Lamorne Morris’ comedic acting skills can be underrated sometimes. He somehow managed to wrestle the character of Winston on New Girl from a fill-in character to one with a fully-formed persona. And in Woke, a new Hulu comedy, he manages to make the way-too-trusting Keef Knight believable. But, because the show is built on his character’s naivete, we were wondering if even Morris’ great skills could make it work.
WOKE: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening Shot: We see the bedroom studio of a cartoonist, with framed comics on the wall. The cartoonist takes his trusty marker and puts it in his bag.
The Gist: Keef Knight (Lamorne Morris) is starting what could be the biggest day of his life. He’s going to a photo shoot for his appearance at GoldenCon in his hometown of San Francisco. There, it’ll be announced that his comic strip Toast + Butter will be syndicated. Not only that, but he and his girlfriend Katrina (Alvina August) will be moving into their dream home. He hasn’t told his roommates Clovis (T. Murph) and and Gunther (Blake Anderson), and is dreading doing so.
In his favorite comic book shop, he runs into a fan named Ayana (Sasheer Zamata), who loves the racial issues that he explores with the comic (burnt toast being soothed by butter and all that), but Keef says that with everything going on in the world, he just wants to “keep it light.” He says that phrase so many times that Ayana definitely becomes less impressed. But that’s just how Keef is; when he and Clovis find the wallet of a white woman on the street, Keef has no problem handing it into the police, even if Clovis thinks that would lead to them getting accused of mugging her.
The next day, Keef is handing out flyers for his GoldenCon appearance in the park when he’s knocked down and held on the ground by a bunch of police, because he “fits the description” of a suspect in a nearby robbery. Meanwhile, he sees his white buddy Gunther stonily taking on all the cops and none of them make a move to subdue him. The cops let him go, but he’s understandably shaken by the incident.
The first piece of evidence that something’s different is when a mural of a face shows moving eyes when Keef passes it. Then he goes into a bodega, and two bottles of malt liquor (Nicole Byer and Eddie Griffin) start talking to him about their affect on the Black community. Outside his barbershop — reopened by white hipsters with beards — a recycling bin (Cedric The Entertainer) talks to him about gentrification. When Clovis brings back his many gorgeous dates that he lies to, Keef scares her off when he sees a native American tribal spoon (Wes Studi) talking to him about where he’s been.
But for the most part, he’s shaken by the fact that he’s pretty much played by the rules his whole life, but he’ll still get mistaken for a criminal and get attacked by police because of his skin color. Clovis is amazed that his friend is finally woke, but knowing what’s in store for Keef, he asks his friend what the word “woke” rhymes with. “Coke?” guesses Gunther, who tries to sell his stock as a concentrated energy drink. “No, broke,” he tells both of them.
During his big GoldenCon appearance, he’s fighting the advice from Toast and Butter (Sam Richardson and Tony Hale), who want him to stay the course, and his Marker (JB Smoove), who’s against Keef selling out. Apparently, the marker wins, because he goes on a rant about being black in America, and attacks the very characters that got him to that point. Needless to say, things change in his life from then on.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? The first episode is reminiscent of the first episode of fellow Hulu series Ramy, where the main character struggles with identity.
Our Take: Woke was created by cartoonist Keith Knight based on an incident that happened in his life; he co-created the show with Marshall Todd. Because it’s based on an incident where he attacked by cops simply because he was Black, the character Keef’s transition from being blissfully unaware that institutionalized racism affects him to being painfully aware and willing to fight it is supposed to come off as something that is possible in the real world.
As we know from his time on New Girl, Lamorne Morris is more than able to sell that side of Keef that’s nerdy and naive. But because the whole premise of the show rests on this transition, it was a little disconcerting how we came away from the first episode not convinced that the “old” Keef is actually someone who exists in this country.
Don’t get us wrong: Woke is funny, and its themes about racism, even in a supposedly progressive city like San Francisco, are very timely. But we find it hard to believe that Keef is so unaware of what it’s like to be a Black man in America that he figured that whatever he saw on the news about police brutality or profiling or any of the other things that signify this country’s racist underpinnings won’t happen to him. As he becomes more woke, we guess his nerdy naive side will wrestle with the side that sees reality for what it is. He’ll get a new girlfriend, played by Rose McIver, who we’d imagine is more progressive than his current lawyer squeeze. And Zamata’s character Ayana will probably help him become more aware of these issues.
But where the show is going to shine is whenever Keef sees inanimate objects come to life to encourage him to stay aware. The animation in this series, which shows the talking things with real-looking, expressive eyes and lips that look 3D. Cedric was especially funny as the garbage can. “I’m a talking trashcan. I got eyes. I got a nose. I can smell things. I stink sometimes. I’m a trachcan, and that ain’t close to being normal, but you ain’t even close to normal, not anymore.”
