According to Judge Brett Cullum, the episodes in this show go down easy. We're still trying to determine if that was a double entendre or a slip of the mouth.
Our review of Rick & Steve: The Complete Second Season, published March 5th, 2009, is also available.
Dana: I hope those fags don't quiche us again.
In 1999 director Q. Allan Brocka (Boy Culture) delivered a stop-motion animated short using Legos called Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World. It made the rounds of many gay and lesbian film festivals, and was noted for it's anti-PC humor and not-so-subtle satire. The film was South Park for gay people; fans began to champion the project. Brocka delivered the raucous Eating Out which was a hit, and then gay cable channel Logo began to court him about expanding his Lego comedy into a full series. A little help was offered by the guys who wrote Avenue Q, who provided the theme song and some other ditties scattered throughout the show. The result was a six episode run in the Summer of 2007 for Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World. The animated show featured voice work from gay icons such as Alan Cumming (X2), Margaret Cho (I'm the One That I Want), Wilson Cruz (Noah's Arc), Billy West (Futurama), and Peter Paige (Queer as Folk).
Rick and Steve are a "happy" gay couple reveling in stereotypes. They have a fabulously decorated home in a gay neighborhood, hang out with a group of supportive friends, and engage in certain sexual freedoms that straight people can't. Life is a constant party for Rick and Steve, but then their lesbian friends ask to help them have a baby. The season arc for Rick and Steve revolves around the changes that come when a classic gay couple face the uncertainty of being parents. Stereotypes are gleefully exploited right along with politically incorrect jokes about HIV, gay relationships, lesbian couples, and gay communities.
Rick and Steve is a bid by Logo and Brocka to create an animated show for the GLBT community to rival The Simpsons and South Park. It has a self-congratulatory warning before each episode that it could be offensive, and the jokes should not be construed as political opinions of parent network MTV. Honestly, the creators shouldn't worry too much because Rick and Steve aren't nearly as offensive as they could or should be to earn the term subversive. It certainly tries to be patently rude, but the Lego-inspired animation and obvious jokes keep it more cute and cuddly than inflammatory. Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Matt Groening don't have to worry about getting a run for their money with this lavender stop motion skit. It's entertaining, but it's not as smart or sharp as other cartoons aimed at adults.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy Rick and Steve. The episodes go down easy, and on the set Rick and Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World: The Complete First Season we get six episodes. Even for Logo this is a short run, but when you consider it takes one day to film eight seconds you appreciate the effort. In the extra features there are two segments that detail just how hard it is to make the show. Also included are some nice interviews with the cast including Peter Paige, Alan Cumming, Margaret Cho, and Wilson Cruz. They cheerfully celebrate the idea of laughing at the gay community in a healthy way. Also included are twelve short "digisodes" originally offered on the Logo web site, and a "Tranny 911" skit from The Big Gay Sketch Show. Rick and Steve have a nice package here. The digital animation looks great on DVD.
If you're looking for politically incorrect puppet comedy with a GLBT twist, Rick and Steve: Season 1 is a lot of fun. It's not the vicious satire it sets out to be, but it's worth a smile and giggle. Logo does a nice job of loading up the disc with amiable extra content. Rick and Steve is a happy show, and it's also very gay. The animation is sharp, and the things spoofed are ripe for the picking. It's nice to see a show that takes the GLBT community to task for reinforcing stereotypes, and has a sense of humor about all the ridiculous aspects of living in a world with same sex relationships. It could be a touch more offensive, slightly more racy, and just a bit more mean-spirited. That would tip it right off into the laugh out loud stratosphere, and perhaps they will do that in the second season. For now though it's cute, cuddly, and pretty safe. It's comedy with a condom!
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