The satirical series – which picks up where the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name left off – follows a group of Winchester University’s students of colour as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and sometimes misguided activism in the millennial age.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Here’s the thing about watching season after season of a show: It’s easy to get bored. It’s a bit like the characters have become your best friends and you can predict their reaction in any situation. This type of familiarity breeds contempt and the show you once loved becomes the one you sit through on your phone.
This disinterest is something that the people behind Dear White People have taken care to avoid. They have given each character, even those who were not at the forefront in previous seasons, a real and relatable journey.
Of course, fans of the movie and the previous seasons of the Netflix show will remember that the show focuses on Sam White, a compelling student activist and simultaneously flawed anti-hero. Throughout the first and second season of the show, we saw the radio host fight for racial equality as well as deal with her own demons. In this season we meet a different Sam; she’s burnt out and exhausted, from not only fighting racism on her campus at Winchester but in her greater community in America.
The fatigue has spread through her friends and even her past enemies. The old crew have almost all chosen to focus on what they need to succeed, or who they want to love, or even how to process their own trauma.
One of the most poignant storylines involves a beloved character who gets everything he wants in this season but cannot access his joy because he hasn’t processed his trauma after a violent incident. On paper, that premise could be very lacklustre, but the finished product is entirely different. It’s a richly woven tapestry of life experiences. Some characters find themselves through sexual misadventures while others lose themselves in relationships that aren’t working. My favourite part, though, has been seeing those characters interact with each other. It’s like seeing a bigger story that the showrunner and writers are trying to tell.
It’s a story of how the worst things that we go through change not only our own lives but also those of our nearest and dearest. In a lot of ways, we bleed onto each other. We affect each other in ways that we can’t possibly know the full extent of.
That’s the heaviness of this comedy. The truth of shared human experiences slips in through the laughs. That being said, the laughs are fantastic as well. There’s an incredible amount of post-modern humour, complete with intertextual references that fans of pop culture will love — especially those who watch Handmaid’s Tale, Queer Eye and Tyler Perry movies.
I would say that everyone who has watched Dear White People for the last two seasons should watch this season. It feels like the people behind the scenes, and even the actors, have all tried their best to make a piece of art that holds a humorous mirror up to modern society and activism.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
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