And if it didn’t, it just wouldn’t be “Black Dynamite” would it? Especially on such a sensitive, and very topical matter. If it didn’t offend anyone, the series just won’t be doing its job!
The “Black Dynamite” musical special that will tackle a topic of the day – police brutality – airs this Saturday, January 10, at 10:30 PM.
Titled “The Wizard of Watts,” the episode will follow Black Dynamite as he attempts to take a vacation, when the police start patrolling the streets, and a riot breaks out. Black Dynamite is then hit in the head with a brick, which causes him to hallucinate, taking him into the “Magical Land of Oz-Watts,” where he is called on to defend the community, against the police.
It’ll be an hour long (episodes are typically 30 minutes), and will feature guest appearances by Erykah Badu, Tyler, The Creator, Tim Blake Nelson and J.B. Smoove.
In a new profile of the episode by the New York Times, published yesterday, series creator Carl Jones talks about the Saturday night special, stating, “I take pride in tackling things with my gloves off, but animation takes such a long time to produce that you usually don’t end up being all that current.” He adds: “I think there is a racial temperature in this country that has reached a boiling point, and the more we as artists can shine a light and make people talk about it, the better off we are going to all be.”
And based on details the NY Times shares about the episode, it really does appear that Jones will be tackling the topic with his gloves decidedly off!
To wit: “The primary villain in the Magical Land of Oz-Watts, where the story takes place, is a vicious pig clad in riot gear. Water does not neutralize this Oz villain; instead this baddie gets melted with a camcorder. “Oh, no! Not an irrefutable visual record of my illegal actions!” the anthropomorphized pig wails as he turns to mush at the musical’s climax […] The musical special begins with the pimp hero, Black Dynamite, taking a rare day off. But without his muscle on display in the neighborhood, police start beating residents, who respond with violence. (The thrashings, one character says excitedly, “make me feel like burning down my own community!”) Black Dynamite investigates, gets hit with a brick and floats off to Oz-Watts. There, the pigs terrorize a community of Rodney Munchkings. Trying to get home, Black Dynamite sets off not on the yellow brick road but on a trash-strewn Malcolm X Boulevard. Cue the drug-addicted winged monkeys, a Tin Woman looking for male genitalia and a chicken-and-waffles musical number.”
Nope, no subtlety here.
But, then again, “Black Dynamite” isn’t for the weak and easily offended. That’s all part of the series’ charm.
“Basically, I set out to create a blacker version of ‘The Wiz’ and this is how it ended up,” Jones said.
The New York Times piece adds: “Some viewers will find ‘The Wizard of Watts’ in reckless bad taste — ‘Fat Albert’ this is not. It’s not even ‘South Park’ or ‘The Boondocks.’
This should be one for the history books! I searched for a trailer of the episode, but didn’t find one. What I did uncover are the still images within this post.