Is Adult Swim's Black Jesus the Savior We Need?

Is Adult Swim's Black Jesus the Savior We Need?

Black Jesus may play like straight-up parody, but it's a comedy series that speaks directly to modern social controversy.

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Usually I like Bob's columns, even if I disagree with his stances, but the first page is such obvious argument-bait it makes me sad. I think it's a good show, and it does have promise and a likely inclination to move in certain directions (or at least comment about them), and Bob's column would have been better had he focused on that rather than trying to unnecessarily provoke people. It reads like he wrote the latter two pages as a complete work some time previously, then stapled on the first page to get people to comment.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Usually I like Bob's columns, even if I disagree with his stances, but the first page is such obvious argument-bait it makes me sad. I think it's a good show, and it does have promise and a likely inclination to move in certain directions (or at least comment about them), and Bob's column would have been better had he focused on that rather than trying to unnecessarily provoke people. It reads like he wrote the latter two pages as a complete work some time previously, then stapled on the first page to get people to comment.

It does feel a bit like they're almost disconnected, but it's nothing I haven't seen before.

As to the show itself, how does it compare to The Boondocks (since McGruder is involved).

I watched that video and I would like to point out that whoever that man was, he robbed that place. It crossed the line when he was confronted, he shoved the employee violently away. Despite the fact that it appears that it was over what amounts to likely less than a hundred bucks worth of goods, he crossed the line when he assaulted someone in the process of taking it.

I completely disagree. Bob's stances have always leaned toward being a Social Liberal. He's from Boston after all. The fact is however that because of the timing there will be no way NOT to tie this to the real world events that are informing it. Asking him to exclude context from an opinion column just because you may or may not agree with it is kind of ludicrous, especially when it directly relates to WHY the subject of said column exists.

Edit: And while he may have crossed a line and deserved arrest, I think we can all agree that 6 bullets to his torso and head is a bit of overkill in reply.

Jhereg42:

Edit: And while he may have crossed a line and deserved arrest, I think we can all agree that 6 bullets to his torso and head is a bit of overkill in reply.

It wasn't in reply. Brown was shot in reply to walking on the street instead of the sidewalk.

The robbery and the possible connection to Brown was only discovered by the police afterwards.

tyriless:
Despite the fact that it appears that it was over what amounts to likely less than a hundred bucks worth of goods, he crossed the line when he assaulted someone in the process of taking it.

Crossed what line, exactly? The "it's okay to shoot him to death now" line? Because, hate to break this to you, that line requires use or potential use of deadly force, last I checked.

If, for instance, he had shoved the employee away with a car, that would be much closer to "crossing the line" of allowing for this kind of response. In the act. Even if he'd threatened some clerk with a deadly weapon during an earlier crime, that doesn't just open the door for riddling him with holes at some unspecified later date when he's no longer posing a threat, particularly not if he's trying to surrender.

I get the impulse to want to defend law enforcement, but in this case, the officer in question does not warrant your sympathy. One shot out of fear or surprise, maybe that's understandable, maybe you can let that slide a little. But six? SIX shots into an unarmed person?

There's no excusing that.

Regarding more of the article itself: okay, I might have to check out Black Jesus. Which would make it the first show on Adult Swim I've thought looked worth checking out in years.

Shjade:
Snippity

Which is cause enough for outrage on its own, but also remember that the man in the video may or may not have even been the shooting victim, and the connection wasn't suggested by police until after the fact, when it came time to cover their own asses. Truly, there's no goddamn excuse.

shirkbot:

As to the show itself, how does it compare to The Boondocks (since McGruder is involved).

Judging from his comments, I'm guessing it's going to feel a little familiar. The art style to the Boondocks, one of my favorite things about the show, will of course be lost so it'll be interesting to see how that commentary comes off in the new show.

McGruder:
What has never been lost on me is the enormous responsibility that came with The Boondocks - particularly the television show and it's relatively young audience. It was important to offend, but equally important to offend for the right reasons. For three seasons I personally navigated this show through the minefields of controversy. It was not perfect. And it definitely was not quick. But it was always done with a keen sense of duty, history, culture, and love. Anything less would have been simply unacceptable.What do you think?

As for me, I'm finally putting a life of controversy and troublemaking behind me with my upcoming Adult Swim show, Black Jesus.

