One of the interesting things about South Park is how they’ve had running gags and call backs, but don’t go back to a subject once they’ve taken it on. But having been around for more than two decades, some of those subjects have evolved, or just not gone away. And so it is that in some of the episodes presented in South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD, they not only tackle new cultural issues but some old though still relevant ones as well.
Originally airing between September…
and December of 2018, the ten episodes presented on the South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD have the kids dealing with such issues as social media backlash, how Amazon treats their workers, and e-scooters, among other things.
But in the episode “A Boy And A Priest,” they take on the Catholic priest child molestation scandal like they did in the season six episode “Red Hot Catholic Love.” Similarly, the episodes “Time To Get Cereal” and “Nobody Got Cereal?” return to the subject of global warming and climate change deniers that they explored in season ten‘s “ManBearPig.”
Except that the episodes on the South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD aren’t rehashes of those earlier stories. In “A Boy And A Priest,” they take the next logical step — essentially having this episode be a sequel to “Red Hot Catholic Love” — by having South Park’s priest, Father Maxi, feeling guilty about how his silence on the subject makes him complicit.
In the same vein, “Time To Get Cereal” and “Nobody Got Cereal?” shows the problem of denying the problem laid out in “ManBearPig” by having ManBearPig violently slaughter people while people standing nearby deny his existence even when getting drenched in the blood of their neighbors.
These episodes also leave the door open…
for further returns by not solving the problems they’re discussing. Priests are still molesting kids at the end of “A Boy And A Priest,” and the Catholic Church is still covering it up, but Father Maxi accepts that he can’t stop it, he can only do his best to protect the kids in South Park. Similarly, the end of “Nobody Got Cereal?” sets up ManBearPig’s triumphant return for the twenty-seventh season.
This lack of resolution is also a running theme in other episodes on South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD. For instance, the first episode, “Dead Kids,” has Stan’s mom becomes increasingly worried about school shootings, and annoyed that other people have become jaded about this problem. But by the end, she doesn’t figure out a way to stop them, she just accepts that she can’t do anything about it.
Even with these changes, though, the episodes on South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD are still as funny as those as, well, the South Park: The Complete Twenty-First Season, the South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season, and so on. This show is nothing if not consistent.
Not surprisingly, the extras on the South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD are also the same as previous collections. Like most of the seasonal sets, all of the episodes have short audio commentaries by creators, writers, and voice actors Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And while Matt and Trey don’t understand why they still have to record them, since they don’t know that people still buy South Park Blu-rays and DVD — which may explain why these commentaries are oddly in the “Set-Up” menu, not the “Extras” one — the commentaries are actually entertaining and informative.
All of the episodes…
on the South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD also come with optional #SocialCommentary, which are on-screen text notes that read like someone on the show’s staff live Tweeted behind-the-scenes info about the episode. Like the audio commentaries, these are also funny, though more interesting than the audio ones because they run for the entire episode and are scene specific. Or, to put it another way, they have the info Matt and Trey should be conveying in their commentaries.
The South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD also have deleted scenes from select episodes. Some of which are fully voiced and animated, others are storyboard drawings, but all are pretty funny and, in some cases, would’ve worked well within their respective episodes.
They’re also not presented correctly. Instead of separating these cut scenes out by episode, they’re all in a single video on the first disc. Nor do they have any indication of why they were cut, though it is said from which episode they were cut.
As for the episodes themselves, the South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD present them as they should’ve been seen on TV: with no annoying promos for other shows occasionally running along the bottom. The episodes are also uncensored, though given how much you can get away with on cable TV these days, especially after 10PM, the difference is somewhat negligible.
In the end,
both the episodes and the extras on the South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season Blu-ray and DVD are as good as, well, the ones on the last bunch of seasonal sets. Which is why, despite the issues with this (and almost every South Park collection), this is still the best way to watch this animated comedy.