Review: Woke Season 1

This week my wife and I watched a new series on Hulu called Woke.
I’d like to share my thoughts on the series with you. This review will be spoiler-free.

Content warning for younger or more sensitive readers: This show is rated
TV-MA for good reason. It has lots of profanity, along with some nudity, sexual
content, and violence.

First and foremost, it should be noted that this is a story of a black man’s
experience living in a society that is racially unjust. I am white. I cannot
fully understand what it’s like to live in this country and have dark skin. I would
urge you to seek out the thoughts of black people as it pertains to this show
and the issues the show addresses.

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Woke is part comedy and part drama. It is a show somewhat based (I
have no idea how accurately) on the life of a real person named Keith Knight. In
the show, his name is Keef Knight. Keef is a cartoonist. He draws a silly comic
strip called Toast and Butter. It is light-hearted and has mass appeal. He is
scheduled to make an appearance at a convention, during which a company will announce that his strip has been picked up for syndication. He goes around the city
putting up flyers to advertise his appearance. As he is placing these flyers,
he is confronted by police officers. They surround him with weapons drawn and
tackle him to the ground. After a few moments, they realize they have the wrong
man and they leave. The show is about how this traumatic event affects Keef’s
life.

Keef is played by Lamorne Morris, who you may recognize as Winston from New
Girl
. I quite like New Girl, but I never felt that the show did the
actor or the character justice. So, it’s nice to see Lamorne in a more demanding
role. He does a fantastic job. He absolutely sells the confusion and trauma
that Keef experiences. And of course, his comedy chops are present as well. The
supporting cast all put in fine performances (I’ll give a special shout-out to the
lovely Rose McIver). I have no complaints with the rest of the actors in the
show.

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One of my favorite elements of the show is that Keef starts seeing inanimate
objects speaking to him after his trauma. It is a funny and effective way of
visually showing Keef’s struggle to process his assault from police. It’s a
remarkable story-telling device, which surely ate up a large portion of the special
effects budget. As Keef talks to these objects (such as a marker, a trash can,
and bottles of alcohol), occasionally other characters will see him doing this.
They will question his mental state. This is a great reflection of what can
actually happen to victims of trauma. Not that they necessarily see and hear objects
speaking to them. But they’ll behave erratically and in an off-putting manner.
Those close to them will see that something is wrong, even if they themselves
are in denial.

This show is funny, but not ha-ha funny. It isn’t often laugh-out-loud, uproariously
hilarious. It really uses its humor to accentuate the drama that Keef’s life is
undergoing. I can’t say it’s perfect, but it does a pretty good job of
straddling the line between laughter and tears. It’s very well-written.

There is one notable problem the show has. The main plot takes place in the
first and last episodes of the 8-episode season. The rest of the episodes show
how his trauma affects Keef life and relationships. But there are several
subplots that are totally unrelated. It feels to me like the show couldn’t
decide if it wanted to be serialized or procedural and tried to have it both
ways. I think it’s weaker for it. I would have preferred a tighter focus on the
plot at hand.

blogpic4

Woke is part comedy and part drama. It is a show somewhat based (I have no idea how accurately) on the life of a real person named Keith Knight. In the show, his name is Keef Knight. Keef is a cartoonist. He draws a silly comic strip called Toast and Butter. It is light-hearted and has mass appeal. He is scheduled to make an appearance at a convention, during which a company will announce that his strip has been picked up for syndication. He goes around the city putting up flyers to advertise his appearance. As he is placing these flyers, he is confronted by police officers. They surround him with weapons drawn and tackle him to the ground. After a few moments, they realize they have the wrong man and they leave. The show is about how this traumatic event affects Keef’s life.

Keef is played by Lamorne Morris, who you may recognize as Winston from New Girl. I quite like New Girl, but I never felt that the show did the actor or the character justice. So, it’s nice to see Lamorne in a more demanding role. He does a fantastic job. He absolutely sells the confusion and trauma that Keef experiences. And of course, his comedy chops are present as well. The supporting cast all put in fine performances (I’ll give a special shout-out to the lovely Rose McIver). I have no complaints with the rest of the actors in the show.

blogpic7

One of my favorite elements of the show is that Keef starts seeing inanimate objects speaking to him after his trauma. It is a funny and effective way of visually showing Keef’s struggle to process his assault from police. It’s a remarkable story-telling device, which surely ate up a large portion of the special effects budget. As Keef talks to these objects (such as a marker, a trash can, and bottles of alcohol), occasionally other characters will see him doing this. They will question his mental state. This is a great reflection of what can actually happen to victims of trauma. Not that they necessarily see and hear objects speaking to them. But they’ll behave erratically and in an off-putting manner. Those close to them will see that something is wrong, even if they themselves are in denial.

This show is funny, but not ha-ha funny. It isn’t often laugh-out-loud, uproariously hilarious. It really uses its humor to accentuate the drama that Keef’s life is undergoing. I can’t say it’s perfect, but it does a pretty good job of straddling the line between laughter and tears. It’s very well-written.

