Dearest TV viewers, please watch Dear White People

Netflix is continuing the trend of series with provocative content. Dear White People is a 2014 film which has now been adapted for television,  a format that would have been a good fit from the beginning. Justin Simien writer and director of the film has brought the same cast of characters to the small screen to tell a longer and more in depth tale.

Netflix creates an interesting platform for a series of this nature. A 10 episode binge where social and racial issues are the forefront are sure to begin a conversation and it most definitely should. Dear White People the film created much buzz with just the title as did the show. People were calling the title racist, provocative and challenging of what is to be accepted.  It is a show based on a movie that did push people to think which at times it seems people are afraid of doing. Being offended by a title of a series seems like the perfect distraction so we are not asking for social change but simply having to redirect the insensitive to the nearest wambulance.

It is at times funny and charming and at times it is deeply emotion when connecting the mostly black characters into racially charged situations where they dont have the same privilege as the white student body. It is mainly through the voces of Samantha White and Lionel Higgins that the show progresses. The reason is why is because within the plot these two have media outlets to tell their stories to the student body and therefore it seems to be the filler episodes leading to an episode following Sam or Lionel that hits the hardest and deals with the most controversial subject matter.

We have all heard of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin and many others who have been victimized by police brutality. Its a damn shame we still live in a society where the color of a persons skin can determine how quickly the police are willing to pull their guns. Its a shame that in 2017 we still need to share a hashtag #BlackLivesMatter as if to wonder how many other races wouldn’t feel like the do unless there is a hashtag to spread around their social media and another reason to take selfies they would not see the importance of it. All lives everywhere matter the same amount. Period. Anyone who follows that with words like “Well, depending on….” or “After years of study one can see…. (insert random crime stat here)” Needs to have a reality check. Anyone who has been neglected for hundreds of years is going to lash out. Anyone who tells me that I dont have to be as afraid because I am a white male is probably correct in saying that. Reasonable people know that the importance of life is not determined by race, religion, sexuality and gender. Yet here we are in the midst of more tensions than ever in the good old US of A where racism is more prominent than ever as the leader of the country has shown blatant disrespect to minorities and women everywhere.

Dear White People like every series has some episodes that are most definitely better than others. Gabe and Reggie for example are two characters that are meant to fill the love interest roles from either race with Reggie serving as the weakest character leading up to the season finale and game changing final moments. This show definitely needs another season to continue the stories and tribulations of the black student body at Winchester University. Oh and who does not want to hear more of Giancarlo Esposito’s amazing voice as the narrator. I sure do. This provocative series has the intelligence, content and characters worth exploring for at least a few more seasons. Netflix you did the right thing with 13 Reasons Why and now please follow suit with Dear White People.

Netflix continues it’s dominance as the leader in edgy television. The format simply just works, whether that be the original content they create, the content they continue from other networks or the content they work closely with Marvel on.  The only poorly scripted original series from Netflix is The Ranch and even still from a fan perspective I understand the need to branch out. I prefer the content such as Thirteen Reasons Why and Dear White People when it comes to drama and realism. Of course the Marvel shows have drawn mostly critical acclaim same with the new seasons of Longmire and Arrested Development that were marketed directly for the streaming service. It works because you don’t have to feel obligated to watch and I generally feel that people are less willing to spoil a show when all the episodes are available in one shot. When it airs on a particular night and the audience needs to tune for that time slot it certainly feels like the rush of being the first to know means you are more likely to want to tell your friends who haven’t seen it and they are more likely to ask because they do not know when they themselves are going to be able to watch the episode. I’m on board for the future and Netflix has a lot upcoming that will hopefully continue to push the boundaries of what is acceptable and can hopefully generate enough conversation that we may actually begin to see somethings change. It’s never a bad thing to have a discussion, it’s how the discussion ends that we really need to be focused on.

 

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Big Screen Batgirl!

 Reports began to surface that Joss Whedon was heading over to the DCEU to bring one of the most fan appreciated characters to life. Barbara Gordon is a recognizable name to anyone who has been surrounded by Batman lore. She has and will always be a pivotal character within the universe. Whedon has the creative drive to give the film a little bit of sugar and spice to create a truly dynamic film.

 One of the biggest questions is who will be the actress tasked with bringing “The Oracle” to life. Here are five choicea of dream castings that I would love to see.

5. Bryce Dallas Howard- Proven to be a talented actress and backed by the name, Dallas Howard crushed it in Jurassic World and this could be a huge opportunity for her to focus that talent and become a part of something much bigger and bring to life one of the most important characters in 30 years to Batman and fans.

4. Jessica Chastain- She continues to choose controversial scripts and really has yet to show there is nothing she cannot handle.  Given Whedons track record as a consumate professional and Chastains ability thus far to stay low key and always deliver this could very well be the low key yet highly praised casting the producers are looking for.

3. Alexandra Breckenridge- She has recently shown up on This is Us and Walking Dead and has shown why she has a bright future. This would be a huge opportunity for a young actress to hold down her own franchise for the next 7-10 years and she could easily be the face of that franchise for many years. Many people may challenge my choice to include her but sometimes straying away from the obvious choices makes the casting game way more intriguing. 

2. Dakota Fanning-  Young and extremely talented. Shameful in a sense that the last big movie we saw her in was Breaking Dawn. It would be a nice return for her to be a in a film that fans are looking forward too. Of course no film comes without some skepticism and casting rumours. I just believe Fanning is a young actress capable of leading a franchise given the right leader to flourish under.

1. Emma Watson- There has been a lot of talk about another Emma possibily being the number one suitor for the role but Emma Watson is in need of new franchise. Having watched her grow up while taking on one of the most adored series of all time Emma Watson proved she is willing to commit to something and see it through. Since Harry Potter ended she has done phenomenal things as a person and continued to act in very engaging and fun roles for a young actress. It would be amazing to see a person of Emma’s calibre work with a creative mind like Joss Whedon to create a strong and independent female prescense on the big screen. 

Whoever does inevitably get cast has some amazing source material to base their performance off and this definitely looks like the beginning of big things for the DCEU. With Wonder Woman and Justice League coming out later this year taking the time to get this right with Batgirl is a big must for the Executives over at DC. Whoever inevitably gets the part has a lot of preparation and source material to sift through and analyze. I am ready DCEU. This is your chance to wow me. So please do.