So much better than the movie.
Dear White People, the new Netflix series, is leagues above what the movie tried to portray. What the movie tried to cram into about two hours, the Netflix series could space out over 10 thirty-minute episodes.
The story centers around _ main characters. Samantha White, the bi-racial civil rights activist who happens to date a white man. Troy Fairbanks, the son of the dean who is becomes student body president. Colandrea “Coco” Conners, a woman who tones down her blackness due to her skin color. Lionel Higgins, a gay journalist who is often caught in the middle on issues. Gabe Mitchell, Sam’s white boyfriend. And finally Reggie Green, an activist who is shaken up after an incident happens on campus.
These characters’ stories are interwoven and make for an interesting plot. Often, and at first disorienting, the next episode will overlap with the previous episode to show a different side of the story. This is due to the fact that each episode is from the perspective of one person.
Dear White People is satirical, as it makes jokes about common college stereotypes and issues, but also brings up important debates in today’s society through humor coupled with serious parts. A scene in episode five sticks out to me, as it involves one of the main characters, Reggie. The issue is serious and involves stereotyping and police brutality, yet is placed during a college party and has a joke thrown in between the fuss.
Each character gets their time to shine, yet I still want to know more about the characters’ backstories. This is different than the movie where it tried to cram too much in at one time.
The conversations I’ve had with my friends in reference to the show are amazing. Lines are delivered swift and hard in part due to the acting and dramatic camera angles, which often focus on characters’ faces.
At times, I found myself not entirely liking every aspect of the characters. This is not a bad thing. I found it very humanizing to give each character a trait or two that is not desirable and makes them seem somewhat evil. I won’t spoil what those traits are.
The show isn’t all great though. At times, some of the jokes completely missed me. In a show of this caliber, jokes need to hit and stick, or else it lessens the show’s credibility. Also, while the acting is superb, the characters themselves look way older than the character they are portraying. I remember vividly when Troy Fairbanks, portrayed by Brandon P. Bell, told his friend that he’s not old enough to drink yet. Brandon P. Bell is in his 30’s.
Despite some small flaws, I am excited about the future of Dear White People. It hit the mark with me and, in comparison to the movie which I did not like, it has character development and hard hitting realities that bring up great conversations.