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What Controversy Can “The Boondocks” (Hopefully) Stir Up This Season?

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The Boondocks was a comic strip that never shied away from controversy.  As ABC News put it back in 2005; “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 Sept. 11 attacks.”

The animated show, which was based on the strip, has proven to be no different.  The show has won a Peabody Award and been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, as well as received criticism from the Reverend Al Sharpton.  Topics which the cartoon has explored include, but aren’t limited to, the BET network, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in contemporary times, and Tyler Perry.

After a nearly four year gap since the third season concluded its original run, the show is scheduled to return for its fourth and final season on April 21.  And in the time since the last season ended, much has happened for Huey to scrutinize, Riley to imitate, and Granddad to keep up with.

In anticipation for the fourth season to begin airing, AllHipHop.com has come up with a list of ten things that we hope to see The Boondocks address before it comes to an end.

10. Legalization of Marijuana

 Pot laws have been a hot button issue in the country for years, but with many states legalizing it as of late -especially with Colorado’s Amendment 64 in 2012, it has reached a heightened level of discussion.  The varying opinions on it make the subject a prime candidate for The Boondocks often satirical take on modern society.  And while the issue cannabis was addressed in Season 3 (“Mr. Medicinal”), the new laws now in effect could allow for the topic to be re-visited with a new context and therefore new jokes.

9. Kanye West

The Boondocks doesn’t bite its tongue when it comes to Hip-Hop, so it would be remiss for it to not address all the recent outspokenness of Mr. West.  Additionally, what affect would his seemingly mixed messages (i.e. the anti-corporate approach of the Yeezus album and his partnership with Adidas) have on Riley?

8. Robin Thicke

Considering Sara Dubois’ interest in Usher that was revealed in Season 2, it would be entertaining to see her take interest in another R&B star.  One that quickly comes to mind, due to his rise over that last few years, is Robin Thicke.  This could not only bring up an examination of how Caucasian performers are establishing themselves as the premier R&B acts lately (see also Justin Timberlake), but set the stage for Tom to do another sing-along too.  Maybe this time to “Blurred Lines”?

7. Occupy Wall Street

Even though OWS began back in 2011, the discussion about income inequity continues to be a consistent talking point.  Considering the capitalist character of Ed Wuncler, Sr. and his power within the Woodcrest suburb, it would make for some great moments on the show if he were to be taken to task for his greedy actions via of a peaceful protest by the all the laborers in the community that he severely underpays.

6. Jason Collins

Another controversial topic which The Boondocks has explored in previous seasons is the homosexuality of public figures.  Therefore, especially considering NBA player Jason Collins came out in May 2013, the show could again address the issue, except on this go -round instead of approaching it like Gangstalicious , a public figure could be openly gay.  Humor and relevant dialogue could then be stirred up as a result of different generations, professions, and religions reaction to the situation.

5. The Second Amendment

Characters Ed Wuncler III  and his friend, Gin Rummy, are both former soldiers with a propensity for guns and mischief.  However, after the real world horrors of  the 2012 Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings, the issue of gun rights and laws are a frequent talking point.  Those two characters ability to purchase and carry firearms could very easily serve as a plot to an episode.

4. Government Shutdown

The shutdown of the federal government in October 2013 brought many things up: the new health-care laws, government funding for 2014, and the already clear divide between political parties.  They are all things that could affect everyone, residents of Woodcrest too if it were to be introduced as something that people in the show had to deal with.  Imagine all that could happen in that suburb in 16-days with no participation from the federal government.

3. The Re-election of President Barack Obama / Hurricane Sandy

In the episode “It’s a Black President, Huey Freeman,” a documentary from Germany captured Woodcrest’s responses to Barack Obama becoming President.  For the re-election, it would be interesting if the same film crew did it again.  However, there would be other things to bring up this time – most notably Hurricane Sandy and how one of Republican Presidential Candidate Romney’s supporters (Chris Christie) praised President Obama for his response to the devastation that Sandy caused.

2. Nelson Mandela

 While Mr. Mandela’s passing has been too recent for him to be brought back like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in the show’s first season to see how times have changed, Mandela’s admirable ideologies could be used to comment on other current events such as the conflict with Russia.  This could be incorporated into the show by bringing up Huey’s constant desire to be socially aware of all the information that is and is not provided by recognized authorities.  But, perhaps more importantly, Mandela’s influence could help curb Huey’s often bleak outlook on things.

1. Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman

With the tragedy of  the Trayvon Martin shooting and the disappointing George Zimmerman verdict still very fresh in the public’s mind, it would certainly be interesting to see how that event (or something similar) would play out from the vantage point of this show’s characters.  From Uncle Ruckus’ offensive commentary to Huey’s pessimistic view of the legal system and even Tom Dubois’ take on the Stand Your Ground Law, it’s certainly a current event that should be commented on in a way that only this show could.

What do you think of The Boondocks?  Are you excited for the new season to start?  Why or why not?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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