The Return of the King
Hey you alls, Did anyone happen to catch last night's episode of "The Boondocks"? The show as a whole has been pretty hit or miss for me, achingly brilliant one moment and unbecomingly crude the next (like the episode where Grandpa romances a woman of ill repute, which was almost Comic View-like in its broadness). But last night's show was pretty much perfect. I found myself thinking "Wow, now this is what a Boondocks television show should be" The premise for the episode was that Martin Luther King lapsed into a coma for after being shot back in the late sixties, only to awaken on some old Rip Van Winkle type shiznit and become horrified by the debased state of so much that constitutes black popular culture (BET, BET, BET). The episode's satirical thrust is that a bleeding heart pacifist like Martin Luther King–or Jesus for that matter, as the two are pretty directly analogous in the episode–would be ostracized and villified as a dirty Commie Osama-lover in our divisive, hyper-patriotic, ultra-violent age. And though McGruder treats King reverently it's laugh-out-loud funny to hear King's melodious, thunderous old testament voice discussing Ipods and other contemporary pop culture ephemera. The episode's climactic sequence finds King delivering a marathon speech that at once echoes both his "I Have A Dream" speech and a certain legendary Chris Rock bit (here's a hint: It's not the one about Jude Law). When the show's King, deep into his laundry list of complaints about how black popular culture has evolved, or alternately devolved, rumbles "And now I'd like to talk about "Soul Plane" I laughed out loud (sorry Bo and Zo). ' Another thing I liked about the episode was its melancholy, bittersweet quality. Just as McG drew heavily on Peanuts and Bloom County in his comic strip, the Boondocks animated show occasionally recalls the Peanuts Christmas Special in its dreamy wistfulness, especially its narration. And though I wasn't that sold on the character initially, I've really come around on Uncle Ruckus, a shape-shifting, anachronistic character who couldn't possibly love white people any more and deftly satirizes everything that's regressive, self-loathing and self-defeating in the black community. And I'm not even going into the brilliant Rosa Parks subplot, which is both viscerally funny and philosophical in the way it depicts how history has a funny way of only telling part of the story. So in conclusion last night's episode of "Boondocks" had it all: biting social satire, heart, political commentary and laughs a-plenty. Now if only every episode of "Boondocks" could be that good. Anywho, I've jibber jabbered long enough this Martin Luther King birthday. What do you all think?