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Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Writing Credits:

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.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 223 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 6/23/2020

• “#Social Commentary” for All 10 Episodes
• Concept Art


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 18, 2020)

It’ll never catch up with The Simpsons, but South Park shows no signs it plans to depart TV screens any time soon. I’ll examine all 10 Season 23 programs in the way presented on the discs, which also is the order in which they were first broadcast. The synopses come from the package itself.

Disc One:

Mexican Joker (aired 9/25/19): “Kyle falls victim to the family separation policy when Cartman tells ICE that the Broflovskis are illegal immigrants.”

With this episode’s opening credits, we get a daring choice, as it recasts South Park as Tegridy Farms, with Randy Marsh as the star. That becomes the extent of the rebranding, though Randy and his pot-selling business act as a major element of the episode.

And a major drag. As South Park progressed, it made Randy more and more of a leading character, a choice I never thought worked and “Joker” doesn’t change that opinion.

The plot line related to the immigration issues also flops in a major way. While “Joker” attempts to use that circumstance to mock comic book movies, it simply can’t find humor in the scenes with kids stuck in detention camps. “Joker” offers a poor start to the season.

Band in China (aired 10/2/19): “In his relentless pursuit of profits, Randy has a unique idea to introduce Tegridy Farms to the massive market in China. Back home, Stan’s new death metal band Crimson Dawn gets a biopic.”

Hmm… so businesses sell out so they can make money in China, eh? That doesn’t offer a particularly insightful concept, and “Band” doesn’t find a creative way to explore it.

I like a few gags here – such as when the record exec asks if the South Par kids are from the 90s – but too much of “Band” explores predictable material. Throw in too much emphasis on Randy and the show lacks much bite.

Shots!!! (aired 10/9/19): “Cartman faces expulsion from school when it’s discovered that he has never been vaccinated. Despite many attempts, Cartman has the almost animalistic ability to escape the doctor’s needle.”

On the negative side, we still get too much of Randy and Tegridy Farms. The series’ 300th episode, “Shots!!!” makes multiple lousy jokes related to the topic.

On the positive side, Cartman-focused episodes usually work, and his side of the episode brings some laughs. Not enough to redeem the show, though, as it becomes another iffy program.

Let Them Eat Goo (aired 10/16/19): “Randy’s partnership with China is over, and he’s found a new way to make money from Tegridy Farms. Cartman is so enraged at the thought of healthy food in schools that he gives himself a heart attack.”

On one hand, I must admire the series’ obscure spoof of There Will Be Blood. On the other hand, “Goo” comes with a muddled message, as it feels more like a lecture on how awful those plant-based meat products must be. Cartman brings some minor laughs but this seems like another meh episode.

Tegridy Farms Halloween Special (aired 10/30/19): “On a visit to the local museum, Butters awakens an Egyptian mummy and brings about an ancient love curse. Randy needs to face that his daughter has a drug problem: she hates marijuana.”

Boy, S23 really seems like it’ll never stop being the Randy Marsh Show. As I noted at the start, I don’t like the character, and the growing emphasis on Randy makes S23 more of a drag than it should be.

Still, “Special” turns into the best episode so far, mainly via the Butters storyline. While not brilliant, the theme related to his relationship with the mummy offers actual humor. This never turns into a great show, but at least it’s good, which makes it superior to the sub-mediocrity of the first four programs.

Season Finale (aired 11/6/19): “Randy has alienated everyone in South Park, including his own family. When he’s arrested for crimes attributed to ‘Mexican Joker’, no one will help him.”

The episode’s title reflects the apparent end of the “Tegridy Farms” narrative – and not a minute too soon. That theme got old… immediately, so I feel awfully pleased to see S23 finally bring it to a conclusion.

Other than this happy event, “Finale” falls flat. It again tries to muster comedy from the kids in cages, and racial aspects of the episode seem outdated only seven months after the episode’s debut. A few funny moments emerge but the program mostly sputters.

Board Girls (aired 11/13/19): “When Vice Principal Strong Woman loses an athletic competition to a surprising new competitor, she and PC Principal are thrown into an emotional tailspin. Cartman objects when the school starts admitting girls into the Board Game Club.”

The notion of a man who feigns identification as a female for various advantages isn’t exactly fresh, and “Girls” finds nothing creative in that vein. The PC Principal/VP Strong Woman characters always seemed one-dimensional anyway, and “Girls” doesn’t come up with anything new to say. The Game Club adds a little humor but not enough to turn this into a winning show.

Turd Burglars (aired 11/27/19): “Sheila Broflovski feels better than ever after receiving a fecal transplant. Stan, Cartman and Kenny see a way to get their hands on the latest video game: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.”

Wow – a Season 23 episode that produces multiple laughs! Obviously, the show goes for scatological humor to an extreme – it’s an episode about poop, after all – but it still manages some pretty good bits. It feels like a flashback to the series’ better days and easily turns into S23’s best.

Basic Cable (aired 12/4/19): “The new girl at school has diabetes, and Scott Malkinson assumes that the two of them must be soulmates.”

No one will confuse a show that relies on so many jokes about lazy cable guys as creative genius. Still, “Basic” manages some decent comedy – at least by S23 standards. While not good compared to the series’ stronger years, it seems positive for this one.

Christmas Snow (aired 12/11/19): “It’s Christmastime in South Park, but things are not so merry now that a city ordinance has been put in place banning alcohol during the holidays. Since no one wants to face the holidays sober, the town reaches out to Randy to come up with a Christmas special.”

S23 concludes with a relative dud, mainly because it brings back Randy. The season’s uptick coincided with his absence, and he creates a drag on the season finale.

Not that the rest seems memorable either. The theme about South Park’s love for impaired driving feels silly even for this series, and the preoccupation with drugs lacks cleverness. This becomes a dull ending to a mostly weak season.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

South Park: The Complete Twenty-Third Season appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. We got terrific picture quality as usual from the episodes.

Expect excellent delineation from the shows, as they boasted strong accuracy and clarity. No issues with softness emerged at any point.

The shows lacked jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. I also saw no source defects.

Colors went with a broad palette, and the episodes evoked the hues well. The tones looked bright and vivid through S23.

Blacks felt dark and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and concise. We got great visuals from the shows.

While not memorable, the series’ Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio still seemed more than satisfactory for the programs. As usual, the soundfields tended toward a sense of general environment along with music.

Occasional more impactful moments emerged, though, such as the explosions during “Mexican Joker”. Those became the exception to the rule, though, so expect the soundscapes to remain semi-subdued much of the time.

Audio quality worked well, with dialogue that consistently appeared natural and concise. Music showed nice range and clarity as well.

Effects became accurate and full, with appropriate impact as necessary. The shows came with perfectly adequate audio.

All 10 episodes include #SocialCommentaries. These provide text tracks that give us information about the creation of the shows as well as references to other episodes and cultural influences.

While S22 offered some good text info, the “Social Commentaries” for S23 seem more lackluster. The blurbs appear too infrequently and they don’t tell us a ton of useful info. They’re a painless addition, as they don’t distract from the shows, but they fail to contribute much of value.

Disc One also includes Concept Art. We find 23 screens of images that mix character designs, storyboards and other elements. I like the material but wish the presentation didn’t cram so much into each screen.

Season 23 of South Park finds the series at a low point. The weakest collection of episodes to date, this becomes a year to forget, with only a few moderately amusing programs. The Blu-rays offer excellent visuals and good audio but the set lacks many bonus materials. Hopefully South Park will rebound with Season 24, as this delivers a mostly disappointing mix of shows.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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