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Matthew Lee
Matthew Lee

The Boondocks - Season 1 ... 'LINK'

The first season of the animated television series, The Boondocks originally aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. Season one started on November 6, 2005, with "The Garden Party" and ended with "The Passion of Reverend Ruckus" on March 19, 2006, with a total of fifteen episodes.

The Boondocks - Season 1 ...

All fifteen episodes from season one were released completely uncensored on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on July 25, 2006. The first season is also available on the iTunes Store and has been made available for on demand streaming on HBO Max (originally shown on Netflix and then, Hulu).

Anthony Bell, Joe Horne, Seung Eun Kim, and Kalvin Lee served as directors, and series creator Aaron McGruder, Rodney Barnes, and Yamara Taylor served as writers for season one. All episodes in season one originally aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim, and are rated TV-MA for graphic violence and dangerous activity involving children, explicit language (mostly heavy use of racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs, as well as bleeped-out profanity), and infrequent instances of strong sexual content, with the exception of "The Itis", which was rated TV-14 for drug references and moderate violence.

The series ended its run on June 23, 2014, with a total of 55 episodes over the course of the show's four seasons, the last of which was produced without any involvement from McGruder.[3] The series also has aired in syndication outside the United States and has been released on various DVD sets and other forms of home media.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest animated series of all time,[4][5][6][7][8] The Boondocks has received several accolades including an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and two Peabody Awards. On June 12, 2019, it was announced that Sony Pictures Animation would be producing a reboot of the television series that was set to premiere in 2022 with McGruder's involvement; John Witherspoon was also attached to the project to reprise his role as Robert Freeman before his passing on October 29, 2019.[9][10] On September 18, 2019, it was announced that HBO Max had picked up the reboot with a two-season order. The two seasons were set to consist of twelve episodes.[11] On February 2, 2022, it was revealed that development had been cancelled and that the project was shelved after Witherspoon died.[12]

In the meantime, the development of the TV series continued. McGruder and film producer/director Reginald Hudlin (President of Entertainment for BET from 2005 to 2008) created a Boondocks pilot for the Fox network, but found great difficulty in making the series acceptable for network television. Hudlin left the project after the Fox deal fell through, though McGruder and Sony Pictures Television were contractually obligated to credit him as an executive producer for the first two seasons.[15] Mike Lazzo, president of Adult Swim and executive producer for Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Space Ghost Coast to Coast, stumbled across the pilot and declared it "too networky". He then ordered a 15-episode season and told McGruder to "just tell stories".

The series was produced in widescreen since the beginning, but the image was cropped to accommodate the 4:3 aspect ratio at the time of their original broadcasts as well as reruns. Adult Swim rarely crops widescreen material. Since the third season, the series has been produced in 16:9 high definition and presented in its original aspect ratio and resolution.

In 2014, it was announced that McGruder would not be involved in the show's fourth season. Adult Swim stated, "a mutually agreeable production schedule could not be determined."[17] The fourth season premiered on April 21, 2014, ending its run on June 23, 2014.[18]

The series opens with the Freemans settling into the fictional, peaceful, and mostly white suburb of Woodcrest. Evidence for the real-world location of the fictional Woodcrest is mixed. Proponents of the Chicago's South Side theory cite the real-life suburb of Crestwood, Illinois and the similarity of the two names.[19] The first season features several Chicago landmarks: a skyline shot showing the Willis Tower, Grant Park, buildings of the Michigan Avenue Historic District, and Lake Michigan;[20] as well as elevated rapid transit endemic to the city, resembling the Chicago "L".[21] More conclusive evidence is presented in "The Trial of Robert Kelly", in which Riley asks Grandad, "Can you take us into the City tomorrow to watch the R. Kelly Trial?".[22] Grandad denies his request and tells him to walk, and Riley replies "But it's 40 miles!" R. Kelly is from Chicago, and his trial was held there, giving more evidence that The Boondocks is in fact set in Illinois.[23] Another reference to Chicago is Martin Luther King Drive, a major street running through South Chicago, mentioned for its violent activity in the 9th episode of season 1, "Return of the King".[23] Additionally, in "Let's Nab Oprah", Ed Wuncler III, Gin Rummy and Riley go to Oprah Winfrey's television studio in an attempt to kidnap her. The Oprah Winfrey Show was recorded at Harpo Studios in Near West Side Chicago.[24]

