The animated satirical comedy The Boondocks returned for its fourth and final season on April 21 and many in the media wondered aloud whether the departure of creator and show runner Aaron McGruder would affect the overall quality. In the past, The Boondocks has been smart, relevant, and always had a few poignant points to make through all the laughter, buffoonery and liberal usage of the N-word.
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But the very first episode wasn’t funny. A send up of the criminal lifestyle of some black celebrities, using a fake Chris Brown named Pretty Fizzy as the butt of its jokes, not a laugh was to be had.
The second episode was a stretch. Titled "Good Times", it opened with Granddad explaining to Huey and Riley that they were broke. The self-hating Uncle Ruckus running for public office was worthy of a few laughs, but absent were the gut-wrenching instances of convulsive laughter that had been certain to occur at least once per episode. And now we find ourselves three episodes in to a lackluster non-funny season.
Monday's Boondocks brought back Huey as the primary narrator and featured the type of high-minded yet lowbrow comedy that we all became accustomed to in the past. Titled "Breaking Granddad" it borrowed heavily from the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, where Huey comes up with a concoction to create bombs, keeping in line with his revolutionary storyline, yet it becomes apparent that it straightens and lengthens hair.
Yes, there were plenty of “white people hair” and “dumb black consumer” jokes at which to chuckle lightly. But viewers are still waiting for the true return of The Boondocks. The problem is that the writers are relying on pop cultural references now more than ever and it doesn’t seem as if we can expect anything in the line of laughter or animated enlightenment anytime soon.
Even Riley and his “N*gga you gay” catchphrase, which was only used once in a while and to comic effect, has been so overused in the first three episodes to the point that it is stale.
Why have these hacks made Riley less funny? One would have thought that was impossible. Huey, who always had the last word and was the conscience of the show in the past, now seems as inept as the other characters.
This aberration is about to cost Cartoon Network a ton of viewers if this arc of un-funny continues. After three episodes it’s hard to fathom, but this Boondocks sh*t still ain’t funny.