Interesting concept, bad execution.
Review (with Spoilers)
With The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder kicked out of his own series, and it seeming like Black Jesus was meant to be his comeback, I must say I had high hopes. For despite his Jesus having the type of wig which I’m sure only cost $20-30, and said wig featuring straight hair that didn’t look woolly, I figured if Black Jesus was anything like when MLK Jr. was on The Boondocks, it could have been funny. Boy was I wrong.
Characters & Story
In the premiere episode we skip over Jesus resurrecting, much less finding his way to Compton, and we are introduced to a Ebonics speaking, cursing like there is no tomorrow, Jesus (Gerald “Slink” Johnson). Someone who seems to be highly selfish, a bit self-centered, but always willing to share the word of god, under his interpretation. Which, throughout the episode, makes you think that his would-be apostles: Boonie (Corey Holcomb), Jason (Antwon Tanner), Fish (Andra Fuller), and Maggie (Kali Hawk) are possibly smoking some of the dankest of weed since biblical Jesus vs. real negro Jesus do not coincide much at all. But, with him showing off his ability to make selfish miracles happen, and knowledge about people which rivals the NSA, he proves to possibly be the real Jesus. However, with him being the driver for a drug deal, calling people mofos, and weed only being second to his love of god, it is hard to say what happened to Jesus since his return from death that has made him like this.
When you first watch the show, it is interesting to see a 6+ foot tall Jesus walking around. Especially when he starts cursing at people one minute, then touting remixed scripture the next. And, in total, I got about 5 laughs in. Mostly due to Boonie’s mother Ms. Tudi (Angela Elayne Gibbs).
But let me say this, despite not being a Christian I find this show to have wasted multiple opportunities with presenting Black Jesus. For one, him having straightened hair, which looks like a god awful wig, from the get go seemed like a wasted opportunity to at least show Jesus in a manner similar to the biblical description. Then in terms of both commentary and parody, the show just fails to really comment on anything worthwhile. Jesus is basically treated like an annoying magician who lives in the hood. There isn’t much exploration when it comes to him being a church figure, there is no critique of how religion evolved since his crucifixion, and the show’s first episode just feels so shallow that it makes me wonder if McGruder perhaps should be considered a one hit wonder. For if this is his next big project, I guess there might have been a good reason he wasn’t in the final season of The Boondocks. Said reason being: the powers that be figured they could ruin the show less than he possibly could.
Overall: Skip It
If you are expecting the spirit of The Boondock to be translated into live action, prepare to be disappointed. Black Jesus is just a wasted premise in which your ideas and expectations for the show probably will never be met. It is not Jesus doing as MLK Jr. did in the “Return of the King” episode of The Boondocks. No, this show is trying to cash in on the controversy of showing a Black, and ignorant, Jesus and seeing how long they can run with it before getting cancelled. And with the controversy more so being how tricked you feel after watching this than anything Jesus says, I can’t see this being renewed. Hell, I’m unsure why this was green lit to be honest with you.
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