BET’s ‘Karen’ Thriller Is a Foolish, Predictable, Unexpectedly Good Time
If Taryn Manning furiously scrubbing off the colorfully chalked out Black Lives Matter street art at the top of the ham-fisted horror-adjacent comedy Karen doesn’t give off enough evil white woman wrongdoer vibes, then the tousled, slightly askew bob with the lace sitting atop this Karen’s saltine scalp is a dead giveaway.
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: In no way, shape or form is Karen a “good” movie. It suffers from the same didactic dialogue disease as the social (media) horrors that came before it—the most recent, disappointing example being Candyman. The wigs and skin are dry, the script is as boneless as a chicken nugget, and it falls into the trap of positioning its villain as an exceptionally shitty specimen among well-meaning whites and other non-Black people, when in reality, Karen syndrome is as common as a cloud.
Karen doesn’t try anything new, nor does it provide any level of introspection or perspective on race, class, gender, or sexuality that you can’t get from thumbing down a timeline. It’s easy to call every beat, every arc; I imagine that some Black viewers, who’ve long been inundated with this kind of sad attempt at saying something about the ills of our society, can rip off lines from the script before they’re ever uttered. It’s with great disgust and shame, then, that I admit that the amount of hootin’ as well as hollerin’ erupting from my chest while watching Karen was damn near Avengers: Infinity War-worthy.
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