park! Towlie faces drug addiction while Jimmy and Timmy are facing crushing competition at Lake Tardicaca in "Crippled Summer."
Cartman's dreams of being a NASCAR driver are crushed because he realizes that he isn't poor and stupid enough in "Poor and Stupid." The Snooki monster and GTL are taking over the whole nation in "It's a Jersey Thing," and an all-out civil war erupts. In "Insheeption," the series Hoarders comes to South Park after Wendy complains about Stan's locker, but it isn't long before he and Mr. Mackey are placed in a dangerous dream. The Coon is back and is facing competition from another superhero in the three part trilogy, including the episodes "Coon 2: Hindsight," "Mysterion Rises," and "Coon vs. Coon and Friends." The Season ends with "Crème Fraîche," where Randy becomes obsessed with Food Network and wreaks havoc on all of South Park Elementary.

The episodes are all unedited, although that is a subjective term depending upon what you mean by unedited. The most important thing to note is that nothing is missing from the original broadcast versions of the episodes. That means that the episodes on the set are presented "uncensored" and have any objectionable language restored. But just exactly how "uncensored" are the episodes? Well, the episodes "201" and "202" are exactly as they aired on Comedy Central, with the deep censorship that Matt Stone and Trey Parker objected to when they aired. Apparently, Comedy Central has made it very clear that they do not want the completely unedited versions out there, and that is a shame. They even put a disclaimer about this at the beginning of the episode "202," which was so heavily censored that it only aired once on Comedy Central before being permanently pulled from their rotation. Runtimes are as follows:

1. "Sexual Healing" (22:16)
2. "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" (22:16)
3. "Medicinal Fried Chicken" (22:16)
4. "You Have 0 Friends" (22:16)
5. "200" (22:16)
6. "201" (22:44)
7. "Crippled Summer" (22:17)
8. "Poor and Stupid" (22:16)
9. "It's a Jersey Thing" (22:16)
10. "Insheeption" (22:16)
11. "Coon 2: Hindsight" (22:16)
12. "Mysterion Rises" (22:16)
13. "Coon vs. Coon and Friends" (22:16)
14. "Crème Fraîche" (22:16)

Both the DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions have relatively similar packaging, although like most Blu-ray sets, the Blu-ray set is shorter and a bit thinner (and fewer discs). The DVD contains three discs, while the Blu-ray contains two discs. Aside from that, the packaging is the same. The cover features a red background, with Kenny dressed as Mysterion and Cartman dressed as Captain Hindsight (and Kyle and Stan just as themselves) with an explosion in the background. Inside, both sets have a digipak, which has a scene from the "It's a Jersey Thing" episode on the back, and various other episode scenes inside. All of the episodes are listed on the far left and far right panel of both sets. On the DVD set, Disc 1 has a picture of Randy with his oversized testicles (from "Medicinal Fried Chicken"), Disc 2 has a picture of a shark (from "Crippled Summer," and Disc 3 contains a picture from "Crème Fraîche." The disc artwork from Discs 1 and 3 on the DVD can be found on Discs 1 and 2, respectively, on the Blu-ray set. On the DVD, Disc 1 contains episodes 1-5, Disc 2 contains episodes 6-10, and Disc 3 contains episodes 11-14. Each disc on the Blu-ray version contains seven episodes each.

The menus are rather different on both sets, but that is to be expected between DVD and Blu-ray sets. The DVD menu has a brief video clip playing from an episode on the disc, followed by a still screen that gives options of Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, and Commentaries. Beyond the beginning of the main menu, none of the menus include video animation. The episode selection menu lists all of the episodes, along with a snapshot from all of the episodes. Of course, on the Blu-ray version, the menus are all animated, and the set has a pop up menu (with the same options as the DVD set). But other than the menus looking different, they are really about the same, and there aren't any extra special features that can be found on one set that can not be found on the other. Chapters are placed throughout all of the episodes on both versions.

Both sets look excellent with regards to video and audio quality. There really aren't any problems to note on either set, and honestly, I think that the DVD looks just about as good as the Blu-ray set, though there is some improvement from the true high-definition quality of the Blu-ray. The DVDs are closed-captioned, while the Blu-ray set contains English subtitles.

The special features on this set are really not as impressive as I would have hoped for. There are the usual mini-commentaries (which only last the first few minutes of the episode) from Trey Parker and Matt Stone on every episode, as usual. Also, there are deleted scenes (6:08) from the episodes on Disc 1 of each set. And finally, the season 13 episode "The Coon" (22:16) is included, as a way to introduce the character (who appears in a three-part story in this season) to audiences who may have missed him before.

I really don't have any problems with this set, as it is just another typical South Park set. In other words, it is a great quality set with a modest amount of special features, although I always do wish that they would go deeper with the special features. I am a little disappointed that we didn't get to see the unedited versions of "200" and "201," and I'm sure that a lot of fans will be too, but I suppose those just weren't meant to be scene (well, at least by Comedy Central's standards). I'm anxiously awaiting the fifteenth season in order to see how they push the envelope this season. It seems that they push it further and further each and every season, and each time, it makes the previous seasons seem rather tame. So head on down to South Park and meet these friends of mine!

(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD version, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

To purchase the Blu-ray Disc version, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
South Park on TV.com


LOOKING AHEAD

We'll be back next week with more news and reviews, including a review of yet another rare Hanna-Barbera cartoon straight from the Warner Archive (they really keep those coming, which is great!). Until then, keep it digital!


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Sunday, January 29

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