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Comedy Central Home Video presents
South Park: The Complete Eighth Season (2004)

"Oh...they took our jobs!"
- Stan (Trey Parker)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: November 16, 2006

Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Other Stars: Isaac Hayes
Director: Trey Parker, Matt Stone

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language and situations)
Run Time: 05h:08m:00s
Release Date: August 29, 2006
UPC: 097368897946
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A+AA- B-

DVD Review

Autumn promises a handful of things: falling leaves, cooling temperatures, football, and...TIMMY! Yes, nearly every fall for years has brought us the further adventures of the denizens of South Park. Still centering on the core group of kids (Kyle, Stan, Kenny, and Cartman), this amazing show rarely disappoints, always making light of the most recent of controversial current events. It's low production costs result in a quick turnaround time for each episode, allowing creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to deliver their unique brand of social commentary in the funniest and most timely of ways.

While it's not the best overall season Stone and Parker have given us, there are some side-splittingly funny episodes in the eighth season. Spread out over three discs and in their original broadcast order, this collection begins with a strange episode titled Good Times with Weapons, an interesting take on Japanese anime, but it isn't without its rough patches.

Up the Down Steroid is a brilliant recovery that really gets things going. Aspiring physically-challenged stand-up comedian Jimmy is training for the Special Olympics, and will do anything to win. If this take on the ongoing steroid scandal isn't funny enough from the Jimmy side, enter Cartman, posing as a Special Olympian, thinking he'll easily breeze through the events. Any episode centering on Cartman is a must-see, and in this one his "transformation" involves some priceless gags.

The Passion of the Jew does a wonderful job of cracking on Mel Gibson's over-hyped movie. What's amazing now, in light of Gibson's recent troubles, is how prophetic Stone and Parker were in their depiction of the actor/director as a certified loon. After the so-so take on You Got Served, titled You Got F'd in the A, comes the Butters and Cartman classic, AWESOM-O. Cartman's latest fool-proof plan finds him stuck in a hot robot costume, being used by the army as a secret weapon. That Cartman is a bona fide genius!

Disc 2 begins with The Jeffersons, which picks on the easiest target of scorn and mockery we have to offer these days, Michael Jackson. The next episode, Goobacks, is a true classic. It's funny enough that aliens are being teleported from the future by the millions, but when the union workers hold a series of town meetings, the show approaches legendary status. Let's just say you'll be repeating "They took our jobs!" for days after seeing this.

Douche and Turd is funny only for its outlandish mockery of the 2004 presidential elections, and Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes is a brilliant commentary on everyone's favorite retail conglomerate. Pre-School is the last episode on this disc, and its Cape Fear-ish feel includes some funny flashbacks to the kids' younger days.

The last disc takes on the ridiculousness of most TV news shows with Quest for Ratings. Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny put on their best suits to broadcast their own news show, and journalism will never be the same. The next episode literally left me with my mouth wide open. Stone and Parker have pushed the boundaries of censorship numerous times before, but what their animated version of Paris Hilton does at the end of Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset is beyond belief. Fortunately, despite the bad taste, the laughs are plentiful, and an appearance by Mr. Slave never hurts either.

Cartman's Incredible Gift is another laugh riot where the funniest fat kid on television has to deal with his new ability to see the future. Just when you thought you'd seen it all, this set closes with an episode that is even more outrageous than the Paris Hilton one. Woodland Critter Christmas is a rather standard holiday tale at first. Don't get too comfortable though, and forget about Mr. Hankey, as this Christmas show takes a dark yet delightful turn.

South Park's run doesn't show any signs of ending anytime soon. As long as there are pop culture and political scandals, Parker and Stone will always have someone or something to skewer, and their fans wouldn't have it any other way.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The shows are in their original full-frame format, and the overall image quality is sharp and detailed. The animation quality, while still quite crude, has improved over the years, and that shows here. The colors are a bit brighter, and there's very little in the way of grain and dirt.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The original Dolby Digital 2.0 audio tracks are very similar to those of previous seasonal DVD releases. Active surrounds and a wide dynamic range work in tandem with the crystal clear dialogue.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 56 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring That's My Bush!: The Complete Series, Stella: Season One, Windy City Heat, Reno 911!: The Complete Third Season
14 Feature/Episode commentaries by Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Packaging: Cardboard Tri-Fold
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Comedy Central Quickies
Extras Review: Along with a collection of Comedy Central DVD previews, the extras include mini-audio commentary tracks for all 14 episodes by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Ranging from just over a minute to five minutes in length, these are often just as funny as the episodes themselves. Parker and Stone go into great detail about what goes into a given episode, from story development to the animation process.

There are also four Comedy Central Quickies, brief clips from South Park, Reno 911!, Mind of Mencia, The Colbert Report.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

One can only imagine what subjects Stone and Parker will rip apart next, but it's sure to be more of the same crude, ground-breaking fun that we get from South Park: The Complete Eighth Season. This latest collection is right on par with previous sets, including more of the mini-commentaries that are always entertaining.

 


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