Dang, they still do South Park? It's not that I thought they disappeared from existence or whatever, I just have drifted away from a lot of my pre-father things, and thing being among them. Sure, I still enjoy Team America as much as the next person, but that's been a decade and a half ago, and I honestly thought they stopped doing them. But when you can bring in guys like Josh Gad (Frozen) and Peter Serafinowicz (Spy) as consultants, filling the role that Bill Hader (Barry) appeared to once hold, it keeps things light I suppose.
The show brings back the foul mouthed Kyle, Stan, Cartman and muffled Kenny for their third decade of adventures. Over the course of Season 22, they tackle such topics as climate change (and denial of same), school shootings, and Amazon's presumably unspoken desire to take over your life. Some of the approaches are new, while others bring up older characters, sometimes over multi-episode arcs, so perhaps give them a sense of closure.
Now having not seen South Park in a long time, the beauty of getting into it again is that very little ramp up is needed, you generally know who's who or you figure out those who you're unfamiliar with pretty quickly. There's also an occasionally fun B story in an episode that is as enjoyable, if not more so than the A one, such as Red Dead Redemption, or Cartman's take on Black Panther. Something that's superficial yet fairly spot on.
And things like school shootings may be sticky material to get into, but they're told as earnestly as show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone can tell them with the mythology they've carved out over the years. Some of the way they approach these things isn't going to be pleasant, but it's what they know and how they do it.
Come to think of it, that's probably the way they've kind of kept soldiering on to do these things, while at the same time managing to have fewer and fewer eyes on them as the seasons go. Whether it's because people have grown tired of the stories they tell or of potentially how "woke" they've become, every day is a new adventure in offense for the South Park quartet.
For me, perhaps I could get into them again at some point (I was a regular watcher of the show into their teenaged years), but I'm not sure what it would take for me to do it. Perhaps Matt and Trey need a fresh approach, I don't know, but there's definitely talent there and has been for years, but the sad part is everyone else has changed while they, for better or worse, have stayed the same.
Ten episodes are spread evenly over two discs and all are presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and in high definition, or as much as a show that started out as cut out paper figures can do. Having not checked out the show in recent years, there have been some improvements in broader strokes and more subtle moments, but the colors are vivid without oversaturation, and no haloing or smearing that I found. It looks good given the source.
The TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack for all of the episodes help pick up the banjo in the opening episode music notes and for the Primus song and out credits. Explosions do have a decent about of low-end engagement, dialogue is consistent for most of the show, though directional effects and channel panning are a little light over the course of the show.
Both discs have almost the same level of extras, the mini-commentaries with Trey and Matt are here (dang, they still do those?), where they talk about motivations for episodes or story arcs, but also question why they're still doing these. The mini-commentaries I mean. They also talk about the season as a whole. Quick, not that substantive. The "social commentaries" are just pop-up tweets here and there. Disc One has seven deleted scenes (8:15) from five of the season's episodes, but I didn't feel like my doors were blown off with the new material.
Season 22 of South Park imparts new topics with the tried and true South Park retelling, and brings in long forgotten characters for one of their last turns around the track. Technically, the disc looks and sounds good, and the extras are presumably the save as they've been for scores of releases at this point, so if you're getting into South Park now you're into blessed territory my friend.