The success of the FX TV series “Archer” proved that there is a market for an adult animated cartoon series on prime time, cable television. “Chozen,” FX’s new animated series, premiered on Jan. 13, immediately after “Archer.” Created by Grant Dekernion, “Chozen” is described by FX (FXnetworks.com/chozen) as “an animated comedy about a gay white [and bearish] rapper fresh out of prison.”
Armed with a new message, Chozen is on a quest for redemption and to claim his rightful position as the world's top rap artist. His music and lyrics take aim at the stereotypes of machismo and misogyny that is synonymous with rap music. And his new worldview has been shaped by his time in prison.
Voiced by Bobby Moynihan, of SNL fame, Chozen is not the kind of guy you would take home to mother. He is not gay in the political sense of the word. Though not in the down low, Chozen is a MSM — a man who has sex with men — who does not identify himself as gay and who is not a part of the LGBT community. His homosexuality was shaped by his years in prison: it is brutal, violent and had well-defined sex roles. Chozen is definitely a top and he treats other dudes the same way that some straight rappers treat women.
Chozen says what he means and means what he says. He is lewd, crude and often violent. But he is a welcomed change from the respectable, responsible distinguished gay men who usually represent our kind on TV. He even looks different from the norm: he is big and bold and intends to stay that way.
Though billed as a comedy, “Chozen” is often serious and sometimes disturbing. In the pilot episode, we learn that a decade ago a young and naive Chozen was framed for multiple crimes by Phantasm (the voice of Method Man), a former member of his group.
Now out of prison, Chozen reunites with his old band mates Ricky (Michael Pena) and Crisco (Hannibal Buress) in order to resurrect his career and give Phantasm his due.
Though Chozen does not face Phantasm in this pilot episode, the stage is set for an eventual confrontation. Meanwhile Chozen moves in with his sister Tracy (Kathryn Hahn) and proceeds to embarrass her with his antics. And of course we hear a lot of rap. Though critics who know more about hip-hop than I have criticized Chozen’s performances, they seem to be adequate for an artist who strives for rap domination.
“Chozen’s” flash animation is very similar to the one used in “Archer,” which is no surprise since it was produced by the same team that gave us the older series. All in all, “Chozen” is sure to offend viewers of all persuasions who expect political correctness but delight those of us who know how to take a joke - and enjoy a darn good animated series.