Black Dynamite Season 1 Episode 2, “Just Beat It or Jackson Five Across Yo’ Eyes”

Television, 2012

After seeing some of the promo material, I had already decided not to like this show. I can’t handle anything that centers itself around referencing a genre, even if it’s a parody, and I thought the design was too indulgently sophisticated for something that’s ostensibly a parody. Like they were trying to have their cake and eat it too. But one of the central conceits of the episode, a conflation of the words “nigga” and “ninja” repeated ad nauseam, made me laugh every time and won me over (which, for all I know, is a gag that extends to the entire series and the movie it’s based on). The show has a rapid-fire wit that never rests, bolstered greatly by razor sharp pacing and design from the sound department (an area normally of fatal weakness in most animated shows). Overall, the hard work obviously put into this show pays off in a way that feels totally unique. I’m not sure you could do an earnest, animated blaxploitation actioner in 2012 better than this show is, and it’s pretty great that Adult Swim provides a wide enough venue to allow stuff like this to happen.