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Television

‘Dear…’ series review: A dose of diverse positivity

Dear… takes a creative and cinematic approach towards biographies of game-changing icons.

I’m not typically a person that watches documentaries or docuseries, so I did initially wonder whether or not I would take to Dear… Once I saw that a few of the episodes were focused on people that I love and admire, I became more excited to see what this had in store. Something I enjoyed about this series was that I got to know more about the people I already admired and also had the privilege of learning about individuals I knew very little about. But don’t think this is just about telling the stories of these public figures, it’s also about showing how they’ve inspired ordinary citizens. Inspiration and positivity is something we could all use right now, right?!

What makes this series work, for the most part, is that every episode has a very positive feel and covers issues that are important. Even though serious topics like racism, sexual assault, abortion, and climate change are all covered in one way or another, the show brings everything back to inspiration and to the idea that all of us really do have power. Sure it may sound cheesy but it’s true that each of us can do something to help with issues affecting our communities and that is a central theme throughout this show.

That kind of optimism makes for entertaining and uplifting fair and that is the biggest strength here. Another detail about the show that I found fascinating was getting to hear from these iconic figures themselves and hearing them tell specific things about their lives and how it affected them. I love seeing interviews with influential figures because it’s just interesting to hear about their rags to riches stories, their trials and tribulations, how they’ve used their fame and platform to better society, and so on.

That’s something that I really have a great amount of respect for; using your notoriety and riches to help underprivileged communities and to bring awareness to crucially important social causes. I found the episodes that focused on Oprah and Gloria Steinem particularly powerful due to the ways they used their platforms for great positive change.

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Some of the people they bring in that write letters are really incredible too. Some of these people went on to do really impressive things in life and it just goes to show you that we never truly know what kind of impact we might have on other people.

Now one criticism I do have of the series is that sometimes it can feel a bit too glossy. There were a few times where I felt they handled things with too heavy of a sugary dose and I felt like it undercut the weight of what the subject was a little bit. There’s no question that the figures being covered are incredible and the subject matter talked about is ever important but the style of some of the scenes came off as a tad too sunny in my opinion.

The only other critique I have about the show is that some episodes do carry more weight than others and I wonder if there are different people they could have chosen for a couple of the episodes. The Big Bird episode for example, while it had its moments, felt underwhelming compared to the others. 

I do want to say that I think this series is being released at a very good time. With all that we have going on in the world, some positive content and inspiring stories is needed. And not only are the episodes positive but they also have a great amount of diversity. There are people of different races, cultures, and sexual orientations. This is another strength of the show.

Anyone from any background will see themselves represented here and that’s a very powerful and unfortunately rare thing. The topics and issues talked about are also diverse and I think a lot of people will be able to relate. I know I did. So yes, while the show isn’t perfect and I wasn’t blown away overall, it is well made when you consider all things and I hope people will at least watch most of the episodes because we’re in desperate need of diverse inspiration right now.

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Dear… does have its flaws but overall I enjoyed hearing from these public figures and getting a healthy dose of diverse positivity. And that dose my friends, is this shows real strength. 

 

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