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Homeboys In Outer Space aired from August 1996 until June 1997 on UPN.
Ty and Morris ( Flex Alexander, Darryl M. Bell), were a pair of 23rd-century black guys who traveled from planet to planet across the galaxy in their space hoopty-a small spaceship which from the outside, looked like an oversized beat-up car-seeking work. As they " traveled the cosmos in search of fame and fortune," they took assorted odd jobs to pay the bills. Morris, the more serious of the two, had aspirations of becoming a starship commander, but Ty, his fun-loving friend with raging hormones and outrageous hair, had gotten both of them expelled from Starship Commander Community College. Loquatia ( Rhona L. Bennett), the onboard computer babe who controlled their obsolete ship, was seen as an impudent talking female head on a tv monitor. She liked Morris but barely tolerated Ty. The guys set up an office in Jupiter Too , a bar run by Ty's grumpy brother-in-law Vashti( Kevin Michael Richardson). Working for Vashti was the arrogant Android Lloyd Wellington 111( Peter MacKenzie). A constant thorn in their side was sexy, arrogant Amma( Paulette Braxton), who got most of the good jobs while they got stuck with everything from mundane cargo runs to baby-sitting for aliens. Despite their best, but usually inept, efforts, they rarely did anything right in this nutty sci-fi parody filled with sight gags ( the planet Carvel appeared as a floating ice-cream cone), and one-liners ( " How many Times Have You Looked Up At The Stars, And Asked The Age-Old Question: 'Are There Any Women Up There?").
A Review from Variety
Homeboys in Outer Space
By TODD EVERETT
Homeboys in Outer Space (Tues.(3), 8:30-9 p.m., UPN)
Filmed in Burbank by Sweet Lorraine Prods. in association with Touchstone Television. Executive producer, Ehrich Van Lowe; producers, Stan Foster, Miguel A. Nunez Jr., Ted Schachter, Lore Kimbrough; director, Gerry Cohen; script, Jim Bernstein, Michael Shipley; camera, Walter Glover; editor, Mike Galvaldon; art director, Richard Improta; sound, Richard Masci; music, Kevin Guillaume; casting, Chemin S. Bernard. Cast: Flex, Darryl M. Bell, Rhona L. Bennett, Kevin Michael Richardson, Paulette Braxton, Michael K. Colyar, Peter Mackenzie, Kimberly Huie, Gretchen Palmer, John Graham.
Give "Homeboys in Outer Space" credit for living up to its title: The new UPN sitcom is a cross between "Star Trek" and "In Living Color." Though no gag seems too low for the show, the writers throw in enough to make the show a potential guilty pleasure. Darryl M. Bell and Flex star as Morris Clay and Tyberius (note the "Star Trek" reference) Walker, two 23rd-century "soldiers of misfortune." They're headquartered at a "Star Wars"-style tavern, Jupiter Too, and travel through space in their junky Space Hoopty, whose on-board computer is the back-talking Loquatia (Rhona L. Bennett). Clay is the relatively straight member of the duo; Walker, the wacky (or, as described by one character, "annoying") one. In the series' second episode, Walker receives a certificate for "firstclass, deluxe accommodations to the pleasure planet Fallopia," which he passes on to Clay as a birthday present. Unknown to both, Fallopians are an all-female society who entrap men for mating purposes, then kill them. (Planet had been called Manslaughterhouse 5, it's explained, "until the marketing people changed the name to appeal to the 18-to-35-year-old male demographic.") It's up to Tyberius and his cohorts to save his friend. Other regulars include Kevin M. Richardson as Vashti, foul-tempered manager of Jupiter Too, who doesn't kill Ty and Morris only because he's married to Ty's formidable (and unseen) sister; Paulette Braxton as Amma, Vashti's beautiful but tough assistant; and Peter Mackenzie, introduced in this episode as fussy busboy Android Lloyd Wellington III (original name, "Android Lloyd Webber," for some reason didn't clear, according to UPN). Flex is more of a personality than an actor at this point, but that's how Will Smith started, and it didn't hurt him any; other actors play it appropriately broadly under Gerry Cohen's direction. Tech credits are again, appropriately cheesy. Todd Everett
A Review from The New York Daily News
'HOMEBOYS' LAUNCH IS A REAL BLAST
BY DAVID BIANCULLI
Tuesday, August 27th 1996, 2:00AM
LAST NIGHT, the wannabe TV network known as UPN unveiled a few of its new series most of which were aimed at minority viewers. Unfortunately, they were aimed very low in terms of quality, and they hit their mark. In other words, they were awful.
