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July 28, 2014

South Park, the Complete Twelfth Season - DVD Review

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 16th 2009 3:03PM
South Park Season 12 DVDThe South Park boys are back. And this time, they're bringing a little extra to their DVD set. This is the first set to be available on Blu-Ray, but I have not yet upgraded and only got my hands on the "regular" DVD. That's the one I'll be reviewing.

The season opened strong with the episode "Tonsil Trouble" (in which Cartman gets AIDS). On the commentary, it is explained that this was the "safe" episode that was partially finished in advance to taking a mid-season break. They showed it first because they couldn't decide which of the first three to begin the season with.

I recall not being impressed as the season progressed during its initial broadcast, but upon re-watching it, I changed my mind. This season had some clever themes and some pretty disgusting images, such as Randy Marsh at the computer.

There are mini-commentaries, of course, which give some insight to the writers' reasoning behind each episode. However, this particular set includes something that previous ones didn't: additional extras. The creators also narrate a behind-the-scenes animatics of the episode "Major Boobage" (the Heavy Metal parody), which is the first episode of the show in which they used traditional hand-drawn animation. It's interesting how Trey and Matt react to such a traditional style (which can be summarized with "it's so sloooowwwwww"). By the way, Trey and Matt didn't even like the source movie.

Another extra is a six-day diary about the creation of the episode "Super Fun Time" (one of the weaker episodes of the season). The introduction to this is a subtle take on the style of Battlestar Galactica and 24. It's interesting how the initial animatics of the show are hand-drawn. I thought they went directly to computer, but apparently, it's not until day three of the six-day process that scenes are computer-generated.

The last extra is a behind-the-scenes commentary of the episode "About Last Night.." which was about the 2008 Presidential elections. As with all the extras, only the scenes are shown (either as animatics or the finished product) with the creators making commentary. In effect, all the extras are commentary tracks of one form or another.

Despite a strong start, this season is not as entertaining as previous seasons. But, like many South Park episodes, it stands up to repeated viewings. That makes it worth the purchase.

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