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|Index||57 reviews in total|
With his basketball-sized afro and genius I.Q., you'd never guess that
10-year-old Huey Freeman is WAY beyond his years. His 8-year-old
brother Riley isn't of equal intelligence but what he lacks in that
area he makes up for in attitude. Both young boys, the
revolutionary-in-training Huey and the hip-hop-loving,
hustler-in-training Riley, are moved from the big city to the 'burbs to
live with their grandfather, and chaos ensues.
This is "The Boondocks" - "remote location; far from civilization" (IMDb trivia). There's also a fine cast that includes Regina King, Gary Anthony Williams, and John Witherspoon voicing the main characters.
Created by Aaron Mcgruder in 1997 while a student majoring in political science at the University of Maryland, his comic strip "The Boondocks" is revolutionary on all fronts and takes no prisoners. It's already stirred up a sh*tstorm for its fiery political rhetoric, pervasive language, sexual content, and frequent and unrepentant use of the N-word... and I love it! I'm absolutely, positively hooked!
This is what I've been waiting for as far as animation with an urban twist. It's way over the top in terms of animation, which is pseudo-Anime'-style, and doesn't forsake entertainment or message for political-correctness. No wonder it only comes on late at night. (Arrggh) I haven't been able to find too many black-themed comic strips or books that take a hard look at life in the black community without resorting to stereotypes without irony. Its two main characters Huey and Riley are presented in a way reminiscent of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," the ghetto youths taken out of their world and placed in land foreign to them and have to adjust. "The Boondocks" is all of that.
I really can't see how anyone can't like "The Boondocks." I'm 20, a young black male, and my mother saw two minutes of it the other night and her jaw hit the floor. It was yanked from circulation due to its attacks against the Iraq war, George W. Bush and his administration, and McGruder has been completely unapologetic. I know, and viewers should know a reaction like that shows you're watching something special. I won't dissect McGruder's views, which he funnels through his characters, but they are inflammatory and make me want to watch more, just to see what he's really trying to say.
I won't comment on the controversy, other than I'll say that many have already missed the point, and "The Boondocks" has only been on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim for a month. People are afraid of stuff like this for reasons completely unknown to me. They take one look at it and decry what they see, making big scenes in magazines, newspapers, and television. What they're missing is a brilliant expose of the problems of the black community. Yeah, it's over the top; that's because it's satire! It is supposed to be ridiculous because black people use the N-word frequently, glorify guns, violence and the gangsta life, condone the degradation of women, smoke weed a lot, listen to blaring rap music, and experience genuine "N***a moments."
It's funny in the same way we've laughed at comedians like Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, Eddie Griffin, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock in the past. Wake up! Maybe our community can take a cue from "The Boondocks" and take steps to improve our culture in the eyes of the rest of the world. Welcome to "The Boondocks."
Having read and watched both the print and televised versions of the Boondocks I can honestly say, to me it was a diamond in the rough...until now. The antics and sometime semantics of the lead characters Huey, Riley and Grandpa are enough to keep ones funny bone in stitches while at the same time sending a message to the viewer loud and clear. The message is that no matter what color, no matter what creed or race....everyone is F'ed UP! I know the brothas and sistas will be jammin on how Huey is sticking it to the white man and so on, but that is only one side of the equation for the story often shows the illogic and humor of how African Americans view life. A stinging indictment on how the gov't seeks to obstruct and keep down the black man gives way to portrayals of black men stereotyping one another with colorful and racial epithets. The mocking vision of white males acting like black gansta rappers melts into the savage humor of hoes and pimps and black men and gun play. Its the long stretch and cleansing breath of the soul the racial landscape of America has needed for a long time. No one is perfect and this show is unafraid to show that no matter what color or ideology , that you have a bullseye on your back when Huey and Riley come around!
Aaron McGruder is an admitted militant liberal, and his comic strip has
provided quite an insight into his world view on politics and the lack
of political tactfulness. But the television show has effectively upped
up the ante, making even starker commentary on society and the racist
ills that have fallen on it.
Some may attack McGruder for attacking African American culture by using the profane language and in his depiction of Riley, but what he has effectively provided is a sensible argument toward the ills of all cultural settings. He's effectively illustrating what people EXPECT from black culture.
McGruder has always been very critical of the "hip-hop" culture, calling it feminine and useless. In my opinion, McGruder's commentary is almost as powerful as Spike Lee's "Bamboozled," where he basically states hip-hop culture is just another form of black-face to entertain suburban white people. While the television seems to border more along the lines of cultural inequities and absurdities as opposed to the full-on political commentary of the strip, he still hammers home a lot of good points. Years from now, people will look at this show as a daring look at junk cultural paradigms and laugh at the absurdity of it all.
the boondocks comic strip, which appeared in April of '99 was a thought
inspiring strip, which more times than once, was pulled for it's
the strip has garnered so much attention that it has become a TV show Broadcasted on Adult Swim. the story centers around the lives of two comical children. the older brother, Huey freeman, is a leftist revolutionary open to racial conspiracy theories. the younger brother is a thug-in-training, whom gravitates towards cliché ghetto-thuggish subjects. both view things differently but makes for much hilarity. the show is a fountain of subtle messages, gushing out through scenes, flashbacks and commentary. so far, in my opinion, the boondocks is a catalyst for debate and discussion(whether you like it or not).
This show is just what we people that aren't afraid to speak our minds
need, and what all those PC wussies asked for!
Not only does this show pack a bit of a political punch, but it does it in such a humorous way that it's actually watchable... and I'm not political at all.
I actually thought that this show would be a real drag to watch... it turns out that if you give it a chance, you'll be hooked just like I am.
Aaron McGruder is an absolute genius. He has created a show that, as the site's show explanation puts it, represents the "much-needed foot in the ass of the man."
