Yeah, it’s been out of the ink for a while, but I like that title, damnit. Right.
The Boondocks is so many kinds of good. I don’t often review TV series, as I don’t watch TV, but this is some politically incorrect, satirized, slice of life crap that’s just addicting. It follows the Freeman family, which consists of the elderly Robert (“Grandpa”) and his grandchildren, the cold and logical Huey, and the rebellious and aggressive Riley. They’re all African Americans, by the by, and that’s a major plot device. … It’s a joke! Geeze. Based on the comic strip by the same name, The Boondocks contains a lot of political and racial humor that sensitive viewers might find “overbearingly offensive.” So if you don’t like offensive humor, fuck off, I guess. Nothing personal, it’s just what to expect from the show.
While it has a measure of continuity, each episode embodies a different event or idea, like a rich white businessman monopolizing a little girl’s lemonade stand, or teaching black and white folk to praise White Jesus and punish those who are black of skin and full of sin. You’d need to see the latter to understand it, but the same can be said about most everything in this show. It can get pretty campy, but always tends to maintain a darker undertone. It’s certainly not goofy humor, as it tries to express the views of creator Aaron McGruder. So you can laugh, gain a little perspective, all that good stuff.
The artwork is amazing to boot. It has a distinctively anime twist to it, but more of a visually thematic “inspired by” than a full-on style. It’s unique, and it shows through in each of the characters. Cute characters look adorable, arrogant characters look pompous as hell, tough characters look- well, you get it. Exaggeration of traits without actual exaggeration, dig?
Besides the three protagonists, there are many reoccurring characters, both from the original comic and completely new to the series. Uncle Ruckus, for example. He’s the blackest character on the show, and he absolutely hates black people. He’s probably the number once source of inane racial slurs on the show, and a primary source of many sidesplitting moments. Go ahead, laugh! No such thing as guilty humor if there isn’t legitimate hate behind it.
You’ll also see a lot of real-world people brought into the show, like Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, R. Kelly, Bil Cosby, and Martin Luther King Jr. Sometimes they deliver messages hidden behind layers of campy humor. Sometimes they just come out and say what they mean. Martin Luther King Jr. calls the ghetto black populace a bunch of n- well, I can’t say that in the review, but he calls them a bunch of ignorant, culturally detached N-words and says he’s moving to Canada. That’s the gist of it. Amazing. I wish they’d release season two on Netflix instant-view…
On a conclusive note… I wonder if my review was too white? The Boondocks has got me thinking; seeing the division between cultures. I don’t consider myself “white,” nor do I take pride in any particular cultural heritage, but the difference in perspectives is intriguing. Ah well, maybe that’s all a bit too personal. Give it a watch, have your own epiphany of racial self-awareness.
Alisha Karabinus of BlogCritics is turned off of the animated rendition of The Boondocks due to its shift of focus from social commentary comic humor to the sometimes outright silly humor on the show. It’s a classic case of “I liked the book more than the movie,” in my honest opinion, but I won’t deny the difference between the two. It’d be improper to arbitrarily state that the animated series is inferior to the comic, as they’re both made by the same person, and McGruder isn’t a fan of unnecessary censorship. Check out the longer, more negative review here: http://blogcritics.org/tv-review-the-boondocks/