STUDIO: Paramount Home Video
MSRP: $49.99
RUNNING TIME: 308 minutes
14-day trial for World of Warcraft
Mini commentaries by Matt Stone and Trey Parker

The Pitch

The boys from Colorado go after the sacred cows of the nerd community this season: World of Warcraft, Family Guy, Al Gore and Richard Dawkins.

The Humans

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who provide the voices for pretty much every male character in the entire show from Satan to Cartman.

The Nutshell

South Park continues its normal state of affairs in its tenth season, alternating hilarious tales of grade school hijinx with “social commentary.” The rapid fire production schedule of the show allows the animators to make episodes in just under a week’s time, which means no current news event is safe from their skewering.

Hey, remember that time we watched Al Jazeera?

The most well known episode of this season is “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” in which we see that even Blizzard isn’t above making fun of their pathetically nerdy fan base. The four boys gradually become sucked into the game and turn into MMORPG addicts, subsisting off Mountain Dew and Doritos while ballooning in size. As a special treat, the DVD set comes with a 14-day free trial of World of Warcraft so you can experience this depressing life for yourself!

The tenth season marks Issac Hayes’ last with the show and thus the character of Chef is written out of the storyline. Since Hayes was brainwashed by the scientologists and quit the show, Parker and Stone had to construct the “Return of Chef” episode using nothing but sound clips from the previous nine seasons. It’s almost as if someone created their own episode using one of those South Park soundboards.

Other issues tackled by South Park this season include the forbidden romance between school teachers and their students, the insane stupidity of 9/11 conspiracy theorists, the smug nature of Hybrid drivers, Satan’s super sweet sixteen party and the Dog Whisperer’s techniques for child rearing. Showing that not every episode has to be based upon current events, the final show is just a simple satire of the underdog sports team movie.

God bless America.

The Lowdown

It’s amazing that South Park is so consistently funny and relevant in its tenth season. By the tenth season of most shows, the creativity has hit an all time low and the show merely coasts by on its previous successes. Not so with South Park. Maybe it’s just the genius of Parker and Stone or perhaps it’s the fact that the show never shies away from making fun of any subject. Whatever the case, it’s a fact that South Park taking the piss out of Family Guy is infinitely funnier than any given episode of Family Guy.

With such a short turnaround in making the episodes, there really isn’t a lot of time for revision. The writers may want to punch up an episode, but there simply isn’t enough time. At least Stone and Parker are man enough to admit when the episodes simply suck. Having Oprah’s vagina talk and hold a gun may have seemed hilarious in the writer’s room, but it makes for one of the worst episodes of the season. Sometimes the show just reaches too hard for an issue to center itself around. Making fun of Al Gore is great, but centering an entire episode on an Oprah’s book club controversy is just a bad idea from the get go.

Ever get high on your own supply?

The bulk of the comedy comes courtesy of the Eric Cartman character, whose spoiled asshole nature hasn’t become any less funny than it was ten years ago. Cartman letting his hall monitor duties go to his head and transforming himself into Dog the bounty hunter is an inspired parody, but the best episode of the season involves the Dog Whisperer using his obedience tactics on the fat troublemaker. It’s almost an origin story, as the show demonstrates how spoiled kids like Cartman are created by weak willed parents that would rather be their child’s friend than an authority figure.

The tenth season ends on a down note with the hockey episode, but even with all of its peaks and valleys, this season is still strong and demonstrates that South Park is in no danger of going downhill anytime soon.

The Package

Trey Parker and Matt Stone don’t like commentating on their work. Anyone who has listened to their commentary tracks on films like Cannibal: The Musical and Orgazmo knows that the duo has to get themselves good and hammered in order to sit through 90 minutes of programming and comment upon it. When the duo recorded full length commentary tracks for the first season of South Park, the commentaries were yanked off the discs because they dared to make fun of Contact, a move that Warner Bros. didn’t really appreciate.

Painkiller Jane cancelled? TO THE INTERNET TO START MY PETITION!

The duo’s natural distaste for boring people, combined with the controversy over the season one set, has led them to create mini commentary tracks. Parker and Stone talk about the episode for about five minutes and then simply move onto the next one the second they’re out of things to say. It’s a rather ingenious way to do commentaries. You’ll never have to worry about one of those abominable commentary silences or pregnant pauses. As soon as the pair at a loss for things to say about the episode, they just keep on trucking and speed off to the next one. You get all the information in a fraction of the time.

The set’s only other special features are tiny previews of other Comedy Central shows. The fact that Carlos Mencia’s evil visage is on the disc might be reason enough to burn the thing in some circles. Just avoid the Comedy Central clips and keep South Park’s comedy untainted.

Nothing comes between a hardcore WoW player and his UBRS raid. Nothing.

Overall: 8.5 out of 10