The Boondocks: "Lovely Ebony Brown"
B+

The Boondocks: "Lovely Ebony Brown"

B+

The Boondocks

"Lovely Ebony Brown"

Season 3, Episode 11

Stop, drop, shut 'em down, and open up shop, Boondocks posse!  Welcome to the eleventh episode of the funkiest show on television -- only four to go, folks, so savor every second.

When you think about it, The Boondocks betrayed its essential premise in about five seconds -- at least in the TV version.  The whole gag behind the strip, and the show, was that the Freeman family moved to a tiny white suburb following Granddad's retirement.  The humor promised from this idea was the clash of black and white culture.  But really, this was never Aaron McGruder's specialty; he's first and foremost a satirist of black culture.  So while the show stuck with the idea that the Freemans (and Ruckus) were the only black folks in town for a few episodes, by now, Woodcrest is as integrated as Oakland.  Witness this episode.

After a series of nightmarish dates with various psychopaths, lunatics, and fat-booty bitches, Granddad -- astrophysicist, soccer star and former UFC champion -- decides to delete his Facebook account and give up on women for good.  That's until he meets Ebony Brown, a beautiful black woman who comes with her own soul music soundtrack, so you know she's fine.  The boys react by arming themselves; Uncle Ruckus tries to expose her as just another hood rat; and even Granddad finds her suspiciously perfect.

The relationship goes well, though -- shockingly well -- and the two even get their own falling-in-love montage where, in a nice little meta-joke that carries through her whole arc, she declares her intention to become a recurring character in the show that is his life.  But, like so many men before him, Granddad's insecurity at being with such a wonderful woman gets the better of him, and, veering wildly between cockiness and self-doubt, he makes the worst mistake he can make:  he seeks advice from Riley.  This leads to jealousy, depression, some more slickly delivered metahumor, and a hell of a punchline when Robert tracks her down in Malaysia.

This episode was surprisingly sweet, funny, and well-developed; even the self-referential gags, while they weren't entirely successful, didn't call so much attention to themselves that they ended up being awkward.  (Of course, they also served as a reminder of how little we have left of The Boondocks.)  Gina Torres, who is herself a superfine woman of color and veteran of many outstanding televised entertainments from Firefly to Cleopatra 2525, did a fine job as Ebony Brown, and it's too bad we won't be seeing her again.  I've noted before that McGruder is mixing it up a lot towards the end of the season's run in terms of content, and this was a nice, personal, character-driven episode that served as a good rest between periods of extreme craziness.

Rating:  B+

Stray Observations:

- "An average-sized man can smuggle more cocaine in his rectum than you might think."

- "Hello there, chimpan...er, monk...er, Negro female."

- "You could tell me about the last time you were in jail, or a funny story about a collections agent, or something about your many, many kids."

- "His views are obviously reprehensible, but they contain just enough truth to make me examine myself critically!"

- "Be a hypocrite, Granddad."

- "Enablin'-ass nigga."

- "I love it that you fight people with a belt.  I love it that you're friends with a pimp named A Pimp Named Slickback.  I love it that Riley thinks everything is gay."

- "Robert, it's been 16 hours.  And the flight is 12 hours."  Damn!  Now that's some old-school comedy punchline set-up and delivery, right there.

- Shit, I'd watch Real Housewives Of Compton.

- This ain't got nothin' to do with nothin', but I really wish they'd stop with those wack-ass Kia commercials with the hamsters.  Not only do they force me to contemplate a bunch of homeboys driving around with no pants on, but they're ruining an awesome Blacksheep song.