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The Boondocks (TV)

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The Boondocks
Season 1,2,3,4
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Studio Sony Pictures
  • Studio Mir
  • Dong Woo Animation
Executive Producer Aaron McGruder
  • Rodney Barns
  • Brian J. Cowan
  • Carl Jones
Producer Seung Eum Kim, Brian Ash
Music by Asheru, Metaphor The Great
Original Run November 6, 2005 - June 23, 2014
Episodes 55 (List of episodes)
Network Adult Swim
THE BOONDOCKS
TV SHOW

The Boondocks is a animated series created by Aaron McGruder for Adult Swim's programming block of Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network, based upon Aaron Mcgruder's The Boondocks Comic Strip. Ten-year-old Huey Freeman, his younger brother, eight-year-old Riley Freeman, and their grandfather, Robert Freeman. The series is produced by Rebel Base and has finished airing its third season on Adult Swim. The Boondocks takes place in the same place and time frame as its comic counterpart. The Freeman family, having recently moved from the South Side of Chicago, Illinois to the peaceful, fictional Washington, D.C. suburb of Woodcrest, Illinois (compared to Crestwood) find different ways to cope with this acute change in setting as well as the drastically different suburban cultures and lifestyles to which they are exposed. The perspective offered by this mixture of cultures, lifestyles, and races provides for much of the comedy in this series. The Boondocks has also aired internationally

Beginning

The Boondocks began its life as a comic strip in The Diamondback, the student newspaper at McGruder's alma mater, University of Maryland, College Park. The strip later found its way into The Source magazine. Following these runs, McGruder began simultaneously pitching The Boondocks both as a syndicated comic strip and as an animated television series.The former goal was met first, and The Boondocks debuted in newspapers in April 1999.

In the meantime, development on a Boondocks TV series continued. McGruder and film producer/director Reginald Hudlin created a Boondocks Pilot for the Fox Network, but found great difficulty in making the series acceptable for network television. Hudlin left the project after the Fox deal fell through, although McGruder and Sony Television are contractually bound to continue to credit him as an executive producer.

The series has a loose connection with the continuity of the comic strip, though during the final year of the comic strip McGruder made a point to try and synchronize both. He introduced Uncle Ruckus into the strip, and the comic strip version of Riley's hair was braided into Cornrows to match the character's design in the series.

During the series' first season, McGruder put the strip on a six-month hiatus beginning in March 2006. He did not return to the strip the following November, and the strip's syndicate, Universal Press Syndicate, announced that it had been cancelled.

The opening theme song used in the series (slightly remixed for the second season and third season) is performed by hip-hop artist Asheru. '

Characters

Huey Freeman is the narrator (with rare exceptions) and one of the main three characters.
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Riley, Huey, and Robert

He is an intelligent ten-year-old boy who is portrayed as the voice of reason and a spokesperson for contemporary Afrocentrism. However, he is constantly being verbally browbeaten and generally mocked by his grandfather and younger brother Riley, neither of whom shares his beliefs. While Huey makes a point to try to support black causes, he is openly contemptuous of black pop culture popularized in the media for glamorizing superfluous extravagance and ignorance. Huey rarely smiles, unlike the other characters, although in the episode "Lets Nap Oprah", he smiles during his duel with Riley, and also smiles when Riley begins to succeed in winning basketball games in " Ballin'". Huey is also good at kickball in the episode The Red Ball. Huey is an excellent martial artist.

Riley Freeman is Huey's trouble-making eight-year-old brother. Unlike his brother, Riley is heavily influenced by gangsta rap culture and black pop culture. Though he is otherwise clever and artistic, he maintains loyalty to those causes even in the face of impending disaster. The bulk of the episodes of the series focus on Riley's misadventures (most of which are fueled by his love for gangsta rap and desire to emulate other street characters in the media or his various wild schemes involving his grandfather). Despite his wild nature, Riley does show a softer, innocent side from time to time. Riley liked to hang out with Lamilton, but he had decided to avoid him and his angry ways.

Robert Freeman, a.k.a. "Granddad," is the grandfather and legal guardian of Huey and Riley. While he loves his two grandsons, he sometimes gets bent out of shape in response to the constant schemes, misadventures and commentary the two provide on life. Robert himself is no stranger to weirdness; his eager dating pursuits invariably attract strange or dangerous women. Ebony Brown is the last known woman Robert has dated. Robert is also selfish and lazy to white people. Lando Freeman says Robert is his long lost father, but proven wrong.

Episodes

Main article: List of Boondocks episodes

Both the comic strip and the cartoon named after it were influenced by McGruder's love of anime and manga. He cites Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo as sources of inspiration for fight scenes. The opening sequence of season 1 is also remarkably similar to that of Samurai Champloo. [1] Some of the humor is because of the characters' anime style movements. In 2006 McGruder explained in an interview, "We now have a Japanese anime studio named Madhouse to help us out," however they show up nowhere in the show's credits, instead MOI Animation, an Emmy Award winning Korean studio and independent subdivision of Madhouse, are credited with animation from this point on. As a result, the following seasons of the series have more detailed animation, as well as minor updates for most of the character designs. Season 4 will have Studio Mir as the animation department as season 3 had Jm and Dong Woo animation and Season 2 had Madhouse and Moi animation. Season 4 has started airing on Adult Swim.

Reception

On January 2006, The Boondocks was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 37th NAACP Image Awards, alongside The Bernie Mac Show, winner Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, and Half & Half. For the episode "Return of the King," the show won a Peabody Award in 2006. As of July 8, 2010, The Boondocks had a 72% rating on MetaCritic, based on 21 reviews and a 8.4/10 (Based on 9,469 votes) on IMDB. Critic Jeffrey M. Anderson of the San Francisco Examiner said, "Each episode is beautifully crafted, with an eye on lush, shadowy visuals and a pulsing, jazz-like rhythm... the show is almost consistently funny, consistently brilliant, and, best of all, compulsively watchable." It was named the 94th best animated series by IGN, who describe it as a sharp satirical look at American society. Mike Hale of the New York Times has considered The Boondocks among the top television shows of 2010, citing the episode "Pause" as a "painfully funny" satire of Tyler Perry being portrayed as a superstar actor and a leader of a homoerotic cult.

Cast

Regina King Huey Freeman, Riley Freeman
John Witherspoon Robert Freeman
Gary Anthony Williams Uncle Ruckus
Cedric Yarbrough Tom Dubois
Jill Talley Sarah Dubois
Gabby Soliel Jazmine Dubois
Carl Jones (VI) Thugnificent
Charlie Murphy Ed Wuncler lll
Samuel Jackson Gin Rummy
Ed Asner Ed Wuncler
Tara Strong Cindy McPhearson
Xzibit Xzibit
Mos Def Gangstalicious
Katt Williams A Pimp Named Slickback
Snoop Dogg Macktastic
Busta Rhymes Flonominal
Debra Wilson Debra L. Lee
Cee-Lo Rev. Rollo Goodlove
Sway Colloway Sway Colloway
Marrion Ross Mrs. Von Hausen
Donald Faison Wedgie Ruldin

DVD

The Boondocks The Complete First Season was released on July 25, 2006, The Complete Second Season was released on July 10, 2008 and The Complete Third Season was released on November 9, 2010.

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