Featured Columns

March 18, 2010

Princess Powerful Attacks: The Boondocks Season 1 (Part 3)

More articles by »
Written by: admin
Tags: , , , , ,

In The Boondocks Season 1 Part 2, there were stories focused mostly on the supporting cast members.  Tom Dubois was accused of a crime, and Riley met Gangstalicious.  Meanwhile, Huey created a Christmas play and met Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now we conclude with The Boondocks Season 1 (Part 3)!

“Wingmen”, episode 1×11
Written by: Aaron McGruder
Directed by: Seung Eun Kim
Original Air Date: March 15, 2006
Guest Starring: Mike Epps, Dee Bradley Baker, DJ Pooh, Kym Whitley, and Niecy Nash as Cooky Freeman

Robert receives a phone call about the recent death of Moe Jackson, his Tuskegee Airman wingman during World War II.  He appears happy and carefree despite Moe’s death, and feels that the loyalty in their friendship changed over time.  Robert is asked to give Moe’s eulogy at his funeral, so he takes the Freeman brothers back to their hometown.

Robert becomes angry when he finds out that Moe took his achievements and often spoke ill of him.  He refuses to use the notes given to him for the eulogy and admits that Moe was a horrible man.  Restarting his eulogy, he cues Huey to say something profound at the end.

Meanwhile, Huey deals with becoming an outcast amongst his best friend Cairo and their peers.  It escalates to the Freeman brothers getting into a fight with them.  As the Freeman family leaves town, they stop by Cairo’s house so Huey can apologize;  Cairo punches him in the face as a response.

Side Notes: The Boondocks series has a running gag with Robert’s infatuation with the actress Dorothy Dandridge, who he named his car and plane after.  Arnold Schwarzenegger and the movie, Friday were a few of many other references made during “Wingmen”.

I appreciated the references to Robert’s past and the Freeman family visiting their hometown.  I felt that I agreed with Robert’s statement: “No matter who you are, your friendship changes over time”.  Sometimes children hold hostility for their friends moving away; in a way they feel abandoned, and don’t like their friends’ personality changing.

“Let’s Nab Oprah”, episode 1×12
Written by: Aaron McGruder and Yamara Taylor
Directed by: Seung Eun Kim
Original Air Date: February 12, 2006
Guest Starring: Corey Burton, Charlie Murphy, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Samuel L. Jackson as Gin Rummy

Ed III and Gin Rummy practice robbing at the Wuncler Banks.  Huey finds out that Riley had his hand in the scheme, and tries to prevent his brother from associating with Ed III.  Riley convinces Robert to undermine Huey’s authority and goes to Ed III’s house.

Riley, Ed III, and Gin Rummy discuss how they could improve on future robberies.  A news report on Oprah Winfrey’s book signing in Woodcrest inspires the trio to kidnap her.  Huey warns Riley that if he finds him with Ed III, he would take him down.

Ed III and Gin terrorize the local bookstore before retrieving Oprah.  Riley sends Ed III a text stating that the pair picked up Maya Angelou instead of Oprah.  After dropping Maya off, the trio returns to Ed III’s house to realign their tactics.  Ed III becomes overwhelmed with joy for being “given another chance” to get Oprah, when they find out that she will be interviewed at the local television studio.  Gin and him apologize and hug, much to Riley’s disgust.  The trio prepares for their plan to kidnap Oprah (again).

Meanwhile, Huey finds Riley’s notepad that’s filled with his plans on kidnapping the talk show host.  He tries to find ways to get inside the studio to stop Ed III and Gin.  Riley uses Huey’s arrival as a diversion, while Ed III and Gin kidnap Oprah.

In conclusion, Ed III and Gin Rummy accidentally find Bill Cosby and decide to kidnap him instead.  Fifteen minutes later, they return Cosby when he became annoying.  Huey managed to catch Riley some hours later when he returned to the studio for his two-way pager.

Side Notes: The character introduction used title cards in the same technique that was used Snatch. There were many references of Pulp Fiction, such as the conversation between Vincent and Jules before their killing spree.

