Woke is a recently released Hulu original series, which to put it simply, dives into the prospect of being black in America and the emotional toll it lays on a person. Lamorne Morris plays Keef Knight, a cartoonist whose life seems to be all together with his fame, a long-term girlfriend, and incredibly close friends, which all comes crashing down in an instance. Knight is hanging flyers to promote his cartoons when he is tackled by police for “fitting the description” of a thief in the neighborhood. The description of this thief? Six feet tall and African American. He then literally becomes, “Woke.” And in a play on words, Knight begins to see inanimate objects waking up to talk to him. While these moments in the show depict humor, it is of course, the effects of his PTSD from a horrific encounter with the police.
Woke is inspired by cartoonist, Keith Knight, who had a similar journey of his fictional character Keef Knight. So, with the truth backing the bones of Woke’s plot, it just makes the story that much more worthy of a view. The actors, Lamorne Morris, Blake Anderson, T Murph, and many more bring their characters to life to tell a story that millions of people of color and their allies in the United States can relate to. There are moments of both sadness and happiness riddled throughout this show, but the evolution that the main character Knight takes is definitely one to watch.
When a show can break the mold of a traditional sitcom to unleash social issues for thought provoking content with humor sprinkled throughout, it culminates to become an unforgettable story especially with the current state of the United States. In the wake of Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, and many more victims of harmful police brutality, the country is in a state of permanent hurt. It’s a time for answers, and when they don’t come readily, then people take to expressing themselves as an outlet for their anger and sadness. Woke is an expression of how millions in America see themselves in the eyes of the police whether they’ve experienced it firsthand or are fearful that it’s on the horizon. Woke’s honest storytelling will keep you coming back for more.
As the New York Times writer Mike Hale puts it, “Keef’s journey — in which he has to wake up not just to racism and the specific dangers of police violence but also to standard sitcom verities about love and friendship — proceeds in a loose, fluid, slightly melancholy style that’s easy to sit through (helped by episode lengths as short as 21 minutes).” So, if you’re looking for a show that will be both entertaining and educating, then Woke is surely your best bet.