Although the show is completely animated, creators Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein claim that their show is just as much "reality" as any other reality show.
"We manipulate our characters in the same way," says Silverstein.
Okay, so technically Drawn Together is a parody of the Real World-Big Brother variety of reality TV, right down to the communal hot tub. But calling it "the first animated reality show" makes for more interesting marketing copy.
The 'toon "stars," drawn traditionally and in 2-D digital ink and paint animation, include: Clara, a sheltered, song-singing fairytale princess, is quick to discriminate; Foxxy Love, a strong-headed musician, has her pants off more than on; Wooldor-Sockbat, a yellow whatchamacallit, vies too hard for attention; Toot Braunstein, a pudgy heartthrob, is manipulative underneath her doll-faced exterior; Xandir, a videogame warrior, is sexually ambigous; Ling Ling, an Asian trading-card monster, is a sociopath; Spanky Ham, an uncouth pig from the Internet, farts on command and urinates to mark his territory; Captain Hero, a self-absorbed superhero, is misogynistic.
Unlike most reality stars, these hassling housemates have already had their 15 minutes of fame--they're each based on archetypal 'toons.
Wooldor-Sockbat is reminiscent of SpongeBob SquarePants; Toot could be Betty Boop's sister; Ling Ling has Pokémon in her pedigree; Xandir looks like he came straight from a Final Fantasy game; Princess Clara has Disney DNA; Foxxy Love could have sat in with Josie and the Pussycats, and so on.
"We wanted them to be familiar so they'd register with people," Zoe Friedman, the executive in charge of Development at Comedy Central tells E! Online, but "they're all spoofs."
Drawn Together not only spoofs the world of animation and reality television, but also pop culture and social evils.
"We're not bigots, we make fun of bigots," Silverstein says. "We're not trying to offend anyone."
Although New York's MTA banned posters advertising Drawn Together after receiving complaints about Toot flashing her (pixelated) cartoon breasts, so far no lawyers for Disney or Nickelodeon have tried to shut down the 'toon, and the purveyors of unscripted television actually like being an object of their mockery.
"It's genius," says Bachelor host Chris Harrison. "It's the ultimate compliment."
"Parody is a sincere form of flattery," says Matt Kunitz, executive producer of Fear Factor.