The second season of Netflix’s Dear White People is complicated… in a great way. The sophomore installment fights the “curse” and delivers as much college-educated tea as last season. I know you have questions. What happened to AP? Will Joelle ever shoot her shot at Reggie? Are Sam and Gabe still a thing?
Before you make time to binge it, here’s the mostly spoiler free rundown of what to expect and what you definitely won’t see coming.
If you know anything about the world of Justin Siemien’s Winchester University, you know it goes down as soon as the semester begins. Season 2 was just as packed with African American Studies as season one, but instead of one event pushing race relations on campus to the forefront, the students at Winchester are living in a world after the post-racial mask is ripped off America. It burns like a mutha.
This season doesn’t jump the gate as quickly, as the comedic relief keeps a nice vein of levity throughout the 10 episodes. We get a treat of the satirical TV shows students at AP “hate watch” for stress relief. This time, Iyanla Vazant gets a nice little doppelgänger that aggressively coaxes her guests to let their pain go on her “titties.” Lena Waithe even parodies a 2D version of herself as rapper P. Ninny, a butch type who is *not* a lesbian until she is. Don’t sleep on Waithe’s role, though. She’s much more than a few laughs. P. Ninny comes to some hard truth just like the rest of the delegation.
Speaking of hard truths, this season get ready to deal with the microcosms that make surviving one day as a black person in America look worthy of a Nobel Prize. We’ve got Reggie with an extreme case of police brutality created PTSD; CoCo, our favorite Senator in the making, dealing with the effects of colorism and toxic masculinity; and in the middle of all of that, there’s enough black girl solidarity to make any sista proud.
Even tomorrow’s social justice warriors can’t be all woke and no fun. There are plenty of love games to be playedas well. Gabe and Sam continue their dance of “will they/won’t they”, until it’s clear they need to sit down and have a “talk.” While Reggie is busy learning the world of “sympathy hookups,” Joelle tells him to call Tyrone and shoot his own shot. In her own words: “this world is not kind to the Kellys.” Don’t worry; if you’re patient, you’ll get a little “climax” out of your Joe-ggie ships.
Yes. Things get heavy, but something that’s new to this season is the strong force of magical realism. There are surprising elements of mystique — characters interacting with title cards, golden leaves cascading in the middle of love seshes, and Troy Fairbanks basically transforming into a wild nymph. And, what is a college built on slavery without a little secret society or two? All of this, plus brilliant cameos from their namesakes from the original film make Dear White People Season 2 a TV series you won’t mindlessly binge.
No matter if you’ve got the Winchester spirit, you can at least thank God for Troy Fairbanks.
Below is the Season 2 trailer for Dear White People below.