SOUTH PARK “The Complete Fourteenth Season” DVD Review

south park season 14 Comedy Central has released the 14th season of South Park on DVD and Blu-ray and while fans of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s brand of humor will undoubtedly find much to laugh about in this season, there is some disappointment in this particular DVD release.

South Park “The Complete Fourteenth Season” DVD is a three disc set containing all 14 episodes that aired in 2010. Tiger Woods, NASCAR, The Jersey Shore, Hoarders, Cthulhu, Inception, Facebook, and even The Shake Weight are primed for ridicule and there is no shortage of laughs as a result. Season 14 of South Park continues to push the boundaries of social satire with its classic irreverent humor, making for an often uncomfortably funny and thoroughly entertaining season.

The special features in this DVD set are minimal and include mini-commentaries for each episode by Stone and Parker. Their commentary is interesting, however they are very brief and they typically only talk over the first 5 minutes or so of every episode. There is also a a bonus episode of “The Coon” from season 13 and a short set of “deleted” scenes. Although a number of the deleted scenes were never actually animated, it’s still really funny stuff.

Now, for the disappointment.

Anyone who has purchased previous South Park seasons on DVD has had the pleasure of watching their favorite episodes with totally unbridled potty mouths spewing every shade of profanity imaginable. That’s the perk of owning a series on DVD – no bleeps and no commercials. Unfortunately, anyone who cringes at the sound of a bleep censor will be thoroughly annoyed with this DVD release. The controversial episode, “201”, airs exactly as it had appeared on Comedy Central with the same censorship it received in its original broadcast.

On the DVD, they preface the episode with:

“The following episode appears as it originally aired on April 21, 2010. After it aired, Matt Stone and Trey Parker released the following statement:

“In the 14 years we’ve been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn’t stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn’t some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle’s customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn’t mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too.”

It’s a shame that this DVD set opted to censor one of the two episodes that got South Park nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award last year and what’s strange is that the first part of the episode arc, “200”, isn’t censored in the same way at all. The words that were bleeped in “201” remain untouched in “200.” What’s even more frustrating is that the commentary tracks for both episode 200 and 201 are meager because Stone and Parker were limited in their liberty to discuss these particular episodes. I would have liked to have both versions of “201” available on the DVD so I could decide if I wanted to watch the episode as it originally aired, or if I wanted to watch the episode as Stone and Parker had originally intended. At the very least, it would have been nice to have some commentary or note from the folks at Comedy Central giving a little insight into the decision to only release the censored version on DVD.

I do hope that an uncensored version of episode “201” will become available in the future so we can finally hear Kyle’s monologue and the other final thoughts, but I would not dismiss this season as a whole even with the censorship on this current release. If Matt Stone and Trey Parker are tired of working on South Park, you’d never be able to tell by watching Season 14. The episodes continue to be loaded with their clever social commentary, completely inappropriate humor and razor sharp wit that makes South Park such a successful series. From the dedicated fan to the occasional watcher, there’s something in these episodes for all South Park fans and it is a season that should not be missed.

You can buy the DVD on Amazon.