The Boondocks Review “Good Times” S4E2 and “Breaking Granddad” S4E3

I’ve been trying to get my faith back in The Boondocks lately by trying to watch and comprehend the last two episodes, “Good Times” and “Breaking Granddad.” Like i said in my last review, I feel that this iconic show is suffering a slight fall from grace, slowly tipping off the pedestal that it has once stood upon. These McGruder-less episodes at least are enough to get a little chuckle out of me, but when the show ends, I feel like questioning why it happened at all in the first place..


The last two episodes seemed to follow an actual storyline, something I haven’t ever seen The Boondocks do before. This gave me a decent excuse to procrastinate writing for a little bit (don’t tell my editor) [Editor’s note: yeah, smooth move, Jojo]. The show normally jumps into the plot like any other adult cartoon and takes off from there. This is a rather interesting approach, bringing a different flavor to the mix.


Episode two of the fourth season, “Good Times,” was all about Robert Freeman’s the fall from wealth. Having lost all his money due to poor financial education and a scheme from adjustable mortgage rates, he has found himself in a substantial amount of debt. Robert is forced to get a car wash job – already hinting at a Breaking Bad-like plot satire – under Uncle Ruckus (no relation), rent out his house to unruly guests (including guest star Eddie Griffith) while sleeping in the garage and even getting a loan from Mr. Wuncler’s mobster son. That family is no good; this episode marks the first appearance of Ed Wuncler II, and while he looks like a nicer guy than either his dad, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree here. He tricks Granddad (not like that was a challenge) into signing a loan with 150% APR, and then offers them a way out of the millions of dollars of debt by quite literally selling themselves into slavery.


I was at least pleased to see some valid social commentary in “Good Times,” as the mortgage bubble bursting is getting the full satirical treatment from The Boondocks. When banks shoveled out high-interest, entrapping home loans to the uneducated, millions of families lost their homes. The show does a decent job of showing how imposing banks were and portrays their willingness to exploit the uneducated for monetary gain. It was only a taste of instant vintage Boondocks, though, as the show took it from a point of reflection and turned it into the butt of a poor joke – something that Aaron McGruder had a skill of avoiding.


Next, in the third episode, “Breaking Granddad,” the Freemans are suffering from the events of “Good Times.” Robert decides to go out on a date to take his mind off things, but as he gets ready to go, realizes that he has no pomade for his hair – or whatever hair the old man has left. After going on his pointless venture, he finds a substance in the garage that has the texture for hair gel and proceeds to using it. Well, turns out Huey was planning to use this “gel,” a highly explosive substance, to bomb the Wuncler’s residence to gain back their freedom. The substance has an unexpected side effect; it also grows and perms kinky hair over night.


Robert and Riley decide to box it up, sell it and reap the benefits. They eventually start getting successful in their endeavors and are bought out by a black hair “business” woman, Boss Wilona. Turns out she is actually a gang leader who is interested in the product to distribute. The product is later banned and becomes an illegal controlled substance, but the business woman insists on selling it. Eventually they beg Huey, the one who was against this scheme the entire time, to give them the ingredients to make it. He finally breaks and shows them how but they have to go to the dessert, with an RV to make this illegal substance. They meet with Boss, she double-crosses them and forces them to make more. Heis……er I mean Robert, cleverly escape the van and get away. They then walk home and that is the end, cue credits.


While “Good Times” presented was was a ghost of The Boondocks‘ former glory as a socio-poltically conscious show, “Breaking Granddad” was a lot more colorful and kind of reinforced the two part series kind of resurrecting the poltergeist of an episode.

Overall I still find this season lacking what made The Boondocks what it is, the hidden message. The Breaking Bad parody episode was much more bad and broken then it was Boondocks, missing the level commentary if could have hit pertaining to the black woman community and its self-esteem issues with hair. As you know hair perm has a massive amount of chemicals that should not even touch skin, but apparently a majority of black women would risk this in order to have that long, beautiful Euro type hair that is all over TV and movies.

The episode, although slightly informative, kind of reminded me of every other adult cartoon out there, choose a piece of highly popular pop culture and base elements of the episode on it for more views. I don’t entirely prefer this tactic or I’m just a little sick of it as I see it all the time. Setbacks aside, this is no reason to give up on the season and I’m in it for the long run. VIVA LA Boondocks Season 4… I guess.


The Boondocks Final Season Review “Pretty Boy Flizzy” S4E1

Last Monday marked the return of The Boondocks, the controversial adult cartoon, created by Aaron McGruder. Originally a comic strip in the funny side of the newspaper, this popular series grew into a critically acclaimed animated TV show that ran from 2005-2010. The story revolves around the Freeman family, an African American family comprised of a grandfather Robert Freeman, the caretaker of his two grandsons, Huey and Riley Freeman two trouble making kids, that move into a predominately Caucasian, suburban neighborhood called Woodbury from their home in Chicago.

