I finally caught an episode of The Boondocks, the new Cartoon Network adaptation of the controversial angry-black-youth comic strip. It’s got the smooth-still-frame, stiff-motion look of much of the cheaper TV animation these days. And the humor is uneven (the same is true of its source material) and predictable at times. The voice work is a mixed bag, with a well-chosen voice for the grandfather and something that doesn’t sound convincingly angry for the central character, young Huey.
And I’m not the target audience of the show. I’m not into the details of hip-hop and most other black-themed cultural items that are often reflected in the strip. Next episode focuses on R. Kelly – someone who I can name one crime he’s accused of, can’t name a song he’s sung, and wouldn’t recognize if he stood on my patio wearing a t-shirt with his name and picture on it.
So, no, this didn’t blow me away. It doesn’t do what it aims to do perfectly, and what it aims to do is not aimed straight at me. But the show does have its own voice. It doesn’t come across as a generic retread of another show. It seems to have things to say. I’ll be back for at least another episode or two, see whether it can add up to much without merely being shrill.
(As for the controversy regarding “the n-word” and its usage on this show – it wasn’t pointless, and it wasn’t solely for shock. I’m not saying folks shouldn’t be offended if that’s how they feel, but I won’t be bothered on their behalf.)