Writen by the guy working behind Boondock, eh? I'm going to have to give this a watch then, considering how much I loved Boondocks. Plus, Bob already thinks that the show is decent as is (I'm not a fan of a lot of the shows on Adult Swim) so I'll have to make it a priority to watch this.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Usually I like Bob's columns, even if I disagree with his stances, but the first page is such obvious argument-bait it makes me sad. I think it's a good show, and it does have promise and a likely inclination to move in certain directions (or at least comment about them), and Bob's column would have been better had he focused on that rather than trying to unnecessarily provoke people. It reads like he wrote the latter two pages as a complete work some time previously, then stapled on the first page to get people to comment.

Pretty much another of Bob's topical segways.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Usually I like Bob's columns, even if I disagree with his stances, but the first page is such obvious argument-bait it makes me sad. I think it's a good show, and it does have promise and a likely inclination to move in certain directions (or at least comment about them), and Bob's column would have been better had he focused on that rather than trying to unnecessarily provoke people. It reads like he wrote the latter two pages as a complete work some time previously, then stapled on the first page to get people to comment.

I wonder if the Escapist actually makes more money on stories with lots of comments. More comments means more forum page views, but its not clear to me what percentage of the Escapist's ad revenue comes from the forums. My hunch is that its not actually very much, but I could be wrong about that. I don't suppose there is any way to know for sure without someone from the Escapist weighing in. More likely Bob is trying to hook the audience into reading the second two pages of his article by tying the first page to real world events, which is either just as cynical as what you suggested or good writing, depending on your perspective.

Shjade:
[quote="tyriless" post="6.858300.21279147"]Despite the fact that it appears that it
If, for instance, he had shoved the employee away with a car, that would be much closer to "crossing the line" of allowing for this kind of response. In the act. Even if he'd threatened some clerk with a deadly weapon during an earlier crime, that doesn't just open the door for riddling him with holes at some unspecified later date when he's no longer posing a threat, particularly not if he's trying to surrender.

I get the impulse to want to defend law enforcement, but in this case, the officer in question does not warrant your sympathy. One shot out of fear or surprise, maybe that's understandable, maybe you can let that slide a little. But six? SIX shots into an unarmed person?

There's no excusing that.

Regarding more of the article itself: okay, I might have to check out Black Jesus. Which would make it the first show on Adult Swim I've thought looked worth checking out in years.

I know this is a sensitive subject, but read what I said in context of the robbery alone. That's all I was commenting on. Also, I agree, if Mike Brown did do it (which I have no clue if he did) he was subject to arrest and getting shot should not have happened. Whoever that robber was, he was a massive jerk and deserved time in jail, not to be sent to the morgue

tyriless:
I watched that video and I would like to point out that whoever that man was, he robbed that place. It crossed the line when he was confronted, he shoved the employee violently away. Despite the fact that it appears that it was over what amounts to likely less than a hundred bucks worth of goods, he crossed the line when he assaulted someone in the process of taking it.

Well, yeah he robbed it and they should have used the surveillance footage and good policework to find him and bring him to court for it. Petty theft is still a crime, and you could probably get him with assault and armed robbery if you stretch the intended meaning of both. Although, then you're looking at throwing him away for several years, and probably just making him worse, instead of getting him any real meaningful help.

But! Keep in mind that the stolen cigars and Brown's eventual death are wholly unrelated. The officer was completely unaware that Brown was possibly connected with that robbery at the time, and because of that, the stolen cigars literally have no bearing on the actual shooting at all. It's a distraction tactic to try and sway public opinion so they can go "Look, he was a criminal all along!" If Brown had actually, physically assaulted the store clerk, you could maybe infer some things. But he didn't. He intimidated and gave a shove to someone roughly half his size. A bully, most likely, but it isn't like he was acting like the sort of raving, violent lunatic that would try to strangle a cop inside of his own car, and try to steal his gun while doing so (like the cops claim in their story).

But, neither do I think the cop is some raving, racist lunatic who executed a black teen on a whim. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle.

I think that after the cop got elbowed in the cheek (because the natural human reflex to someone grabbing you around the neck through a car window is to thrash, cop or not) and shot at him from inside the car, he was mad. He got out, and started emptying his mag into the kid as he ran (we know from the autopsy that Brown was hit six times, and you can bet that the cop didn't have 100% accuracy). He hit Brown a few times in the arm and shoulder, so the kid freaked out and tried to get down and surrender, and basically lowered himself into the bullet the pierced through the top of his head and killed him.

