Unlike most shows, it’s sort of weird to give an animated show’s main character a overarching goal. It seems to happen rarely because an animated show can go in so many different directions, and that level of creativity can flourish when there isn’t a quest that the star is constantly pursuing. After all, what is Homer Simpson’s goal? Or Cartman’s? Or Bob Belcher’s? It’s not fully given since every week can give us a new adventure and anything that goes on an adventure can seem like a diversion.
This might be the biggest problem with Chozen, a show that never seems to have any focus. Considering that Chozen left jail intent on beating his former friend, Phantasm, in the rap game, it’s odd how little Chozen works towards this goal, even to a point that the people around him seem more motivated than he is. “Laced” feels like a diversion and even though it is a fun one, it is a distraction from actual story.
In “Laced,” Jamal, Chozen’s prison buddy/Nazi-hater/shower-rape friend has gotten out of jail and reunites with his old jail lover. This makes Chozen’s college sex buddy Hunter understandably angry, while the rest of Chozen’s friends notice the problems Jamal causes in Chozen’s life.
Then there’s the side stories, which do absolutely nothing for “Laced.” First, Ricky and Crisco get a gig at a shoe store, yet Chozen is more interested in hanging out with Jamal. Also Jimmy and Troy bond over drugs and a World of Warcraft knock-off called Days of Yore. Occasionally these four interact with the main story, but never in an impactful way.
The majority of the laughs come from Jamal and Chozen’s interactions, such as Jamal explaining he was in jail because he was big into the Napster scene. Oh, and he also lit a man on fire. There are also little touches that make Jamal funny, like his love of jam bands and his roommate/meth cook Josh. But after Jamal attacks a police officer near the end of the episode, he is shot dead, leaving Chozen back where he started at, with Hunter, Netflix and nut licks!
Chozen started by creating a large supporting cast of characters to help kick off Chozen’s career, yet when Chozen isn’t working on his career, that leads the supporting characters to sort of be stuck waiting for him to do something. They exist almost exclusively to assist Chozen, so when they’re not, we get them playing video games together or ogling shoes. It’s not entirely bad, but it also wasn’t what these people are here for.
“Laced” isn’t as abrasive as some of Chozen’s previous efforts—it seems less desperate to offend. I mean, it’s still an episode that uses the term “blow bang,” but that’s tame for Chozen. If it could just get the plot going while keeping the jokes consistent—anything about Blade will work—Chozen could work quite a bit better.