a comedy series... about the internment?

A comedy series... about the Japanese American internment? Doesn't sound like material that's particularly ripe for comedy. But the upcoming web comedy Hogoz is daring to go there. Seriously, an online comedy series about the Japanese American experience during World War II. Take a look at the preview:

It's being described as "South Park meets Manzanar." Set in a World War II-era concentration camp, the series follows the ups and downs of Japanese American teenagers behind barbed wire. Here's an excerpt from the press release I received from the creators of Hogoz:
Hogoz (pronounced "hoe-goes") is South Park meets Manzanar. While the subject of the forced removal and unjust imprisonment of U.S. citizens during World War II has been treated dramatically, this is the first time it is expressed with satiric humor.

Another unique feature is that the series plays like a live-action comic strip -- that is, the live actors perform in front of hand-drawn backgrounds. A preview is currently available for viewing at the site.

This series takes place in a war-time concentration camp for Japanese American kids and others who have been labeled as troublemakers. Formerly a ramshackle boarding school on Navajo land, Hogoz embraces the ups and downs of teenagers behind barbed wire.

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, a historian who played a pivotal role in the Redress movement through her research at the National Archives, has said of the series, "Hogoz has captured the many different classes of Nikkei [Japanese Americans] -- the confused, the resigned, the superpatriot, the supine/docile, the angry, those who felt betrayed by their own government."

Each Monday through Friday, a new scene -- less than one minute in length -- will appear online. An entire week's scenes will be archived on the Episodes page at the site.
To be honest, I'm not particularly impressed by what I've seen here. But just based on the premise, I am kind of intrigued. I haven't seen anyone try something like this before -- it's not like "internment comedy" has been a particularly hot genre. But it has the opportunity to be really smart... or really awful. (Fart joke? Really?) I am willing to give it a try.

Hogoz is scheduled to debut online on September 20. For more information about the series, including the story and cast of characters, go to the Hogoz website here.

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