All fourteen monumental episodes from South Park’s tenth season are now available in this exclusive three-disc collector’s set. Join the boys as they witness the death of their beloved Chef, band together to defeat a virtual villain who is out to destroy the world and wrestle with the disturbing consequences of seeing the Prophet of the Muslim people on a popular cartoon. For them, it’s all part of growing up in South Park.
For those South Park fans who have wondered if their beloved animated series would lose its satirical edge after a decade on the air, the Complete Tenth Season boxed set provides a resounding negative. Creators Matt Park and Trey Stone come out swinging with the season opener, “The Return of Chef,” which addresses both the media frenzy churned up over the headline-grabbing “Trapped in the Closet” episode from the previous season, as well as the departure of Isaac Hayes, who voiced the well-loved Chef (and netted the series its highest ratings for a debut episode in years). Not content to leave one religion alone, the show tackles the 2006 riots over the depiction of Mohammed in Dutch newspapers (and delivers a much-deserved zing to Family Guy) in the two-part “Cartoon Wars” (the revelation of Family Guy‘s real writers is among the funniest notions ever penned for South Park) and intelligent design in “Go God Go” (Mrs. Garrison is up in arms over being forced to teach evolution until the arrival of Richard Dawkins changes her mind). Also in the show’s firing line are such sacred cows as Oprah Winfrey (Towelie pens a faux memoir a la A Million Little Pieces in “A Million Little Fibers”), Al Gore (who attempts to drum up interest in his hunt for the mythical “ManBearPig”), environmentalists (who create a new form of pollution with their hybrids in “Smug Alert!”), the popular online game World of Warcraft (“Make Love, Not Warcraft,” which earned the series an Emmy nomination) and George W. Bush (who tangles with Kyle over 9/11 in “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce”). Of course, South Park wouldn’t be South Park without moments of jaw-dropping bad taste, and viewers are treated to not one but two jokes about the death of Steve Irwin (including his appearance at a Halloween party thrown by Satan in the critically reviled “Hell on Earth 2006), children with terminal diseases, teacher-student sexual relations, and a whole host of bodily functions and absurdly graphic violence (the latter is provided by a trio of serial killers in “Hell on Earth 2006”). Supplemental features on the three-disc set are limited to a brief introductory commentary track on each of the episodes by Parker and Stone; while short, they underscore the duo’s irreverence and highlight some of the trials they underwent to produce the season (in particular, the network’s concern over “Cartoon Wars”). –Paul Gaita