SOME people air their views on talk shows, social networks and through pressure groups. All are powerful outlets, but nothing quite beats the power of cartoons.
You might marvel at the work political reporters do, but when you see the fearless cartoonist in the same editorial room, you will have an even deeper appreciation for him. Think of Zapiro’s cartoon that depicted President Jacob Zuma about to rape Lady Justice. Many reporters have questioned Zuma’s power over the law, but none did it quite like Zapiro.
This is why The Boondocks is a popular show at the moment. Much like The Simpsons and South Park, The Boondocks is an animated manga-styled predominantly black comedy that questions several socio-political issues.
It centres on 8-year-old Riley Freeman and his 10-year-old brother, Huey. The two are voiced by Regina King. As the bigger brother, Huey brings some direction and sanity to the family because he feels responsible for Riley.
Riley may be artistically inclined and charming, but his love for gangster rap has him subscribing to the genre’s ideals.
King’s ability to voice the brothers in a distinctive manner shows just how good she is. To begin with the characters are male and young, yet she breathes such life into the Freemans that you forget it’s her.
Another major character to look out for is Granddad Freeman, the legal guardian of the brothers. Voiced by John Witherspoon, Granddad is a character you will not want to miss in the show. He has to forever keep up with his grandsons as they are seemingly always up to no good. He is to the show what Homer is to The Simpsons and through him you will think of that uncle that all families have who feels the need to rule over everyone.
With season four upon us, there are few things one should expect on The Boondocks. For instance, there is an episode when Granddad, who is never too old for love, dates Kardashia, a long-lost Kardashian sister. To keep up with Kardashia he has to define the meaning of the word “swag” and apply it to his own lifestyle. So we see him wearing baggy jeans and big, gold chains.
To stay current, the writers of The Boondocks use familiar subjects and for years that has been their strength.
Take, for example, the episode in which Granddad falls in love. This time it’s with Siri, the iPhone interactive application. Siri usually comes with a female voice and is programmed with enough intelligence to hold a conversation.
So with Granddad getting a new iPhone, and upon discovering this woman on the other end, it is love at first “hello”.
There are so many things that will keep you glued to The Boondocks this season. If South Park and The Simpsons were to call it quits, at least we’d have the Freemans to hold the fort.
• The Boondocks, season four, begins tomorrow at 9.30pm on Sony Max (DStv channel 128).