Both the comic strip and the cartoon were influenced by McGruder's love of anime and manga.[30] He cites Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo as sources of inspiration for the series' fight scenes. The opening sequence of Season 1 contains similarities to that of Samurai Champloo. Some of the humor is based on the characters' anime-style movements.[31] In 2006, McGruder explained in an interview, "We now have a Japanese anime studio named Madhouse to help us out",[32] but at some point, the deal with Madhouse fell through.[33] Instead, the Emmy Award-winning South Korean studio Moi Animation, handled the animation for season two onwards. As a result, the following seasons of the series have more detailed animation, as well as minor updates for most of the character designs.

While the series was originally going to end with the third season, on March 21, 2014, it was revealed via press release from Adult Swim that The Boondocks would return for a fourth and final season.[35][3][36] It was later revealed that the fourth season would be produced without the involvement of the series creator Aaron McGruder. The reason cited for the split between the creator and the company was a disagreement over the production schedule.[3] The fourth and final season was co-produced and animated by South Korean studio Studio Mir.

The Boondocks received critical acclaim. In January 2006, it was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 37th NAACP Image Awards alongside The Bernie Mac Show, Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, and Half & Half. The show won a Special Honorary Academy Award Of Merit in 2006 for the episode "Return of the King", which recognized George Foster Peabody as the Breakout Visionary Achivement In Exellence, For The Most Historic Landmark-In-Crowning-Achivement Milestone In History.[47] The first season garnered a score of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 21 reviews[48] and a 59% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 17 reviews.[49] IGN named it the 94th-best animated series, describing it as a sharp satirical look at American society.[50]

The Boondocks has been a frequent subject of controversy since its comic-strip debut in 1999, with ABC News noting, "Fans and critics of The Boondocks loved and hated the strip for the same reasons: its cutting-edge humor and unapologetic, sometimes unpopular, views on various issues, including race, politics, the war on terrorism and the September 11 attacks."[54] Numerous outlets predicted the show would encounter controversy prior to its November 2005 debut, due to its casual use of the word "nigga".[55][56] In 2006, the Reverend Al Sharpton protested the first-season episode "Return of the King", for Martin Luther King Jr.'s character's use of the word "nigga", saying "Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to pulling episodes that desecrate black historic figures." Cartoon Network released a statement in response defending McGruder: "We think Aaron McGruder came up with a thought-provoking way of not only showing Dr. King's bravery but also of reminding us of what he stood and fought for, and why even today, it is important for all of us to remember that and to continue to take action," the statement said.[57] The episode was later awarded a Peabody Award for being "an especially daring episode".[58]

At Annecy 2019, Sony Pictures Animation announced it would be producing a "reimagining" of the television series. On June 12, 2019, a reboot of the series was officially announced with McGruder and voice actor John Witherspoon confirmed to be returning from the original series, before his death on October 29, 2019.[9][10] On September 18, 2019, it was announced that the reboot would stream on HBO Max in Fall 2020 but this was later postponed to 2021 and then to 2022. The service ordered two seasons, 24 episodes total with a 50-minute special. The complete run of the original 2005 series was also made available on the service.[69][11] In February 2022, it was announced by actor Cedric Yarbrough that Sony had shelved the reboot.[12]

Outside the U.S, The Boondocks airs on NITV and The Comedy Channel in Australia. In Canada, Teletoon aired the first two seasons as part of its late-night Teletoon at Night programming block, including several episodes that didn't air in the U.S. It also aired in Quebec on Télétoon's Télétoon la nuit block on March 9, 2007.[70] Sony Entertainment Television (and later Sony Max) as well as Vuzu broadcasts the show in South Africa. It has also been aired on TV3 and TV6 in Sweden, and it aired in New Zealand on Comedy Central. MTV Italy and Comedy Central Italy in Italy (but only seasons 1 and 2,seasons 3 and 4 are unedited in that country, because Sony Entertainment Italy, who owned the rights to the series, is failed), and on channel TV3+ in Denmark. 041b061a72


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