Stan Lee and Pamela Anderson - one, a pioneer of comic book writing and character creation, the other, one of the 90s biggest TV icons. Putting those two names together certainly wouldn't have been the powerhouse team-up that everyone would expect it to be. How could their paths possibly cross with both of them forging careers in completely different industries and roles, anyway? Well, however it happened, it happened.
With their world's colliding, and using both of their assets (Stan on writing, Pamela on voice acting) an out-of-this-world baby was born. That baby is the short-lived TV show Stripperella, the story of Erotica Jones, a stripper by early evening, superhero by later on in the night.
The premise alone of having this unlikely duo making something together almost had me in stitches, even before I started watching the show many months ago. Neither of them are exactly on their A-game anymore, what with Stan's crappy cameo work in every fucking Marvel film released being his main source of income, and Pamela doing...whatever she is doing. So, what could they possibly create, and more importantly, would it actually be, y'know, any good?
Kicking off the series with Beauty and the Obese, a two-parter episode with a bang, we set our eyes for the first time ever on the Stan Lee-created super-heroine, Stripperella (based on Pamela, if you wondered). Accompanied with a bad-ass intro and paired with a catchy-as-fuck theme song, Stripperella was certified with a gold "DAMN GURL, YOU GOOD" star before she had even done anything, and this was only one minute in. Luckily, she lived up to the hype of the opening sequence and got right into action with what I learned she does best - kicking some serious ass.
The tale to Beauty and the Obese Part 1 starts off with a fashion show catwalk packed with hipster audience members and the fashion elite. This isn't your everyday catwalk, though. On stage, one of the models strutting down the runway instantly starts gaining weight, her whole body turning into one big gigantic balloon. Fashionista's in the crowd flee for their lives as the models grows to a gargantuan size, unsure of how to react. This is some freak of nature shit.
Cut to Erotica Jones' work place. She's on in five, but she's nowhere to be seen. Instead, like any typical superhero, she's fighting crime and doing those general 'helping civilian' duties. Once done saving a baby from two vicious lions in the local zoo (shouldn't this zoo be shut at night, when do strip clubs open?) she takes to the stripper stage at work, quickly being called off to duty once again thanks to her Bat Signal like belly ring. (Far more practical.)
Stripperella's task for the day, working for some kind of Government organisation it looks like, is to find out what is happening with the plumped-up models; who is the cause behind their quickened fattening. There have been more incidents before the catwalk, and she's been put on the case to dig deeper and discover what the fuck is going down. Infiltrating the modelling world, Stripperella takes to the challenge, and on her mission she finds the source of who, and what, is turning the models into scale-breaking girls.
Beauty and the Obese Part 1 was a great start to the series, something that many shows lack. The 19-minute episode was filled to the brim with great character designs, smartly-written spins on tired superhero cliché's and a firm-favourite of mine, the hilarious non-stop middle finger to the modelling industry.
There have been countless forgettable spoofs concerning both superheroes and models (never seen one combined like this) that they fast-become boring and very "been there done that" all too quickly. Stripperella has done a great superhero piss take, no doubt, but it strikes gold with it's spoof of the modelling world. The screaming crowd at the sight of a model gaining weight with every second is something, in a stereotypical way of thinking, I would imagine happening if it was physically impossible to do so in such speedy time. The whole 'models have to be emaciated, no bigger' theme was played upon in a tongue and cheek like way. Scenes like those worked so well, and this is Beauty and the Obese Part 1 scored the biggest points.
The shoddy kind of B-movie (or B-TV show) quality it had going for it hit even bigger marks for me - I'm a true sucker for that shit - along with the general witty atmosphere; not taking itself too seriously. It was an insanely likable first entry in this one and only season of Stripperella, and it honestly couldn't have been bettered as a bang-tidy beginning, I'm sure.
Following straight after the events of Beauty and the Obese Part 1, Part 2 is our second encounter with Stripperella. She's got her sights set on Dr Cesarian (voiced by the Almighty God that is Mark Hamill) as the culprit behind the model fattening, but she needs concrete proof before she can go around accusing. Going to his surgery, Stripperella uncovers his secret lair, decked out with body parts of all sorts stored in gigantic tubes. And there she finds her answer to the mystery, a tube reading: Breast Implants That Make Women Fat. (Seriously, that's what it read and it was so bad that it had to be great, there were no two ways about it.)
Before she has the chance to escape, Dr Cesarian - who was also the modelling agent that Erotica payed a visit to earlier, in disguise - captures her and reveals his ultimate plan. He's created exploding implants, and one of his clients, a model ready to take to the stage at the Fashion VH1 awards, has them stored in her boobs. It's up to Stripperella to stop the bomb in time, before anyone gets hurt, but does she do it? (She does.)
Part 2 proved to be just as funny as the first and a great continuation of the story, drumming home - without being too in your face about it - the modelling puns and inside jokes that had been pumped out in Part 1. We got to see Stripperella fight her first baddie, save the day, and hear about all the antics from her co-workers, one of whom has a dream of being Stripperella. She's definitely in the superhero leagues, now. The woman even has her own crappy catchphrase for fucks sake: Evil Doers, prepare to become Evil Don'ter's.
With so much B-movie-esque wittiness, a killer titular lead, great superhero and modelling parodies -all of which is played to the soundtrack of some 80s power rock stadium song giving it that real INTENSE feeling -, it was hard not to contain myself from slightly peeing in my pants. If the series carries on in this vein, I'll probably have had to change my underwear multiple times. And have a good shower. If this is its peak, and it's all downhill from here, expect me to go on a rampage and find the exact home address for Mr. Stan Lee. It ain't gonna be pretty.