The Itis (The Boondocks)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2010)|
|The Boondocks episode|
Robert and Ed at the grand opening of the restaurant, The Itis.
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Joe Horne|
|Written by||Rodney Barnes, Aaron McGruder|
|Original air date||January 22, 2006|
"The Itis" is the tenth episode of the Adult Swim animated television series, The Boondocks. It originally aired on January 22, 2006. The episode is the only episode to date in the series that does not make use of the n-word, and thus is the only episode rated TV-14; every other episode in the series is rated TV-MA.
The episode opens with Granddad cooking up a meal to serve to his friends and neighbors. There is a great quantity of soul food being prepared and Granddad seems in his element. Huey looks into a pot and sees broccoli cooking, but smells pork. An argument ensues in which Huey (who does not eat pork) insists that broccoli cooked with pork counts as pork, therefore it is something he cannot eat. Granddad is about to say something in response, but the Dubois family enters and the subject is dropped for the moment. Riley insults Sarah's peach cobbler by saying it looks like vomit, causing an argument between him and Granddad, which ends up in Riley being beaten.
The dinner turns out to be a great success and everyone at the table (with the exception of Huey) eats their fill. Jazmine says that she is feeling sleepy and Granddad remarks that it's just "the itis", the sleepy feeling you get when you've eaten a big meal. Ed Wuncler says that Granddad should open up a soul food restaurant and that he, Ed, has just the location to do it in.
The storefront turns out to be a vegan cafe that Wuncler wants to take down due to the food tasting like "hot armpit on wheat bread". It's also directly across from Meadowlark Memorial Park (which Granddad mistakenly thinks is named for Meadowlark Lemon, who is not dead). Ed Wuncler says that he's been trying to buy the park and develop it, but the state won't sell. Wuncler turns to more immediate concerns and tells Granddad that the restaurant will develop under his direction.
Granddad goes home and prepares some food for his new venture. His first creation is the Luther Burger: "A full pound burger patty covered in cheese. Grilled onions, five strips of bacon, all sandwiched between...two Krispy Kreme donuts." Huey looks over the menu and informs Granddad that he can't serve this food to people as it will cause death. Riley tastes the Luther, and falls out of his chair, declaring candidly that "this is what crack must feel like". He then passes out, waking up briefly a short time later, affirming that the Luther is the "best thing ever". Granddad leaves him to sleep the itis off and opens the restaurant.
With the itis in mind, the restaurant (named The Itis) opens with beds instead of tables (as suggested by Riley). It is a red carpet affair involving beautiful women, who flirt with Granddad. Diners eat their food and then fall asleep immediately. The food is a great success until Huey starts telling people about what they are putting into their bodies, reciting from Elijah Muhammad's book, How to Eat to Live. Granddad is not amused and forces Huey to serve people their Luther burgers.
Granddad's food is so tasty and addictive that people start eating it every night. Some start going to work late or not going to work at all. Eventually, the bloated people take up residence in the nearby Meadowlark Park, stealing from joggers and passers-by to feed their Luther habit. The police stop responding to that area and, as Huey put it, "This had officially become a bad neighborhood."
Granddad and Wuncler don't believe that the situation has gotten that far out of control until a woman attacks Granddad and swipes his supper, stuffing the Luther into her mouth as she sobs in the darkness of Meadowlark Park. This was the same woman who had flirted with Granddad only she had gained a lot of weight. Huey again asserts that this food is destructive, not only to people's bodies but also to the community as a whole ("...this place used to sit between a coffee shop and a day spa. Now there's a liquor store, and a damn Foot Locker!"). Granddad tries to keep his dream alive, but the woman who assaulted him sues The Itis, claiming that the soul food ruined her life and made her fat. Wuncler, claiming his fear that this to be the first of many lawsuits, closes the restaurant down and Granddad has to go home, defeated. It turns out however, that Wuncler planned to profit all along by supporting the destructive restaurant to run down the neighborhood with the effect of driving down property values, most specifically that of the now ruined Meadowlark Park, land which he now buys cheaply to build a development there which will gentrify the neighborhood, driving out current residents who will be priced out by higher rental rates.
As the episode closes, Huey says that Granddad still has Sunday dinners with his friends and neighbors, but will occasionally switch up the menu to things that are not as lethal as what he served at The Itis. After, the scene cuts to Wuncler, who looks out over what used to be Meadowlark Park and smiles at the bulldozers and the large sign proclaiming that the land is now a Wuncler property.