Season 2 of ‘Woke’ Doesn’t Sleep on Character Development

Caption: Cartoonist Keef Knight is now a popular activist on the rise, but he’s facing a world where “woke” has become big business. Can Keef and his friends bring about real change, or is it just about the dollar$? And can Keef navigate this new world without destroying what he’s become? Inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight, Woke continues to upend Black nerd and activist culture, deftly satirizing with a wink and a smile. Keef (Lamorne Morris), Gunther (Blake Anderson), Ayana (Sasheer Zamata) and Clovis (T. Murph), shown. (Courtesy of Hulu)

Last Season on Hulu’s Woke, we met Keef Knight (Lamorne Morris) as he tries to navigate life after a brutal encounter with San Francisco PD. As a cartoonist of the locally famous comic strip, Toast and Butter, Keef is excited for his comic to be syndicated nationally. He’s planning on getting a luxury apartment with his girlfriend of two years and finally raising his stock. He’s played the game for years and is finally seeing his efforts pay off. 

As if on cue, Keef is plastering flyers for a convention appearance and cops mistakenly accost him and throw him to the ground. He’s scared, he’s embarrassed and he gets woke. Suddenly he begins to see things he’s never seen before, the malt liquor, the trashcan, and most importantly his trusty marker all come to anthropomorphic life. Their words and tone hold playful mocking as he starts to realize he’s a part of the community he ever really considered from the outside. 

During season one we meet Keef’s circle. His roommates and a new friend are characters in themselves. There’s Clovis (T. Murph), a womanizing hustler who doesn’t always understand Keef, but always supports him. Gunther (Blake Anderson) is the well-meaning white boy who tries to find his own connections to Blackness but usually ends up just showcasing how absolutely white he is (he knows). Finally, there’s a newcomer, Ayana (Sasheer Zamata) who is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bay Arean, a local paper that discusses important and often controversial issues. 

After Keef’s woke episode, he melts down and loses his job, girlfriend, and financial stability. Throughout the season we see him become more in touch with his wokeness and find a way to express his art and continue his activism, with hits and misses.  

When the second season opens we see Keef take this further and find ways to be an artist/activist or “artivist.” Keef has dazzled supporters with a speech that declares: “without the black lines, the white page is nothing.”

Watch Sasheer Zamata discuss her role in S2:

Catch the rest of Woke S2’s review at Black Girl Nerds, originally published on April 7, 2022.

Woke premiered on April 8, 2022, on Hulu.

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