Entertainment » Television

Woke - Season One

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Mar 12, 2019
Woke - Season One

Sullivan Le Postec created the award-winning series "Woke" for Studio 4, the French public broadcaster's web fiction platform in 2017. Now available globally, it is the story of the melodramatic comings and goings of an LGBTQ Drop-In Center in Lyons, which is suddenly turned upside down with the arrival of Hitcham (Mehdi Meskar), a closeted 22-year-old Muslim who has run away from home.

The only gay person Hitcham knows is Thibault (Eric Pucheu), who he met some years previously when he stayed at his family's campsite. That encounter ended badly; when Thibault made a move on the then teenager he was met with a fist in his face.

Thibault is happy to see Hitcham again and offers to let the homeless young man sleep on his couch. He divides his time between running his Bookshop and being an active Board Member of G Spot the LGBTQ center. There are two factions at G Spot: One that believes it should function as a group to socialize, and the other who believes it should focus on political activism. Thibault very firmly belongs to the latter and possesses all the anger to match.

Hitcham arrives in town as a complete virgin in every sense of the word, but surprisingly enough he finds his political voice before physically sharing his sexuality. For someone so naive, he soon becomes a wise old soul who takes on the task of unofficially broking a peace between Thibault and Amaury (Franck Fargier), the mayor's spokesman, with whim Thibault has been warring.

As the story develops there is a hint that what these two men are really squabbling about is Hitcham. Some of the plot strands are better than others, especially when they steer clear of all gay stereotypes and the messes that they inevitably get into. The series is at its best when it tackles real issues, such as homophobia and the in-fighting of Gay 8 (which, sadly, is typical of many not-for-profit groups). Also, the arrival in town of Nadjet (Nanou Harry), Hitcham's sister, who wants to continue their close relationship even it means going outside of her own faith and understanding and accepting his sexuality.

There is also the possibility of any romance that is always hovering, but that is best left to be discovered when you watch the series.

"Woke" is not a showy series like its American counterparts, but it is thoroughly entertaining. Although it may lack the usual amount of naked flesh, you still find yourself binge-watching the series, eager to know how it all works out in the end. We'll have to wait for Series 2 for that, though.

"Woke: Season One"

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.


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