Like the comic strip that inspired it, The Boondocks’ real identity lies within the many underlying issues of society addressed in each episode, especially those pertaining to the African-American community. Despite its serious undertones, viewers of all races, largely due to its entertaining and light-hearted nature, have generally acclaimed it. Despite the three and a half-year long hiatus between seasons, fans’ interest has not diminished. Not too long ago, word of the fourth season and the return of crazy, racist/sexist and political humor made its way around the internets – but there was a catch. The creative mind of the original creator would not be returning with it. As I heard of this news, I instantly began to question the direction of the show. Would it be as entertaining? Would there be a subtle message behind the episodes that normally goes over the heads of the viewers? Honestly, it unnerved me a bit, but I still was excited for what will be the final season of the show.

The Season 4 debut, “Pretty Boy Flizzy,” begins with Tom Dubois, the “frumpy everyman” lawyer having marital issues with his wife, Sarah. The problem is that Tom cannot take charge and is to soft in the way he handles his everyday life. He is then kicked out of the house for the inability to pretty much be, you know, a douche (yeah, kinda made me wanna facepalm my face into the back of my head). He retreats to the Freeman residence to as he has nowhere else to go, but they are less than willing to be a shoulder to cry on. They turn off the lights, shut down the electronics and pretended to be absent from the house. A crying Tom decides to sleep on the welcome mat of their front door and slowly drifts off to sleep.

The next day, Tom goes to work and is hired to defend a famous singer/rapper “bad boy” out of his self-inflicted predicament (he robs a bank). Flizzy is depicted as a satire of musicians, primarily singer Chris Brown, who act out in a destructive manner for attention – I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories by now (thanks World Star Hip-Hop). Tom decides to not handle this case as he sees no point in protecting someone the he knows actually did the crime and obviously did not care of his fate legally. Mr. Flizzy then identifies Tom as dull and weak – a person that can be stepped on without fighting back. Flizzy then negotiates that if he teaches Tom how to be a stand up guy, Tom has to defend him in court. Tom agrees to the terms and is thrown into a cliche sitcom plot line. He goes home and tells his wife of who he was defending, which is to her excitement and Tom then accuses her of wanting to have sexual relations with him. These accusations lead to him being kicked out of his house once again. Later he spends the day being tutored on how to be a bad boy and how to “truly” treat women.

Tom then brings Flizzy home for dinner even though the Freemans warn Tom of the songs he makes pertaining to stealing wives and sleeping with them, notably “I Will Do Your Wife” and “White Wife Booty.” That night at dinner, Sarah drinks herself stupid and begins flirting with Flizzy. Angered, Tom then threatened to leave her and storms his way out of the house. The following day, Tom decides to go over the security cameras at the scene of the robbery for the case. To his surprise notices the entire thing is staged dun Dun DUUUUN!!!!! Tomthen confronts his thuggish client as to why he staged the robbery and he learns that he does this so he can keep his relevance in the music industry since the only people that gain attention, or seem to, always cause trouble, which is the key to fame and a woman’s heart. Flizzy then, after being grilled by Tom, acts a fool telling Tom that he is going to take his family away. This aggravates Tom and then he proceeds to clocking Flizzy right in his jaw. Uncle Ruckus then comes to the rescue and tackles Flizzy making a citizens arrest. Flizzy, bruised face and broken, is taken away by the valiant Ruckus; he looks at Tom and winks at him, indicating that this was all in his plan to make Tom seem tougher. The entire ordeal arouses Sarah reigniting there lust-less marriage.

Yup….that’s pretty much it. Roll credits and begin the flute solo music. Now, I was not entirely impressed by this new episode, I don’t know if it was bias of the absence of McGruder, but something seemed off. The animation was familiar, and the all-star voice-acting cast returned. Even the special guest star power was there as Michael B Jordan (The Wire, Fruitvale Station, That Awkward Moment, Fantastic Four) stole the show as Pretty Boy Flizzy. Really though, the episode “Pretty Boy Flizzy” came off as rather pedestrian. It was simply not the episode we had been waiting years for. More than anything, it served as a rehashing of the Season 2 episode “Tom, Sarah and Usher.”

There didn’t really seem to be a message either. Maybe the message was women who go for the bad boys or celebrities are desperate for attention, but none of these seemed relevant to the bigger-picture issues that The Boondocks targeted years ago. I mean, Boondocks arguably single-handedly dismantled BET (as it was). I’ve heard from many people that a lot comedy is comprised of deep philosophical points put into layman’s terms which shows like The Boondocks had a knack for, but that element has been painfully missing – dating back to the mundane third season – and I was left feeling empty when the credits started rolling. Don’t get it twisted; this definitely does not mean that one episode has turned me off from watching the rest of the season.

The second episode from Season 4 of The Boondocks airs tonight. Join us at we get ready for “Good Times” as Granddad’s money mismanagement lands him in hot water with the bank. There have been a lot of crazy social mishaps in America since the curtains closed on Season 3, and the housing collapse was one I’m happy to see be on The Boondocks’ hit-list. I still have my fingers crossed for an Ed Wuncler III cameo, and there’s some Breaking Bad-inspired hustle coming this season that I can’t wait to see.