South Park - The Complete Fourth Season
Paramount Home Entertainment has released its fourth box set of episodes from Comedy Central's gleefully tasteless animated series South Park, and while this set will doubtless please fans, it doesn't offer much in the way of bonus goodies. South Park: The Complete Fourth Season features 17 episodes from the show's fourth cycle, all formatted in their original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; the transfers are sharp and clean, and it's nice to see the material without the all-too-familiar Comedy Central "watermark" in the lower right corner. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, and the sound offers more punch than in its broadcast version. The episodes are in English, but feature no subtitles or alternate language options. The only notable bonus material on this collection are commentary tracks for each episode from series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but for this set Parker and Stone have opted to offer what they call "fun-size commentaries," which last no more than five minutes at the opening of each episode. While they do offer some interesting and often funny anecdotes along the way (particularly in dealing with the network's concerns about handicapped character Timmy, who made his debut in season four, and their unusual down-to-the-wire working methods), generally they stop talking just as they've started to hit their stride, making the commentaries more than a bit frustrating. The only other bonus items are three short bits culled from Comedy Central shows, though this set does include the rare episode "Pip, an oddball adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations that rarely pops up in reruns and will be unfamiliar to many fans. South Park: The Complete Fourth Season certainly offers up this material in well-polished form, but unfortunately doesn't offer much else for fans looking for something more.