Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Jenny McCarthy, Stephen Root, Maurice LaMarche, John Melendez
Like "South Park" has done incrementally over the years, the frequently hilarious CGI sci-fi spoof series baked in Canada, "Tripping the Rift" has taken deeper steps into the lowbrow muck with each season. The show, which has been seen domestically on the Sci-Fi Channel, started off as a naughty Benny Hill-esque space romp aboard the dinged-up Jupiter 42 with risqué one-liners, innuendo and cleavage gags, plus a savvy propensity to throw "Star Wars," "Star Trek" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" into the frying pan of satire.
As of Season 3 of "Tripping the Rift," we're now handed just about everything short of computer-aided penetration in this 13-episode run filled with lampooning of familiar sci fi and horror territories such as "The Terminator," "Eraser," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Snakes On a Plane," "Aliens Vs. Predator" and "Frankenstein." This time around, expect to see the quadruple-tentacled horndog captain Chode physically having sex with his android love slave, Six (minus the blunt nudity, though we're treated to a distant shot of Six's animated rear end in a shower sequence later in the season). Expect a lot of f-bombs and foul language to be bleeped at will, although a few "shits" manage to leak out unchecked. Expect phallic humor, drug consumption, gay bashing, vaginal references and cunnilingus almost shockingly depicted with "censored" boxes overtop patrons going down on girls in a sex-themed eatery from the "Raiders of the Lost Crock of &%?&@!" episode.
While "Tripping the Rift's" animation is still a treat (now in high-def), the obvious shock factor cluttering this season is somewhat of a letdown. Unless the sophisticated sexiness of the live action sci fi series Lexx (also Canadian-brewed) from which it borrows graciously, "Tripping the Rift" these days almost seems hell-bent on pushing the envelope in desperation over the steam's hiss and letting loose its bawdy contents in occasionally obnoxious fashion. Granted, the scene of chief clown nemesis Darph Bobo being castrated by Chode in a lightsaber duel, to find his genitalia consisting of small balloons and a shriveled party horn is a total scream. Hell, anytime Bobo lisps in his honk-tinted voice is worth an instant chuckle, especially when it appears Chode is doinking his daughter in the opening episode "Chode Eraser" and Bobo sends a Schwarzenegger-esque clown assassin to eradicate our gelatinous lead.
The fact a repulsive three-eyed wretch such as Chode gets it on at-will with anyone he wants despite having a perfectly-built symbiotic love machine Six (who is now voiced by Jenny McCarthy versus past actresses Carmen Electra, Gina Gershon and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's" Terry Farrell) is part of what makes "Tripping the Rift" a hoot, even though the prospect is complete male wish fulfillment. As Chode is momentarily targeted by lonely, sex-starved housewives in the "Witness Protection" episode, you have to laugh sarcastically as much as you would at body spray commercials. Chode is the alpha male extreme; ill-mannered, slovenly, irresponsible, careless and he thinks with his extendable quicker than his actual brain. Even when cursed by a fortune teller in the "Hollow Chode" episode where he is literally disappearing from existence, he can't resist tormenting his crew, feeling up Six and other female beings and socking it to Darph Bobo's obese and brutal wife, who eats up the proposition of being screwed by a poltergeist.
Tripping the Rift's supporting cast is witty as always with the cantankerous multi-limbed alien T'Nuk Layor, Chode's amphibious and sexually-repressed nephew Whip (who goes completely bonkers in the "Tragically Whip" episode), Gus, the androgynous robot and Spaceship Bob, the artificial intelligence entity controlling the Jupiter 42. In the past, Spaceship Bob has made his envy of Chode's access to Six crystal clear. This season, Bob is now one of the few voices of conscience on the show, though he chides the ship's crew as much as ever. He also has random sayings in the opening theme for each episode, at one point yammering gleefully about breasts.
Darph Bobo is almost as ridiculous as Captain Adam Francis Shatner, who makes occasional appearances in continued swipes at the legendary drawl of William Shatner's Captain Kirk. Remember, this Captain is aligned with "The Confederation," a rebellious political jibe if there ever was one.
"Tripping the Rift" is still a gonzo pleasure cruise in space with plenty of gut-busting gags and bouncing animated flesh. Still, you lose count of the amount of times the word "ass" is used by the characters and after awhile, it seems like the Cinegroupe team are out to make this way-out galactic gambol as close to X-rated as they can, McCarthy sex moans and all…