Ralph Bakshi (1997)
Spicy City is an animated erotic cyberpunk television series created by Ralph Bakshi for HBO. The series premiered on July 11, 1997 and ended on August 22, with a total of 6 episodes over the course of one season.
Spicy City is a science fiction anthology series set in a steamy futuristic city. Each episode is introduced by Raven, a nightclub hostess who makes brief appearances throughout the series.
Talks involving an adult animated series entitled South Park created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone led HBO to contact Ralph Bakshi in order to produce the first animated series targeted specifically toward adults. Bakshi enlisted a team of writers, including his son Preston, to develop Spicy Detective, later renamed Spicy City.
The series premiered on July 11th, 1997, beating South Park to television by over a month and becoming the first “adults only” cartoon series.
Although critical reaction was mixed and largely unfavorable, Spicy City received acceptable ratings. The Los Angeles Times called the series “Adolescent Humor for Adults”. The Dallas Morning News said the series “exploits the female form”.
A second season was approved, but the network wanted to fire Bakshi’s writing team and hire professional Los Angeles screenwriters. When Bakshi refused to cooperate with the network, the series was cancelled.
A woman seeking escape from her abusive boyfriend finds true love in a virtual world in the guise of a geisha, while a one-armed former boxer tries to save the woman from being stalked.
Creator: Ralph Bakshi
Producer: Catherine Winder
Directors: John Kafka, Ralph Bakshi, Ennio Torresan, Jr.
Writers: Preston Bakshi, Lawrence Chua, Willie Perdomo, Franz Henkel, Lou Walker, Douglas Brooks West
Composer: John McCarthy