Tripping the Rift: The Complete First Season

DVD Reviews | Dec 3rd, 2005

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Starring Stephen Root, John Melendez, Gina Gershon
Written By:
Directed By:
Studio: Cinegroupe/ Anchor Bay
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“These are the voyages of the starship Jupiter 42, where blobby purple lowlife Chode and his dysfunctional crew trip through space in search of ill-gotten gains, cheap nasty thrills and a sticky upper hand in the battle between the sleazy Dark Clowns and the conformist Confederation for control of the whole freakin’ universe.” Well that’s what it says on the back of the box. That quote sums up the whole show better than any extremely long sentence that I could come up with. Tripping the Rift follows a blimpy, four-tentacle, sex starved low-life and his misbegotten crew all over the universe as they partake in many a misadventure. The show is billed as South Park in space. Although not as outright vulgar and shocking as South Park is, the show lives up to its end of the bargain. This DVD set contains all 13 episodes of the first season of Tripping the Rift in a 3-disc set.

With the crew that Chode McBlob has to put up with, it’s a wonder that the Jupiter 42 manages to get out of the space dock. First you have Whip, Chode’s nephew who also happens to be a teenage lizard. The lack of resemblance has yet to be explained. Then you have the she-beast, pilot and minority owner of Jupiter 42, T’Nuk. This four-legged freak would fry the nerves of a brain surgeon. Next you have Gus, slave, engineer, and totally robot even though you won’t hear him admit it. Tops on this list would most definitely be Chode’s sex slave android, Six of Nine…A.K.A Six. Boy is that bimbo hot…for a cartoon character with massive breasts and insatiable appetite to get it on. Think Jessica Rabbit meets Paris Hilton…only good looking and with realistic flesh tones. Am I forgetting someone? Oh yeah. By the way…Jupiter 42 also goes by the name of Bob. He’s programmed as a male and he’s afraid of flying in space. Go figure.

I had heard of Tripping the Rift from a friend a few years back, but never managed to catch an episode for myself. As I began to watch the first couple of episodes, I found myself slightly disappointed. The first two episodes of the show seemed tame and the story was rushed. I noticed some things that happened that either weren’t explained or were explained but made no sense. I was still optimistic since most shows start off with a few crappy episodes early on and then tend to pick things up by the end of the season. Take Space Ghost Coast 2 Coast for example. The first three or four episodes were god awful terrible, but then all of a sudden you have Weird Al and Hulk Hogan on the show and voila…instant comedy. Well with the third episode of Tripping the Rift things got better. Miss Galaxy was the name of that episode and held up as one of my favorites throughout the series. Chode enters Six in a beauty contest in order to make $1 million buckaroos. Six is opposed but enters to please Chode (and get some cash). Chode’s arch-nemesis Darph Bobo A.K.A Dark Bobo A.K.A Darth Bobo (whose name seems to change every episode) has the same idea and enters his freakishly hot clown-daughter Babette in the pageant as well. The twist…both Chode and Bobo have fake ID’s and are listed as judges. The two try every conceivable trick in the book to one up the other and the ending is definitely not what was expected. This was a very funny episode and I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions. The rest of the series was pretty much up and down, but not as hit-or-miss as the first couple of episodes. Chode and the crew of the Jupiter 42 end up on a primitive planet in which Darph Bobo is trying to modernize it’s people and turn them into slaves only to have the “good guys” of the Confederation take over and try to do the same thing, wind up in the middle of a political battle on the tropical planet of Floridia 7, get a visit from Chode’s Grandpa who helps fend off a robot takeover of the universe with some ointment, reunite a gun-toting psychopath and his pacifist son, and strike a deal with the devil only to be save from a certain sitcom star who goes by the stage name of Webster to name a few of their crazed adventures. The show is really out there and certainly has a great supporting cast, lots of sci-fi parodies and obvious rip-offs and, with the show taking place in the endless depths of space, the possibilities are limitless.

There were a lot more things that I liked about the show than I disliked. I’ll start with the negatives and get them out of the way first. The thing that bothered me the most would have the be the fact in quite a few episodes, the plot was either jumbled up and made no sense at certain part or was just trailed off into outer space. Sure a few characters were doing something at one point like trying to retrieve a retired Mutilation Ball (the blood sport that everyone enjoys) athlete, the guy didn’t want to do it, he passes out, they ask his wife, she says no, they mention money and then within a few minutes they’re on the Jupiter 42 with the athlete and he’s in uniform ready to play ball. Now there is a vague outline of a plot, but it just jumped around so fast that pretty soon the episode was over and you’re just sitting there going “huh?”. At times there were episodes that just didn’t seem to hold together and other times there was just a brief part that made no sense at all. When the episodes held together nicely, it made for a much better experience. The only other thing that bothered me was the lack of extras. All that is included are some early character sketches and an artwork gallery. This is nice as it shows some early renditions of the main characters and some cool background art, but I think something like a documentary about the show or some full on storyboards would have been an added bonus. One other petty thing that irked me was the package design. There is no slot inside the case with the DVD’s to hold the booklet that is included and the thing always falls out. There are some flaps inside over the DVD’s but unless I put the inner case in the outer sleeve upside down, I can’t use them to hold the book inside either.

The things that I liked about Tripping the Rift would have to start with the unique CGI animation. The whole look and style of the show was unlike any show that I can recall. Other than a few action scenes, the animation seemed flawless. I thought the animation was top-notch. The textures of everything from flesh to cold hard steel look and almost felt real yet there was a definite cartoon twist to everything. It was like watching the best video game cut scenes for 25 minutes at a time. Gus shined like the twinkling star that he wishes he was and Six’s breast bounced and jiggled like your most well rounded porn star. One of the best parts of the show was the parodies that paid tribute to all of the science fiction greats and more. There were references to everything from the giants of sci-fi like Star Wars and Star Trek to Monica Lewinski, 70’s cop movies, and daytime TV talk shows. There were also a lot of great quotable lines. Some of my favorites would have to be the message that Bob/Jupiter 42 says when there is an incoming e-mail. In a Brooklyn accent he casually remarks, “You’ve got f#@king mail.”…or as the ship is about to orbit a planet Chode asks something like this, “Is this the planet where two chicks take a guy into a room and begin to make out and feel each other up while that guy watches and whacks off?” “No it isn’t captain.” “Damn.”. Lot’s of funny stuff.

Much to my delight, Tripping the Rift pulled in out in the end. No, not like that you pervert. If you’re not a pervert and don’t take kindly to fart jokes and sexually related innuendos, then you need to stick to watching Trading Spaces or something. The show is definitely not for kids. If you like stuff like South Park, Drawn Together or Family Guy then do yourself a favor and check out Tripping the Rift. You’ll probably find yourself admiring Chode, oogling Six, cringing and quivering at the sight and sound of T’Nuk, empathizing with the troubled Whip. It’s worth the trip.

Character Gallery
Artwork Gallery
Teleplays (DVD-ROM)

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo

Standard 1.33:1 Color


Favorite Scenes: Miss Galaxy 5000, 2001 Space Idiocies, Power To The Peephole, The Devil And A Guy Named Webster, Emasculating Chode
Rating: NR
Running Time: 286 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: