HBO Max has ordered two re-imagined seasons and a 50-minute special of The Boondocks, with the property's creator, Aaron McGruder, returning as showrunner. Created by McGruder in 1996, the original Boondocks comic strip followed young Huey Freeman and his brother Riley as they relocate from the West Side of Chicago to live with their grandfather, Robert, in a predominantly white suburban neighorbood in Woodcrest, Maryland. McGruder lated adapted his comics into an animated TV series for Adult Swim, which aired for a total of four seasons from 2005 to 2014.
The Boondocks comics and cartoon show drew praise and controversy in sometimes equal-measure for their typically blisteringly satirical examination of everything from racial identity to social privilege, politics, and celebrity culture. McGruder was never one to shy away from provocative topics either, using the IP to weigh in on prickly issues during the 00s (be they the policies of the Bush Administration or the sexual abuse allegations against Michael Jackson and R. Kelly). The TV show was especially bold in this regard, taking advantage of the fact that it could get away with things that its newspaper counterpart never could.
While some of the satire in The Boondocks comics and animated series holds up to this day (and, in select cases, is equally relevant), some of it, naturally, does not. Fortunately, McGruder will get a chance to revisit the franchise with The Boondocks revival, which is now moving forward at HBO Max (after Sony Pictures Animation, which is producing, announced it would be rebooting the TV series in June). You can read McGruder's statement about the news below, followed by the official artwork for the "re-imagined" show.
“There’s a unique opportunity to revisit the world of The Boondocks and do it over again for today. It’s crazy how different the times we live in are now - both politically and culturally - more than a decade past the original series and two decades past the original newspaper comic. There’s a lot to say and it should be fun."
HBO has also issued a synopsis for The Boondocks revival that sheds some light on how the TV series will approach life in the year 2019. According to the logline, the show will once again follow "self-proclaimed 'Civil Rights Legend'" Robert and his grandsons as their community in suburban Maryland is taken over by "the tyrannical Uncle Ruckus and his bizarre neo-fascist regime". For those not familiar, Uncle Ruckus is an elderly self-despising man who's openly racist against other black people, votes Republican, and frequently served as an antagonist during the original Boondocks TV show (having made his debut in the comics first in late 2004).
In addition to ordering two seasons and a special of The Boondocks revival, HBO Max will make all 55 episodes from the original The Boondocks cartoon series available for viewing through the streaming service when it launches. Suffice it to say, it will be interesting to see what the reboot has to say about the state of things in its new form, and whether it manages to have the same cultural impact as its predecessor. At the least, there's a whole lot of material that McGruder and his collaborators can draw from as they write the show's latest episodes.
The Boondocks revival will premiere in the fall of 2020.
Source: HBO Max