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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Boondocks: "Lovely Ebony Brown"

Illustration for article titled The Boondocks: "Lovely Ebony Brown"
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Stop, drop, shut 'em down, and open up shop, Boondocks posse!  Welcome to the eleventh episode of the funkiest show on television — only four to go, folks, so savor every second.

When you think about it, The Boondocks betrayed its essential premise in about five seconds — at least in the TV version.  The whole gag behind the strip, and the show, was that the Freeman family moved to a tiny white suburb following Granddad's retirement.  The humor promised from this idea was the clash of black and white culture.  But really, this was never Aaron McGruder's specialty; he's first and foremost a satirist of black culture.  So while the show stuck with the idea that the Freemans (and Ruckus) were the only black folks in town for a few episodes, by now, Woodcrest is as integrated as Oakland.  Witness this episode.

After a series of nightmarish dates with various psychopaths, lunatics, and fat-booty bitches, Granddad — astrophysicist, soccer star and former UFC champion — decides to delete his Facebook account and give up on women for good.  That's until he meets Ebony Brown, a beautiful black woman who comes with her own soul music soundtrack, so you know she's fine.  The boys react by arming themselves; Uncle Ruckus tries to expose her as just another hood rat; and even Granddad finds her suspiciously perfect.

The relationship goes well, though — shockingly well — and the two even get their own falling-in-love montage where, in a nice little meta-joke that carries through her whole arc, she declares her intention to become a recurring character in the show that is his life.  But, like so many men before him, Granddad's insecurity at being with such a wonderful woman gets the better of him, and, veering wildly between cockiness and self-doubt, he makes the worst mistake he can make:  he seeks advice from Riley.  This leads to jealousy, depression, some more slickly delivered metahumor, and a hell of a punchline when Robert tracks her down in Malaysia.

This episode was surprisingly sweet, funny, and well-developed; even the self-referential gags, while they weren't entirely successful, didn't call so much attention to themselves that they ended up being awkward.  (Of course, they also served as a reminder of how little we have left of The Boondocks.)  Gina Torres, who is herself a superfine woman of color and veteran of many outstanding televised entertainments from Firefly to Cleopatra 2525, did a fine job as Ebony Brown, and it's too bad we won't be seeing her again.  I've noted before that McGruder is mixing it up a lot towards the end of the season's run in terms of content, and this was a nice, personal, character-driven episode that served as a good rest between periods of extreme craziness.

Rating:  B+

Stray Observations:

- "An average-sized man can smuggle more cocaine in his rectum than you might think."


- "Hello there, chimpan…er, monk…er, Negro female."

- "You could tell me about the last time you were in jail, or a funny story about a collections agent, or something about your many, many kids."


- "His views are obviously reprehensible, but they contain just enough truth to make me examine myself critically!"

- "Be a hypocrite, Granddad."

- "Enablin'-ass nigga."

- "I love it that you fight people with a belt.  I love it that you're friends with a pimp named A Pimp Named Slickback.  I love it that Riley thinks everything is gay."


- "Robert, it's been 16 hours.  And the flight is 12 hours."  Damn!  Now that's some old-school comedy punchline set-up and delivery, right there.

- Shit, I'd watch Real Housewives Of Compton.

- This ain't got nothin' to do with nothin', but I really wish they'd stop with those wack-ass Kia commercials with the hamsters.  Not only do they force me to contemplate a bunch of homeboys driving around with no pants on, but they're ruining an awesome Blacksheep song.