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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Comedy Central/Paramount HE - 2012
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 308 minutes
Genre: Animation/Comedy/TV

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/60

Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Matt Stone, Trey Parker
Directed by: Trey Parker
Written by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Brian Graden
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 24, 2013
"Four boys one completely dysfunctional town"

Film Synopsis:

All fourteen episodes from South Park's legendary 16th season are jam-packed into this exclusive three-disc DVD set and 2-disc Blu-ray set. Join Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny as they hunt down the mythical Jewpacabra, ‘sketti wrestle with reality stars, and go jackin’ it in San Diego. Pile on never-before-seen deleted scenes and a healthy dose of cat breading, and you’ve got a box set that could just “raise the bar”.

My Take:

I was late to the South Park phenomena and didn’t start watching it until a few years ago. I haven’t followed it religiously but catch up by recording them on my DVR and watching when time permits. My kids have been able to download episodes to their iDevices or re-watch them on Netflix streaming (which is no longer an option much to their chagrin) and they are hooked. This is a show unlike any other animated series, both in appearance and creative concept. It stretches the boundaries of propriety to its limits and could easily be offensive to those with thin skins. If you look at it for what it is you are sure to be rewarded with deep belly laughs at its unending barrage of crude themes, blunt use of language, and unconventional plots. No stone seems left unturned when it comes to poking fun at celebrities, politicians and society in general. Season 16 has its share of hilarious inappropriateness some of which is priceless.

This season puts the South Park spin on subjects like TV infomercials, bullying, reality TV, performance enhancing drugs, our obsession with gadgets, childhood obesity (that episode “Raising the bar” received an Emmy nomination) the presidential election and more. While it all sounds a bit ridiculous or absurd it has a proven formula that works. The four mischievous imps Eric, Kyle, Kenny, and Stan (honorable mention to my man Butters) along with their parents/families/classmates provide us with much to laugh at. I think that what brings about such hilarity sometimes is how much the show makes us take a look at ourselves and some of life’s experiences that resemble those of the inhabitants of South Park. Note that I said SOME because I assure you that not all apply.

Regardless of whether you feel that way or not the show is entertaining, original and honest in its attempt to illicit audience reaction and that is where it succeeds. We caught all of this season’s episodes when they were originally broadcast but it was fun revisiting our favorites here. All 14 episodes are spread out over two Blu-ray Discs with Disc 1 containing episodes 1 through 7 and Disc 2 containing episodes 8 through 14. The set comes housed in a flimsy cardboard foldout keep case with matching slipcover.

Parental Guide:

This show contains thematic elements and language that would be inappropriate for young viewers.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 80

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

South Park: The complete 16th Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 12 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2 Mbps.

This is a great looking video presentation that boasts snappy, vibrant colors that enhance the show’s animated elements. Images are razor sharp with clear definition that brings out plenty of subtle delineation in the characters and backgrounds. This was evident in the patterned texture in the clothing worn by the kids. A similar pattern is shared by objects, backgrounds and to varying degrees in the clothing, hair and other characters. The show’s one dimensional animation doesn’t offer much in terms of depth of image but resolution was excellent which enhanced the perception of small details onscreen. I was impressed with the shading, contrast, and blacks which noticeably stood out compared to the standard backgrounds/scenery typically seen. Other than some minor color banding I didn’t see any video related artifacts worth noting.

The show doesn’t have the type of sound that calls for demanding multi-channel audio but this Dolby TrueHD surround mix certainly made the most of it. Dialogue had lucid distinction and requisite clarity through the center channel so that it maintained a prominent position within the front soundstage. Channel separation and directional spacing across the front three channels was quite good. The track has a front dominant perspective however the surrounds were used effectively to open up the sound field to enhance spatial presence. The show’s music is spread out over the entire system and supplies most of the room filling sound which is nicely underscored by punchy bass that accentuates impact. Detail and clarity were discerning which elevated the perception of smaller sounds within the recording. This mix won’t will blow you away but for an animated TV series it sounded great.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary by Matt Stone and Trey Parker on each episode

  • Deleted scenes

  • Season 16 Episode listing:
    1. 1601 – Reverse Girl
    2. 1602 – Cash for gold
    3. 1603 – Faith hilling
    4. 1604 – Jewpacabra
    5. 1605 – Butterballs
    6. 1606 – I should have never gone ziplining
    7. 1607 – Cartman finds love
    8. 1608 – Sarcastaball
    9. 1609 – Raising the bar
    10. 1610 – Insecurity
    11. 1611 – Going native
    12. 1612 – A nightmare on face time
    13. 1613 – A scause for applause
    14. 1614 – Obama wins!

Final Thoughts:

South Park: The complete 16th season is another successful installment in the continuing misadventures of the gang from this rather bizarre little town. The show’s crude style of humor may not appeal to everyone but if given half a chance Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Eric will succeed at drawing you into their world. This two disc season 16 set comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount looking and sounding great. The lack of bonus supplements is a disappointment although Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s commentary on each episode never fails to entertain. As a fan I am glad to add this to my collection and applaud Paramount for bringing it to Blu-ray Disc in typical high quality fashion. Enjoy!

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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