There are two new shows coming up that are worth taking a look at.
Chozen is a new cartoon comedy on FX. The series focuses on the title character Chozen who is a gay rapper fresh out of prison. The husky homo hip hopper is voiced by SNL alum Bobby Moynihan whose best known for his drunk uncle character. Fans of Archer will also recognize the animated adventure’s signature visual style. Nothing else about this show follows the normal convention though. As far as I can tell this is the first (animated) thick gay rapper to grace our television screens. Shout out to Big Dipper for keeping the real life thick gay rap world afloat. With a plot so unique I just hope Chozen is actually funny. Sometimes when a show sets out to be so different they can overlook actual quality. I’m crossing my fingers because I’m really excited about this show and want to like it.
Series premier Monday 1/13/14 at 10:30 on FX.
Looking is a new gay ½ hour comedy on HBO. Jonathon Groff best known for Glee and Frozen leads the cast of fresh faced new comers. The series centers around a group of twenty something friends living in San Francisco. At first glance I wrote this show off because all of the actors (featured in the preview) are thin and trim pretty bois. In terms of breaking gay body image stereotypes, this show is a grand fail. However it occurred to me that I might be judging it a bit too harshly. I had an A HA moment when I realized that Hollywood rarely deviates from a narrow body image for all of human kind, gay or straight. After all Friends and Sex and the City were hardly breaking down body image barriers with diversity. Advertising, television, and movies have always favored the thin beige thespians who are stereotypically pretty. I guess when we fought for equal rights that included being watered down and misrepresented by media like everyone else. My overly critical gut instinct was softened when I realized I was judging Looking using standards that are near impossible to meet in mainstream media. Unfortunately there is so little gay representation on tv that when a gay centric show does come out it is expected to represent every gay person in America.
The more I thought about it, the more I began to look forward to Looking. Odds are that Looking will be the great show. HBO has a proven history for creating thought provoking, well written, captivating television. When you ask someone about an HBO produced series, rarely do you hear a bad review. I hope this instance is no different. So for all my bear minded readers, don’t think about Looking as show representing gay life. Instead go into it with the mindset that this is a show about a group of men living in San Francisco who probably have an unrealistic amount of money given their age and career level. (Did I mention that poor people aren’t represented on tv either?) It’s the male version of Girls. Coincidently it premiers after Girls this Sunday 1/12/14 at 10:30 on HBO. Give it a chance. I would rather have stereotypical gays on screen than no gays at all.
I’m not saying Chozen is doomed to failure but the odds are against it.