The most succinct response to “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike” is embedded within the show itself: “First off, shout out to Killer Mike, ‘cause only somebody like Killer Mike could even think of something so crazy and actually pull it off.”
This line comes up in episode 5, “Outside the Box,” when Killer Mike sets out to create a band called “The Super Group,” with members of all different political ideologies (imagine “The View,” if it were a musical). While the band (complete with a juggalo, a white nationalist and a black cowboy who believes Jesus is “clear”) wasn’t a raging success when it opened for Run the Jewels, it made a larger point about art overcoming hate. This kind of “Nathan for You” meets political revolution is the dynamic in which “Trigger Warning” thrives.
“Trigger Warning” possesses an undeniable “Nathan for You” aspect, allowing its participants to express themselves and, at times, dig their own holes. Mario, a low-key racist drag queen who appears in half the season’s episodes and is a member of “The Super Group,” is a direct gift to us from the gods of reality TV. Personally, my favorite Mario-ism would have to be “You know, I have a song called, uh, ‘Don’t Box Me In.’ Well actually the song is called, ‘Box Me In,’ but the song’s about not boxing me in.” But there are a lot of vital quotes from which to choose.
Most of the participants are absurd, but it takes absurd people to go along with integrating porn into a trade school’s education program, starting the “Church of Sleep,” or buying an island and naming it “New Africa” to create your own civilization. These premises are wild, but provide insight to a kind of radicalism that’s palatable enough for Netflix.
The senselessness of some of the plot points also provide a perfect foil for the genuinely brilliant episodes. My favorite episode, episode 3, “White Gang Privilege”, centers around allowing black gangs to profit off of their image in the same way that white gang such as the Hell’s Angels do. Creating Crip-a-Cola and Blood Pop, the rivals sell their sodas across from one another at a farmers market, proving to the white attendees that they don’t need to be afraid of what, and who, they don’t know.
At the end of the day, “Trigger Warning” combines our generations two favorite things—absurd comical bits and political revolution—and is exactly what we need right now. See you guys later, I’m off to order some Crip-a-Cola from Worden’s.