South Park is finally giving seasons 1-11 the Blu-ray treatment. Trey Parker and Matt Stone's legendary Comedy Central series has come a long way from its simpler beginnings, as the current comedic style of the show is almost entirely distinct from how it started. Beginning as more of an absurdist affair peppered with juvenile, often scatological humor, South Park has evolved over the years into arguably TV's most unflinchingly biting satire of American politics, culture, and society.
That's not to say they've held back on the poop and butt jokes. South Park remains as irreverent and vulgar as ever, often burying some profound statements under slapstick shenanigans and relentless vulgarity. But unless you've followed the series' trajectory from the beginning, you may be unaware that it started out more directly raunchy than it is now. Later this fall, fans both old and new will be able to go back in time to re-live its early glory in Blu-ray high definition.
Comedy Central has announced that the first 11 seasons of South Park will be officially released on Blu-ray for the first time over the impending holiday season. Seasons 1-5 will hit shelves on November 21, with seasons 6-11 following on December 19. Viewers will get their first Blu-ray-optimized experience of some of the show's long-forgotten tropes that were commonplace in the early seasons, like Kenny's repeated deaths and Chef's sexually suggestive sing-alongs.
The seasons will reportedly be released individually in two-disc sets. Season 1 will include uncensored commentary by Parker and Stone, which was not available when the season came out on DVD. For the first time, fans can get the creators' direct, uncut takes on Cartman's anal probe, the debut of Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo, and the mystery surrounding Cartman's mom (dad?) in the subtly titled "Cartman's Mom Is A Dirty Slut".
Even to its most devoted viewers, South Park's early seasons are almost shockingly different from the recent years. Beyond the crude paper animation that has since transitioned to computers, the series' sense of humor has also evolved greatly over the years. Still, seasons 1-11 aptly illustrate the show's progression toward the social satire that it became, which it achieved while retaining all of its best and most hilarious qualities. But if you just need some talking poo or giant Barbara Streisand monsters, the first season is always worth a watch.
The upcoming Blu-ray release of South Park's first 11 seasons may be must-owns for fans, but the release will come as season 21 is wrapping up - and it's unclear how the show will perform as it turns away from politics to focus back on the kids. Parker and Stone are coming off a polarizing 20th season where the narrative slowly fell apart, leaving them in need of redemption. The fan reaction to the new season may ultimately determine whether the Blu-ray release is merely a fond recalling of the show's humble origin, or a longing look back at the true glory days.
South Park season 21 premieres September 13 on Comedy Central.
Source: Comedy Central