Woke with success

Hulu series successfully creates a comedy with amazing characters and complex racial themes.

photo by Hulu

“Woke” was based on the story of real-life cartoonist Keef Knight as he realizes he can no longer be silent on the injustices experienced due to racism in America.

When looking for new original content, Hulu has some amazing works. People love to binge popular shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Love, Victor.” Newest to the list: the thought-provoking comedy “Woke.”

Content with his life as an uncontroversial cartoonist, Keef Knight (Lamorne Morris) was on the verge of his big break when he was racially profiled by police officers who begin to arrest him before they find they have the wrong man. Suddenly able to hear objects speaking to him, Knight cannot shake off his experience. Unable to take handle this, Knight confronts casual racism in his former workplace and society in general while turning his life around. “Woke” is a charming and funny series that confronts passivity while balancing humor and sincerity. 

The characters feel incredibly genuine as they are funny yet flawed. Knight’s motivations and desire to change his mindset from passive to active is clear, but he makes many mistakes in his attempt to expand his horizons. This continues with secondary characters like Knight’s roommates, Gunther (Blake Anderson) and Clovis (T. Murph). These characters are nicely fleshed out with a unique character arch for each.

 The show tackles the complex topic of racism in America with grace while also keeping the mood light before getting appropriately serious. Scenes with Clovis embarrassing himself while asking out a girl at the bar are mixed with scenes of Knight experiencing cancel culture first-hand without feeling forced or awkward. What is more, the show explores large and small instances of racism by presenting them as part of everyday life rather than throwing them in your face, such as Knight reacting to his readers’ preconceptions of him as a black man. 

Of course, this couldn’t exist without the amazing comedy at the heart of the dialogue. With actors like Saturday Night Live’s Sasheer Zamata, and writers like the original Keef Knight himself, the show keeps you laughing before returning to its complex themes.

The show is not perfect, however. In the middle of the season, there is a portion where the story feels a little lost and uncertain in itself, as Knight, Clovis, and Gunther try to sell t-shirts and navigate a harsh critic. Still, the characters go strong and the humor makes up for it. Overall, the season’s highs make up for its lows.

“Woke” is worth the time of anyone with a Hulu subscription. The show manages to promote a sensitive subject without feeling preachy or talking down to its viewer. Both funny and meaningful, if you like realistic characters and a good story, check out “Woke.”

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