“Let’s Nap Oprah” was my favorite episode of The Boondocks in season 1.  Ed III and Gin Rummy are reintroduced again, and became the main focus of an episode.  I loved the interaction between those two and Riley, as they tried to do criminal activities.  They’re not very skilled at being criminals, and appear vastly different against their lavish environment.

“Riley Wuz Here”, episode 1×13
Written by: Aaron McGruder
Directed by: Kalvin Lee
Original Air Date: February 19, 2006
Guest Starring: Rob Paulsen as an art teacher

Riley has been sneaking out at night to graffiti houses.  One night, he’s caught by an art teacher who critiques his work and gives him advice on improving it.  Riley gets caught and instead of going to jail, Robert pays for him to have art lessons by the same art teacher from the night before.  The teacher suggests to Riley that they should do a mural on someone’s house.

Riley’s works receive some admirers, and he’s branded a liar when he admits that he was the artist.  He chooses a subject for his next mural in order to prove to his grandfather that he wasn’t lying.  The police arrive just as the art teacher and him finish painting, and go on a short car chase around the block.  The art teacher drops him off and drives off into distance, shooting his gun at the police.

Meanwhile, Huey decides to experiment on whether or not watching black television for two weeks has any adverse effects on your health.  Within a few days of the experiment, he becomes forgetful and lazy.  Huey manages to revert back to his normal state when his television changes the channel to nature programs; he has no recollection of the effects from his experiment.

In conclusion, Robert is notified that his house had graffiti on it the next morning.  When he goes outside, a mural of Riley and Huey’s parents happily embracing each other on their wedding day was painted on the side of his house.  Robert appreciates Riley’s sentiment and makes him clean up his work.

Side Notes: The art teacher was loosely based off of the artist Bob Ross, who hosted The Joy of Painting on PBS.  The reference was reinforced by the art teacher’s driver’s license that read “TREES”.  Bob Ross’s favorite subjects to paint were trees and clouds.

Graffiti art work makes bold statements, and it feels like it has a gritty anarchist technique used in each art piece.  The mural on Robert’s house always makes me feel emotional every time I watch that scene.  “Riley Wuz Here” gave me hope that Riley would pursue an art career later in his future if he applied himself.  He could generate captivating pieces that expressed his thoughts and feelings on his life experience.

“The Block Is Hot”, episode 1×14
Written by: Aaron McGruder
Directed by: Kalvin Lee
Original Air Date: March 12, 2006
Guest Starring: James Arnold Taylor, and Ed Asner as Ed Wuncler

Woodcrest is going through a heat wave.   Huey dresses in winter clothes and carries a boom box around the block.   Riley turns on the fire hydrant, which confuses his neighbors and angers Uncle Ruckus.

Uncle Ruckus calls the police who mistakes him for being armed, and shoots then beats him repeatedly.

Meanwhile, Jazmine opens a lemonade stand.  Mr. Wuncler visits Jazmine to ask buy her stand for a pony that he could stable until she raises money to house it.  Huey repeatedly tells Jazmine that Mr. Wuncler is using her, but she denies it.  Ed’s demeanor changes after a while, and he becomes a bully to Jazmine.   She becomes indebted to Mr. Wuncler, because of the upkeep of her lemonade stand.

The local news station holds a conference on Uncle Ruckus’s settlement where he turns down a seven figure payment, to become an honoree police officer.  The report turns chaotic when Huey rallies protesters against the lemonade stand.  Ed diverges the protesters by offering them Wuncler’s Cruelty-Free Lemonade.  Jazmine’s customers become angry from not having Lemonade brand, and start to brawl everybody in the street.  There is mass confusion everywhere, and the police beat Uncle Ruckus up again.  Jazmine’s lemonade stand is ruined in the midst of the fighting.

Suddenly, the sky turns dark and snow begins to fall to the ground.  Everyone regains their senses and walks away.  Huey hands Jazmine his scarf while they watch the lemonade stand burn.

Side Notes: Al Sharpton’s complaint about an “unidentified” cartoon mentioned in “The Block is Hot” was in reference to the real life Sharpton who complained about the series. Also, the movie Do the Right Thing was referenced throughout the episode.  For example, Huey played Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” on his boom box like in the film.

