Animated series have a long history of being more than just kids' shows, or long toy commercials. We certainly have many cartoons that we love and think are excellent. However, it's rare to call an animated series Important or Prophetic, yet Aaron McGruder's original Cartoon Network series The Boondocks was important, prophetic, and hilarious. Now, Riley, Huey and Grandad are back, and making the move to streaming. The Boondocks is coming to HBO Max, with all new episodes starting in Fall of 2020.
The Boondocks began as a show inspired by the comic strip of the same name, but as the series grew it took on a voice and life of its own. The show began in 2005, and was an instant hit with fans and critics. It was incredibly original and highly controversial, as an adult cartoon focused on mainly African-American characters, and tackling hot-button issues of race, sexual assault, religion, politics and capitalism.
Fans should expect the same in-your-face style when The Boondocks makes the move to HBO Max. Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer of HBO Max was quoted in the press release saying "The Boondocks was a revolutionary series that sparked conversations on hot button issues and brought dark subjects into the light". Reilly also described creator Aaron McGruder, who will serve as both showrunner and executive producer, as " a gifted visionary whose unique style of storytelling is a welcome voice".
McGruder has provided a few hints about how the show is changing to match the current culture. The main characters, The Freeman family, are moving to a new neighborhood, but will have to deal with an old foe, as Uncle Ruckus has become a powerful political figure. McGruder is thought to be framing the show around a Boondocks comic strip he wrote and published on the Instagram page of his friend, Charlamagne Tha God.
The entire original run of The Boondocks will be available on HBO Max when the new streaming service launches. It's important to note that this is different than the premium channel HBO, or the streaming service HBO Now . Due to AT&T's habit of giving different products the same name , it is key to pay attention to the details on this announcement.
HBO and HBO Now are currently available, and have shows like Game of Thrones, The Wire, and The Sopranos. The Boondocks will not be on HBO or HBO Now. Instead it will be on HBO Max, which is planned to be a broad streaming service with live streams and deep catalogs of shows from AT&T's Warner Media, including all those HBO goodies. So expect to see The Boondocks alongside shows from TBS, TNT, CNN and more.
You don't have to wait to get a fresh look at what made The Boondocks such a great show. All four seasons are already streaming on Hulu . There is a lot to take in, with episodes dealing with police brutality, denials of the brutalities of slavery, the hip-hop community dealing with rapper coming out as gay, and even imagining how Martin Luther King would have reacted seeing America in the 21st century. As I said, in my communities, the social commentary of the show is as prophetic of what came next as it is subversively hilarious. At times, I have hesitated to recommend the show, warning people of many things, including the heavy use of a word I won't write, much less say if I can avoid it. However, in a show that has a deep history of smart, sharp social commentary, I also think it needs to be watched and heard as it was made.
Every December, I have made a tradition of rewatching "A Huey Freeman Christmas". I'm excited that fans like myself will have the gift of new episodes ready by the holidays in 2020.
"Do I look like Charlie Brown?!?!?" - Huey Freeman
No, and that's exactly why this funny, dangerous show is so revered by fans.
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