Boondocks

The Boondocks TV Series

For the last few weeks [adult swim] was hyping up Boondocks. I watched the first episode last week, and I was not impressed. I figured that I’ll wait till I watch another ep till I trash the show completely. Even best shows sometimes have those awkward off-episodes. I watched the second episode last night, and now I’m pretty convinced that this show sucks.

Before you flame me, I’m not saying Boondocks suck in general. I never followed the comic strip so I can’t really say much about it. I looked through few strips before writing this, and they were mildly amusing. More amusing than the show in fact. In fact, there were some amusing moments in the show – but the execution and delivery was so poor that they were lost in overall dullness of the show.

Boondocks exemplifies everything that is wrong with American animation. With exception of the two anime-inspired protagonists, the rest of the characters on the show (black and white alike) seem to be copied and pasted in from these stiff, daytime, mainstream kid cartoons. They are more or less standard template characters drawn and animated by professional cartoon drones. They are drawn with great care, but have no facial expression, no emotions and very limited movement.

Compare this to Futurama or Family Guy which use original, wacky character designs, and more cartoony animation. Even though these characters are much less realistic than the Boondocks designs, they seem much more alive.

Same goes for voice acting. For the most part it is wooden. Most of actors seem to be half asleep while reading their lines. There is no energy, or emotion in their voices. The three main characters seem to little less lethargic than the rest of the cast – but I would expect much wider emotion range and energy from the grandfather.

There is one guy in there who was doing the voice for a white rich snob in the first ep and the white lawyer in the second one. Only, it was the same voice. He had the same accents, same intonation and same very distinctive patterns! WTF? He is possibly the most distinctive voice on that show – and at the same time the most lethargic.

Don’t even get me started on the music. The soundtrack is almost exclusively instrumental piano! Please note – this is a show about a pair of black getho kids living in the suburbs. Shouldn’t there be at least some rap and hip-hop there? I get it – they try to paint a picture of this boring predominantly-white town. I can see how they picked these boring tunes. But there should be at least some contrast there. The ever-present mellow piano music really makes me fall asleep!

The humor of Boondocks also didn’t impress me. For a show that tries to be edgy, they really drown in some strange political correctness. I would actually dare to say that Family Guy was 100% bolder in exploring racial themes, and cracking racial jokes. I would actually place Boondocks in the Wane Brady category of “black humor” when it comes to edginess.

To summarize – Boondocks is a stiff, poorly voiced and only mildly amusing show. [adult swim] should drop it soon, and buy some more good anime. Fullmetal Alchemist was a brilliant investment – best show I have seen in years. Samurai Champloo was unwatchable. Scryed is decent – at least it has some plot (unlike Samurai). The mouse thing is just to bizarre to comprehend. The pilot episode was hilarious, despite the weirdness, but I just went downhill from there. Boondocks is another disappointment. Let’s hope that the next show they get will be a good one.

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