Spicy City

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Spicy City
Raven in Spicy City
Created byRalph Bakshi
Written byVarious
Directed byVarious
Voices ofMichelle Phillips
ComposerJohn McCarthy
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Executive producerRalph Bakshi
ProducerCatherine Winder
Running time25 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseJuly 11 (1997-07-11) –
August 22, 1997 (1997-08-22)

Spicy City is an adult animated erotic cyberpunk television series which was created by Ralph Bakshi for HBO. It is an anthology series in a similar format as television programs such as The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. The series premiered on July 11, 1997, and ended on August 22, with a total of 6 episodes over the course of 1 season.[1]


The plot was described as a science fiction anthology series set in a futuristic city with a steamy side.[2][3] Each episode is introduced by Raven, a nightclub hostess who also makes brief appearances in the tales.


Bakshi in January 2009

Discussions involving a series based upon Trey Parker and Matt Stone's video Christmas card Jesus vs. Santa (which would become South Park) led HBO to contact Ralph Bakshi in order to produce the first animated series targeted specifically toward adults.[4] Bakshi enlisted a team of writers, including (besides his son Preston) Asian, Black, transvestite, and previously incarcerated individuals[5] to develop Spicy Detective, later renamed Spicy City.[4]



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Love Is a Download"John KafkaPreston BakshiJuly 11, 1997 (1997-07-11)
A woman seeking escape from her abusive boyfriend finds true love in a virtual world with a washed-up veteran now working as a "virtual investigator" who attempts to save the woman from being stalked.
2"Mano's Hands"Ralph BakshiLawrence Chua & Willie PerdomoJuly 18, 1997 (1997-07-18)
A strange tale of a bongo player's hands coming to life and terrorizing civilians after mob members chop them off.
3"Tears of a Clone"Ennio Torresan Jr.Franz Henkel & Lou WalkerAugust 1, 1997 (1997-08-01)
A detective goes on a search to find a rich man's daughter, only to return with her clone instead.
4"An Eye for an Eye"Ennio Torresan Jr.Douglas Brooks WestAugust 8, 1997 (1997-08-08)
A ruthless female cop named Margo, known for her striking blue eyes and penchant for abusing her power, plots to blackmail Spicy City's near-sighted judge, and her partner, Ernie, must choose between staying out of it and stopping Margo's reign of terror once and for all.
5"Sex Drive"Ralph BakshiPreston BakshiAugust 15, 1997 (1997-08-15)
A female police detective who's being mistreated by her coworkers teams up with a cyborg prostitute whose business is struggling thanks to her male clients using virtual prostitutes when the virtual prostitutes begin sucking the intelligence out of their "Johnsons".
6"Raven's Revenge"John KafkaDouglas Brooks WestAugust 22, 1997 (1997-08-22)
Raven is hounded by futuristic police forces for being born with a DNA pattern that brands her as a freak.


The series premiered on 11 July 1997, beating South Park to television by over a month and becoming the first "adults only" cartoon series.[4]

Although critical reaction was mixed and largely unfavorable, Spicy City received acceptable ratings.[6] The Los Angeles Times called the series "Adolescent Humor for Adults".[7] The Dallas Morning News said the series "exploits the female form while also condemning the practice."[8]

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.[4]


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 573–574. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Moore, Scott (February 9, 1997). "Fox's 'King' Signals Prime Move". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  3. ^ McConville, Jim (October 7, 1996). "HBO creates animation division; HBO Animation will focus on adult-oriented fare". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  4. ^ a b c d Gibson, Jon M.; McDonnell, Chris (2008). "Ups & Downs". Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi. Universe Publishing. pp. 234–235. ISBN 978-0-7893-1684-4.
  5. ^ Abrams, Simon. "Not for the Pixar Crowd: Ralph Bakshi on "Last Days of Coney Island" | Interviews | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com/. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  6. ^ Grant, John (2001). "Ralph Bakshi". Masters of Animation. Watson-Guptill. pp. 18–29. ISBN 0-8230-3041-5.
  7. ^ Solomon, Charles (July 11, 1997). "TV Review; 'Spicy City': Adolescent Humor for Adults". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  8. ^ Mendoza, Manuel (July 18, 1997). "'Spicy City' is seasoned with sex, but its stories are half-baked". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 2008-09-01.

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