Critical Condition: Dear White People

Dear White People (Netflix, from Friday)

“Retaining all of its razor-sharp wit and then some, Dear White People, Justin Simien’s acclaimed 2014 big-screen satire of racial relations and identity set at a fictional Ivy League college, has transferred impressively to TV …  Although there have been casting changes, most of the memorable characters are back from the feature, which introduced a fresh, cuttingly droll voice in writer-director Simien, who knows how to coax laughter from viewers while gamely holding a mirror up to hypocrisy and other assorted inconvenient truths.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“There are sure to be many contenders for the title of Most Quotable Show of 2017, but it’ll be hard to top Dear White People. This smart and necessary Netflix series, an extension of the film of the same name by Justin Simien, is full of incisive asides, witty quips and painfully funny observations …  It is wise and emotionally acute when it comes to depicting the specific ways in which the deck is stacked against African-Americans, even those with terrific grade point averages and enviable resumes.” — Variety.

“The entire cast is outstanding, and Simien’s script is masterful. On the one hand, he is dealing with very complicated identity issues with intelligence and directness. On another level, though, he’s writing exceptionally funny comedy, crackling with credible wit that often packs a not-so-secret weapon: thought-provoking points of view about how we deal with issues of race and identity. Or, in some cases, how we don’t deal with them.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

“There’s a palpable sense of purpose that unites all 10 episodes and an artistic style that consistently elevates it. Sure, an intriguing plot thread or two remain unexplored throughout, and some characters are woefully underdeveloped by the end. But there’s little in the show that couldn’t be improved upon in season 2, even if the long-form narrative lacks the punch of Simien’s film.” — We Got This Covered.

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. Making the jump from 2014 movie to TV show, the Netflix show passes the test of juggling relevance and entertainment with flying colours.” — CNN.

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