Tonight on UPN (WWOR/Ch. 9), things are a little different. The evening starts at 8 with the second-season premiere of "Moesha," one of the network's few carry-over successes from last year. Then, at 8:30, comes the most outrageous of UPN's new batch of sitcoms, a show with an approach as playful as its title: "Homeboys in Outer Space."
It's bound to get noticed, partly for its who-are-they-kidding title and partly for the recent news that James Doohan, who played Scotty the engineer in the original "Star Trek" series, has jumped aboard "Homeboys in Outer Space" as the repairman of the 23d-century spaceship known as Hoopty.
Tonight's episode is not exactly the same as the one screened in advance for critics (the preview version had no Doohan, for example), but the advance cassette was proof enough that "Homeboys in Outer Space," like NBC's "3rd Rock From the Sun," was determined to blast off with a bang, having fun from the very start.
The title "Homeboys" are Ty Walker, played by Flex, and Morris Clay, played by Darryl M. Bell. Ty and Morris are space mercenaries, like the characters played by Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams in the "Star Wars" saga. They spend a lot of time in a space bar, like the drinking hole in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." And their spaceship is controlled, in part, by a sassy female computer (played by Rhona Bennett), like the one in "Red Dwarf."
(Incidentally, I've seen the unsold American pilot versions of "Red Dwarf," and both of them featured Jane Leeves, pre-"Frasier," as the computer. She was terrific.)
Kevin M. Richardson plays Vashti, a sort of cannibalistic Klingon who sends the "Homeboys" on their mercenary missions retrieving cigars from distant planets, for example. All of these regular characters have fun with their roles and it's clear, from the Barbarella-type costumes worn by the female guest stars, that the enjoyment will extend to the wardrobe department as well.
"Homeboys in Outer Space" is just giddy and goofy enough to succeed. It's like an extended sketch from "In Living Color," and it's different enough to distinguish itself from anything else on the air.
In the crowded TV universe of the late 20th century, that's a big plus.
An Article from The Post Gazette
Which UPN 'black' show is worst?
By Robert Bianco
In 1966, after years of protests, black audiences finally forced "Amos and Andy" off the air. Thirty years later, Amos, Andy and their various cultural cousins are back--with new names and a new network home, the fledgling UPN. But this time, the shows are being pitched directly at the black "urban" audience.... Aren't the '90s great?
Can this really be what that audience wants? Look closely at the network's four new sitcoms,"Malcolm & Eddie," "Goode Behavior," "Sparks" and "Homeboys in Outer Space," and you'll see the same stereotypes that have haunted the black community for generations:"Amos'" gullible Andy and conniving Kingfish, "Porgy and Bess'" lecherous Sportin'Life, the cinema's cowardly Stepin Fetchit. The only significant difference is that the originals were better written and better acted.
Almost without exception, men in this UPN quartet are portrayed as sex-crazed idiots or stuffed shirts, women as shrews or sexpots. Any behavior that borders on the intellectual is mocked; any sign of "uppity" aspiration is crushed. On "Malcolm," a man is ridiculed for reading poetry--and he's a fat man, which is supposed to make it twice as funny. On "Goode," a college professor finds his tea party turned into a barbecue (ribs, of course). And so on.
As every viewer knows, exaggerations and stereotypes appear in all sitcoms; the dual problem here is the target and the cumulative effect. While these shows might not be the worst offenders (that would be HBO's "Def Comedy Jam"), they fit into a disturbing TV pattern:degrading images of black men and women coupled with a message that seems to encourage aberrant and antisocial behavior.
It has to have an impact. When Bill Cosby rails against the negative influence of morons and minstrels in black comedies, he's speaking out of self-interest: He wants people to watch his version of black comedy. He also happens to be right.
All we can hope is that the network, which clearly wanted to capitalize quickly on the success of "Moesha," just didn't have enough time to find shows that could match "Moesha's" quality. Still, how much time would it have taken to do better than this? So how awful are these shows? Well, in what had to be UPN's worst mightmare, critics at a UPN press function actually got into a heated discussion over which show was the absolute worst. See if you can pick the winner.
To read an article about Homeboys in Outer space go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Id8NAAAAIBAJ&sjid=r28DAAAAIBAJ&dq=homeboys%20in%20outer%20space&pg=4779%2C176465
To watch some clips from Homeboys in Outer Space go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=homeboys+in+outer+space+episodes&aq=0
· Date: Sun July 23, 2006 · Filesize: 42.3kb, 120.6kb · Dimensions: 1207 x 1500 ·
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