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Dave Chappelle: Netflix specials

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Dave Chappelle's Age of Spin is top notch.




I've seen him get flack for alleged homophobia in the show, but having seen it, I don't agree with that accusation.




The whole show is a tightly themed examination of how a man grows up and changes his opinions under tension from his upbringing and what he learns from his experiences. Part of that is being honest about those inner thoughts everyone has but never reveals to the public.


He's talking about the conflict between his clear thinking head and his mixed up heart, or as he phrases it at one point, "That's what I think as an American. On the other hand, what I think as a black Ameican..."


(The gay stuff he got in trouble for is nothing more offensive than your average drunk uncle. Probably the only actually prejudiced thing he does is equating masculinity with heterosexuality as a setup for his jokes, but the reason I minded that the most is because it made the humor seem dated.


Also he botches a nuanced point about how sponsors try to steer behaviour and ends up comparing MLK to Manny Pacqiao in a way that could seem on the surface as saying Pacqiao was being persecuted unjustly for saying bad things about gays.)




He lays out his internal tension for every topic, from his childhood heroes and how his perception of them changes, to his relationship with his son, to the way people consume news, to the way he relates to show business.




And he does it while placing crass humor alongside deep insight.


And by doing so, he creates these sly setups to make you analyze a situation. Like at one point he creates humor from how he bailed on a fundraiser for Flint Michigan's water problems to go party and to justify himself to the audience, he says, "Hey, I'm not the one who messed up their water." Which automatically forces you to think on some level about who DID mess it up.


To sum up, I have to again praise this show for how tightly themed it was. Everything fit together around the idea of why some people are heroes to person A and not heroes to person B and why sometimes the difference between A and B is growing up.

Edited by Jumbie
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Saw Deep in the Heart of Texas.


It's a much looser show than the Age of Spin with more of a rambling quality. It felt much less polished but the last quarter is funny as hell.


There were a few places where the trademark Chappelle approach of building up with a deeper and larger political point that ends in a body fluid joke was used and kind of missed the mark. Unlike Age of Spin, these contrasts didn't seem to deepen your appreciation of the larger point. Like there's a story about a hate crime snowball attack that had a lot of potential and then closed on a cheap (but funny) joke that just left the politically charged setup hanging with no impact.


Still very fun.

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