Saturday, June 07, 2008

Boondocks Season 2 punks BET

Boondocks Season 2

"Bask in the Thugnificence!"

So I was going to save this bit of news, but for those of you who don't know... The Boondocks Season 2 drops Tuesday. For those of you not up on The Boondocks, you are sooooooooo missing out. Consider your Black card in jeopardy. Fortunately for you, Season 1 is still scarcely available on DVD and the comic strip still runs in over 300 publications. Few series have captured the perspective of thinking brothas and sistas the way the Boondocks has. In fact, as The Boondocks set its cross-hairs on BET the network -once a bastion of Black programming- reportedly complained to Cartoon Network and Sony Pictures, which produces "The Boondocks".

The result was two episodes particularly scathing to top BET executives, Debra Lee and Reginald Hudlin, being banned from U.S. airwaves. However, the two pulled episodes will make the season two DVDs. Spoiler alert: One in which a main character refuses to eat until BET is off the air and head executives commit seppuku. Another where a black man prejudiced against African-Americans gets his own show on BET.

According to an LA Times article, Cartoon Network initially resisted blocking the episodes, but when legal action was threatened the episodes were pulled. Supposedly, BET has no grudge against those responsible for the episodes says a BET spokesperson citing the networks own satirical content. Ironically, as the result of a professional partnership and eventual dissolution in 2005, Hudlin is also listed as an executive producer for "The Boondocks".

As usual, the DVD's commentary is anticipated to be well worth the attention. This season's commentary does include the two controversial episodes, delivered by the ever-humorous co-executive producer Rodney Barnes and Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. McGruder reportedly offers explanation for his pursuit of Black Entertainment Television network in the commentary essentially saying executives 'failed to elevate' the network's standards - something expressly promised by Hudlin upon joining BET.
"I was looking for changes and improvements, and I didn't see any," McGruder said on the DVD. "I didn't see them. So I said, OK, it's fair game. It's hard not to address it. It really was an important part of the strip." Because of legal reasons, he adds, he cannot mention the real names of the people satirized in the episodes.

Barnes added: "You expect white television to present black people in a particular way. The anger comes from black television portraying us in a particular way. That brings out a different sense of frustration, and at the heart of these episodes is that frustration."


Word BET?! The Boondocks has you scared like that?! Most people don't even know The Boondocks exists and here you are whining (allegedly). What happened to "stop snitching"?! 'Oh, you mad cus they stylin' on you?' Maybe u need to watch your sister channel MTV and pick up on the "No Bitch-ass-ness!"

Honestly, this brotha couldn't agree more with McGruder and Barnes. BET fell off years ago. Slowly devolving from Entertainment to Embarassment. When Free and AJ bounced you knew there was nothing left. Nail in the coffin. And the network's attempt to bank on the reality TV era didn't help. I notice Christopher Scott Cherot (writer/producer/director/star of "Hav Plenty") doesn't even associate his name with College Hill anymore. Beyond that it's hard to keep track of the programming (especially in prime time). I mean besides 106 & Park, what is on BET? By the way, i'm not saying that as if 106 is something to be proud of anymore, only that it's the one mainstay. That and Bobby Jones' Gospel which you could assume is kept around merely to ward off the guilt of the programmers. How do you dumb down your own people?

Then again maybe they've fallen prey to their own brainwashing; possibly really believing what they air is hot. Everyone knows if you play something enough you begin to like it. No matter how much you disdained it initially. First you avoid it, then you joke about it, then it has you. Maybe they've fallen so deep that they truly think everyone else is just hating. That BET really expresses where Black people are nowadays. Ha... oh no. What if they are right? I mean... what if the majority of us are carbon-copies of the 106 and Park audience. I could believe it. Not like i see a plethora of alternatives out there. (Probably just as planned.) I see a lot of my contemporaries falling in the BET line. I always say "people are sheep" but if the programming is following the herd and the herd is following the programming who's the leader?

Poor Cousin Jeff. You know it's only a matter of time before he bounces. How long can you stand being the paragon bringing up the test scores? The one brother the whole network points to for credibility. Remember when BET News was it's own show. Not gon' lie; Flava Flav has better moments than BET. D*mn!! So when the Boondocks parodies BET with the "Booty Buttcheeks" video, "Gangstalicious", "Thugnificent" or a spot-on cooning Terrence (106 & Park co-host)... i feel relieved. Thankful that a collection of thinking Black folk are in the position to present an alternative to the portrayal of our people on BET. Hell, not only that; that they are recognized for it... when did BET ever win a Peabody Award?! Like Barnes said... I expect that portrayal of us from white programming, but when we broadcast ourselves like that the frustration is exponential. Oh and VH1 Soul, don't think we don't notice you slipping T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, etc into the mix. You are on notice!!

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