Just in the first episode, the guest voices all stole the show, but there was definitely enough going on with Keef, Clovis and even Gunther to keep us watching. We just hope that as Keef gets more “woke,” his character becomes more well-rounded.
Sex and Skin: None.
Parting Shot: After getting robbed by the guy the cops were actually looking for (all Keef had was a full BART card), Keef looks at his marker, hears all the voices in his head, then Marker clearly says “Make your mark!” The voices are silenced and Marker says, “So what are you gonna do now?”
Sleeper Star: Even though it seems Blake Anderson essentially transferred his character from Workaholics over to Woke, his goofiness is a welcome change of pace. Even though he’s the perfect example of white privilege, his lack of awareness of it is pretty funny.
Most Pilot-y Line: When Keef asks a guy at GoldenCon dressed as Toast when he’s “burning mad” about his choice for donning blackface, the man says that “This is San Francisco; we don’t see color here. And we don’t care if you’re black, white, blue purple or green.” Keef dismantles this old trope, but even so it seems amazingly tone deaf and over the top, something you’d hear maybe 115 or 20 years ago, but not now.
Our Call: STREAM IT. Woke is a funny show that rests on a bit of a shaky foundation. But Morris’ performance, along with some very funny animation, makes this show worth watching.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, VanityFair.com, Playboy.com, Fast Company’s Co.Create and elsewhere.
Stream Woke On Hulu
How Las Vegas became the world’s casino capital
These days, it’s impossible to think of Las Vegas without the image of the lights on the strip and glamorous casinos coming to mind. But the Vegas we know of 2020 wasn’t always that way; and it took a long, long time to get its reputation for being the world’s casino capital. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and get to the root of how Las Vegas became the city that never sleeps.
A historical journey
It’s hard to believe these days, but the Las Vegas region was once an abundant marshland stock full of rich vegetation. That is, until the marsh receded, and the waters disappeared, transforming the landscape into a desert, with the trapped water underground sprouting life and forming an oasis.
It was during the 19th century that the explorer Antonio Armijo from Mexico foraged the way from New Mexico to California on the first commercial caravan. It was a member of the group, Rafael Rivera who rode west to find water and venture through the desert, setting his eyes upon Las Vegas Springs. Las Vegas was therefore named ‘the meadows’ after the grasses found growing there.
Years went on and both Mormon and Mexican settlers began to filter through. In 1890 it was decided by railroad developers that Las Vegas would serve as a spot along the San Pedro, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles railroad route as well as connecting to major cities along the Pacific Coast. From there on, Vegas boomed with stores, boarding houses and saloons popping up around the area. This was the beginning of the Las Vegas as we know it — with railroad workers and ranchers enjoying the gambling and drinking through illegal speakeasies and bootleg casinos operating despite the ban on gambling in Nevada in 1910.
In 1931 gambling once again became legal in the state, with new casinos and showgirl venues opening up along Fremont Street to entertain the thousands of workers who flocked the city during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The first hotel, El Rancho Vegas, opened up in 1941 along Highway 91. Its success inspired others to open up their own hotels along the highway which would one day become the strip. Tourists began to flock to the city over the next few decades to enjoy the casino scene and see incredible artists like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra perform.
The birth of the mega resort
It was in 1966 the businessman Howard Hughes purchased the Desert Inn hotel; this was followed by over a dozen more hotel purchases, pushing out the mobster-owned hotels that had previously dominated Las Vegas. The concept of the mega hotel came about in 1989 when Steve Wynn opened the Mirage as the first hotel resort in the city. By 1994, Las Vegas was the home of more than 86,000 hotel and motel rooms with 13 of the 20 largest mega resort hotels in the world. It was during this era that the Strip became populated with more hotels and casinos, with developments inspired by the iconic cities and countries of the globe including Egypt, Paris, New York and Rome.
Las Vegas in the 21st century
The Las Vegas of today is well and truly established as a home for entertainment and casinos — which remain the biggest source of income for the city. However, there’s no doubt that Vegas faces more competition than ever before from the virtual world, with more people than ever before opting to play at an online casino, rather than play in the old fashioned way, but Vegas will always have the advantage. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime trip that an online casino can’t replicate, but do the online equivalents help to increase interest in Vegas?
The bright lights of Vegas is attracting billions of dollars in investment as many try and get a slice of the revenue that the sector has to offer. During 2019 over 42.52 million people came to visit Las Vegas from all around the world. Domestically, it was shown to be the second most popular destination for U.S. traveller’s dream spots after New York.
