Dear White People on Netflix Is Everything That The Movie Could Have Been Plus More. You Might Should Watch It. » VSB

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Dear White People on Netflix Is Everything That The Movie Could Have Been Plus More. You Might Should Watch It.

Actress Logan Browning attends the Dear White People premiere during the SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 13, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)

 

(There are no spoilers in this piece. You’re welcome.)

Let’s get this out of the way early: The movie Dear White People wasn’t very good. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t very good. For a movie with such a provocative title and premise, I was remarkably underwhelmed by the actual movie. When my friend and I left the theater we literally had nothing to say about it. A movie that actively addressed so many issues should not have been so…welp. I don’t know if it was my own expectations, or what. Who knows? But I’m guessing I wasn’t alone in that thinking and that lack of word of mouth positivity didn’t do much to help it out in terms of movie goers or conversation.

Time goes on and in May of 2016, it was announced that the creators of Dear White People had struck a deal with Lionsgate to turn that movie into a Netflix show. A few things of note here: 1) I trust the shit out of Netflix at this point. Netflix Original series and Google are pretty much my ministry; 2) I was also surprised because I presumed that the folks at Netflix saw the movie and couldn’t have been any more whelmed than the general public. Plus, in the middle somewhere was supposed to be some musical that Justin Simien (the show’s creator and director) was putting together. All that to say, I wasn’t exactly anticipating this switch to the small screen but I like good things and try to support Black art and if Netflix saw it lookin’ like an easy come up, ya bish, then I was going to at least give it some country.

Plus, if I can watch Deuces starring Larenz Tate and Meagan Good (am I the only person who has to look up how to spell her name every single time I write it) in a movie that is a knock-off of Power meets In Too Deep, on purpose, then I can definitely watch Dear White People. And yes, Deuces is a thing, and yes, it is on Netflix right now. It’s also nice to see Rick Gonzalez mixing his characters from Biker Boyz, Coach Carter, and November Rule into one. That boy good.

(On a side-note, there needs to be an underrated role player hall of fame that would definitely include Rick Gonzalez and Jason Weaver. It could even be called the Clifton Powell Hall of Fame for Underrated Role Players in the Cinematic Arts. It should be in, like, Charlotte.)

Back to the lecture at hand. 

Dear White People on Netflix is EVERYTHING that the movie should have been plus some and I believe that the Black delegation is comfortable in saying that DWP is now cooking with gas. It’s compelling, it’s provocative, it’s well acted, it’s relevant, it’s nuanced, it’s funny where it needs to be, it’s satirical, it’s, basically, entirely fucking awesome. It’s got power, poison, pain, and joy, hustle though, ambition and flow inside it’s DNA.

By turning the premise of the movie – a rich, white Ivy league institution dealing with it’s racism, spurred by student activists – and delving more deeply into individual characters and fleshing out what makes them tick, it becomes a way more enlightening and enjoyable product. And it’s ALL entirely believable. There are no reaches. There are no situations that aren’t possible or likely. If you attended a predominantly white institution, it’s entirely possible that this whole show WAS your college experience.

Samantha White, the mixed girl with the powerful “Dear White People” radio platform that is intent on calling out racism and injustice, who ALSO happens to be the one dating a white dude, is still the central character. She’s the sun, but other characters in the universe get an unabridged injection of interest. It’s got…it’s got…it’s got…hm…realness, now it just kills shit and the show benefits tremendously because of it.

I’ve admitted that I can be sensitive at times (I have no shame about This Is Us drawing thug tears) but there are few scenes in this series that will break down even the thuggiest of edu-thugs because it could be you. Dear White People creatives leveled this shit all the way up, taking in all of the things that have happened in the past few years (including some of the criticism of the movie) and distilling them into the college experience.

I have to say, kudos to the team behind Dear White People. Everybody involved must have sat down at the table (no word on if Solange was present) and decided that they were going to ante up. The first episode is mostly a rehash of the movie (though better), but from Chapter II and on and on to  Chapter X, shit gets real. Word to Shyheim.

While Greenleaf is a show for you if you’re for the shits, Dear White People is a show that’s funny and edifying at the same time. It’s a real show that could be anybody’s life on a college campus, especially nowadays. The dialogue is right, the situations real, the execution is well done.

Dear White People is what the movie should have been, but I needed the television version to understand why. The thinkpieces will come fast and furious and they will be laudatory. They will be right.

Et facta est lux.

