TV Show Review – Dear White People

TV Show Review – Dear White People


Rating:  5 (out of 5).  Netflix’s new comedy series Dear White People takes a look at students in a traditionally African-American dorm at a mostly white Ivy League school. The series is based on Justin Simien’s 2014 satirical film and and stars Logan Browning as Samantha White, a student who hosts a college radio program called “Dear White People,” in which she takes calls from listeners who want to talk about how white people get black people all wrong. “Smart and funny” were used to describe this series which the critics thought was innovative, witty, and definitely worth watching.

The New York Times thinks this “survives the transition from film intact and in some ways better.” They say the Netflix comedy “keeps the movie’s essence but recognizes that TV is not just the movies with smaller screens and longer run times.” They think it “retains the film’s ebony-and-ivory-tower premise, a close study of students in a traditionally African-American dorm at the mostly white, Ivy League Winchester University. It has the same concerns: appropriation and assimilation, conflict and conflictedness.”

CNN writes “Dear White People works perfectly as a half-hour series, providing a sharp look at African-American students at a predominantly white Ivy League university while creating an assortment of appealing, well-defined personalities.”

Variety calls this a “smart and necessary Netflix series.” They note that it is “full of incisive asides, witty quips and painfully funny observations.”

TV Guide says “Netflix’s adaption of Simien’s 2014 movie is hilarious, smartly written and deeply engrossing entertainment that presents race and the ways we deal with it (and don’t) in the most upbeat, even fun way we’ve seen on TV in a long time, if ever.”

Vanity Fair calls this a “rare thrill” and says “It’s a show that depicts something we almost never see on-screen—namely, the black experience in elite higher education—and does it with artfulness and idiosyncrasy.” They describe it as a “complex—and at times odd—piece of sociology, satirical in parts, but sad and deeply sincere in others. The show is innovatively structured and actually makes good on a long-clichéd promise of prestige television: watching it feels like reading a really engrossing novel.”

The Los Angeles Times describes “Dear White People” as an “issues-based Socratic comedy, of sorts, in which someone is nearly always bantering, debating or arguing; but it’s a romantic comedy as well, and a college comedy in a long tradition of them.”

The Las Vegas Weekly states the “Dear White People series, created and produced by Simien, picks up more or less where the movie left off, although it features a mostly new cast and discards or modifies a few key elements. What remains is Simien’s deft balance of satire and seriousness in exploring the tensions between and among students of various ethnic backgrounds at the fictional Winchester University.”

The San Fransisco Chronicle writes “The characters and situations seem on the surface to be the usual college-kid stuff, but each situation is brilliantly, and comically, informed by issues of cultural identity and appropriation.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes “Justin Simien’s 2014 feature about college campus race relations transfers to series format on Netflix without losing any of its satirical edge.”They say it “retains all of its razor-sharp wit and then some” and it “has transferred impressively to TV.”

The Wall Street Journal says “It’s comedy. It should be funny (and sometimes is). Does it ultimately get to things that matter, and/or a fresh way of looking at them? There are indications it will, but it was also a bit early to tell.”

Vulture writes “Dear White People pulls off a feat that eludes a lot of bigger, showier programs: It creates a self-contained, detailed, faintly dreamlike world that partly mirrors our own, then lets us wander around in it. It doesn’t just have a setting and a story, it has a philosophy and a vision of life. This is so rare in any art form that the show’s less-than-subtle aspects feel like features rather than bugs.”

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