Dear White People (2017– )
5.8/10
502
2 user 4 critic

Chapter X 

With tensions running high before the town hall, Sam tries to patch up her relationship, Coco steals Troy's thunder, and Lionel makes a bold move.

Director:

Justin Simien

Writers:

Justin Simien, Justin Simien (created by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Logan Browning ... Samantha White
Brandon P Bell ... Troy Fairbanks (as Brandon Bell)
DeRon Horton ... Lionel Higgins
Antoinette Robertson ... Colandrea 'Coco' Conners
John Patrick Amedori ... Gabe Mitchell
Ashley Blaine Featherson ... Joelle Brooks
Giancarlo Esposito ... Narrator
Marque Richardson ... Reggie Green
D.J. Blickenstaff ... Silvio
Nia Jervier ... Kelsey Phillips
Jemar Michael ... Al
Wyatt Nash ... Kurt Fletcher
John Rubinstein ... President Fletcher
Jeremy Tardy ... Rashid Bakr
Obba Babatundé ... Dean Fairbanks
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Storyline

With tensions running high before the town hall, Sam tries to patch up her relationship, Coco steals Troy's thunder, and Lionel makes a bold move.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA
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Details

Release Date:

28 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Lionel Higgins: What are your objections to the town hall?
Samantha White: Have you been to a Winchester town hall? They're so regimented even Kim Jong-un is like, 'Guys, chill. Let somebody talk.'
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User Reviews

S1: Engaging and thoughtful, but not wholly successful and a bit too arch for its own good
12 November 2017 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I heard of this show via the so-called alt-right, who, as is their way, took any opportunity to form an extreme and unshakable opinion with only the barest of facts on which to base it. Cancelling Netflix was the cry, along with the usual 'what ifs' of reversing the race in the title, about this being why Hillary lost etc. I had seen the film prior to this, so I knew at least the film was not what the title suggested, plus it was not a great film even if it was an interesting one.

In the same way the show is interesting but doesn't all come together. The narrative structure is smart, but it highlights the episodic nature of it, making it feel like contained dramas within a loose frame – which of course is what it is. This is fine for the most part, until near the end when it realizes that it needs to have a proper thread to justify a second season, and it is really clunky to see it suddenly try to reach that gear. Within the episodes though, there is a lot going on of interest. Those that decided it was an anti-white / anti-straight / anti-male piece will certainly find plenty to point at and be outraged, but at the same time the show has lots of targets for satire and mockery. From the dry and droll narration that opens each episode, there is a tone of absurdity below the surface that is shared equally. The choking identity politics of campus life, the self-importance of those not yet in the real world, the SJW's fighting for the death of gender- specific pronouns, all of these are ripe targets and certainly not given a free pass.

The absurdity is countered by realism though, and the show does well to have the real issues in there, even if the reactions and positions are gently mocked due to their extremes. Identity politics, racism, sexual politics all get covered and in smart ways. As much as r/T_D will assume it is one note, the writing draws on politics between races, but also between those who are light or dark within the same group. We get the character of Gabe, who is able to bring out the element which the alt-right would empathize with, which is the feeling that the feeling of having to be ashamed, or silent, because of the color of his skin, while also knowing that he does have advantages because of it. I've read some who got angry at the show for making Gabe a villain in the eyes of the black students, as if this was the show making a point – however to me the point being made (voiced clearly by Lionel) is about misplaced anger, and the damage it does in creating division and mistrust.

Just like the film then, it has plenty to like, plenty of interest, plenty of sharp humor, and yet it doesn't come together in a total package that convinces. The characters have heart but are broadly written (one critic described each character as a walking op-ed piece, and you can see that). I enjoyed it for what it did well, and enjoyed seeing it show up those that hated it without seeing it, but it is a flawed series.


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