New show: Reality, ripe for parody

It's animated, but not for kids

Television

October 31, 2004|By Maureen Ryan | Maureen Ryan,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Not everyone will love the profane and scatological Drawn Together.

But there's a good chance Comedy Central's target demographic - the younger folk who eat up Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and have made Chappelle's Show a sketch-comedy sensation - are already finding Drawn to their liking.

The animated show is a sometimes deft, sometimes dirty parody of reality TV and the animation genre. Drawn (10:30 p.m. Wednesdays) depicts eight characters living in the kind of tackily decorated house viewers recognize from The Real World or Big Brother.

The characters look suspiciously familiar: The resident psycho resembles Betty Boop and the pan-sexual Xandir will be familiar to players of medieval-quest video games. Captain Hero believes the residents of the house are competing for $1 million. Then there's Foxxy Brown, a character used to viciously parody the genre's obsession with "sassy" African-American cast members.

The show dances to the line of offensiveness, then gleefully crosses it.

In that staple of reality TV, the hot-tub scene, two female characters kiss to a schmaltzy version of a Disney-movie theme song. "How cool is this?" Captain Hero sings. "We've only been here a day and I already find myself in a three-way."

Perhaps it's a sign of reality's fading fortunes that this animated parody is more entertaining than many "real" unscripted programs now on the air.

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