Who is Dre, and What Makes Her the Ultimate Psychotic Fan?
Donald Glover’s latest show, ‘Swarm’ on Amazon Prime, is a hard-hitting critique of the culture of idolizing celebrities, or “standing,” as it’s colloquially known. The show takes a shot at the fandom surrounding Beyoncé, featuring a fictional character named Ni’Jah, and her army of Twitter followers, known as “the beehive.” The show explores the dark side of fandom culture, where fans cross the line from being devoted supporters to becoming dangerously obsessive. In the show, Dre, played by Dominique Fishback, is an unhinged fan who goes on a killing spree, targeting anyone who insults Ni’Jah.
Dre’s backstory is that of a typical teenager infatuated with a celebrity. Dre is obsessed with Ni’Jah and does not hesitate to express her devotion. She even buys two concert tickets worth $1.8k for her roommate Marissa, whom she considers a sister. However, Marissa’s boyfriend Khalid takes advantage of Dre’s social awkwardness and makes a pass at her, which she rejects. Dre’s life falls apart when Marissa takes her life after discovering Khalid’s infidelity. Dre then decides to silence every hater and naysayer of her two most cherished people.
Dre’s Descent into Madness
Dre’s first target is Khalid, whom she murders brutally. Her mind races with a thousand thoughts, and she becomes a part of the hive mind of Ni’Jah’s fan club. Dre then starts eating unhealthy food as a twisted form of self-gratification, quickly becoming an addiction. Reggie Wilkins, a troll who enjoyed getting a reaction out of fans, becomes Dre’s next victim after disrespecting Ni’Jah and laughing at Marissa’s death. Dre takes up a job at a strip club to locate Reggie and ends his life.
Dre is an unpredictable lunatic who is capable of anything at any moment. Even her friendship with a woman named Halsey, which appears to be one of Dre standing up for women against abusive men, ends with Dre killing Halsey for talking too much. The only time Dre comes alive is when she talks about Ni’Jah, and her eyes light up with a maniacal glint.
The Dark Side of Fan Culture
‘Swarm’ explores the dangerous side of fan culture, where fandom crosses into the territory of obsession. Dre’s character is an example of how an unhinged fan can destroy several lives because of some comments on Twitter. The show highlights the importance of understanding the boundaries between being a devoted fan and a dangerous fanatic.