Review: WOKE is an Entertaining Commentary

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Woke is a new comedy series on Hulu and it’s pretty interesting. After watching the trailer I was a little weary since it would be very easy to come off as too preachy. I’m glad to report that I didn’t feel it was too preachy, but everything felt pretty natural. Yes, some moments were over-the-top, but it is a TV show. Here are more of my thoughts on the series. I’m going to be touching on some spoilers below, but will do my best to not overdo it.

The series follows Keef Knight, a cartoonist who is all ready to have his cartoon become a syndicated series. However, he is tackled by some police officers while putting up fliers as they have mistaken him for a mugger in the area. This causes Keef to suffer from PTSD, and start to see and hear things. We get to follow his journey in Woke.

Keef starts out as what many white people I talk to and see online say is the ideal African American. He obeys the law; figures if he doesn’t do anything wrong, nothing bad will happen to him; and doesn’t seem to see any big injustices happening. In other words, he’s not woke. However, after his incident with the police, he starts seeing things in a different light such as when the syndication company lightens his skin in the publicity photo for press events. These moments cause him to become woke over the course of the series. He sees various injustices big and small just about everywhere and eventually decides he needs to do something about it.

Keef doesn’t care about being woke until closer to the end. Until then, he cares more about just getting his life back to normal. However, he learns that he can’t simply go back to how things were. In part because he’s woke and in part because he has a few crazy moments that have people not wanting anything to do with him.

Along the way, Keef is helped by his roommates and friends Gunther and Clovis, and his new friend Ayana who runs a local paper. Adrienne is another character that has a bit of a role, but she’s not as influential as the others even if she might be my favorite side character. These side characters are a lot of fun and over time they grow on you to some degree.

I absolutely love Lamorne Morris as Keef. His acting is incredible and his mannerisms are very entertaining to me. T. Murph’s portrayal of Clovis is annoying at first and I didn’t like him for a while, I only liked it when bad things happened to him. However, eventually, I warmed up to him as he befriended Sasheer Zamata’s Ayana. Blake Anderson is a good fit for Gunther and Rose McIver is fantastic as Adrienne. All of the acting is phenomenal and there’s not a weak performance by anyone.

I obviously think Woke is worth checking out. I’m sure a fair number of people are going to be turned off by the whole premise of Keef becoming woke, but I believe it is handled very well. The catch is that to really get into the show, you’ll probably have to watch more than one episode. I liked it enough after the first two to keep trying it, but then I got hooked around episode 3 or 4. The 8-episode first season of Woke is available now on Hulu.



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