When it first aired, “South Park” was viewed as a flash-in-the-pan cartoon that relied fully on shock value. But nine years later, the show is being hailed for its irreverent takes on society. “South Park: The Complete Fifth Season” shows the point at which it stopped being a cartoon filled with dirty jokes and became a social commentary … with dirty jokes.

The DVD begins with the infamous “FCC” episode in which the word “shit” was uttered 162 times, mocking the publicity over the use of the word in an “NYPD Blue” episode. Other episodes contain a hunt for Osama Bin Laden that aired only months after the Sept. 11 attacks, and the introduction of Towelie, a drug-addicted towel. Throughout the season, “South Park” maintains the vulgarity that made it so popular while also addressing issues like sex education.

The special features, however, are a disappointment, with only “mini-commentaries” by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. “South Park: The Complete Fifth Season” contains a standout collection of episodes that should keep established viewers happy and surprise others with its newfound intelligence.

Ratings:

Movie: ★★★★

Picture/Sound: ★★★

Features: ★

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