Hey guys, its your girl KrisSimsters and I’m in a revolutionary mood, so what better way to get it out of my system than by reviewing one of my favorite series of all time, The Boondocks. I love The Boondocks, I have all the comic books and own all three seasons of DVD. What? There are four seasons? Never heard of it, and for the rest of this post, nether have you. Speaking of comics, before we can get into the actual series, we need to go back, don’t we? Well then, let’s get started, shall we?
For those who don’t know, The Boondocks started off as a comic that ran from 1996 to 2006 and it recently had its tenth anniversary. The comic–and animation series–was created by Aaron McGruder and was based partly on his life. Like the Freemans, McGruder was born in Chicago, but when his father got a new job in Columbia, Maryland; McGruder and his family had to move to a diverse neighborhood. Years later, he graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in African-American Studies. McGruder’s move from Chicago to Columbia was the main inspiration of The Boondocks, which follows the lives of Huey Freeman along with his younger brother, Riley and his grandfather, Robert as they moved from the South Side of Chicago to a predominately white neighborhood in Maryland known as Woodcrest.
McGruder’s main character, Huey Freeman was named after Black Panther member Huey P. Newton and has harsh views on modern African-American culture. His younger brother, Riley, wants to embrace the Thug Life and the boys’ Grandfather, Robert is a firm disciplinarian who hates both of their views as a former WWII vertarn and a former civil rights activist. Other characters in the comic series include Thomas “Tom” and Sarah DuBois; an interracial couple who has a daughter named Jazmine, who hates her black heritage–along with her puffy hair, Cindy MacPhearson, a white girl who wants to be black, Uncle Ruckus, a man who hates black people, and Michael Caesar, Huey’s best friend who agrees with Huey’s views, but is more optimistic about it.
When it was time for The Boondocks to make its animation debut, McGruder made a pilot of the series with former BET President, Reginald Hudlin for FOX, who found it difficult to make the series acceptable for network television. With the FOX deal falling through, Hudlin decided to leave the project, but the series was picked up by Adult Swim President, Mike Lazzo, who asked for 15 episodes and told McGruder to just tell stories. The animated series debuted on November 6th, 2005.
Voice acting for the series included Regina King as both Huey and Riley Freeman, John Witherspoon as Robert Freeman/Granddad, Cedric Yarbourgh as Thomas “Tom” DuBois, Gary Anthony Williams as Uncle Ruckus, Edward Asner as Ed. Wuncler Sr., Charlie Murphy as Ed. Wuncler III, Samuel L. Jackson as Gin Rummy, Carl Jones as Thugnificent, and Katt Williams as A Pimp Named Slickback (you say the whole thing).
Pros & Cons:
- Amazing Story-Lines: One my favorite things about watching and reading The Boondocks was the story-lines. In fact, some of my favorite episodes are mostly from seasons one and two. Most of my favorite Huey’s quotes came from the first seasons. McGruder had a voice and that voice was Huey Freeman.
- Huey Feeman: I am not going to lie, the main reason I wanted to talk about this series was because I am a huge Huey Freeman fan-girl. It got to the point that I wrote FanFiction about Huey and Jazmine. And they were good. I have an old flashdrive full of Huey photos and it still works. If there is a saving grace from the disaster of the season that won’t be mentioned, it was Huey.
- The Shout-Out: I still love this moment.
- Art Style: Man this series was pretty. Even with the season that won’t be named, each season had an improved art style. And not to mention the fan-art that came from the series was good too. Too bad I can’t draw…yet.
- No Caesar: Why wasn’t Caesar on the show? It’s a sin that he couldn’t come on the show at least once and though I like Jazmine, she just wasn’t Caesar.
- THE SEASON THAT WON’T BE NAMED!!
- The Comics Had to End: I know the comics had to end, but its a shame. I honestly think McGruder could probably make at least a mini series out of this election alone.
- Unused Plots: Man, I really could have used an episodes talking about what happened to Robert’s wife and Huey & Riley’s parents. I don’t even McGruder confirmed whether they were dead or alive.
Are you still not old on The Boondocks yet? If not then check out five of my personal favorite episodes:
5). Let’s Nab Oprah (01×11): OK, this is one of the funniest episodes in the series with Riley teaming up with Ed. III and Rummy trying to kidnap Oprah with Huey attempting to stop them along the way. This also comes with an amazing fight between Huey and Bushido Brown. The ending is pretty funny too.
4). Tom, Sarah & Usher (02×02): This probably one of the more iconic episodes, definitely start this episode if your new. The parody song is probably the best thing that came out of the series. This song is never the same.
3). Wingmen (01×13): This is one of my personal favorites, while still funny it brings up the question, what if you/or your best friend leaves and it takes them a long time to come back, even if it is for a little while. What if your friend dies, but he’s still an asshole? I liked how this episode’s main point was that your friends aren’t always going to be your friends and its best to just move on.
2). Bitches to Rags (03×02): The bad thing about being famous, you have to be able to maintain it. Once your music gets bad, or people stop noticing you, then you lose all that money and all that fame.
1). Home Alone (02×10): I love this episode. Tired of dealing with Huey and Riley, Granddad decides to leave for the weekend, leaving the boys with Uncle Ruckus. Hell ensues for both Granddad and the boys once they chased away Ruckus.
When I think of The Boondocks, I think of a series that was good in the beginning, but failed in the end. When I think of the comics, I think of something that should have kept going or at least have a miniseries revival. Both of these are unfinished, even thought I do love them. Even if their story is unfinished, it’s still one of the best series that came on Adult Swim, despite the way it ended. So if you want a random show to binge on, then I definitely recommend The Boondocks, but only the first three seasons. Fourth season? What fourth season? Until next time, my name is KrisSimsters and Stay Golden.
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Up Next: Bully (Kris’ Game of the Month, July)