Fans of Aaron MacGruder's The Boondocks (based on his popular daily comic strip) should take note that all 15 episodes of the fearless animated series are included on this second-season boxed set. While complete seasons should be a given for the DVD presentation of most television series, most programs didn't undergo the same level of scrutiny and negative press as The Boondocks, which saw two of its second season episodes pulled from its network run over allegedly offensive statements about the cable channel BET and its senior executives (including filmmaker Reginald Hudlin, who is also credited as executive producer on The Boondocks). Both episodes--"The Hunger Strike" (which sees Boondocks hero Huey Freeman protest BET's negative programming) and "The Uncle Ruckus Show" (BET airs a reality series built around the self-loathing title character) � are presented here in their entirety, and include fairly straightforward commentary by MacGruder and producers Rodney Barnes and Carl Jones which, while never going so far as to point fingers at individuals who may have caused the episodes to be banned, does provide a succinct history of the troubles they incurred for the show. It should also be noted that while both episodes are solid and ruthless pieces of satire, they're not the high points of the season--episodes that strike a stronger balance between humor and social commentary include "� Or Die Trying" (Granddad, Huey, Riley and Jazmine sneak into a screening of Soul Plane 2: The Blackjacking! and wrangle with Uncle Ruckus), "Invasion of the Katrinians" (Granddad learns to regret taking in his displaced New Orleans relative Jericho, voiced by Cedric the Entertainer), and "The Story of Catcher Freeman" (a Rashomon-like take on the history of the Freeman's saintly ancestor). These and others come closest to achieving the level of quality of "The Return of the King," the best episode of The Boondocks' first year, and do much to suggest that the show will continue to hit high-water marks in subsequent seasons.
In addition to the previously mentioned commentaries, MacGruder, Barnes and Jones are heard on two other episodes ("Stinkmeaner Strikes Back" and "The Story of Gangstalicious, Part 2"), and MacGruder is seen in video introductions for the banned episodes, as well as a making-of featurette which profiles the behind-the-scenes elements of the show in detail. "Trouble in Woodcrest" is a light-hearted look at a supposed feud between voice talent Cedric Yarbrough and Gary Anthony Williams, while "What N****s?" pokes fun at criticism of the show's use of the epithet by compiling footage of the voice-over artists repeating it in recording sessions. Five-minute interviews with the main cast and minisodes of "Spider-Man" and "Married� With Children" bring the extras to a close. -- Paul Gaita