STUDIO: Paramount Home Video
MSRP: $19.99
RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes
Behind the scenes featurettes
Cast interviews
Digital episodes

The Pitch

Happy Playmobile rip-offs enjoy a completely homosexual lifestyle in a town where no one is straight and narrow.

The Humans

Alan Cumming, Margaret Cho, Will Matthews, Peter Paige, Taylor Dooley and Emily Brooke Hands.

The Nutshell

West Lahunga Beach is a very special place. Described as the gayest of the gay ghettoes, it’s a paradise for everyone of the homosexual persuasion. Lesbians and gay men live in relative harmony, the sun is always shining and the words “civil union” are practically unheard of. In this darling utopia, the happiest gay couple of all is Rick and Steve. Rick is a smart Filipino man while Steve is a gym rat who isn’t as big in the brains department.

I’ll need your boots, your bike and a Cleveland steamer on my chest.

Rick is good friends with Kirsten and Dana, a lesbian couple who also live in Lahunga. Kirsten is a lipstick lesbian while Dana sports a mullet and a wife beater at all times. Dana also happens to be the mortal enemy of Steve and the two of them butt heads at every given opportunity. Any given episode finds the characters getting involved with a myriad of problems, from straight parents deep in denial to trying to initiate a threesome in the bedroom.

The overarching plotline that continues throughout the entire series concerns Dana’s pregnancy. Kirsten and Dana are desperate to have a child and need to sperm of Rick and Steve in order to conceive one. They accomplish this in the crudest of ways by transporting the semen in a wine glass and using a funnel. Throughout the season, Dana’s pregnancy continues to progress and provide a reason for the two sets of characters hanging out together.

The lame pussy joke just writes itself.

The Lowdown

Rick & Steve is one of the few original animated programs broadcast on Logo, Viacom’s television station aimed at the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities. Judging by the show previews included on the disc, it’s also one of the few genuinely funny comedies on the channel, unless your idea of comedy involves sub-Mad TV skits like “Tranny 911.” If you’re in the mood for a clever blend of toilet humor and social commentary, Rick & Steve is probably the way to go.

The show certainly doesn’t shy away from tackling issues that could be considered offensive to some. Not many shows regularly make jokes at the expense of crippled characters stricken with HIV, but Rick & Steve revels in it. Hell, the crippled old man with HIV even has a 19-year-old boyfriend he carts all over town in his HoverRound.

If you think Playmobile throws down, just wait ’till you see the sick stuff the Duplo crew gets into.

There’s something to be said for joking about sensitive issues and taking the piss out of them as a form of removing negative stigmas, but it’s mainly just a matter of whether the jokes are funny or not. In Rick & Steve, the jokes usually get a laugh or two and never feel like the writers stuck them in just to try and be outrageous.

Since the show is on Logo and deals with so many gay and lesbian themes, many people probably won’t ever bother to give the show a chance, figuring that there’s nothing here for them. That’s a shame, because it isn’t true. The show is genuinely funny no matter what sexual orientation you hold. As long as the jokes flow naturally from the characters and the situations they’re put in, what does sexual orientation matter? Sure, some jokes might center on gay and lesbian issues, but it’s not like you need to read a gay primer or have a genetic trait in order to laugh at a good HIV gag.

Buy one abortion and get the next one half off.

The Package

Twelve digital shorts from the Internet make up the bulk of the special features. Stop motion animation is laborious and time consuming, which means no studio wants to pump a lot of money into it, especially if it’s just going up on the Internet. As a result, all the shorts involve two characters just sitting down in bed and having conversations with each other for a couple of minutes. None of the episodes are particularly humorous, although one about making straight people jokes does have a few nice bits in it.

Two featurettes take you behind the scenes so you can see how the tiny toys are created and animated. As low tech as the show looks, it requires a lot of behind the scenes work to produce 120 minutes of stop motion comedy. The behind the scenes looks are rather short but they give you the basic idea of how the toys are created from scratch and how big all the sets really are.

Since she broke up with Max Headroom, things have taken a turn for the worse.

The extra features also include interviews with the voice actors about the show. Predictably, the interviews focus on the biggest names like Alan Cumming and Margaret Cho, even though they really don’t contribute to the show that much. The special features are rounded out by previews of other Logo shows, which all seem like even worse versions of Queer as Folk and The L Word since they’re on cable.

Overall: 7.0 out of 10