DVD review: “The Boondocks: Season One – Four” (2005-2014)

“The Boondocks: Season One  – Four” (2005-2014)


55 Episodes

Created by: Aaron McGruder

Featuring: Regina King, John Witherspoon, Gary Anthony Williams, Cedric Yarbrough, Jill Talley and Gabby Soleil

Riley Freeman: “Gangstalicious got shot!”

Robert ‘Granddad’ Freeman: “Again?”

Riley Freeman: “We got to do something!”

Huey Freeman: “I’ve got an idea! Why don’t we go to college so we don’t end up like Gangstalicious?”

Recently released on DVD is the full series of “The Boondocks” (2005-2014) that is a wholly original animated television series that is based almost entirely around African American characters that interact with the world around them. Now sixteen years old “The Boondocks” may seem quaint but it came at a time when the idea of actual African American representation on a major network was missing in action, it was a time when Dave Chappelle had left, in fact was missing in action, never to return which at the time was the only social awareness raising comedy until this animated adaptation of a comic strip.

The Boondocks is based on the satiric Aaron McGruder comic strip of the same name. The show follows the adventures of two black boys, Riley and Huey Freeman, who experience a culture clash when they move from southside Chicago to the “boondocks” to live with their grandfather.

“The Boondocks” when it began was a show that could have been the next evolution in animated series where “The Simpsons” (1989-present) and “South Park” (1997-present) left off, it was all about race in the US, where it was and perhaps where it was going. The animated version does not look exactly like the comic strip, of course. But in its cartoon form, “The Boondocks” has much more movement and dialogue (most of it unfit for a family newspaper). Even the characters look slightly different. On the screen, “The Boondocks” combines the richly hyperbolic drawings of action hero cartoons with some of the flatness of Japanese anime. 

If you are a fan of socially relevant television or smart animation without the self aware irony or blandness that can invade established not only animated shows but live action ones as well. It is obvious why after six years off the air that there will be a reboot arriving on screens soon. This new box set is arriving at the right time and is completely welcome in my mind for existing fans and possibly new viewers as well.


Season One

The Garden Party: When tycoon Ed Wuncler invites the Freemans to his garden party, Huey hopes to shock his white wealthy neighbors with his brand of “the truth”. But things don’t go as he planned.

The Trial of Robert Kelly: Huey disagrees with Riley – and apparently most Blacks – regarding the R. Kelly case.

Guess Hoe’s Coming to Dinner: Huey and Riley team up to convince Granddad that his new girlfriend is actually a prostitute who is after his money.

Granddad’s Fight: After getting beaten up by the mean and blind Col. Stinkmeaner, a humiliated Granddad wants a rematch.

A Date with the Health Inspector: When Tom is wrongfully accused for murder, Huey and Riley enlist the help of Ed III and his friend, Gin Rummy to find the real killer.

The Story of Gangstalicious: Riley visits his favorite rapper, Gangstalicious, who’s been shot and hospitalized. But is he really a “gangsta”? 

A Huey Freeman Christmas: Huey’s teacher gives him full creative control over the schools Christmas play.

The Real: Riley convinces Granddad to pretend he is blind so that Xzibit will pimp their ride. Huey is being stalked by a government agent. Or is it just his imagination? 

Return of the King: Martin Luther King comes out of a 32-year coma and Huey helps him to readjust. But Dr. King finds that his peaceful philosophy is no longer accepted in post-9/11 America.

The Itis: When Granddad and Ed Wuncler open a soul-food restaurant, it ends up having a terrible effect on Woodcrest.

Let’s Nab Oprah: Riley, Ed III and Rummy set out to kidnap Oprah Winfrey and it’s up to Huey to stop them.

Riley Wuz Here: An eccentric art teacher encourages Riley to express himself through graffiti. Huey watches nothing but shows with black people for two weeks to see if it has any negative side effects.

