The Boondocks: "The Story Of Jimmy Rebel"
B+

The Boondocks: "The Story Of Jimmy Rebel"

B+

The Boondocks

"The Story Of Jimmy Rebel"

Season 3, Episode 4
B+

The Boondocks

"The Story Of Jimmy Rebel"

Season 3, Episode 4

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Hey there, Boondockers!  I just want to tell you that I almost died getting this episode recap done.  Not that it will stop you from making fun of me, I am just saying. 

Anyway, tonight's episode is Uncle-Ruckus-centric, which means just one thing:  huge, mind-boggling amounts of racism.  And that's good!  Not the racist part, but the part where The Boondocks gets to deploy lots of satire, which is what it's good at.  Also, Aaron McGruder clearly has a blast writing these things, so he tends to pull out all the stops and present us -- and by us, I mean white people, or in my case, half-white people, with material that he knows we're going to laugh at really hard and then feel bad about.

In this episode, we learn that Uncle Ruckus has long idolized Jimmy Rebel, a popular racist country singer based on the infamous Johnny Reb, a.k.a. Pee Wee Trahan.  Should you be unfamiliar with Trahan's work, he's really just about as bad as he's portrayed in this episode, though thankfully, not nearly as popular.  (At one point, the fake Jimmy Rebel presents Grandpa Freeman with a CD called Real Niggers Never Die, They Just Smell That Way, which, believe it or not, is the name of an actual Johnny Reb song.)  So much did Jimmy Rebel's music influence him that he eventually sends off recordings of his own racist tunes to the man, and is faced with a dilemma when Jimmy shows up on his doorstep.  Uncle Ruckus' legendary status as a black-hating racist thus runs up against the slight problem of his negritude.

Wacky hijinks, as one might expect, ensue, as Grandpa Freeman is pressed into service to pose as a white racist from behind closed doors, leading to one of the episodes' best gags, as he tries out a number of tried-and-true black guy trying to sound like a white guy voices, including the Humpty Hump voice, the over-enunciation trick, and the might-as-well-be-English accent.  The relationship between Ruckus and Rebel develops in an intriguing way, too, as, at first, it turns into a rather disgustingly touching love story, and then goes astray when Rebel turns out to be not quite racist enough for the irredeemable Ruckus.

I expected this one to be a winner, and I wasn't let down; there were some slow patches, but overall, it came through like gangbusters, as do must of the crazily over-the-top Ruckus-based episodes.  I also like that we didn't get too much of Huey to provide the rational anti-racist counterweight; it means either McGruder trusts us enough to get the satire, or he just doesn't care anymore.  Either way, it means he's got more confidence as a writer than he once did, and that could mean good things to come as we move into what's likely the show's final season.

RATING:  B+

STRAY OBSERVATIONS:

- I'm pretty sure this episode the most racist thing to ever be broadcast on network television since the Civil Rights Act.

- "Open up your eyes so I can see you shine"

- "You know what, Robert?  Fuck you and everybody who live in your house."

- "Enclosed please find my song 'Keep Them Niggers Out Of NASCAR'.  It's inspired by all the niggers I hope we can keep out of NASCAR."

- "We just use this place for the death threats and mail bombs and whatnot."

- "I love you like gooks love communism"

- I Almost NAACP'd Myself

- "Lord, I could say 'nigger' all day long."

- "Well, we are called Racist Records. I think people expect a certain amount of racism from us."

- I like how in the Boondocks universe, there's a whole Spokenhoke-based racist media empire.  In our world, of course, we just have Atlanta.  HA HA NO REALLY

- Can someone please explain these Dodge Grand Caravan commercials to me?  I think they may be too hip for the kind of person who would actually buy one.

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