The queerest show on television premiered on Amazon over the weekend, but it wasn’t the new season of Transparent—it was a kid’s cartoon: Danger & Eggs follows the adventures of D.D. Danger (SNL's Aidy Bryant) and her best friend—a giant, talking egg named Phillip (Eric Knobel)—as they create games for each other in Chickenpaw Park.
Danger & Eggs was created by trans writer-producer Shadi Petosky, who has worked on Yo Gabba Gabba! and created video games for Cartoon Network. Petosky says she wanted the show be as inclusive as possible without reverting to clichés.
"Our show never touches on 'crushes' or romantic relationships in any way so it's was a challenge to represent the community but not stereotype too much," she tells NewNowNext. “So it was a challenge to represent the community but not stereotype too much.”
But they succeeded: Danger & Eggs includes trans youth, gay dads—even a lesbian folk duo. The episode “Chosen Family” is set in Chickenpaw Park’s Pride Day celebration.
"We wanted to show innocent LGBTQ friendships, before the age of romantic connections," Petosky explains. “We didn’t want to do metaphors, so we tried to find traits LGBTQ kids, allies, or families would see in themselves."
In "Chosen Family," for example, Jazz Jennings appears as Zadie, a newly out trans teen who sings about finally being accepted and helps the titular duo understand what a chosen family is.
"You just have a really close friend who loves and supports you as much as family would," Zadie explains, "Sometimes more than some families would."
Petosky says she wanted to do a Pride episode for her kids—"It's their favorite weekend"—but she wasn’t about to bury the message in some watered-down allegory. "Those are Pride signs. They say 'Happy Pride' not 'Rainbow Day' or something other shows might do."
Many of the characters that appear on Danger & Eggs 13 episodes are also voiced by LGBT talent, including comics Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, Brooklyn 99 star Stephanie Beatriz, Underground's Jasika Nicole, Transparent’s Angelica Ross, and agender advocate Tyler Ford. They're joined by the likes of Weird Al, executive producer Chris Hardwick, and even Petosky herself, who plays Pigeon Lady.
While animated series like Steven Universe and Adventure Time have come to acknowledge their queer subtext, Danger & Eggs target audience, kids 6 to 11, is significantly younger.
And the show was created with the intention of representing a world full of LGBT people from the start. Some of that was by design, Petosky reveals, "Other bits were what writers, actors, and LGBTQ people on the storyboard team brought to the show. There were queer people in every aspect of production."