These days, the only reason to buy a TV show on Blu-ray or DVD is if you’re old school (like me) or you like the extras. So I have some good news, and some bad news, for fans of South Park and physical media: While the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD do have some good special features, they could’ve been presented better.
Much like the episodes included in the South Park: The Complete Nineteenth Season discs — which ended up with a loose theme when co-creators, writers, and voice actors Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided one episode should lead to the next — the ones in the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD grew out of their desire to tell a longer story about how internet trolling impacts mainstream society, and how this influenced both the election and some fourth graders from South Park Elementary.
As a result, many of the episodes in the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD are quite relevant…but not the funniest they’ve ever made. Granted, most have some laughable bits, especially where President Giant Douche Garrison is concerned, but with Cartman not being his usual dickish self, and Kenny being largely M.I.A., nothing here approaches this hilarity of such episodes as “Mecha-Streisand” from South Park: Season 1 or “The Cissy” on the South Park: The Complete Eighteenth Season.
As for how these episodes are presented, the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD have them as they should be seen: uncut, with nothing bleeped, and with clear picture and sound. More importantly, they aren’t interrupted by on-screen promos for other shows.
Along with the ten episodes, the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD have a number of interesting extras.
First up on the the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD — by which I mean the thing you should watch first if you’ve already seen all the episodes, though last if you haven’t — is the “Season Commentary” in which Matt and Trey spend nearly twenty minutes discussing how this season came together. But while doing an overview like this makes sense, given the season’s serialized conceit, it’s hard not to wish they’d also done individual commentaries on every episode as well. Especially considering how funny and brutally honest these guys can be.
For that, you have to turn on the “#SocialCommentary” option, which presents on-screen text comments as you watch an episode. While they’re not as funny as what Matt and Trey used to say in their audio commentaries, they’re often more insightful — though also more trivial — as they run for the entire episode. That said, it’s a little annoying that they’re not located in the same menu as their corresponding episode.
The same can also be said about the eleven minutes of deleted scenes on the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD are eleven minutes of funny but understandably unnecessary deleted scenes. Except that unlike the “#SocialCommentary,” this inconveniently collects all of the cut scenes in a single video, and while it does say which episodes they were cut from, there’s no explanation as to where in the episode they were cut from or why.
Next, the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD has “Comic Con 2016: Extended Panel With Matt & Trey,” in which they talk for almost an hour about the history of the show in their typically honest way. Though as with all convention panels, it gets decidedly less interesting when they start taking questions from the audience.
The South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD also includes two show promos: “We’ve Been There,” which plays like a faux insurance ad, and “South Park By The Numbers,” which highlights such stats as “277 Episodes” and “84 Stan Vomits.” While including them may seem odd to some fans, as someone who thinks a TV show’s seasonal collection should present the whole story of that season, I’m glad they’re included.
Along similar promotional lines, the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD has the trailer for the upcoming video game South Park: The Fractured But Whole. But, again, there’s some weirdness since it’s the trailer they released in 2016, not the one they released the same week this collection came out. Nor does this have the trailer for the upcoming mobile game, South Park: Phone Destroyer, which was released the same day (the trailer, not the game). Again, though, this is only important if you’re a completionist.
In the end, the South Park The Complete Twentieth Season Blu-ray and DVD could be better all around. But as is, they present what ended up being one of the more intellectually interesting seasons of this long-running animated comedy. And while the co-creators may not attempt this kind of conceptual experiment again, it’s still interesting to watch the results.