TV review: “Chozen” has room to grow

By Columbus Alive
From the January 9, 2014 edition

FX’s new animated comedy “Chozen” has some original aspects, but ultimately feels like we’ve been here before. About a gay white rapper fresh out of prison, the series can be equally generic and novel. It would work better if the series were funnier.

Titular character Chozen (voiced by Bobby Moynihan) gets sent to prison for 10 years because he was framed by rival Phantasm (Method Man). Upon release Chozen has a new (extremely homoerotic) message to his music, and a more positive outlook on life.

As Chozen reunites with former allies Ricky (Michael Pena) and Crisco (Hannibal Buress) and looks to “take over the rap game,” various hijinks ensue. Living with his sister Tracy (Kathryn Hahn) at college, the plots bounce between campus life and the rap industry. Some of it’s fun. Some of it’s meh.

When “Chozen” is at its best, it avoids aspects we’ve seen before. There are obvious allusions to “CB4,” “8 Mile” and other stories and artists, and the idea is to poke fun at the clichés of these. But it just isn’t inventive enough to fully work.

Don’t get me wrong, there are funny moments in “Chozen” (mostly of the grotesque and/or graphic sexual nature), but they could be more plentiful. With this strong voice cast and originating from the same producers of “Archer” and “Eastbound & Down,” I had higher expectations.

“Chozen” doesn’t live up to the sum of its parts, but there’s some decent humor that could grow into more once the writers figure out what works.

Photo courtesy FX