Critics Heart Pot-Smoking, Profanity Spewing 'Black Jesus'
The reviews are in: Major TV critics love Black Jesus.
Adult Swim's newest series, which debuts at 11 p.m. tonight, showcases a pot smoking, obsenity spewing figure oh, so loosely based on Jesus Christ.
Created by Boondocks auteur Aaron McGruder, the series already is inspiring boycott threats. Major critics, however, are quick to defend the series and sing its praises.
Indiewire.com paints an eclectic portrait of the show's main character.
Played by newcomer Gerald "Slink" Johnson, Jesus lives on the streets of Compton, likes to spread goodwill throughout the community and most of all, loves to smoke dope with his friends. When Jesus' friends begin to complain about the cost of dope -- because, as we learn at the beginning of the first episode, Jesus smokes most of it -- the Son of God suggests they build a community garden where they can cut out the middleman and have the best of both worlds.
Time.com suggests this is a kinder, gentler comedy.
You might expect McGruder, given his Boondocks history, to be out for pointed religious satire, but Black Jesus is really more of a stoner hangout comedy with a heart.
The LA Times raves that the show isn't blasphemous in the least.
Except for what I've seen onscreen, I have no idea what McGruder or Clattenburg believe or don't believe, but clearly they are not bound to any orthodoxy. Still, nothing in the first two episodes strikes me as anti-religious or unspiritual.
The advanced word is far different from some Christian groups. David A. Rodgers, pastor of Chicago's House of Prayer for All Nations Ministries, vowed last month to wage an extensive campaign to kill the program.
There is no way that this show would be aimed at the Jewish or Muslim community. We are demanding an IMMEDIATE retraction of this show and a PUBLIC APOLOGY to the Christian community at large. We will continue to make our community aware of your blatant disrespect until there is a redemptive shift in the culture of your channel and programming. Please understand that we will not take this lying down. We will fight this and any other program that seeks to demean our values, our Savior and our beliefs. A draft of this letter is being distributed to every church in America.