Ricky and Crisco head to a strip club to see how far it can get their music career. Meanwhile, Chozen and Hunter check out a hot new gay bar where the balance of power in their relationship takes a definitive shift.
Finally, after weeks—nay, months of pissing and moaning about Ricky and Crisco, we finally get a Ricky and Crisco episode, and it’s so, so good. I mean, it’s as much their episode as any episode of Chozen *isn’t* about Chozen. Best part? All the comedy was about Ricky and Crisco, not Wetback and Darky. The humor wasn’t based around their ethnicity. It was actually about their characters. What a fuckin’ concept, right?
Before I get into that, I do want to mention that there’s something about Crisco that’s always felt like déjà vu to me, and I finally figured it out. He’s Mac from Daria. Not literally, of course. It’s not the same voice actor, but it’s a black guy who defies stereotypes without denying his own identity as a black man. He also seems like the lone sane man. While Crisco is not immune to having a bad idea or doing something stupid, of all the characters in the show, he is the most sensible and down to earth. It’s just refreshing and incredibly ironic with Chozen standing right there, trying so hard to emulate this incredibly narrow image of black culture with Crisco standing right next to him, a living example of intra-cultural diversity.
Okay, no more SAT words, I promise.
It wouldn’t be hip hop without a little misogyny, and the episode starts with Ricky ribbing Crisco, as he often does, about how whipped he is. The sheer idiocy of Ricky’s point of view is driven home by way of some wonderfully effective satire: the only stripper that would play their demo while she danced was a dominatrix, and Ricky finds by the end of the episode that he legitimately enjoys being submissive to a woman who LITERALLY whips him. Love that shit. This covers several aspects of Ricky: his sexism, his inability to read social cues of any kind, and his complete lack of self-awareness.
As for Crisco, he blows Ricky off as usual, but ends up taking his words to heart when his girlfriend starts getting on his case. He entertains the idea of cheating on her with one of the strippers, a classmate from high school who remembers Crisco fondly, then bungles it when he realizes who the girl is and offends the hell out of her. He tries to apologize, but grabbing her hand gets him chased out of the club, and the gag of him pulling a fully gimp-suited Ricky out after him by the leash.
Chozen, who couldn’t have less interest in lady parts if he were paid, tags along with Hunter to a gay bar. As soon as this storyline was set up, I knew where it was going. Chozen isn’t a stereotypical gay guy. He’s a niche interest. I should know. We belong to the same genus of gay subculture. So, I knew exactly what would happen when a bear tried to get into a mainstream bar. Bitch was going to get served. And he did. The tactics he so successfully employed with Hunter (and in prison) do not work in the glittery, catty, mirrorball Shangri La that is a mainstream gay club. Chozen’s antics get him thrown the fuck out to mingle with the others rejected from the club, those gay men’s culture abhors and ostracizes: the fat, the femme, the old, and the eccentric… men he made fun of earlier that very evening.
Chozen banding this group of gay pariahs together to lay siege to the club that rejected them is fucking priceless. Just seeing the old Quentin Crisp-esque queen waltzing with his yippy dog was sublime, and while I do not under any circumstance condone sexual assault of any kind, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some part of me that didn’t cheer a little when the bald old queer jumps some twinkie bitch who seemed more concerned that ugly was touching him than what kind of touching was happening.
As for Hunter… adore Chozen as I do, and as much as I sided with him taking a bunch of catty cunts down a peg, I’m totally on Hunter’s side. One gets the impression that aside from a few drunken, denial-heavy trysts, Hunter didn’t get much of his gay on before Chozen, certainly not enough to find his place in the culture. Here he finds a group of guys who appreciate him. For all the wrong reasons, sure, but he’s finally being treated with respect, and it shines a light on how horrible Chozen treats him. So he dumps him. And you know what? Good for Hunter.
Tracy, Troy, and Jimmy’s rather conspicuous absences add credence to the theory I proposed last week that Chozen works best when it doesn’t attempt to shoehorn the entire cast into every episode. We got to focus on who the episode was about without muddying it up with some token appearance and one-liner or an entire storyline that is little more than a distraction. It worked, and it worked really damn well.
Also of note is that, unlike shows like Dawson’s Creek or Seinfeld, which also feature titular protagonists who were patently horrible people, the burden of sympathy is not placed on us. We empathize with Chozen, but the show acknowledges that he’s more or less an immature, selfish dick and doesn’t demand we root for him, which personally makes it easier when I do.
Den of Geek Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars