Cast: Trey Parker, Matt Stone (VOICES)
Release Date: June 23, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7/10
South Park returns for its amazing 23rd season! Join Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Randy as they explore the wonders of the human biome, tackle the consequences of immigration, and get banned in China. This uncensored collector’s edition is all about “Tegridy,” featuring the 300th episode of the series along with concept art.
It’s time to head on down to ‘South Park’ once again for the show’s unique twenty-third season which sees the Marsh family still living the farm life as Randy and Towelie do everything in their power to build the “Tegridy” brand, including an attempt at business with China and their own all plant-based burger, along with some seasonal specials and more. Meanwhile, back in the suburbs of South Park our favorite group of youngsters must tackle modern changes in the school cafeteria’s lunch menu, the desire for various streaming services in order to stay connected and even the conflicting feelings about vaccinations, all fully uncensored to own on Blu-ray.
Season twenty-three of ‘South Park’ is actually something quite special, largely focusing on the hilarity that ensues from Randy forcing his family into the cannabis farming life (even altering the theme song and opening segment into a ‘Tegridy Farms’ titled sitcom styling for the first six episodes of the season) and all of the headaches and ridiculousness they must endure as he makes one inane choice after another. The season is almost a grab bag of idea spinoffs done to the hilarious extreme, with the later episodes featuring a PC Babies episode and even one for The Scott Malkinson Show. Perhaps most amusing about the way this season was approached and the curious, off-beat paths it followed is that much of it was previously mentioned in the audio commentary by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone on the previous season release where they joked about how much they’d love to make an entire season simply about the Marsh family on the farm or a series entirely focused on the PC Babies which they apparently were able to make somewhat of a reality this year. Even more shocking is that this odd approach ends up resulting in one of the best seasons of ‘South Park’ in some time, loaded with clever ideas and fresh laughs that make Season 23 something wonderfully ridiculous and one that fans will likely find themselves wanting to revisit.
As far as the physical merits of Paramount Home Entertainment’s 2-disc Blu-ray release of ‘South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season’ are concerned, it brings home all ten episodes from the latest season complimented by wonderful high definition video and uncensored audio presentations in an all-new 2-disc set that definitely delivers when it comes to quality, but is somewhat lacking in bonus content; marking one of the extremely rare occurrences of a season release for the series that I can recall being entirely absent of any commentary or behind the scenes opinions with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, although the release does at least offer the usual #SocialCommentary on each episode and some ‘Concept Art’, as well as the usual matching packaging to fit perfectly alongside those previous Blu-ray season releases on your shelf.
Overall, the twenty-third season of ‘South Park’ is one of the best seasons in some time thanks to its delightfully odd and hilariously clever approach of integrating some fun spinoffs of sorts into an almost anthology like season with different focuses, yet with other various elements within all aligning neatly together at the same time. Paramount Home Entertainment’s 2-disc Blu-ray release of ‘South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season’ is definitely recommended for the fans who make a point of collecting the show on Blu-ray disc. While the latest season’s Blu-ray offering may be a bit lighter than usual when it comes to extras (almost curiously absent of any commentary or behind the scenes bonus content with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone which is a true rarity) it more than comes through in the quality department. Sporting fantastic high definition video presentations on every episode paired with great lossless and uncensored audio presentations and the usual matching package design to keep everything lining up perfectly in your collection.
The Blu-ray release of ‘South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the twenty-third season’s episodes. The video presentations look outstanding and deliver beautifully sharp, smooth and vividly colored presentations on every episode, nicely detailed down to every animated line and never suffering from any noticeable faults or issues to be found throughout. They hold up impressively even during the fast moving and heavily populated moments, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected in the slightest. Overall, these are fantastic high definition video presentations that should easily thrill the show’s fans.
The Blu-ray release features an uncensored 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack on all 10 Season Twenty-Three episodes. These multichannel soundtracks make a great compliment to the onscreen fun and serve up crisp, clean and at times somewhat aggressive bleep-free audio presentations for each episode, with all of the vulgarity and offensiveness intact. They occasionally take advantage of all five available channels in order to send the new theme songs along with vehicle activity, bits of crowd chatter and more throughout the various speakers whenever the opportunity presents itself, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, these are great uncensored 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtracks that never falter or disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season’ includes a couple of decent extras, although curiously enough is one of the first releases absent of any commentary tracks from creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The Blu-ray release of Season 23 includes ‘#SocialCommentary’ on all 10 episodes which features tweets, fun facts and trivia popping up on the screen during the episodes. A collection of ‘Concept Art’ for the season’s episodes is also included.