As for the cop, no he isn't guilty of murder. However! He is quite clearly guilty of wrongful application of deadly force. You cannot just keep shooting at an unarmed fleeing suspect that is 35ft away from you. Partly because he is no longer an imminent lethal threat to the officer, and also because you're in the middle of a public street. People live around there, and if you just go off popping off rounds when you don't have to, then you have just become a danger to the public. So, because he wrongfully applied deadly force, he should not get the blanket protection that deadly force in the line of duty usually gives cops. Pretty clearly guilty of manslaughter. The degree of manslaughter though, that's a whole other can of worms.

Jhereg42:
I completely disagree. Bob's stances have always leaned toward being a Social Liberal. He's from Boston after all. The fact is however that because of the timing there will be no way NOT to tie this to the real world events that are informing it. Asking him to exclude context from an opinion column just because you may or may not agree with it is kind of ludicrous, especially when it directly relates to WHY the subject of said column exists.

I'm not opposed to him being a social liberal, or even his views on what happened. It just seems that there was a fully fleshed-out piece already written about Black Jesus and the portrayal of the black inner city in American media that was measured and focused on the art (which is where I'd expect a TV/movie critic to focus).

The bit about what happened and is happening in Ferguson is related to the same issue, but it wasn't worked into the piece at all. It just felt like something he wrote up and slapped onto the front of the article without trying to integrate it beyond the barest link between the first and second pages, to the detriment of the column, and I can't see a reason to include it in such a matter other than to get people to talk about it here (although he may have simply been trying to get his views on the situation out on the internet, in which case this was simply a poor way to do it).

Interesting take on the show in light of recent events, Bob. We'll see what's to come.

As for the show itself, I was a bit apprehensive about the show in part because of the premise and because I haven't really liked any of the Live Action adult swim shows.

However, I found the show to be pretty enjoyable so far. :) It's pretty silly, but it has an air of sincerity about it.

I look forward to seeing where it goes.

I watched the first two episodes based on this review. I love it. I'm so glad Jesus's mere presence isn't the only focus of the narrative. Jesus as the man of the people is the version of Jesus I find the most meaningful. That aspect's often lost in depictions of Jesus that come from conservative evangelical culture in the US, so this was quite welcome.

I'm not gonna comment on the Brown shooting. I haven't been following it, and I hardly know the specifics behind the case, so I'm not gonna get up on some pedestal and try to give an opinion where a wrong or ignorant one would be unwanted.

That being said, I'm pleasantly surprised that something as inflammatory as "Black Jesus" didn't end up being a forgettable, exploitative piece. Granted, I've never watched the Boondocks, so I'm not really familiar with the guy's work, but given what I've heard of it it seems at least worth a watch.

Gee, I wonder what three-quarters of the comments will be about...

On-Topic: I'm curious how close they're sticking to the actual Gospel records of Jesus. Are they just spoofing the popular perceptions (and misconceptions) of Jesus, or are they going the educational route and mentioning what Jesus actually taught?

I could, of course, watch the show, except I'm without cable at the moment.

(oh, and if you're interested in how Jesus differs from his modern-day representations, just check out George Bernard Shaw's preface to his play Androcles and the Lion. Warning, though: the preface is actually longer than the play)

tyriless:
I watched that video and I would like to point out that whoever that man was, he robbed that place. It crossed the line when he was confronted, he shoved the employee violently away. Despite the fact that it appears that it was over what amounts to likely less than a hundred bucks worth of goods, he crossed the line when he assaulted someone in the process of taking it.

The cop who shot him didn't even know he was a robbery suspect - he stopped Brown and his friend for jaywalking. They have been including irrelevant details and changing the story since then to cover their asses.

And even then, in what country is it okay to execute an unarmed suspect in broad daylight? Imagine how Americans would have reacted if it happened in another country.

I remember trying to set my DVR for this a month ago and the damn thing couldn't find it. Since then I totally spaced about it. Now I need to go get it back on my DVR.

Was interested in it the moment I saw that it was made by the same man who made The Boondocks, one of the only shows I ever actually shlled out money to buy the dvd's of. Glad to know that its living up to its pedigree.

tyriless:
I watched that video and I would like to point out that whoever that man was, he robbed that place. It crossed the line when he was confronted, he shoved the employee violently away. Despite the fact that it appears that it was over what amounts to likely less than a hundred bucks worth of goods, he crossed the line when he assaulted someone in the process of taking it.

(Looks at avatar) Gamzee Makara? Is that you? IBecause if so, I don't want to "get down with the clown".

rcs619:
snip

Naw man. I see what you're trying to do. I used to be like you, all "As usual, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle" and all that jazz.

Let me let you in on a little secret. That actually isn't usually the case. Especially, and most unfortunately, in regards to race in america.

