Cartoon/comedy show ‘Chozen’ chooses to be funny, sometimes

By David Combest    

January 28, 2014

The New Year brings an entire new show airing on the FX channel entitled “Chozen.” “Chozen” is brought to you by the creators of “Archer” and “Eastbound & Down.”

“Archer”, the popular spy comedy and successful FX venture is now called “Archer Vice” in a semi-reboot to add freshness to the work. The show is drawn in the same way as “Archer” and logically, it would make sense to have one animated comedy follow another, but the question remains, will “Chozen” be a successful as “Archer”?

FX has produced many fine shows from “Archer” to “Justified” to “Damages”; however, as of now, I don’t think “Chozen” will become a classic. The program follows the character Chozen, (Bobby Moynihan) a white, openly gay rapper who is let out of prison after being sentenced 10 years for a crime he was framed by his ex-partner Phantasm (Method Man). Determined to become the best rapper, Chozen reassembles his crew, Crisco (Hannibal Buress) & Ricky (Micheal Peña) as they set off on their quest to fame, all while living in the dorm of Chozen’s sister, Tracy (Kathryn Hahn).

There are some interesting traits to Chozen because the character is written in a way that avoids stereotypes and clichés of homosexuality. Writers try to make a character that is more than a punch line to bigoted viewers; even though “Chozen” is not totally devoid of all clichés, at the very least you could argue it is a start but a long way away from perfect.

One of the themes the show is not looking into is the result of being in the prison system; although Chozen does have a harder mentality post-prison, the whole concept is treated as more of a backdrop and a joke. A theme that needs to be explored is the homophobia many rappers (50 Cent, Tyga, Azealia Banks, etc.) promote with ignorant songs and homophobic lyrics.

Satire is desperately needed for this show to thrive; there is much that has gone unsaid about the world around Chozen. Too often the jokes are more pot & potty humor; the comic elements are surface with no deeper thought needed.

The show has only aired two episodes, thus far; however, it needs to work out the kinks in order for it to be truly funny with good satire.

In the end, “Chozen” is okay, a show you would watch just to kill time. The set up could be perfect with an excellent satire on the music industry and on close-minded individuals, like the great folks from Duck Dynasty. Writers for “Chozen” still need to work harder and need to stop relying on cheap tricks or it will never grow.

“Chozen” can be seen at 9:30 p.m. after “Archer Vice” at 9:00 p.m. on FX.