7. The Boondocks (2005-Present)
Network: Cartoon Network
Aaron McGruder should go down as one of the bravest and most intelligent creative minds in the history of entertainment for transforming his comic strip, The Boondocks, into a pop culture phenomenon, one of the most important television programs—animated or not—ever created. The strip was first printed in the University of Maryland, College Park's student newspaper under then-editor Jayson Blair. McGruder succeeded in selling its rights to Sony Pictures after the comic crept into The Source.
The animated series focuses on the Freeman family, who have moved from Chicago's South Side to the white suburb of Woodcrest. From this juxtaposition comes some of the best satire and social analysis to hit the small screen.
Brothers Huey and Riley, though at different stages of their lives, often find themselves fighting against a common cause or enemy, with hilarious results. Their grandfather, known as "Grandad," their sole guardian, regularly gets in over his head. But ask viewers and they'll mention one character: Uncle Ruckus, the scene-stealing Uncle Tom, who made viewers cringe in the same way that Django Unchained's Stephen did late in 2012. Of course, you can't forget rapper Thugnificent, whose downward spiral into the world of the Average Joe was brilliant, sad, and funny.
The genius of The Boondocks is its lampooning of current events and important figures. Few are safe from the show's darts. Past targets include Bill Cosby, Tyler Perry, and most famously, BET. McGruder's decision to take on factions and figures that are considered "untouchable" demonstrate real courage. With three seasons in the vault, fans are patiently waiting for the fourth. Considering some of the world's events since the third season concluded, a new string of Boondocks episodes is exactly what television needs.