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Featured TV on DVD Review: South Park: Season 17

September 13th, 2014

South Park: Season 17 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

I've reviewed a number of season of South Park and my opinion is starting to sound like a broken record. It has been roughly seven years since the last truly classic episode (Make Love, Not Warcraft). They've come close a few times since then, but they've also had more episodes that were just not funny. Does the series return to its heights? Or is it continuing its slow decent into mediocrity?

The Show

It's the latter. This is a very mediocre season.

  1. Let Go, Let Gov
    Cartman wants to stop the NSA from spying on everyone, so he uses social media to tell everyone his thoughts ...
    At least it is more topical than last season's opener on toilet seats. Unfortunately, its no more humorous that last year's weak opener.
  2. Informative Murder Porn
    South Park parents are watching "Murder Porn", TV shows that sensationalize murder. When one of the husbands kills his wife, the kids decide to get together and block these channels using Minecraft feature as a password.
    There's an extended joke about how bad the custumer service is for cable companies, which is even less topical than the NSA jokes. Overall, it is just not funny enough.
  3. World War Zimmerman
    Cartman thinks Token, and the rest of African-Americans, are going to riot after the Zimmerman verdict. So he hijacks a plane and reenacts World War Z.
    This might be too topical, given the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. Not to mention Zimmerman got into a road rage incident this week and threatened to kill someone. The strange coincidence aside, it is a stunningly mediocre episode.
  4. Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers
    This episode focuses on the Goth kids. Henrietta is sent to Troubled Acres, a camp for troubled kids. When she returns, she's no longer Goth, she's Emo.
    Most of the jokes revolve around the difference between Goths and Emos, or the lack of difference between those two groups. That joke gets old fast. There's also a Body Snatchers parody here, but it is not very good.
  5. Taming Strange
    The school is integrated with Intellilink, which should help the school, but it doesn't work. Meanwhile, Kyle's little brother, Ike, is going through puberty and that's causing problems between the two.
    It is marginally more funny than the previous episode, but not by much.
  6. Ginger Cow
    Cartman paints freckles and glues a red wig on a cow. Pictures spread on the news and soon Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe this is cow fulfills a prophecy. At first the three religions think it is a prophecy for the end of wars, but then decide it is the prophecy to the beginning of a thousand years of peace. Since Cartman and Kyle are the only two who know the truth, Cartman forces Kyle to do horrible things, or Cartman will tell the truth and ruin the chance for peace.
    On the one hand, the episode is arguably the best episode of the season so far, it is still mediocre.
  7. Black Friday
  8. A Song of Ass and Fire
  9. Titties and Dragons
    This is a three-part episode and the highlight of the season. It's Black Friday and the gang is trying to get 80% off a next generation console. The gang plan to work together to be one of the first eight people inside the mall. However, there is a split between those who want PS4s and those who have a bad taste in video game consoles. This war grows and soon Sony and Microsoft are supporting their respective sides.
    Meanwhile, Randy Marsh becomes a security guard at the mall, supposedly to earn a little holiday money. However, he's actually there as a ruse to be the first in the store.
    Finally, there's a side plot about George R. R. Martin and wieners.
    This is definitely the best part of the season, even if not every element works. (The wiener part simply doesn't work.) I would argue it is better than anything since Make Love, Not Warcraft.
  10. The Hobbit
    Kim Kardashian is apparently a hobbit. Also something about photoshop and self-image.
    Well... we fall back to earth. The parts with Kanye West just go on and on and on and they are just not funny.
The Black Friday Trilogy of episodes is the best South Park episodes since Make Love, Not Warcraft, but the rest of the episodes are mediocre. I think it is the weakest season to date.

The Extras

Every episode has a mini-commentary with Matt Stone and Trey Parker. There are also a handful of deleted scenes on disc one.

I didn't get the Blu-ray to review this time, but the technical presentation for the last few seasons have been good.

The Blu-ray costs $8 more or 40% more than the DVD, which is acceptable for a TV on DVD release.

The Verdict

I said last time that if South Park didn't rebound during Season 17 that it would be time to say goodbye to the show. The Black Friday trilogy gives me just enough hope that season 18 will bounce back, but three great episodes and seven mediocre ones is not enough to make the DVD or Blu-ray worth buying.

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Filed under: Video Review, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West