These days, Las Vegas continues to thrive and be a source of entertainment for millions of visitors from around the world looking to experience what the city has to offer. With new generations becoming interested in casino games — and some incredible musical residencies continuing to be announced — Las Vegas surely will continue to be one best places to go for a unforgettable dream destination for many.
What can people find at some of the biggest land-based casinos in Canada? From Niagara Falls to Toronto, there is something for everyone at casinos in Canada, including table games, slots, roulette, blackjack, and other games. There are also many poker and blackjack tournaments held throughout the year and it is easy to find jackpots or slots with free spins at the casinos. Many casinos also have hotels, bars, and numerous restaurants which are perfect for players seeking some comfort. A relaxing casino experience for all ages can be found in many different places in Canada. Choose one from below.
Choosing a casino depends on your tastes and location within Canada. Do you want to experience the grandeur and splendour of nature while placing a bet? Then head to Niagara Falls. Do you want to see a show? Choose a casino with a show that will be perfect for you. If you are looking for pure relaxation, then check out some of the casinos with spas and world-class dining. Entertainment is also a large part of the casino experience in Canada. Musicians, bands, comedians, and other types of entertainment continue to be found at all of the biggest casinos.
Some Big Casinos Near Nature
Casino Niagara is located in one of the most beautiful places in Canada and the world. People from all around the globe come to experience the best of both worlds at Casino Niagara. Players have access to beauty and scenery while spending time at one of the biggest casinos in Canada. The casino has two floors with over 1200 slot machines, poker, and other table games. There are also many different restaurants and even a comedy club. The sports bar and casino was refurbished back in 2017, meaning that it has not lost any of its charm and shine.
ST Eugene Golf Resort: Casino of the Rockies is a golf and nature lovers’ paradise. The location could not be any more splendid. People can find the casino between the Rockies and Purcell Mountains. Furthermore, the casino has an interesting history after it was converted from an Indian Residential School. It was then opened in the early 2000s. St Eugene has table games, electronic roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. There is also a golf course, restaurant, bar, spa, and hotel that is highly rated in Canada. Overall games are limited so most people come for golfing and betting fun.
Caesars Windsor is famously located on the riverbank in Windsor, Ontario. Visitors from both Canada and the States frequent the casino and hotel. Players can see the Detroit and Michigan skyline from the area. There are two floors of slots, table games, and plenty of poker tables. Blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are also available at the casino. It has beautiful restaurants, a gym, bars, slots, and live sports. Check out the Titan 360™, a 10-foot tall slot machine with 5800 pounds of wins at the click of a button. It’s the largest slot machine in the world and great fun.
- Enjoy the size of Casino de Montreal and Hard Rock Casino
- Enjoy the big and beautiful Casino Niagara or ST Eugene Golf Resort
- Enjoy High Culture at Elements Casino Brantford
River Rock Casino Resort – In Transit
Are you passing through Vancouver Airport and have a long transit? Hire a cab and spend some time enjoying slot machines at River Rock Casino Resort. There are slots galore and the different themes make it an enjoyable visit for all. There is even a Dungeons and Dragons slot for gamers. A fourteen-table game room can be found at the casino and international poker tournaments are held regularly. Other features include a VIP area, spa, live music, 24-hour food and drink, as well as other entertainment. Richmond is also worth a quick visit, especially for some delicious seafood.
Casino de Montreal – The Big Gun
Casino de Montreal is 526,488 square feet of casino excitement. The casino has around 20 thousand visitors each day and is one of the biggest casinos on the globe. If you are still unconvinced about the size of the place, then imagine five floors of slots and table games. 3,000 machines and 111 table games make the casino seem even more mammoth. Casino de Montreal games can be played in a smoke-free environment and many players comment on the user-friendly games and helpful staff. Complimentary drinks and top-rated gourmet food is all part of the experience at Casino de Montreal.
Hard Rock Casino – Another Big One
Hard Rock Casino is another large casino located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The casino is over 80,000 square feet, making it a big one in Canada. Hard Rock has gaming tables, slots, baccarat and a poker room. The casino includes 70 casino tables and 1,000 slots. Private rooms and high roller areas are also available. However, the Hard Rock name is known for excellent food and this is what people love about this casino. Many players comment on the quality of the food here. It even has a 1,000 seat theatre, making it great for dining and a show.
Elements Casino Brantford – Enjoy High Culture
Elements Casino Brantford is a historical gem for culture in Ontario. It is a charity casino that was established last century. It includes the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, which is a high society entertainment venue in Ontario. The centre is well known to performing arts enthusiasts in Ontario and Canada. Players come to see a show, enjoy some gourmet food and a game. The casino also has plenty of slots, table games, blackjack, baccarat, sic bo, three card poker, roulette, and other games. There is also a 14-table Texas Hold ‘Em poker room. Enjoy all the excitement.
