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April 20, 2014

'The Boondocks' back for final 'offensive' season

Show to go on without the man who spawned it

NEW YORK (AP) — The brash animated series "The Boondocks" returns to Adult Swim for its fourth and final season without Aaron McGruder, the man who spawned it, but with its brashness intact.

A future episode even spoofs "Breaking Bad." The weekly episodes air Mondays at 10:30 p.m. EDT.

Adapted by McGruder in 2005 from his comic strip of the same name, "The Boondocks" quickly distinguished itself for its pull-no-punches exploration of the black experience in the U.S., where living, making a living and just growing up can pose special challenges for African-Americans.

With its beautiful anime style but tough subjects and rough language, the series ruffled feathers while winning acclaim, including an NAACP Image Award.

It also won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2007 for an episode that found Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. awakening from a decades-long "coma" into a modern world that both disturbed and disappointed him for its lack of social progress.

The series "throws edgy, irreverent comment at some of the thorniest issues of our time," the Peabody committee said in its citation. "Race relations, racial identity, juvenile delinquency — there are no sacred topics here."

"The Boondocks" centers on cranky, self-involved Robert "Granddad" Freeman, the legal (but highly irresponsible) guardian of two grandsons who has moved them from Chicago's inner city to what he fancies as the trouble-free "boondocks" of a comfortable suburb. In those sedate surroundings, Granddad hopes he can shirk his child-raising burdens in favor of full-time sloth and partying.

Needless to say, his grandkids disrupt those plans. Riley is a rambunctious 8-year-old product of rap culture. His 10-year-old brother, Huey, is a budding revolutionary, a dead-serious left-wing radical who serves as the series' conscience. (Regina King of "Southland" and "Ray" voices the brothers, while John Witherspoon of "Friday After Next" is Granddad.)

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