The Boondocks is a television show on Adult Swim. I remember watching the premiere of the show. It was very different than other Adult Swim shows. The show’s humor was based on race. The word, “nigga” and its deriatives were used often. The main characters were black. It wasn’t just complete insanity for laughs like Sealab 2021 or Aqua Teen Hunger Force. It wasn’t a part of their anime line-up. It felt like a show for adults and not stoned out college students.
The show was adapted from a comic which I had read all the time. The comic was great and I expected the show to be even better. There are limits to what can be done with a daily comic strip.
The main character, Huey translated perfectly to the television screen. But later on the focus left Huey and moved onto his brother and his grandfather. I enjoy both of them, but I always thought the show was best when Huey was at the center of the plot.
Take a look at the first season.
The first season of the Boondocks was filled with episodes covering various topics in black culture. One episode tackled how two young black children adapted to moving into a white suburb town. The next one brought forth an idea that perhaps not all black criminals are persecuted by the government. The show was not without its jokes, but it didn’t insult my intelligence most of the time.
But for an unknown reason after this season, the messages began to disappear a bit. In the first season finale, Huey Freeman is attempting to free a wrongly accused friend from the death penalty.
In the third season finale, Huey, now labeled a domestic terrorist, must team up with a parody of Jack Bauer who kicks people in the balls and save the town.
The third season is riddled with these episodes that are kinda funny but there’s not much behind them. There’s more parody. There’s more action. I didn’t hate it but I thought it never connected with me the same way the first season did. It disappointed me very much as it was being hyped to be the last season. To think the show would end with a 24 parody saddened me very much.
The animation was better, but it just didn’t have that same emotional involvement or at least a balance between the wackiness and serious.
One season one episode, I’ll note here is Wingmen. Huey and Riley head back to their hometown. Huey meets an old friend who is angry at him for leaving. The way it’s done is very nice. The episode was not without its jokes, but there was a grounding element to it. The characters felt human and not just cartoons.
I feel as though with each subsequent season, they lost that grounding element and went straight for the wackiness. I wish they’d find that balance again. I think the Boondocks is one of the best shows, Adult Swim has ever shown. If they reached their full potential, the Boondocks would be the best.