Deaf U is a new docuseries on Netflix that follows a group of Deaf and hard-of-hearing students at Gallaudet University, which heavily follows their dating and social lives. The series showcases how different the Deaf community is from the hearing community and how they have their own niche.
From taking ASL 101 with Professor Fredrick Stamps, I’ve heard that the Deaf community can be very blunt and Deaf U definitely highlights this part of their culture. The students in the show will be very forthcoming about their feelings, especially in regards to romantic relationships. During the first season, one couple directly talks about what their relationship means to each other, revealing that one of them is no longer into the other person, but they accept it and ‘set their partner free.’ The dating scene seems a lot more open than anything I’ve ever experienced, with people being unafraid of sharing their feelings or asking if someone is single.
Another thing that’s prevalent in Deaf U is gossip. Because the Deaf community at Gallaudet is so small, word travels fast and many people are interested in gossip. There is a lot of drama that takes place within the eight episodes, which makes it rival to a lot of other reality TV shows like The Kardashians. Viewers get personal insights into why the TV stars act the way they do, going into personal trauma with their upbringings and struggling with the elitism that takes place at Gallaudet. The show also reveals normal day-to-day struggles for Deaf people; being unable to talk while cuddling, or needing to move around furniture at restaurants to make it more Deaf friendly, or struggling to be yourself when other people have high expectations of you.
Deaf U is certainly an interesting watch and really only gives viewers a small peek into the lives of the Deaf community. There’s never a dull moment in the show—there’s always music in the background and every episode seems to end on a cliffhanger. Make sure to check out Deaf U if you’re looking for a good drama-filled, reality TV show—you won’t regret it. — Grace Alexandria
Photo: Screenshot from Deaf U Trailer on YouTube