It unfortunately boils down to systemic racism, perpetrated by white people (and sometimes PoC) in power.

Most importantly however, this white cop executed an unarmed black teenager. This is merely the latest and biggest of hundreds upon hundreds of stories of police brutality and murder directed at PoC and especially black men, usually perpetrated by white police officers. Brown was executed in broad daylight after surrendering and putting his hands in the air.

And you are trying to defend the white person who did it.

Let that sink in for a moment. I know you mean well. You aren't trying to make a villain here. But look at your post. You demonize brown. In one sentence you use his name for the person on that video robbing the store, despite the fact that there is no evidence that actually was Brown, and you yourself said that shouldn't matter in regards to the shooting. In another instance you said that the cop's gun must have been shot while he was wrestling with Brown in the car, assuming that the cop's story was the true one when there is no evidence to support this.

And then you defend the cop, the white cop who murdered an unarmed black teenager, to high heaven. You make excuses for the gun being shot the first time. You say the cop was under attack when there is zero evidence to support this. You say, (and this is the part of your post that almost made me think you were a troll) that brown must have been shot in the head accidentally when he got on his knees to surrender. You then proceed to say that the cop should be found innocent of murder.

Innocent of shooting an unarmed, defenseless, fleeing, kneeling, hands-in-the-air-in-surrender man Six. Times. He shot him six fucking times man.

And you are bending over backwards to try and make this man sound like he isn't a villain.

Now, is he frothing at the mouth? Probably not. Is he a racist asshole that deserves to be locked up for life for the horrible thing he did? Yea, I think even if Brown was being violent (Spoiler alert! He wasn't) we can still safely say that cop is a villain and doesn't deserve to have a life after he stole Brown's.

Also, this is all taken out of context of the events that have been happening within Ferguson this past week. Taken in context, it becomes even more obvious that the cop was a racist asshole in a department of racist assholes in a country of racist assholes.

Great article, minus one important discrepency:

MovieBob:
"Black Metal Spinal Tap!"

Death metal is much more appropriate. Melodic death, if you want to be specific. Common mistake, but understandable!

Show is hilarious. It's really Friday the TV series + Jesus.

So great to see Charlie Murphy back in action too.

We already have a column called "Social Justice Warrior" that makes less argument-bait statements than this.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Usually I like Bob's columns, even if I disagree with his stances, but the first page is such obvious argument-bait it makes me sad. I think it's a good show, and it does have promise and a likely inclination to move in certain directions (or at least comment about them), and Bob's column would have been better had he focused on that rather than trying to unnecessarily provoke people. It reads like he wrote the latter two pages as a complete work some time previously, then stapled on the first page to get people to comment.

At least it doesn't have the Game Overthinker taking to himself and patting his own opinion on the back shtick that we all had to suffer though during that painful bait and switch big picture.

ron1n:
Show is hilarious. It's really Friday the TV series + Jesus.

So great to see Charlie Murphy back in action too.

I agree, he's such an excellent foil/antagonist. He oozes cranky skepticism.

OK, that first-page thing aside, I liked the parts of this article that send a big Take That to Very Special Episodes and provide insight to The Venture Brothers, Metalocalypse, and Morel Orel, which I stopped watching halfway through the first season, and I've been off-and-on with Metal. The Venture Brothers is the tits and one of adult swim's best shows. Black Jesus is so far, pretty funny and doesn't have that much of an Anvilicious message to bang you over the head with.

shirkbot:

As to the show itself, how does it compare to The Boondocks (since McGruder is involved).

It's a tad bit more understated than the boondocks, which comes with the territory of being live action as opposed to animated. The over the top line deliveries and gestures are toned back, and the overall tone is more conversational. As someone above said, it's a lot more like Friday than the boondocks, but still really good.

MacGruder has a talent for writing natural-sounding dialogue that rivals Seth MacFarlane's (indeed, the only compliment I can still give most of Seth's work XD)

I'll have to watch Black Jesus as [AS] makes available for streaming on their site. The trailers looked fun and good-natured, and I always enjoy a dressing down of the mythical figure of Jesus Christ from "he is good, therefore the things he does must be good" to "he does good things, that's a good person".

I don't fully agree with MovieBob's opinions on the opening page, but it is very closely related to the media he is talking about. The context of "Cops approach group on black males for a petty crime . . ." is relevant to both cases. The makers of "Black Jesus" seem to be trying to communicate a constructive message through humor, which would avoid a lot of the incendiary attributes of the events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri.

 

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