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Showtime’s Surreal Comedy Series Dreaming Whilst Black is Hilarious and Authentic | TV/Streaming

Showtime’s Surreal Comedy Series Dreaming Whilst Black is Hilarious and Authentic | TV/Streaming
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The series begins with Kwabena (Salmon)—referred to as Kwabs—an aspiring filmmaker of Jamaican descent dreaming about being a prestigious filmmaker on a set, making the magic happen. But alas, he’s working a dead-end job in recruitment with a predominantly white staff who abuses the ‘micro’ in micro-aggression. After a one-two punch of a run-in with Amy (Dani Moseley), a producer friend from his film university days, and a very racist karaoke session with his co-workers, Kwabena quits his job and returns to pursuing a filmmaking career. But a few things hold him back: being broke, taking freelance jobs such as working as a food-delivery person for a Doordash-esque company, various other stressful situations, and most importantly, being a Black male in a white country that thirsts for Black trauma flicks over nuance.

Kwabena is also just beginning a romance with a woman he met on the bus named Vanessa (Babirye Bukilwa), and he shares a flat with his brother Maurice (Demmy Ladipo), who is preparing for fatherhood with his wife Funmi (Rachel Adedeji). Meanwhile, Amy faces a similar dilemma in her media job, where she encounters many instances of discrimination ranging from a coworker trying to touch her hair—the biggest no-no in the Black woman textbook—and taking on extra work from her co-workers and boss (Peter Serafinowicz). 

Kwabs and Amy’s funny misadventures to make their passions into realities bear far too much equivalence to the underdog experiences African Americans pursue. Every so often, this critic kept writing down the “American Dream,” but every British accent had me crossing out “American.” Like recent anti-capitalist shows centered on Black leads trying to get by, such as “Killing It” and “I’m a Virgo,” the series’ surrealist British wit creates unique, thoughtful discussions on the Black culture across the pond. Specifically, that usually boils down to expressing the overall BS that British Black folks must endure to succeed, let alone make a stable financial living. From the production company executive rooms that Kwabs tries to get funding from to Amy’s workplace surroundings, the correlation makes for an enticing character study on the sacrifices these aspiring filmmaker pals make to get their names out there. 



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