SOUTH PARK: THE COMLPETE FOURTEENTH SEASON
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The fourteenth season of “South Park” is easily the most controversial ever. Featuring fourteen episodes, this year the boys face radical celebrities, Facebook, medical marijuana, Nascar, “Jersey Shore,” BP, Cthulhu and bellyaching corporate executives who puss out at the threat of the threat of violence at the mere reference to the image of the prophet Mohammed.
WHAT I LIKED
Looking back on the fourteenth season of “South Park,” which was horribly overshadowed by the Mohammed image controversy, there were still some great episodes. In particular, the lashing out against Facebook (and in association, “Tron”) was sheer brilliance. Also, the exposure of banned literature as the fraud for what it is was so well constructed in “The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs.” The three-part comic book series episodes brought back some of the edge that was lost after the controversy surrounding the episodes “200” and “201.” And finally, finishing off the season with a dollop of “Crème Fraîche” was quite brilliant.
After more than a dozen years on the air, Trey Parker and Matt Stone still have a great edge to them. It’s too bad they have been burdened by political correctness and corporate censorship, which could very well lead to the end of the series.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Almost every problem I have with the fourteenth season of “South Park” can be traced back to the controversy surrounding the image of Mohammed and subsequent network censoring of episode “201.” This was such a kick in the balls to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who have been pioneers in the world of entertainment free speech.
I find it sad that there is such a state of fear in this world that something like this was censored, yet the following episode made fun of handicapped kids at camp, and that was left to air without a problem. Even in the notorious “201” episodes, Buddha was shown snorting coke, but because Buddhists are peaceful people, it’s okay to let them be picked on. Violent Islam extremists are coddled, letting them win the international bully contest.
Parker and Stone were so beaten down by their treatment in this situation that the show barely recovered by the end of its season run. The final few episodes were good, but without the support of the network (which otherwise considers itself progressive and edgy), the show suffered possibly irrevocable harm.
Unlike previous “South Park” DVD and Blu-ray releases, this box set does not come with an “Uncensored” label. Otherwise, it would have been false advertising. All the fucks, shits and other profane words are left in the show, but episode “201” remains censored, even when it’s just words about fear and intimidation.
There are mini-commentaries on each episode, which are always interesting to listen to. But again, episode “201” is tainted with several minutes of bleeping to cover up what these so-called protected artists were saying. I lost respect for Comedy Central for this.
Additional features include deleted scenes on several episodes and the original episode of “The Coon” from the thirteenth season so viewers can catch up on the comic book hero history before watching the penultimate arc of the season.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
“South Park” fans, even though it’s not an uncensored presentation.