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • With the exception of Iron Fist (underwhelmed!) Netflix series are definitely on point! Netflix is that due that tried to get hired by NBC to do series and they said “no”, and they said “f**k this! I’m talented i’ll make my own ish!”. And here we are! Glad someone liked it i will be binging this weekend!

  • Sigma_Since 93

    I’m happy the series gave some depth to the characters the movie did not.
    Reggie stole the mini-series IMO. He has a level of multi facedness that the other characters lack.

    • panamajackson

      Reggie’s character has so much depth to it. So does Coco.

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        I actually really like Coco. She’s crazy, but her story slightly reminds me of some of the things I went through (or felt) as a dark-skinned girl.

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      He reminds me of Lawrence Fishburne’s character in School Daze.

  • I was such a fan of the little things too, like the series within the series. Deflection and Dereca Set Me Straight had me hollering.

    • panamajackson

      They did a great job with the little jabs.

  • siante

    I’m gonna have to get Netflix. Amazon prime isn’t cutting it.

    • AKA The Sauce

      It never did…AP is great for some things but Netflix is essential

      • siante

        I was beefin’ with Netflix for a reason I completely forgot because it’s been so many years now, so I suppose it’s time to end my mini boycott. There are more important wars that need to be fought.

        • AKA The Sauce

          End it…you’ll thank me later

  • Mary Burrell

    The film was disappointing.

    • AKA The Sauce

      Very

    • Freebird

      This is what I hear the most and it has me not very excited about the show.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        If you can. Watch the movie and then the Netflix series. The two combined deliver a better end result.

        • Freebird

          Will do.

      • panamajackson

        The show is SO much better at taking the issues in the movie and fleshing them out entirely, and digging into how the characters matter to the main story.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      It was a victim of having too much material to present in a respectful amount of time. I hate that some folks were / are trying to compare it to School Daze since the microagressions are totally different.

    • MsCee

      I don’t think disappointing is a strong enough word. It was so bad that when I saw people suggesting DWP on Netflix I was like “why would anyone want to re-watch that isht?” Not realizing it’s a series now.

      • Mary Burrell

        Yes, that was my reaction to it too and still feel that way. I will have to pass this up.

    • panamajackson

      I agree. I was probably pretty nice in my first statement up there, but the movie was extremely underwhelming.

  • MsCee

    Damnit Panamayne, stop suggest isht. I already spent literally all weekend binge watching Greenleaf. I’m trying to be productive in life but you just won’t stop.

    • siante

      So what’s the verdict on Greenleaf?

      • MsCee

        It’s a really REALLY great show. I was apprehensive because I thought it might have the Tyler Perry touch, but I’m pleased to see that there is no TP to be found.

        • Jennifer

          Were you happy with the church scenes?

          • MsCee

            Girl, I got all my life! They were so Black.

        • siante

          Good to know!

    • panamajackson

      You’re welcome.

  • KB

    I was annoyed at episode 1 being basically a rehash of the movie, but as the series went on it got substantially better. One of my favorite characters is Colandrea. I both admired her resolve and detested her ‘out for self’ mentality, but I understood. Lionel was definitely the underrated hero of the series. Oh and Gabe should have caught a strong two-piece for calling the cops.
    Did anyone else catch the AKA shade in the film?

    • panamajackson

      Oh the shade was thoro.

      • Jennifer

        They were the only group that got called out. Interesting.

    • The situation with Gabe is something that maybe IS real…but I really can’t wrap my mind around. I’m like…you got a whole SECRET relationship that you didn’t even tell your best friend about…[REDACTED]

      My bad. I forgot y’all are avoiding spoilers.

      • KB

        Given how quickly the cops showed up means he called them VERY early on, like as soon as n!&&@ was said by the dude reciting the lyrics. Like why fam? As much time as he spends around black people (to assuage his sense of white guilt mind you) how do you not know that calling the cops is never a favorable outcome for black people?

        • LISTEN! The police on this campus have a response time that is out of this WORLD!

          But, yes exactly. You, Gabe are far too ignorant AND far too scary to be the lover of this Black Power Militant Black (are we accepting mixed chicks as blk? Cause…they came down pretty hard on the mixed chick in the Shea Moisture vid…Sam looking JUST like this chick with the same hair AND smangin’ a white dude…we mad or nah?) Woman.

          I don’t really buy anything about their relationship.

          • CrankUpThe_AC

            Idk sounds real to me. Jesse Williams out here getting lampooned for *possibly* dating a white girl. I asked my girlfriend about her feelings on the situation and I’m pretty sure she shed a glory tear lol

            • I suppose. I’m not buying it though.

