By

Vox.com

Netflix

Justin Simien’s new Netflix show — the TV version of his 2014 movie of the same name — doesn’t take shortcuts. After breaking down the basics of what makes Winchester tick, Dear White People drops us right into the middle of the particularly messy aftermath of a “Dear Black People” party, which started with students in blackface and ended with royally pissed off black students giving them hell for it. Campus radio host Sam White (Logan Browning) — who helms the blistering “Dear White People” show that the party was mocking in the first place — immediately sets about trying to galvanize the school’s black students into taking a stand the administration can’t ignore.

With that, the show immediately throws us right into Winchester’s sprawling conflicts and interlocking drama. It spits banter so sharp and quick that it slices through even the tensest scenes with laser precision. It digs into the personal wreckage caused by institutional racism with humor, depth, and straightforward clarity.

With heart and humor and a steady gaze, Dear White People makes sure to portray its characters as whole individuals and not just human embodiment of their beliefs. No one is ever reduced to a walking talking point, but given the time and space to reveal who they are, how they got there, and what makes them special — which is, in turn, what makes the show special, too.

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