The Adventures of Chico & Guapo review, Chico and Guapo DVD review

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Buy your copy from The Adventures of Chico & Guapo: The Complete First Season (2006) starstarstarhalf starno star Starring: the voices of Orlando Jones, P.J. Pesce, Paul D’Acri
Director: Various
Category: Comedy
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I so did not want to like this show.

The back of the box made it sound like this decade’s “Beavis and Butthead,” with two dumbasses walking through life and, between adventures, watching TV and making smart-aleck comments about what’s on the screen. (Gee, can’t imagine anyone else would make such a comparison.) What made me give it chance, however, was the fact that it’s the creation of Orlando Jones, probably best known for his work on “Mad TV” and in the movie “Evolution.” Jones’s comedic abilities always seem to be underrated – in fact, his most recent gig was on the ABC crime drama, “The Evidence” – but this is proof that he’s still funny.

Chico and Guapo are longtime friends – Chico’s Puerto Rican, Guapo’s Dominican – who are serving as interns at Angelo Productions, trying to make it big in the music business. Frank C. Angelo, the head of the company, clearly hit his prime many years ago – he’s balding, has a gut, and is definitely living far more in the past than the present – but it’s a case of “any port in a storm” for this pair. The firm’s receptionist is a feisty redheaded Latina named Concepcion (voiced by Jones!), and the resident producer is Hank Holiday, who’s black, gay, and prefers to make a fashion statement via a cowboy hat, a vest with no shirt, and jeans. Thrown into the mix is Cezar, Chico’s retarded cousin, a character who definitively confirms that political correctness is not first and foremost on the series’ mind.

Although the show’s an MTV2 staple, Jones clearly can’t be bothered to aim exclusively at the network’s demographic; for instance, in one episode, Mr. Angelo goes on a rant about how people just don’t appreciate Totie Fields anymore. (That’d be because she died in 1978.) There’s also no fear of making ridiculously geeky jokes, as proven when Hank’s trying to explain just how badass a particular guy is and says, “Man, he killed Batman’s parents!” (Now that’s a badass.) As you’d expect from a series taking place in a music studio, there’s lots of comedy at the expense of various genres. In one episode, a death metal singer comes in and, during the playback of his album, a demon is summoned; in another, Hank is attempting to record a woman wearing a swan dress, but can’t manage to pronounce her name right. (I believe it’s Bee-york.) Not sure who they were poking fun at with the singer named Pariah Scary, though.

Don’t get me wrong, for every gag that requires a bit of thought to appreciate, there’s a lowbrow joke where the laugh comes from a fart or sex joke. The lines are flying so fast and furious, however, that you need to watch the episodes more than once to catch them all; in particular, the between-segment moments when the pair are riffing “Mystery Science Theater 3000” style on what’s on television require considerable concentration, given the speed at which the dialogue is delivered.

It’s more or less the animated equivalent of a Farrelly Brothers movie. Those with delicate sensibilities need not apply…but those whose senses of humor can appreciate both the clever and the stupid will get a lot of laughs out of “The Adventures of Chico and Guapo.” It’s not “South Park” – there’s definitely no attempt to make any kind of statement in any of these episodes – but it’s still funny.

Special Features:
Included are 16 “Chico and Guapo” shorts which originally appeared on Jones’s own show (which, frankly, I’d never even heard of until this), a director’s cut of one episode (in truth, the original version is better), and Jones’s brief appearance on MTV’s “TRL,” where he hypes the show. The shorts are funny, but the rest is more or less filler.

~Will Harris