Dear White People Season 3 offers new themes, old themes, but more importantly, it develops the characters, giving the story longevity.
This review of Netflix’s Dear White People Season 3 contains no spoilers.
Volume 1 was aggressive, Volume 2 was the calm after the storm, but Volume 3 feels like the characters are on holiday, waiting for the next wave of controversy to hit Winchester. That’s not a criticism. The theme in the opening episode demonstrates how the lead characters are complacent; putting their feet up rather than striking for their chief justices. The agendas feel disparate between some characters in Season 3, with the story raring for them all to find a common cause.
The self-awareness of the characters hits the fourth wall in Season 3. They reference how Netflix third seasons decrease in quality — this is a segway to the viewer that Dear White People does not intend to fall for that curse — their satirical, daring Netflix series has legs, and it is here to stay. Even without the narrator that we’ve become so used to at the start of each episode.
Dear White People Season 3 finds more themes to discuss; from Lionel exploring his homosexuality further to Gabe learning the hardship of having little money — the Netflix series demonstrates that it intends to widen the scope as much as possible, while still comedically implying the need to keep black issues alive. Winchester is not a burning building like previous seasons with rhetorics and the threat of violence, it’s maturing in its own social cocoon. It could be argued that the Netflix series has become less brave, but on the other hand, it’s delved into its character development.
While Dear White People Season 3 is not the strongest instalment to the fleshed-out volumes, it indeed manages to hammer in some emotional outlets for the audience to cling on to — Samantha is a character we fell in love with from the very start, and we see her role grow even more here. There’s less drama with the relationships in Volume 3, but we do get to witness the beginnings of Reggie and Joelle.
Dear White People Season 3 serves new challenges for the characters but also introduces us to Moses Brown, a professor that offered new hope to the black community.
Without going into too much detail, the main strength of Dear White People Season 3 is the last three episodes. It’s blatant that the writers intended for these chapters to serve genuine messages to the audience. There’s irony in the story, flipping two seasons of stories on their head and serving a concept far removed from what we’ve seen so far.
What’s abundantly clear is that Dear White People did not want to fall victim to the third season syndrome of Netflix. It quite clearly didn’t — the writers are not running out of ideas yet.
We recapped every episode of season 3. Read the recap of the first episode by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.