I know I know… as per usual I’m always late to the party. In my own defense, I don’t watch television during the school year so all of my binge watching occurs during the summer when people usually no longer care. So although “Dear White People” came out in April… here I am in July offering you my two cents.
I promise to keep it short and sweet, or at least relevant enough to get you to read to the end. I was extremely captivated by the show and went through several feelings all at one time. Let’s just say I don’t remember gasping during a television binge session since watching five seasons of Game Of Thrones back in 2015.
If you haven’t watched “Dear White People” yet, I suggest you put it on your to do list immediately. I’m a stickler for time management, so you’ll also be happy to know that there is only one season so far and each episode is 30 minutes totaling a whopping 5 hours of tv time.
Dear White People Is The Show Every Young African American Needs To See
1. It Is Not the Movie: When I first saw the Dear White People film in 2014, it was interesting but I wasn’t in love with it. I didn’t feel inspired to go talk about it (or write a post). It happened, I saw it and I moved on. However the “Dear White People” show is nothing like the movie, even though it is based heavily on it (weird right… let me explain). The Netflix original series pushes boundaries intelligently. It gives you the space to digest what you have seen, converse about it, argue about it, while still drawing you in to the next episode. It makes each character’s plight interesting while I believe the film fell flat in that area. The film was 2 hours of race related issues, without building out interest in any of the characters. The insight offered into each character on the show (particularly because each character gets an episode dedicated to them) is the missing key that the film lacked.
2. Well Written: I am a sucker for any show that is well written. Justin Simien writes three of the 10 episodes, however the remaining 7 episodes are just as good. The dialogue is fresh, and realistic. Best of all it is flawlessly satirical. The subtle nuances of contradiction and irony not only make it relatable, but make it entertaining. You feel what the characters are feeling because you’ve said these same words in one way or another. It is smart and witty, and with the slew of nonsense reality TV we are constantly bombarded with, we need to see more scripts of this caliber on tv.
3. Woke with a side of humor: Boy… I don’t think there’s anything more us millennials like more than being woke (perhaps brunch). Being woke is exhausting (as Sam states) but “Dear White People” doesn’t look to be woke at all times. It isn’t preachy and doesn’t tell you what to do or believe in. It offers various perspectives on what is right and what is wrong that are easily relatable. There is humor in the sadness which makes the difficult topics easier to swallow.
4. Relevant: This show is relevant as fuck. There I said it… profanely and all. The 2014 film version of “Dear White People” was absolutely relevant but it was dated. It didn’t seem to keep up with the times even back then. The Netflix version however is captivating, heartbreaking and sits right on the pulse of what is going on in our society on a daily basis. Episode 5 which is the absolute turning point and catalyst to the events of the last half of the season (don’t worry I won’t spoil it) literally made me gasp for air as I watched it. It was terrifying, and entertaining while sadly being something that can unmistakably happen on any given day in our present day world. The characters are dealing with financial and class struggles, sitautionships, racial and gender inequality all while still having to keep their head in those damn books! A feeling I too can relate to, and I haven’t been in college for over 7 years.
5. Dynamic: There are no flat characters and dare I say it, there are no flat scenes in this show. I was glued to the TV not because of my addictive personality, but because every moment was important. Every moment led to a change in one someone or something and there was no one way to handle anything. You are drawn in because you can see the mistakes you, your family or your friends would make. You want to sit and yell at the screen because you are feeling so many various feelings. It is a dynamic representation of what it means to be an African American person in America. There is no one way to feel, there is no one way to live and the show does a great job at putting that on screen.
“Dear White People” has been renewed for season 2 on Netflix. So if you’ve got 5 hours to spare I suggest you use it to watch a bomb ass series!