Wingmen: When one of Grandad’s army buddies, Moe, dies, he and the boys return home to Chicago for the funeral. On the way there it is revealed that Grandad and Moe had a bad falling out over a girl. Huey is excited to be home in hopes of seeing his old friend Cairo, but finds out that he wants nothing to do with Huey. At the funeral, Grandad is forced into a eulogy, in which he reveals all the bad things Moe had done over the years. But when Grandad sees Moe’s wife, the girl they fought over, and sees how ugly she is, he realizes how Moe had been the bigger man trying to …

The Block is Hot: Jazmine learns a harsh lesson about capitalism when her lemonade stand becomes a subsidiary of Wuncler, Inc.

The Passion of Ruckus: Ruckus’ message of hating black people in order to get into White Heaven catches on. Huey tries to save a radical who was wrongly convicted of murder from being executed.

Season Two

…Or Die Trying: Granddad takes the kids to the movies but has to sneak them in since he refuses to pay the exorbitant prices. Huey tries to sabotage the film, but Uncle Ruckus tries to stop him.

Tom, Sarah and Usher
: After Sarah kicks Tom out over an argument about superstar Usher, he turns to the Freemans and A Pimp Named Slickback for help.

Thank You for Not Snitching: Riley’s natural inclination to never snitch is challenged when he learns Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy are behind a series of robberies in Woodcrest, climaxing in the theft of Granddad’s car.

Stinkmeaner Strikes Back: Colonel Stinkmeaner returns from Hell after making a deal with the Devil, and possesses Tom in order to take revenge on Granddad.

The Story of Thugnificent: When rapper Thugnificent moves in across the street, Granddad complains about the non-stop noise and partying, leading Thugnificent to record a new song, “Eff Granddad.”

Attack of the Killer Kung-Fu Wolf Bitch: After various failed attempts at meeting women on MySpace, Grandpa Freeman tries one last time and the results look promising, except for the fact that she was raised by wolves and knows a martial art that seems to be extinct.

Shinin’: A bully steals the chain that signifies Riley’s membership in Thugnificent’s crew, prompting various attempts by Riley to get it back.

Ballin’: Coaching a terrible children’s basketball team, Tom believes Riley’s amazing And1 inspired ball-handling skills are just what his squad needs to win its first game, until everyone finds out Riley doesn’t know how to shoot or play with teammates.

Invasion of the Katrinians: Granddad’s cousin and his family take up residence in the Freeman home after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Home Alone: When Grandad goes on vacation, he leave Huey and Riley home with Uncle Ruckus as their chaperone. The boys cause enough havoc to chase Uncle Ruckus away, which leaves Huey in charge… much to Riley’s disappointment.

The S-Word: Grandad and the good Rev. Rolo Goodlove try to cash in big after a teacher calls Riley “the n-word” in school.

The Story of Catcher Freeman: Granddad and Uncle Ruckus offer conflicting accounts of a slave revolt led by Huey and Riley’s ancestor. Huey reveals that the truth is much different than either of them thought.

The Story of Gangstalicious: Part 2: Despite many obvious clues to the contrary, Riley denies that his favorite rapper, Gangstalicious, is gay.

The Hunger Strike: Huey goes on a hunger strike in a boycott of BET, and receives some high-profile support from Reverend Rollo Goodlove, who may be more interested in his own self-promotion than any good intentions. 

The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show: In the wake of Huey’s failed protest against the network, BET’s Harvard-educated programming chief, Weggie Rudlin, is moving ahead with his promise to create The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show.

Season Three

It’s a Black President, Huey Freeman: A German documentary follows the Freeman family during the election of the country’s first Black President.

Bitches to Rags: When his new album tanks, Thugnificent is faced with the horror of getting a real job.

The Red Ball: Huey leads the residents of Woodcrest in a kickball game against a seemingly unbeatable Chinese team, while the game is secretly being funded and rigged by Ed Wuncler and the Chinese mafia.

The Story of Jimmy Rebel: Ruckus finds his musical soul mate in famed racist country-western singer Jimmy Rebel.

Stinkmeaner 3: The Hateocracy: Three of Stinkmeaner’s old crew arrive in town to exact payback on the Freeman family.

Smokin with Cigarettes: Riley becomes friends with a sociopathic boy named Lamilton, who wants to do nothing more than hurt people, cause mayhem, and smoke cigarettes.

