Monday night, the first episode of the controversial animated series The Boondocks aired its first episode in nearly four years. It was also the first time in the show’s existence that creator Aaron McGruder was not involved in any manner. The show’s return has been buzzing for nearly a year. And with its debut last night, many have now been left wondering exactly what the hell they were watching.
The episode, titled “Pretty Boy Flizzy,” with Flizzy voiced my actor Michael B. Jordan, was a thinly veiled knock on troubled R&B singer Chris Brown. They could have started with any subject. And it is likely this was timed to coincide with the upcoming Chris Brown trial beginning Wednesday, for his part in a Washington, D.C. assault case that saw his bodyguard Christopher Hollosy found guilty on Monday.
But as far as episodes go, this one was a complete bomb to me. As a longtime Boondocks fan, I cannot say with any certainty whether the wackness was due to the absence of McGruder. But there were no poignant or thoughtful moments. No method to its madness. No consciousness in its cooning. It was just a bunch of animated black folks throwing around the N-word and making faces.
Perhaps it was the fact that the episode did not center on Huey and Riley. Or maybe it was because Huey was not the narrator like in episodes of the past, readily commenting in the manner that I am accustomed to. But it just seemed off. I did not have a good, hard laugh once during the entire uneventful viewing. The fake Chris Brown was only worthy of a few chuckles. Humorless, forced relevancy and disingenuous social commentary are but a few of the myriad of negative terms that come to mind.
However, I will concede that this is the first episode and I cannot make a judgment as to the quality of the entire season based on this debut. However, my first impression is that it sucks. I’ll tune in next week for another viewing. Hopefully it will be smarter, wittier, and more McGruder-esque than Monday’s travesty.