This show is "black" comedy in multiple senses of the term. Here is a memorable example. Grandad opens a restaurant featuring a menu high in fat, pork, sugar, and serving sizes. Huey comments that the food is "destructive" to those that eat it. Grandad asks him, "What's wrong with you boy, this is your culture." To which Huey responds, "well then the culture's destructive!" Now that's a point worthy of consideration coming out of the mouth of a small child in a cartoon. Personally, I think its worth watching several hours of this show just for the reward of being challenged to think about that one line, but others will not agree. My wife hates the show because, in her opinion "its simply not funny." I must agree, that the writing is bit uneven. Uncle Ruckus's trip to "white heaven" and King's speech at his political rally are absolutely priceless, while the entire episode "Let's Nab Ophrah" was a complete waste of time when Samuel L. Jackson's character wasn't talking. I strongly expect the reviews of this show to be highly polarized - you either love it or hate it. Watch a few episodes and make up your own mind.
I waited for this comic strip to be made into a cartoon. We all have read the comic strips unless your town is 1 of 350 people to pull the cartoon, and know how Aaron speaks his mind following the Declaration of Independence. Huey is that educated future black panther leader that every republican fears, and Riley is what my Mom probably fears me bringing home seeing that he's a wanna-be hardcore rapper. Granddad is just, to hilarious. He's that man who's lived through the time when blacks had to go through racism and the unfair treatment to get the rights that we have today, although he missed out on one of the marches since he went to get his raincoat so he wouldn't get wet. Now he's welling to please every white person that comes around him just so he'll be in good when he has troubles. He's even figured out that the white man has a weakness for guess what................cheese! If you don't like this show something is wrong with you, but we are able to have our own opinions. So freedom to the American man. And the creator of the show is so cute because he looks like Huey. So heres to a healthy run of the best cartoon.
In a day, of all we can hope for is reruns of beloved classics, and
some of the dumbest crap-anime to brainwash young children, there is
one that truly gets it right : The Boondocks.
Animation wise, it is the best looking show in syndication. It has a sharp blend of realism, with the 'glow' of a cartoon, thrown into nicely painted backgrounds. It sets the mood of McGruder's comics perfectly.
As a comedy, it features off-the-wall insanity, hilarious expressions, and well written 'stupidity'. Something that the old Simpsons used to do. Something that the old Simpsons didn't used to do, though, is make a grand statement about the African American culture, and the modern world today. Both the comedy and drama elements are carried out beautifully.
I can't name one character that sucks. All of them are heartwarming in their own way...and heartwarming in 'Boondocks' terms, to be more specific. Huey, Riley, Grandad, Uncle Ruckus, Ed the 3rd, and so on. I couldn't pick a bad one if I tried.
And not mentioning, the caliber of the voice acting is superb, as well. Regina King, John Witherspoon, and Cedric Yarbrough are just a few names that grace us each week. Not to mention the now and then Charlie Murphy, and the BMF himself...Samuel L. Jackson.
Compare this show to other shows. Become rational, if you are not, for an hour. Pull your head out of yourself, if it is there, for one hour. This is entertainment at its finest.
This is Adult Swim's most socially conscious and possibly most clever
show. It's loaded with parallels to real world events. (A convenience
store robbery works as a perfect metaphor for the early stages of Iraqi
Freedom.) There are also heavy doses of Eastern influences, with
references to Japanese cinema (Zatoichi, specifically) and action
scenes comparable to what you'd normally only see in anime. The heavy
dosage of quality hip hop is also refreshing. Aaron McGruder is man
with good tastes, and they help to make his material so brilliant.
And yes, it is damn funny. John Witherspoon is incredible, and Regina King's voice grows on you after an episode. Also, frequent appearances by Samuel L. Jackson and Charlie Murphy as a couple of rich white boy gangstas lend an unequaled comic value to the show.
Now, onto the controversy factor.
Not to sound like a broken record, but this show is not racist. It does not lampoon black people, nor does it lampoon white people. This show specifically makes fun of just plain ignorant folks. Regardless of race. If you are a viewer who gets offended by the show, or thinks it's just an excuse for Adult Swim to prominently feature the "n-word," then you are exactly who this show is making fun of. (That's not to say that you have to like the show. If you are not offended but still do not like the show, that's your own prerogative.) I always thought that any show that always has to include a moral message must be a crappy family sitcom or kid's show. Not so in the case of Boondocks. Not to sound to preachy, but racial tensions still exist, even if the most common result is a white person being awkward and overly friendly when meeting a black person, saying things like "So, you hear the new Jay-Z?See the new Spike Lee?" This show is just what society needs. ***** out of *****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have read none of the Boondocks comic strips, although I've heard of its periodic controversy. Speaking strictly about the Adult Swim cartoon, it has relevant social commentary, enveloped in engaging characters and delivered with pointed, unforgiving humor. Yes, there is definitely a political agenda being prescribed by the writers, and occasionally is a bit too expository (Reagan was the devil, Jesus was black), which may reflect MacGruders political views, but was also included for shock value. From a critical reader's point of view (ignorning politics), the strip suffers from the same periodic 'lets see how much we can rile up the readers' statement. I love shock, but bad exposition can seem as out of place as a clown at a funeral. That aside, I think the first episode tackled some pretty thorny subjects, which included a hilarious exchange that highlighted an undercurrent of class division in some segments of the black community, and a rather poignant ending, where the rich white banker is bonded to Grandpa by their old school moral values. I was completely expecting the Garden Party to be another Rich-white-guy-setting-up-the-out-of-place-minority-for-humiliation gag, but it veered far from that, gaining my true admiration. I see a great future for this show if he can keep it funny and not degenerate into the over the top lunacy some edgy shows adopted in their later years.
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