The Fund-Raiser: Riley organizes a fund raiser with Cindy McPhearson, Jazmine Dubois and other kids from Woodcrest, but the money isn’t going to anyone in need.

Pause: Granddad is cast as the leading man by mega-superstar of stage and screen, Winston Jerome. But when the theatre group turns out to be a homo-erotic evangelical cult, it’s up to Huey and Riley to put a pause to it.

A Date with the Booty Warrior: Having conquered his fear of prison rape, Tom volunteers to lead Huey, Riley, and some classmates on a trip to jail as part of a Scared Stiff program. But when a riot breaks out, Tom has to get the kids, and his delicate backside, out of jail in one piece.

The Story of Lando Freeman: There’s a new handyman in the neighborhood undercutting Uncle Ruckus… which is all good for Granddad and his garden until the man claims to be his long lost son, Lando. Will Granddad take responsibility and be a father to his son? Not without a talk show paternity test.

Lovely Ebony Brown: Granddad meets a young black woman who asks him out on a date, but the only person who can spoil Granddad’s new romance, is Granddad.

Mr. Medicianl: After a checkup, a doctor warns Granddad that he could die any day if he doesn’t get his stress levels down. Not wanting to become dependent on pills, he decides to take Thugnificent’s suggestion… and turns to marijuana.

The Fried Chicken Flu: When a fast food promotion crosses with a plague of biblical proportions, society spins out of controls faster than you can say “white meat only.” Will the world end with two sides and a biscuit? Will Huey Freeman’s elaborate end-of-the-world survival plan stand up to the ultimate test? Will any of us ever get to eat fried chicken again?

The Color of Ruckus: Uncle Ruckus must face the truth about his racial origins, when his abusive father and the rest of his family show up in Woodcrest.

It’s Goin’ Down: Legendary anti-terrorist agent Jack Flowers becomes suspicious of Huey when Ed Wuncler III and Gin Rummy plot a terrorist attack in Woodcrest.

Season Four

Pretty Boy Flizzy: Well known and admired R&B singer “Pretty Boy Flizzy” helps Tom with his troubled marriage.

Good Times: These are not “good times” for Granddad. He owes millions of dollars on his house to Eddie Wuncler (son of Ed Wuncler) who has some unique ideas of how Granddad can pay him back. And with Eddie appearing more like a gangster than a businessman, times are about to get worse.

Breaking Grandad: It may not be meth, but the explosive hair product the Freemans are selling is just as dangerous. And even more lethal may be the black market of the hair-care industry run by Boss Willona.

Early Bird Special: Granddad is hired by pimps at a nursing home to escort lonely ladies. But this Woodcrest Gigolo is in for a surprise when he finds that the job is not as sexy as it sounds.

Freedom Ride or Die: Young Robert Freeman and his fellow freedom riders retell their daring adventure on the road to Birmingham.

Granddad Dates a Kardashian: Granddad co-stars on a reality show when he begins dating Kardashia, a long lost Kardashian sister. While Riley and Granddad love all of the swag they’re receiving, Huey is more dubious of this new Kardashian’s intentions. Can the Freemans keep with with Kardashia?

Freedomland: The Freemans find that Eddie Wuncler’s new slavery theme park “Freedomland” may be a bit to authentic, when they are trapped there and forced to be slaves. Huey must find a way to uproot them from this situation.

I Dream of Siri: Granddad loves Siri on his new iPhone. Unfortunately, she loves him back, a bit too much. When she becomes obsessed with him, Granddad finds that Siri is one app that won’t be deleted that easily.

Stinkmeaner: Begun the Clone War Has: Stinkmeaner is back, or at least his clone is. After a fight with Granddad goes viral, Stinkmeaner turns unto an instant celebrity. And seeking revenge, Granddad’s hate may cause him to be yet another clone of Stinkmeaner.

The New Black: Riley becomes the maligned target of gay rights groups after he calls his classmate “gay.” In these sensitive times when everyone is offended by everything, Riley really has to watch what he says, even when his apology may upset people.

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