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November 23, 2005

Please Grandad Don't Feed Her

Bomani, him say:

Most of us pictured Huey as being a precocious child, but the cartoon has sorta eliminated that. Huey and Riley are definitely children on this show. They're frequently irrational like children are, and they frequently oversimplify issues like children have a tendency to do. Using King for his voice makes him more child-like than anyone of us had given him credit for being, and that sorta changes the dynamic when I read the strip.

Yup yup.

Three, I say three episodes into the Boondocks and I'm worried. First of all, I don't think anything is going to be as funny as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but it took 3 years for the really good stuff to come out. The question is, with all the high-priced talent that Aaron has put into the show, are they ever going to be able to afford to do that many episodes? Doesn't sound like it.

Already I'm thinking maybe that this is going to be redubbed into Japanese and they can make some money over there, not that I want to be represented by these increasingly lame plots. I mean, grandpa falls for a ho? The whole joke is recursive. Didn't the writers know? Did they think we were in love with the Boondocks? I mean you gotta admit that for pure porno sensation, they basically outdid 'Drawn Together' with the nice low angle shots between the legs of Crystal Like the Champagne, but I was watching with the Spousal Unit and couldn't put the Tivo on slowmo... I'll get back with you when I'm sure. Still, that ain't love. Game knows game and I can't see ya. Oh well, at least I can pretend that I'm up on my urban slang.

Yes it's Regina King. The wife noticed that straight off the bat. I have to say that I haven't watched nearly enough of the appropriated black drama to recognize her voice. Witherspoon, yeah. King, no. And I think Huey... well I think he's a bit wimped out. Couldn't they have gotten, I don't know, Lil Bow Wow or some'in? I was expecting a junior version of Damon Wayan's prison philosopher and I'm sorry but the resonance just ain't resonating. That contract needs to be ripped up and a new kid dropped in. Even Little Bill sounds more like Huey than this Huey.

I say the writing is about to gel, but the execution is kinda weak right now. I think that there's a fight going on right now between black comic timing and Anime convention and that's a tension right in the middle of the show. So far the most funny scene has been when the protesters outside the R Kelly courthouse start flying though the air. This is where the series could go - get inside of Huey's head and let the anime off the chain, because the current narrative pace is so...so Speed Racer. Credit due to Witherspoon. He makes Grandad work, and his timing comes through. But the rest of the place needs some depth.

Still, if it ain't Huey's story, then the whole thing is a bust. Grandad can't afford to steal the show. This thing is still a housewife, you got to turn it into a ho.

Posted by mbowen at November 23, 2005 02:52 PM

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Redubed into Japanese? Sort of a reverse Woody Allen thing?

Well, that would be a good recycling of what I generally skip over in the morning, because when I'm getting going, I'd rather be jovial than angry.

Personally, I find Boondocks rather detestable, and have trouble understand how anything other than PC would turn it into animation. Maybe you can enlighten me about what the draw is.

Posted by: Uncle Smrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 24, 2005 10:58 AM

Inside black-jokery mon frere. Aaron does it with wit and style. There hasn't been anybody to do it so well since 'Fear of a Black Hat'. What you need to understand is that The Boondocks is like a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 of black culture, well maybe more like The Simpsons, not quite up to Family Guy rapidity. It's chock full of sly references, at least the comic strip was and some of it is rubbing off in the animated series. This subtext is what makes the Boondocks funny whereas the straight story often leaves much to be desired.

What makes the Boondocks compelling, when it doesn't go into annoying histrionics, is its raft of black archtypes. Anyway its OK that everybody doesn't get it. There has never been an episode of Doonesbury that has made me laugh out loud, and most of it makes absolutely no sense unless you read it forever.

I'd love to be a writer of an animated series. One day I might team up with somebody who can actually draw.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 24, 2005 11:53 AM

Actually, I never laugh reading Doonesbury either -- although I'll sadly admit that one in every 30 Boondocks strips hits the funny bone. But the strips I really like to read translate the human comedy without edgy jabs that would border on harassment if they ocurred in the workplace. What I recently noticed is that the Times now collects the "edgy" strips in one location, and the "feel-good" strips in another. Look at Boondocks, and ask why it's over with Giant Waste of Real Estate Doonsbury, La Cucaracha, Mallard Fillmore, etc.

To be honest, you draw better than half of the guys in the Times cartoon section; your balloons are good too. I think your only problem would be with coming up with enough material 52 strips a year, year in and year out. I was sad when Calvin and Hobbes went, sad when The Far Side went, but their authors certainly deserve a rest. By the way, I lost my Far Side "Crisis Clinic" mug in the Northridge Quake -- poetic justice in a way.

The Times is having funding problems, so I'm expecting that some of the strips will get canned, along with the 80 people they are trying to RIF.

Posted by: UncleSmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 29, 2005 10:48 PM