“The Block is Hot” was an interesting episode.  Characters’ personalities changed due to the heat,  while Huey remained the consistently calm one.  I dismissed my incline on weather suddenly changing when Huey wore nothing but winter clothes.   Ed Wuncler reminded me of Robert when he took advantage of Jazmine.  Robert can be selfish as Mr. Ed Wuncler, but I doubt he’d go to that extent as Ed went.  I’m amazed that Uncle Ruckus could still be fully functional after being shot and beaten several times.

“The Passion of Reverend Ruckus”, episode 1×15
Written by: Aaron McGruder and Rodney Barnes
Directed by: Sean Song
Original Air Date: March 19, 2006
Guest Starring: Rashon Kahn, Jim Meskimen, and Corey Burton as Eli Gorbinski/Armstrong Elder

Ruckus goes to heaven where he’s greeted by Ronald Reagan.  Reagan propositions him to teach people to love white men so that he can enter White Heaven.  Ruckus goes door to door to listen to his message despite being terminally ill.

Meanwhile, Huey holds a committee with Jazmine to free Shabazz K. Milton Berle from death row.  They fail to create any successful plan on breaking Shabazz out of jail before his execution.

Shabazz K. Milton Berle was interning for the Black Panthers in 1970.  He overhears a gun shot and the gunman’s confession to the crime next door.  The police rush into his office and arrest Shabazz for the crime, even though there’s an insurmountable amount of evidence that proves his innocence.

Time runs out for Shabazz, as Huey’s lost for assistance to save him.

Ruckus partners up with Armstrong Elders, a famous conservative, who finances his “ministries”.  He holds a service where Robert and Tom attend in order to talk some sense into their friend.

Huey prays for Shabazz’s safety as a last resort.  The governor receives Huey’s letter about knowing his secret, and will stay silent about it, if Shabazz is released.  Lightning strikes Ruckus, which forces the town into a black out.  The jail loses power, saving Shabazz from electrocution.  The town’s lights come back on and the jail’s phone rings.

Side Notes: “The Passion of Reverend Ruckus” referenced former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey’s marital affair and various movies, such as The Matrix.

I’m relieved that “The Passion of Reverend Ruckus” ended the way it did. Robert and Tom have been given enough reasons to turn their backs from Uncle Ruckus, but decide not to.  At first it was apparent that they couldn’t be bothered by Uncle Ruckus, but over time, they realized that he needs them.

“But as an artist, you must ask yourself, ‘Why should they CARE I was here?’ ”

The climax of “The Passion of Reverend Ruckus” was very tearful.  The weight of each issue was expressed through the song, “Say I Believe In”, playing in the background.  I felt “The Passion of Reverend Ruckus” had a different storytelling device in comparison with past episodes.  The main story and side story were opposite, instead of being similar as in other episodes.

The Boondocks has received numerous criticisms for its subject matter and language.  It continues to paint a satirist view on numerous subject matters through an artistic medium.  The first two seasons of The Boondocks are released on DVD, and season 3 starts on May 2.  The comic book series is viewable online from places such as GoComics, and has been published in trade paper backs.  Episodes and clips are viewable online at Adult Swim’s video section on their website. Viewers may or may not like The Boondocks, so it’s best to watch or read the series online before fully investing in it.

Princess Powerful



  1. infinite speech

    Each of these episodes hit one many issues without being preachy and I liked that a lot. Especially with Riley Wuz Here, Wingmen, and Passion of Reverend Ruckus. These were some of the best episodes in the first season as they just had more heart than the rest which made for richer stories.

  2. While this series isn’t for me, I give credit to its boldness in tackling social issues of the day!

  3. billy

    “Gangstalicious”. lol

  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ComicAttack: The Boondocks Season 1 pt. 3!! https://comicattack.net/2010/03/ppa-tbd-p3/ #comics #boondocks #TV…

  5. Just read a pretty good article on the upcoming Season 3!! Can’t wait for this show to come back to Adult Swim!

  6. Princess Powerful

    I agree 🙂 Those episodes have more weight to them more than a lot of episodes during that season.

    I can’t wait for the next Season! I’m hoping that they’ll start introducing the comic characters, like Cindy (who was mostly in the bkg) in Season 2.

    *giggles* Gangstalicious. Isn’t it such an adorable name? XD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master