The South Park: Seasons 21-25 Blu-ray was recently released by Paramount Media Networks and MTV Entertainment Studios. The eight-disc box set is a solid value for fans of cable’s longest-running scripted series. From the pandemic to the return of ManBearPig, there are plenty of notable events covered over the five seasons — both within the show’s canon and real life.
It’s important to note what the South Park: Seasons 21-25 Blu-ray is rather than what some fans might hope it is. Those looking for a more premium collection filled with bonus features won’t find it here. These are just the original Blu-rays of the five respective seasons, packaged into one set with no additional bells or whistles. If you own the individual seasons, there’s no real reason to purchase this.
This also means only Seasons 21 and 22 have mini commentaries available, with no insight from creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker for the three other seasons. In fact, Seasons 24 and 25 have no bonus material at all; Season 23 has concept art and deleted scenes, at least. It’s a real shame, as it’d be great to get the creators’ thoughts on how the pandemic has impacted the show and their process — with Season 23 just being two specials and 24 being a truncated run of six episodes.
Since these are the original discs, finding the episode you want can be tricky. Seasons 21-23 are all on two discs apiece, and there are no labels on them aside from “Disc One” or “Disc Two.” Seasons 24 and 25 don’t have any labels at all, as they were one-disc releases. Unless you can recognize the art and associate it with its season, you’ll need to think about which disc you’re pulling out. These are relatively minor complaints, of course, but it really spells out what this is — a collection built around value rather than a premium one.
Nitpicks aside, there’s a lot to like here. Season 21 was a return to form for South Park, as it went back to episodes telling individual stories after Season 20 deviated into more linear storytelling. Seasons 22 and 23 were excellent, with the larger Tegridy Farms storyline getting to shine, while also lampooning everything from Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker to how the U.S. responds to school shootings. Stone and Parker have always had biting commentary, and the show’s consistent quality throughout 20+ years is quite remarkable and something that can’t be said for other long-running shows like The Simpsons.
As mentioned, Seasons 24 and 25 are shorter in length and were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Appropriately, Season 24 is comprised of two episodes, “The Pandemic Special” and the “South ParQ Vaccination Special.” Both are hilarious, and I always thought of the “chin diapers” joke whenever I saw people improperly wearing masks after watching it. Meanwhile, Season 25 had six very good episodes, with “The Big Fix” being the real highlight. It’s the best Tolkien Black episode yet and manages to retcon the character’s name in the funniest way possible.
If you’re looking to own these five seasons of South Park and don’t yet own any of the discs, then the South Park: Seasons 21-25 Blu-ray is a great value. There are no frills for later seasons, but it delivers exactly as advertised. It’s an easy recommendation for fans of the show.
Disclosure: ComingSoon was sent a copy by the publisher for our South Park: Seasons 21-25 review.