Comic strip comes to life on cable TV
Some know "The Boondocks" as a comic strip dripping with sarcasm and political satire. Now that the comic is a full-fledged animated TV show, things are about to get a whole lot funnier.
Aaron McGruder, creator of both the strip and the new TV show, began syndicating the comic over five years ago. Both the comic and TV versions feature the same cast of cynical and eccentric black characters who find themselves tangled in all sorts of modern issues, such as bird flu, the Iraq conflict and especially the Bush presidency.
After two years of production, the show debuted Nov. 6 on Cartoon Network's late night "Adult Swim" program. The show is by far edgier and more inappropriate than the original comic strip — one of its best features.
Robert Freeman (voice of John Witherspoon), or Granddad, moves to the white suburbs, also called the Boondocks, in order to find a decent and peaceful neighborhood to spend the remaining years of his life. But the move is anything but peaceful. As the only black children in the housing development, Huey and Riley Freeman (voice of Regina King) raise hell with the white neighbors and confront racial issues at every turn.
The premier episode provides a classic example of this situation. The show opens with the family at a fancy garden party, surrounded by the white elite. Huey steps up to a microphone and proceeds to tell all the guests that Bush lied about Iraq and Ronald Reagan is the devil. The crowd starts to panic as the truth suddenly dawns on them, but then Huey awakes, realizing it was just a dream. Granddad glances over at him and says, "Boy, have you been dreaming about telling white people the truth again?"
"The Boondocks" serves as a mouthpiece for McGruder's hilarious views on the racial and political issues facing Americans today. He mainly focuses on the overall theme of the Freemans in an upper-middle class white neighborhood but throws in his views on Iraq, the government and how eccentric some black people can be.
A perfect example of such a character is Uncle Ruckus (voice of Gary Anthony Williams). He is the crazy, half-drunk gatekeeper of one of the Freemans' rich neighbors. He is very suspicious of the Freemans, who are trying to act as white as possible to fit in. His drunken singing and shamelessly rude actions add in another dash of the irreverent humor that makes the show so entertaining.
However, some parts of the show inch over the line between funny and inappropriate, much like comedy sensations Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock do. At times there is an excessive use of curse words, and some might find the racial humor offensive. Viewers who have a hard time watching "Chappelle's Show" for these reasons should probably stay away from "The Boondocks."
Even if viewers do feel comfortable and want to watch the show, they may have a little trouble doing so since the show airs at 11 p.m. on Sundays. Adult Swim shows reruns throughout the week, but often at even later times.
See the official site for details.
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