          • I buy it because I’ve seen situations happen like that in real life. The ignorance is DEEP out here, both among Whites and Black people who date them.

          • Manny

            I didn’t get them, and then Sam said he was right to call the police…NO

            • Yeah, I didn’t get her reaction at all…supposedly b/c they’re “college kids” that means that their core values and everything that makes their character THEM…are fluid. I guess.

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      Yeah…they have some STRONG AKA in the show. LOL. Like they use the exact same colors – pink and green and they basically rejected Coco.

    • Furious Styles

      That was the same fictional sorority from A Different World that Whitley was a member of (Alpha Delta Rho?). Evidently they have a chapter at Winchester.

  • Valerie

    I will try to give it a chance since I never watched the movie. Sometimes I wait until the hype dies down to watch things on Netflix. I still haven’t given that show 13 Reason Why a chance either for this reason: hype.

    • AKA The Sauce

      Don’t watch the movie….13 reasons is a slow burn but still pretty good. It’s not the best show but it’s not the worst. Dear White People…um…it’s for the culture homie…watch it asap

      • Valerie

        Ricky stated it has Logan Browning in it. I will watch it, just for her.

        • AKA The Sauce

          I met Logan a few years back…she is good people…I support her at all cost

          • Valerie

            I would do anything for her like Rihanna lol

            • AKA The Sauce

              Anything you say

              • Valerie

                Except for anything illegal lol

                • AKA The Sauce

                  It won’t be illegal..well…most of it lol

      • Wizznilliam

        Right.. Kinda like Luke Cage and The Get Down.. They both had their slow parts but I HAD to watch them. If Netflix is going to keep making all this black centered entertainment the I’m going to try my best to watch it before they start changing their minds.

    • Hugh Akston

      lol I skipped on breaking bad (and also because the wire) and other shows for the same reason

      • Valerie

        I still haven’t watched Breaking Bad.

        • KB

          One of my favorite shows of all time.

          • Valerie

            Couldn’t get pass episode 3 lol

            • KB

              Giancarlo Esposito is in the series and plays the he** out of his role

              • Valerie

                I love Giancarlo. Is he in the first season?

                • KB

                  I wanna say towards the end of the first/beginning of the second season

                • Zil Nabu

                  I believe he comes in season 2. He is fabulous!

        • AKA The Sauce

          You not alone

          • Valerie

            This is why we are friends

            • AKA The Sauce

              Til the end

        • I tried and it just wasn’t working for me.

          • Valerie

            Glad it wasn’t just me lol

          • KB

            I feel this way about GoT. I watched a season and a half and was like ‘meh’

            • I lasted five minutes into GoT.

              • Zil Nabu

                I got through 1.5 episodes before I quit. Did nothing for me.

                • cedriclathan

                  I read all the books and the show was great to me.

                  • Monica Harris

                    I love/hate the books, but the show wasn’t good to me.

                    • cedriclathan

                      That last book, lord ha’murcy. I finished book 5 out of spite. I wasn’t going to let it get me. Those books are looooong.

            • AKA The Sauce

              No….GoT is awesome

              • KB

                After they killed my boy Ned Stark I lost interest. He was a gangsta amongst gangstas and to be offed by that lil blonde head twerp was an insult. Plus, I’ve never been a huge fan of medieval period shows/movies.

                • AKA The Sauce

                  He kinda deserved to die for his stupidity

        • I have like 2 seasons left. Can’t finish it despite loving most of it

          • Valerie

            Why can’t you finish it?

            • I feel like it is too long for the content.

        • I watched some of it and loved it and haven’t finished it yet. It seems to require a heavy amount of emotional commitment and my life just ain’t set up for that right now.

          • Valerie

            I agree.

          • Wizznilliam

            It’s the good kind of emotion though… The WTF just happened kind.

        • LMNOP

          I watched one episode and really disliked it. Most of America apparently felt differently though.

          • Zil Nabu

            I fell in love with Jesse Pinkman and was hooked from there. I think that says something about my taste in men.

          • Wizznilliam

            You just stopped way too early. It picks up after a while. And you’ll be cursing at the screen plenty.

      • panamajackson

        Man, breaking bad is SUCH a good show. I was floored by how the reality lived up to the hype.

        • Hugh Akston

          I decided last year to give it a try and saw the first episode…it was boring

          I popped in the wire DVD afterwards

          • Wizznilliam

            The first season is a little slow at first if I remember right.. After that though… Man.. That is a helluva show. Best. Series. Finale. Ever.

            • DM.

