I recently finished watching Season 2 of ‘Dear White People’, a socio-political satire series, on Netflix. I didn’t know what to expect from this series going into it because of all the negative reviews I initially read about it, but in my opinion it’s a tremendously well-written show.
It turns out the flooding of down-votes on the Youtube trailer were from snowflakes who were triggered by the title of the show, not necessarily its content. Go figure, right?
A side note before we get into this review: don’t review something that you haven’t actually watched! Just please for the love of fuck stop doing that.
Dear White People is sharply written and well directed. The dialogue is witty and intelligent and the story itself is intriguing and entertaining.
What’s interesting to me is that the writer, Justin Simien, delivers social critique over various facets. Simien doesn’t focus his criticism solely on the archetypal, privileged, ivy league conservative. Throughout the series much of the criticism surrounds the tenets of progressive and liberal orthodoxy as well.
The characters in ‘Dear White People’ are so accurately written that occasionally I forgot I was watching a Netflix series.
In my early twenties I was heavily absorbed in the punk rock counter-culture lifestyle. Although I never attended college, my interest in art, film, politics, philosophy and sub-culture often led me to campus functions back in the day.
During the early part of the 21st century, the Baltimore “underground scenes” started to merge. Parties in the late 90’s, for me, were primarily composed of punk rockers. A few years later it wasn’t uncommon to see punks, art school hipsters, indie/emo kids, skaters, hip hop kids, rastas, and hippies all together in one place.
The Baltimore “scene”, albeit predominately white, was racially integrated. As such, there would always be that overtly anti-racist white girl who would hilariously attempt to make sure everyone knew how P.C. and non-racist she was.
‘Dear White People’ effectively calls out the hyper-progressive social warrior on crack. Little did our friend in Baltimore know, that her boisterous virtue signaling was actually a form of low-key racism.
Many liberals wrongfully assess that conservative automatically equates to stupid and uneducated. Simien, on the other hand, displays praiseworthy integrity in how he writes his conservative characters.
Sure, if you travel out to middle America or down south to a small town, you’ll definitely run into the stereotypical pearl-clutching, bible-thumping, uneducated conservative redneck. It’s quite different, however, when you’re talking about an Ivy League conservative.
As a freethinker I’ve debated liberals, conservatives, anarchists, libertarians, communists, Marxists, anarcho-capitalists etc.etc. all of whom demonstrated strong intellectual capability.
‘Dear White People’, while clearly having an agenda (naturally, as that’s the point of satire), doesn’t deviate from its attempt to offer fair observation. People criticize the series as being top-heavy, one-sided and racist against white people, but I think it’s a lot more balanced than they are choosing to perceive it as.
There are a couple of things I disagree with Simien on (namely that in context of dark humor and satire, there should never be justified censorship) but overall I think he makes exceptionally well articulated points throughout the series.
I recommend and encourage people to watch this series with an open mind and let it provoke thought, introspection and self-realization.