Review · TV/Movies

Dear White People

Guess who just binged another show in one day? This…. girl…. This might not be something I should be proud of? Haha!

Based on the 2014 movie of the same name, Dear White People is a satirical, comedy-drama based around the lives of a group of diverse students attending a predominantly white Ivy League college.

I loved the movie starring Tessa Thompson so when I heard this was coming to Netflix as a series, I’ll just say that there was a bar set pretty damn high.

Brandon Bell, Marque Richardson, Jemar Michael return to the series to reprise their roles as Troy Fairbanks, Reggie Green, and Al respectively.

Though in the movie they had very small roles I enjoyed that we saw them have more interactions in the show.

Unlike how the movie ends with Pastiche’s Dear White People Party (aka their excuse to throw a whole party dedicated to blackface), the series begins with the party and the events surrounding the party. Another difference would be how it wasn’t until towards the end of the movie that Sam’s (Tessa Thompson) boyfriend was revealed to be white (Justin Dobies), it was also revealed at the start of the show.

The show was witty, funny, thought-provoking and at times… powerful.

Chapter V, Reggie Green’s chapter, was a particularly strong episode. At the end of the episode, Reggie and some of the BSU Members go to his friend Addison’s (Nolan Funk) house party. While having a good time and dancing, the song Trap Niggas – Future starts playing and Addison (a White student) starts singing along, even including the n words in the lyrics. Reggie, feeling uncomfortable, decides to tell Addison not to say “that word”. Confused because it was part of the song, Addison defends himself by saying that he would never use it in passing, and that “[he wasn’t] racist.” Joelle (Ashley Featherson) quickly points out that no one accused him of being racist but that doesn’t make Addison back down. Instead he gets into a heated argument with Reggie and causes the whole party to get into arguments resulting in the police being called.

The police arrive and head straight toward Addison and Reggie, where one officer then proceeds to push Reggie aggressively. Reggie shouts back, “Ay what the fuck?!” and the officer responds by asking “Are you a student here?” Automatically as a viewer, I scream at my tv, “What. the. fuck? Are you serious?” He repeats his question but despite Addison confirming that Reggie was a student and that the house was his, the officer ignores him and asks for his ID. When Reggie doesn’t comply Joelle steps in but the officer quickly interrupts her saying “I’m not talking to you.”

Reggie, who had been standing still, says, “Fuck these pigs, man.” and shifts his weight and in an instant, the officer pulls his gun out and points it at Reggie.

At this point, I had started tearing up. The sight of something so familiar.. something so… real was enough to make watching the scene that much harder to watch. The officer yells at Reggie once again to show some ID while the other students yell “He’s a student here!” and “why do you have a gun?!” in the background. Slowly, Reggie says “I’m reaching for my wallet…” to advise the officer of his movements. He pulls out his wallet which the officer quickly grabs and says, “If you’d just shown me that when I asked, we could have avoided all that.”

He proceeds to kick everyone out of the house and announce that the party is officially over. I was in actual tears by the end of the whole scene.

If you loved the movie for all its quirk and insight, this show will not disappoint. It takes what you know from the movie and delves deeper both into the story and into the characters individually.

I definitely suggest watching it, giving it a rating of 4/5.

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