There is one notable problem the show has. The main plot takes place in the first and last episodes of the 8-episode season. The rest of the episodes show how his trauma affects Keef life and relationships. But there are several subplots that are totally unrelated. It feels to me like the show couldn’t decide if it wanted to be serialized or procedural and tried to have it both ways. I think it’s weaker for it. I would have preferred a tighter focus on the plot at hand.

blogpic4

Woke is part comedy and part drama. It is a show somewhat based (I have no idea how accurately) on the life of a real person named Keith Knight. In the show, his name is Keef Knight. Keef is a cartoonist. He draws a silly comic strip called Toast and Butter. It is light-hearted and has mass appeal. He is scheduled to make an appearance at a convention, during which a company will announce that his strip has been picked up for syndication. He goes around the city putting up flyers to advertise his appearance. As he is placing these flyers, he is confronted by police officers. They surround him with weapons drawn and tackle him to the ground. After a few moments, they realize they have the wrong man and they leave. The show is about how this traumatic event affects Keef’s life.

Keef is played by Lamorne Morris, who you may recognize as Winston from New Girl. I quite like New Girl, but I never felt that the show did the actor or the character justice. So, it’s nice to see Lamorne in a more demanding role. He does a fantastic job. He absolutely sells the confusion and trauma that Keef experiences. And of course, his comedy chops are present as well. The supporting cast all put in fine performances (I’ll give a special shout-out to the lovely Rose McIver). I have no complaints with the rest of the actors in the show.

blogpic7

One of my favorite elements of the show is that Keef starts seeing inanimate objects speaking to him after his trauma. It is a funny and effective way of visually showing Keef’s struggle to process his assault from police. It’s a remarkable story-telling device, which surely ate up a large portion of the special effects budget. As Keef talks to these objects (such as a marker, a trash can, and bottles of alcohol), occasionally other characters will see him doing this. They will question his mental state. This is a great reflection of what can actually happen to victims of trauma. Not that they necessarily see and hear objects speaking to them. But they’ll behave erratically and in an off-putting manner. Those close to them will see that something is wrong, even if they themselves are in denial.

This show is funny, but not ha-ha funny. It isn’t often laugh-out-loud, uproariously hilarious. It really uses its humor to accentuate the drama that Keef’s life is undergoing. I can’t say it’s perfect, but it does a pretty good job of straddling the line between laughter and tears. It’s very well-written.

There is one notable problem the show has. The main plot takes place in the first and last episodes of the 8-episode season. The rest of the episodes show how his trauma affects Keef life and relationships. But there are several subplots that are totally unrelated. It feels to me like the show couldn’t decide if it wanted to be serialized or procedural and tried to have it both ways. I think it’s weaker for it. I would have preferred a tighter focus on the plot at hand.

blogpic4

Woke is part comedy and part drama. It is a show somewhat based (I have no idea how accurately) on the life of a real person named Keith Knight. In the show, his name is Keef Knight. Keef is a cartoonist. He draws a silly comic strip called Toast and Butter. It is light-hearted and has mass appeal. He is scheduled to make an appearance at a convention, during which a company will announce that his strip has been picked up for syndication. He goes around the city putting up flyers to advertise his appearance. As he is placing these flyers, he is confronted by police officers. They surround him with weapons drawn and tackle him to the ground. After a few moments, they realize they have the wrong man and they leave. The show is about how this traumatic event affects Keef’s life.

Keef is played by Lamorne Morris, who you may recognize as Winston from New Girl. I quite like New Girl, but I never felt that the show did the actor or the character justice. So, it’s nice to see Lamorne in a more demanding role. He does a fantastic job. He absolutely sells the confusion and trauma that Keef experiences. And of course, his comedy chops are present as well. The supporting cast all put in fine performances (I’ll give a special shout-out to the lovely Rose McIver). I have no complaints with the rest of the actors in the show.

blogpic7

One of my favorite elements of the show is that Keef starts seeing inanimate objects speaking to him after his trauma. It is a funny and effective way of visually showing Keef’s struggle to process his assault from police. It’s a remarkable story-telling device, which surely ate up a large portion of the special effects budget. As Keef talks to these objects (such as a marker, a trash can, and bottles of alcohol), occasionally other characters will see him doing this. They will question his mental state. This is a great reflection of what can actually happen to victims of trauma. Not that they necessarily see and hear objects speaking to them. But they’ll behave erratically and in an off-putting manner. Those close to them will see that something is wrong, even if they themselves are in denial.

This show is funny, but not ha-ha funny. It isn’t often laugh-out-loud, uproariously hilarious. It really uses its humor to accentuate the drama that Keef’s life is undergoing. I can’t say it’s perfect, but it does a pretty good job of straddling the line between laughter and tears. It’s very well-written.

There is one notable problem the show has. The main plot takes place in the first and last episodes of the 8-episode season. The rest of the episodes show how his trauma affects Keef life and relationships. But there are several subplots that are totally unrelated. It feels to me like the show couldn’t decide if it wanted to be serialized or procedural and tried to have it both ways. I think it’s weaker for it. I would have preferred a tighter focus on the plot at hand.

blogpic4Should you watch the show? If you’re not bothered by the mature content, I’d say yes. It is well-written and acted. It’s a fine show. It’s entertaining. Most importantly, it provides a valuable and meaningful perspective. As I said above, I cannot understand what it’s like to live in constant fear of racial discrimination. I have never been mistreated by a police officer because of the color of my skin. But I am definitely trying to understand. I am making a concerted effort to consume media that can expand my perspective and open my eyes to the societal problems around me. I feel that Woke has helped with this. It gave me a glimpse into the trauma that victims of police brutality and racial profiling experience on an all-too-frequent basis. If you are also trying to learn and grow in this manner, Woke might be beneficial for you as well.

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