Well, here's a clear break from the "Will & Grace" mold.
FX's new sister network FXX (yes, they really just added an extra 'X') has ordered an animated comedy, titled "Chozen," about a gay white rapper who has just gotten out of prison. Deadline reports the main character, voiced by Bobby Moynihan, emerges from the clink with "a new message and new skills, which he will use in his quest for redemption and domination."
I'll reserve full judgment until FXX releases a trailer or a pilot, but two quick thoughts come to mind. First, it's refreshing to see a television protagonist - even an animated one - fully repping the bear subculture, especially given the parade of twinks and hairless hunks to star in recent shows. If there's been a bear at the center of a network television show in the last five years, it's escaping me.
More crucially, the sexual politics of this show are guaranteed to draw attention when it premieres. FX executive Nick Grad said "Chozen" is "a very smart examination of the rap culture," and it's tough to imagine a show about a gay rapper that doesn't brush up against the homophobia entrenched in hip-hop. If the show really engages with rap's treatment of homosexuality, great. I'd love to see a sitcom that satirizes "no homo." Still, I'm a little skeptical that the show will end up being less progressive than network brass professes. The premise alone suggests the possibility of cliched prison rape jokes (I'm betting three in the pilot alone) and dated gay panic humor.
All of this is speculative, of course, and I'm curious to see how "Chozen" evolves. Given its subject, the show is in a position to tackle issues that could use some more scrutiny.
So, what do you think of this new show? Are you looking forward to it?