The Boondocks

I really wanted to like The Boondocks because I wanted to see Aaron McGruder translate his righteous, satirical fury from the funny pages into TV form. Unfortunately, the discipline forced on McGruder by his daily strip, which requires a joke or a barbed observation every three panels, is missing from his half-hour episodes.

If you’ve read a typical review of the show, you’ve already heard all the jokes and satirical points made in the first couple episodes. Someone — I don’t know if it’s McGruder or The Man at Cartoon Network — seems to think that Adult Swim viewers just want potty humor and crude language, even though the point of last night’s garden-party episode is that it’s impossible now to shock the bourgeoisie.

The strip has certainly had its offensive moments, too, but what makes it funny is McGruder’s inventively absurd satirical tactics, like back when young firebrand Huey tried to stop the war by finding a date online for Condoleezza Rice. The show has some moments like that, as when Granddad demonstrates that you can pacify an angry white man by offering him cheese. There are some other neat touches, like naming the wealthy landlord Mr. Wuncler, after the rapacious industrialist of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, or having Granddad’s Showgirls-inspired girlfriend in the second episode shop at a boutique called Guccione. That kind of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it humor is rampant in The Simpsons or Family Guy, and it’s one element of Boondocks‘ transition to a new medium that’s an advantage the show’s creators should exploit more.

What did you think of last night’s premiere of The Boondocks?