              Yeah the first season is a boring slow burn. The pace picks up towards the end of S2 though and never lets up

      • Jennifer

        I binged on Breaking Bad when I was recovering from surgery. It helped to fly through the seasons. I really didn’t understand why people consider Walt to be a hero. I watched to see him get destroyed. Great show.

        • Zil Nabu

          Because….white people.

        • NotToday

          Walt’s the hero but you blink and all of a sudden he’s most def. the villain. Like, I can’t say for sure when he became the villain but he definitely turned. Everyone knows someone with that story (or lived through that story) – you worked hard, did the right thing, have some hard-knocks but kept getting back up until someone/thing really screws you. Your health, job, co-workers, friends, family, co-workers, in Walt’s case it was literally all of the above. The show started out with him accepting his fate and just wanting to leave something for his family so they’re not in debt and somewhere his ego got in the way. I think the reason people really liked the show is that everyone’s been screwed at some point with no recourse and sometimes you just want to find a way to stick it to the man.

          • Jennifer

            Watching the show a couple years after it ran — the thing that really struck me was how quickly Walt decided to break bad! It wasn’t some conflict developed over time. Dude was all in by the end of the first ep. Dang.

            • NotToday

              Haha, you’re correct in that he went dark quickly. My memory might be fuzzy b/c I haven’t watched the series in a while but I remember him at least struggling with his decisions then suddenly being like, nope, I’ve got business and people to deal with. Out of curiosity, did you like the show overall or nah?

              • Jennifer

                I loved it! I got so invested in the characters. I wouldn’t have finished it in a week if I didn’t like it, lol (I had 3 weeks to kill)

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          You probably caught how much he reveled in his villainy in the pilot. I think most folks still saw Malcolm’s dad for a good long while.

          Consider yourself a good judge of character

  • DCFem

    So I’ve got some catching up to do. Can’t have you blogging this and not knowing what you’re talking about. Will binge watch as schedule permits.

  • Hugh Akston

    Saw the movie

    Given that the show’s premise is the same I’ll pass

    In the meantime AOT next episode is going to make or break it

    • Freebird

      What show is that?

      • Hugh Akston

        Attack on titan

    • AKA The Sauce

      How dare you say you gone give AOT time…you will sit down and enjoy it. One of the BEST shows out there. Deal with it.

      • Where can I stream season 2?

        • AKA The Sauce

          I’m using crunchy roll. Not English dubbed tho

          • Wifey and I are hardcore otakus. We always watch with subtitles.

            • AKA The Sauce

              Then you will be happy….CR is my source because it’s free

            • Hugh Akston

              Nwanime

        • Season 2 is streaming on Crunchyroll and is also airing on Adult Swim.

      • Hugh Akston

        Lol it hasn’t been as excited as the first but I’m enjoying it for now

    • Valerie

      Ya’ll need to read the manga for AOT also known as Shingeki no Kyojin

      • AKA The Sauce

        Where do you read it?

        • Valerie

          You’ll need your ad blockers on deck but try readsnk.com

          • AKA The Sauce

            Cool…I need them for Crunchy Roll as well

          • Brown Rose

            I have been searching forever for a legal way to rewatch the anime Monster. Obviously its not on crunchyroll. Do you have a good site?

            • Hugh Akston

              One of the best ones ever…have it lol

              • Brown Rose

                How do you have it?!?! I looked everywhere and nada. The only way I saw it was on Netflix a few years back when it was lousy with really good Anime. Not anymore.

                • Hugh Akston

                  With the internet I can watch anything

                  I’m a p…signals lost

                  • Brown Rose

                    Thanks man *rolls eyes*.

                    • Hugh Akston

                      lol I don’t know how to share besides using cloud (Dropbox) or sending you a flash drive lol

                      But if you want to know how to obtain it I can tell you but it’s not necessarily l….signals lost

            • Valerie

              gogoanime.io
              You’ll need ad blocks of course.

              • Brown Rose

                Thank you, thank you Valerie! Saving for later.

      • Hugh Akston

        I’m an anime only

        Thought of reading the manga after season one

        But I like the twist and turns of the story and the animation was flawless

        The new season has not been bad but I think I was more excited with first season …I hate when shows veer off the source material so I didn’t want to be disappointed so I opted out I may start after next episode or wait until season is over

        From what I’ve heard it’s only 12 or 13 episodes

        • Valerie

          This anime actually does not veer from the manga from what I’ve seen.

          • Hugh Akston

            As I recall there was a big hoopla about season one’s ending maybe it was for nothing

    • Terri

      The tv show develops the characters, so it has way more depth. So well written.

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