A few months ago, when a 30 second trailer dropped for the new Netflix series Dear White People, and stuck in the craw of so many alt-right trolls, my expectations for this show were immediately set pretty high. I was a fan of the 2014 film this show is based on, and while I enjoyed the movie, I felt it left a lot of meat on the bone as far as other topics and issues that were touched on and that effect black people, but weren't explored as deeply as they could've been. One can only delve so far into so many issues within the parameters of a 2 hour movie when you have to introduce characters, set up a conflict, and wrap that conflict up in a nice neat conclusion.
This show, however, addresses those issues and then some and make for some pretty interesting TV! Despite the title (which some out there would argue encourage white genocide), a lot of the show centers on the internal conflicts of the black community. It examines what it truly means to be "woke" in this day and age. Is it holding on to an ideology and methods that have proven to be somewhat outdated? Is it bringing about change from within the "system"? Is it wearing your hair a certain way? Do any of these things matter when you can't affect the kind of change you want to see? How woke can a black person be when they fight against and look down on fellow black people who happen to disagree with them?
The series also boldly confronts the issues of interracial dating, colorism, homosexuality, racial profiling of police, the hedonistic side of college life, white appropriation of black music, even how the media trains people to go after certain stories while avoiding others. All while sprinkling in scenes depicting a lot of the unfortunate happenings we see in the news everyday reminding us that we don't live in this paradise-like, post-racial, all accepting world that was birthed on Election Day, 2008.
The show balances poignant scenes with just the right amount of humor and characters that you feel you know or even see yourself in. Many characters are what-you-see-is-what-you-get throughout the series, but some characters go through some serious arcs as the episodes play on. And I like watching complex characters with many sides to them showing that they are neither all good, nor all bad. Or in these cases, all woke or all sellout.
My expectations for this show were high, and while it is not perfect, it does not disappoint either. I strongly recommend this show for anybody out there looking for a new series to binge on, no matter how old they are or what color they are.
Can't wait for season 2...