The Boondocks: Season 3, Episode 15

It's Goin' Down (15 Aug. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Animation | Action | Comedy
7.5
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Legendary anti-terrorist agent Jack Flowers becomes suspicious of Huey when Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy plot a terrorist attack in Woodcrest.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Tom Dubois (voice)
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Uncle Ruckus (voice)
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Sarah Dubois / Tracy / Eleanor / Taquanda (voice)
Gabby Soleil ...
Jazmine Dubois (credit only)
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Ed Wuncler (voice)
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Gin Rummy (voice)
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Ed Wuncler III (voice) (as Charlie Murphy)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Director Banes (voice)
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Agent Jack Flowers (voice)
Marlin Hill ...
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(voice)
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Dan Stuckey (voice)
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Legendary anti-terrorist agent Jack Flowers becomes suspicious of Huey when Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy plot a terrorist attack in Woodcrest.

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15 August 2010 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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The name "Dan Stuckey" is a reference to a character from De La Soul's 1989 debut album "3 Feet High and Rising". See more »

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Spoofs 24 (2001) See more »

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Season 3: Drops Huey, satire, intelligence and bite – replaces it all with broad caricatures of the daytime sitcoms Boondocks used to mock. Tragic.
16 July 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I remember discovering the comic strip of The Boondocks on Okayplayer.com and finding it sharp and funny. The books followed for me and I found more of the same – again a good mix of commentary, satire and comedy. The TV show started out in this sort of vein, before dipping into somewhat in terms of imagination and intelligence. This trend continues into a third season that few fans of the original comic strip will be able to watch without clenching their fists and gritting their teeth in frustration over what McGruder has allowed the strip to become.

It is hard to believe that this is the same show that won a Peabody for that tremendous episode Return of the King, because there is almost no evidence of commentary, satire or intelligence in the vast majority of this season. It didn't have to be this way and indeed the season starts with a decent enough dig at the black community's support of Obama in the form of a hilarious cameo from Werner Herzog (in full "fear, desperation and murder" mode). It starts well but it more or less ends there because the majority of this season is all about anime style and basic humour. Once the exaggerated characters were used to maximise the impact of the satire, now they are merely played for laughs as, well, exaggerated characters.

It didn't have to be this way though because quite often the plots lend themselves to commenting on popular and African-American culture. Thugnificient's career as a fad rapper goes down the pan; an episode about Grandpa being an absentee father; one about prison and so on – there is room here for comment if it is wanted to be made. Problem is that it isn't – even when there is an open door the show doesn't seem interested. So it is no surprise then to find the majority of the episodes don't even go so far as to show potential. The kickball episode, the Scarface episode, the country singer episode – all of them fine examples of the show using the characters they used to use for satire are used for easy laughs. So Riley's gangster obsession used to be a point of mockery but now he is played for his swagger; Ruckus used to be a self-loathing black man, now his attitude is simply played for laughs. The Tyler Perry episode is not particularly good but the rest of them are so lacking in bite that even this broad open mockery is a relief.

The decision to bring the support characters forward to the fore while dropping their satirical/commentary value is one thing, but for some reason someone decided that Huey would be almost totally dropped as a character. During the entire season he barely says a word – if you came to the show for the first time in this season you wouldn't even think he were a support character, far less that he was once the heart of the whole thing. Even Granddad has more lines but of course this is because his character lends itself to the easy broad humour this season is looking for. Those in doubt should just note that yet again Stinkmeaner gets to return as a plot device in a show that is all anime action. This is not to complain about the animation, because it is cool in terms of the aesthetics of anime, it is just that it does too much of it and at times it feels like entire episodes are dedicated to having the character sliding or flying through the air in cool ways.

In the strip and much of the first season I would often be laughing with disbelief that McGruder "took it there" in regards his satirical digs; in the third season I still couldn't believe he "took it there" – but the reasons for this were much, much different, because "there" was not clever but was lazy, crude, broad and lacking intelligence. What a tragic place for The Boondocks to end up at – robbed of all that once made it great and seemingly lacking even the basic desire to try and turn it round. At time of writing one of the makers let slip that work was underway on a fourth season – I have no idea why anyone who saw season 3 would welcome this, but I'll not be there for it if it ever arrives.


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