What’s going on #ScribeTribe? Today is Friday and if you’re not dreading the next few hours of work or just trying to secretly snag a catnap after lunch, then more than likely you’re uber excited for the weekend and whatever things that you have planned for it! Whether you’re waiting for a moment just to catch up on some entertainment or you’re cruising Al Gore’s internet for a new series to dive into, then I’ve certainly got just the thing for you–Netflix’s new series Dear White People. Brought to you from the mind of Justin Simien, DWP is the companion series to his 2014 film of the same name. Without further ado, here are not completely 13 reasons why you’ll love Netflix’s Dear White People the series in this edition of The Countdown. (And yes, this show is for you.)
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead.
1. It picks up right where we left off.
Giving us a chance to rid our minds of what felt like such a cliffhanger, that’s right folks, we’re headed back to the imaginary campus of Winchester University with Sam, Troy, Coco, and Lionel. Giving a quick recap of the aftermath of Pastiche staff’s notorious Halloween party, we are back at the PWI that we loved to hate, but hated to leave for even more satire, mayhem, shenanigans, real world comparisons, and moments sure to leave you begging for season two once you’ve finished.
2. Character expansion and cast additions.
Joining us in our refresher course better known as the first episode, we find a few familiar faces and a handful of new ones in the halls of Armstrong-Parker. Though many hated to see the leaving of Tessa Thompson as DWP’s radio host Samantha White, the talented Logan Browning (BRATZ, Meet the Browns) takes over as the series’ main protagonist, one of many face changes to this energetic ensemble. Focusing more on the cast and past supporting characters introduced in the film, each successive episode narrows in on the background and development of Sam and company and makes one-day binge-watching all the more shameless.
3. Deeper looks into real-life issues as Black people.
As much as the media would like us to believe that the issues that we face aren’t real or as serious as we make them, it is relieving and heartwarming to know that other writers, content creators and producers in both Hollywood and writing rooms hear what we say, post and tweet. Showing the gravity of things for Black folks and other people of color, Dear White People dives in on race, interracial dating, colorism, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, and many others topics. With the accompaniment of several guest directors crafting each episode to carefully spin a web of intersection and depth, including the acclaimed Barry Jenkins of Oscar-winning film Moonlight, Justin Simien gets it right for us. *Tissue alert: Episode 5 goes there.*
A new character and best pal-in-residence to Sam White, played by the joyful Ashley Blaine, Joelle lights up the fictional courtyards of Winchester with unapologetic originality. Though providing viewers with witty one-liners and side commentary for the happenings of the episode, Joelle is no sidekick. A personal favorite of mine with the tenderness of a concerned friend and a watchfulness that almost feels as if there is a character that understands the feelings of the audience within this interesting world, DWP’s Joelle is bound to find a spot in your heart as well (and hopefully, will be one of half of the couple that you’ll be rooting for by the finale too). *winks*
5. The parodies.
What good is a satire or comedy without a good spoof or parody thrown in? I’m a lover of really awkward and dramatic humor, so I fully understand if corny overkill doesn’t do it for you, but it’s definitely worth it. Though I don’t want to spoil it too much for you, keep your eyes peeled for doppelgangers of Chick-Fil-A, Iyanla Vanzant, random monologues via daydreaming and a hilarious Scandal-lookalike that I’m sure will leave you reacting just like this:
6. Lionel Higgins.
Shy, Black, queer, and still trying to find and figure himself out in the vast world of writing (and life), Lionel Higgins, played by DeRon Horton, is a character and scribe near and dear to my own heart. The reporting (and crushing) roommate of Troy Fairbanks going from church-mouse-quiet to adventurous and even kind of bold, Lionel continues the arc of exploring his curiosities and standing up for what he thinks is right. Though he sometimes carries a bit of reluctance and easily avoids cursing to provide you with the nerdy commentary and random pulls from your SAT word-of-the-day calendar, Lionel shows more and more of himself with each moment in the 10-episode season.
7. It makes effort to show the varieties of Blackness.
We’re Black, we’re not all alike, and I’d argue that Dear White People successfully attempts to show that there is more to us than meets the eye, and in more ways than the film could. Giving a range of Blackness, DWP shows those of us that are the undercover trivia masters, the country music lovers, the young Republicans, the cannabis enthusiasts, and even the Trekkies. There’s more than likely a chance that you will see a part of yourself reflected in at least one character or situation. Though I’d love to see more nuance in disability, gender identity and queerness, DWP still will make you cry, smile, and laugh in just minutes and is worth every second given towards it. But in the words of the illustrious Reading Rainbow host Lavar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it. Take a look for yourself and go watch the series Dear White People, now streaming on Netflix.