Woke is quite the word these days, isn’t it? It’s what our generation prides itself on being. It’s what the others try imbibing. The wokeness. And it’s what some simply fake having.
But another kind of woke has been doing the rounds these days.
The show follows the life of Keef Knight – a black cartoonist on the threshold of stardom. Here’s an artist who consciously kept away from all things scandalous. If only life would have it that way. Things take a turn when Knight finds himself racially profiled by policemen one fine night and the now traumatised cartoonist soon begins to see the other side of reality. Or not. Inanimate objects start talking to him, doling out life lessons along the way. Knight now understands racism a lot more distinctively. For someone who’s prided himself of being clear of all controversy and who has solely concentrated on his work and his career, the bigger picture is a lot more evident to him now. How does Knight now navigate through life, relationships and society with his new found status as a ‘Woke’ black man?
Stars Lamorne Morris in the lead, Knight’s character is based on real life cartoonist (and also co-creator of the show) Keith Knight; Blake Anderson, T. Murph and Rose Mclver in key roles. The show released early last week, but to mixed reviews. One half of the audiences found the show timely, witty, funny and thought provoking – given the fact that the series comes at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has dominated conversation globally. But at the same time, ‘Woke’ has also found itself in reviews commenting on how the series could just be an opportunity lost. Half-baked and not utterly satisfying. For example, an online review noted how in spite of living out of the present day USA, the character of Knight is oblivious to the fiery discussion on racism and police brutality taking American and global society by storm. It’s just an unfathomable scenario. Some even call it “a miscalculation by (the) creators”.
Either way, the reviews are a mixed bag. And with animated elements in the series, it does seem to make for a fun watch. And of course, a light introductory note perhaps to bigger issues plaguing the world as we know it.
And once you’re done with it, we’ve got you covered with other Netflix suggestions anyway!