In just a few years time, Netflix has become a hub for fantastic content. The streaming service has a myriad small screen projects in the works, allowing Netflix to get a bit more business minded. While less popular Netflix originals have been cancelled, those lucky enough to score a renewal have the opportunity to produce more exciting and challenging TV. This is certainly the case with Justin Simien's Dear White People, based off his film of the same name. The new satire dramedy ultimately made the cut for a Season 2, which just arrived on Netflix. While Dear White People was already met with critical praise, its second season improves upon the already impressive original run.
Season 2 of Dear White People takes place only a short time after the explosive events of its season finale. The protest and Troy's vandalism have changed the environment at Winchester University, and a fire in another dorm has caused the AP House to become integrated with emergency placement students. The stakes are high for the large ensemble cast of characters, and they're each given proper chance to shine, and respond to how the campus (and world) are being affected by race tensions.
While Dear White People's first season had a bit more comedy than drama, Season 2 hits the audience with an emotional gut punch in its very first episode. Sam's radio show has inspired an alt right group to rise on campus, and she begins suffering from online harassment. Seeing each of the leads deal with such a personal issue puts Dear White People's second season in a more emotionally devastating place, which will also feel like a payoff after getting to know the characters in Season 1.
The cast of characters is really what makes Dear White People such a great show. They're each written with specificity and care, and the show's format of highlighting one character per episode provides a more intimate look into their psyche. Season 2 has improved upon this by extending the olive branch to the show's more tertiary characters. For instance, seemingly Shallow and spoiled girl Kelsey ends up being a support system for Coco, while also coming out as a lesbian woman. The expansion of the show's supporting cast had been teased ahead of Dear White People's return, and Season 2 certainly delivered on that front.
But perhaps Dear White People's biggest draw it its self-awareness, and its ability to verbalize modern issues of race in the country. While the show's themes and cast no doubt take positive steps toward visibility in the industry, the complex themes conquered in the show's first two seasons have the ability to both educate and entertain, without feeling overly preachy.