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All the characters on are different shades of—can we say bougie here? And it’s sometimes funny watching the students of Winchester struggle over their own particular slice of bougieness, although the heavy moments still feel heavy.
I’ve always approached the dialogues about race and flare-ups on Ivy League campuses with a sort of detachment, because in my mind there’s still some of that stereotype of bougieness left.
I think this incarnation did a lot to flesh out characters in ways I found satisfying, and its use of multiple angles on the same basic events worked pretty well.
But one of the things that sat in the back of my mind for all 10 episodes was that I have no idea whether is primarily a commentary on race or a college sitcom.
My own college experience wasn’t defined by how it clashed with whiteness, and I know that even on real-life campuses like Winchester’s, it’s a lot more than dealing with racism.
The use of different directors for different episodes makes it hard to tell, sometimes, and it’s unclear whether the moralizing elements are sincere or played for laughs (see: the show’s incessant use of the word “woke”).
juggles aspirations to be both a scripted commentary on race and a sitcom about college students, and fails mildly in both regards.
It’s a better show for assigning full episodes to the perspectives of each of the five black leads—Sam, Lionel, Troy, Coco, and Reggie—an obvious attempt to remedy critiques of the film’s lack of character development.
Where this method falls short is the show’s use of the love triangle between Sam, the biracial activist leader of Winchester’s Black Student Union, Gabe, the white graduate student she’s dating, and Reggie, another member of the Black Student Union who has pined for her since freshman year, as the throughline for the season.