River Cree Resort and Casino – Sports Lovers
River Cree Resort and Casino is a sport and gaming venue located in Edmonton that should not be overlooked. It has 39 tables of various money limits and over 1,000 slots. There are also a few different places to dine while enjoying a bet and other things to experience. There is a fitness centre, spa and a 200 room resort. However, the most interesting feature of this casino is the two hockey rinks, which are often used by the Edmonton Oilers for practice. It is possible to watch the team practice and go for a meal and some gaming fun.
For the ones who fancy playing online we recomend visiting canadiancasino.org!
Top 8 Online Games That Kids Can Play Without Much Parental Supervision
The gaming industry has been quite widespread since its inception. With the advent of globalisation and technology, this industry is reaching new heights. Kids these days are more inclined to the internet than they are to books.
The internet has more information about everything than anywhere else and is very easily accessible. This further makes some parental control necessary. Most parents are worried about their kids playing violent video games that can further affect their mental health.
Nevertheless, you cannot stop a kid from finding ways to log in to the internet, nor can you keep them away from playing video games. You can always supervise them on their media consumption. But that also gets tiresome after a point. This is when it gets necessary for you to introduce them to games that are not only kid-friendly but are also of their liking.
If you are in a similar situation, looking for a way out, this article will surely help. Further mentioned are a few games that you can let your kid play while you concentrate on your work and well-being.
1. Gummy Drop
Finding games that you can let your kids play without supervision is quite a task. With games like Gummy Drop, you do not have to worry one bit. With beautiful graphics and interesting gameplay, it does not take long for your kid to get hooked to the game.
With new cities and interesting content being added almost every day, this 3 puzzle game is a good choice for your kids to play. It also connects to your Facebook account, letting you play with your other friends. It is also a nice way for your kids to improve their general knowledge and problem-solving skills.
If you were a fan of Pictionary when you were growing up, you should definitely introduce your kids to this game. While the rules of Pictionary remain the same, this game improves on the visual aspect. With all of their friends in the same server, your kid can easily get hooked to this game.
Easy and fun to play – once the server is set up, each player will get a word that they have to draw on the screen. The motive of the game is to help the other players guess your word. Each round chooses players at random. While it is advised that you use a tablet and a stylus to play this, you can always sketch with your finger.
3. Ludo Supreme
A classic in every sense of the word, online ludo needs no introduction. There are some new features that are added in the game version of this app. It lets you connect to your Paytm account and earn real money while playing the game.
Along with such amazing features, you can also play it for fun with your family or friends. It has other versions as well that come in different languages, especially in India, given the diverse nature of the country. You can download the LUDO for your android phones.
There is no doubt that Houseparty has been one of the most popular downloads this pandemic. This is a networking app that lets you add as many as seven friends and play different games face-to-face via video calls.
The novel approach of phone gaming made this a very widely chosen app. While playing games with your friends is always fun, this app lets you see and talk to them as well. Some of the most played games in this app include Heads Up!, Chips and Guac, Trivia and Quick Draw. With such amazing features and games, this is a worthwhile download for your kid.
Monopoly is a very interesting game, which you can get your kids. Along with being fun, it can be played by any age group and is always stimulating your brain. This board game is an all-time classic that is now available on mobile platforms.
The good thing about it being on the phone is that now your kids can play it with their friends as well, and all from the convenience of your home.
6. Rocket League
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to play soccer but with cars, this game is exactly that. You get to pick a car at the beginning of the game in an oversized field with an oversized ball. Then start the five-minute matches where you have to score goals against them.
To make it even more fun, this game allows the player to add up to three friends on the same server. It also has options where you can choose between casual play and ranked online play. Nevertheless, in both gameplays, you can earn new cosmetic looks for the car and get a chance to score more goals.
Another all-time classic, UNO has been a very celebrated game all these years. The original company of UNO came out with the online version that is available on both iOS and Android devices. Since they are the copyright holders, you already know, the gameplay cannot get any better than this.
Nevertheless, since it is a multiplayer game, you can play it both against your friends or strangers. It’s fun aesthetics, and new rules make it more interesting. It now has different modes of play and tournaments as well. You can also partner up and play 2v2 to win together. With servers available all around the world, you can connect to anyone you know.
8. Guess The Word
Very obvious from the name itself, this game is known to be one of the most popular downloads in this list. It not only helps your kids spend some unsupervised time with themselves but also ensures that they learn new things in the process.
The game contains different levels which get harder as your kid progresses, further making it more interesting and attractive. If you have some free time on your hands, you can also jump in and play with your kids.
So, these are the 8 games that kids of all ages can play without any tension. Above all, parents don’t have to panic or keep an eye on them all the time.