The Boondocks is uncompromisingly shocking, potentially offensive, and always more intelligent than it seems at first glance. Based on Aaron McGruder’s award-winning comic strip, The Boondocks is about a group of upper-middle class black families living in a wealthy suburban neighborhood. Huey and Riley are young brothers living with their grandfather, both with completely different personalities. Riley is completely absorbed by the hip-hop lifestyle, while Huey is a more interested in learning and critical thinking than conforming to the pop culture pit-traps for a young black man. The neighborhood also includes a black man who is married to a white woman, a self-deprecating black man, and an assortment of other bit players along the same lines.
The series has always taken a strong interest in tearing apart the typical trends in black pop culture, whether it is the new 50 Cent movie at the movie theater or the latest music video on BET. This can be humorous, but it is also an easy target at times, and it is the unexpected layers that make the show so engaging. Creatively altering the presentation of each episode to some preformed model layers the show with references outside of the direct references. A perfect example from a previous season is “Stinkmeaner Strikes Back” which opens with The Shaw Brothers logo. The Shaw Brothers are well known producers of classic kung-fu movies, and this obscure reference layers the episode with further meaning and interpretation. This season blends in this mix of satire, spoof and homage with an episode dedicated to a “Breaking Bad” type storyline, as well as one which clearly takes its cue from the Spike Jonze film, Her.
Few shows are as intelligent with the application of the models, whether it is in the form of a kung-fu movie or a reality program for BET, but there is a repetition to the dialogue which can be wearing at times. The ‘N’ word is used excessively and freely, which can often seem to counter the intelligent ideas buried beneath the dialogue. Moments are often ridiculous enough to be entertaining while retaining some debatable issue for ridicule, but part of what makes the show work is the voice actors. The cast is impressive and diverse, as are the guest stars. This final season has guest voice appearances from Michael B. Jordon (Chronicle), Dennis Haysbert (“24”) and Edward Asner (Up).
This is the final season of “The Boondocks,” and all ten of these season four episodes are included on two discs. The special features are limited, including a featurette about the show’s always impressive soundtrack and another about the writing for the show.
Entertainment Value: 7.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 6/10