So as everybody should know by now the hit show Atlanta on FX has been going bonkers from social media, to word of mouth. One reason why I wanted to wait to do this post was because I knew that first week everyone in the world would be trying to post reviews, say what they liked, what they didn’t like. So with 4 episodes in. I wanted to give my thoughts and some feedback on the show so far. For those who don’t know this is a show brought to you by Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, and other various executive directors. At first I won’t say I was skeptical to watch the show, I think I was more so of like ehh I’ll catch it when I can. Like I wasn’t eager to see it, but wanted to see it because I am a fan of Donald(childish Gambino) from seeing him on Community, and also his music, so I was like this is pretty cool, I just wasn’t all the way in. But I think maybe seeing Donald & his security guards walk by me and my friends like 3 times at the Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, it kind of changed my mind, perhaps because he was just hanging out with everyone, or it was the fact this show started to seem really cool to me. I’ll get to more of why I felt this way about the show.
This is my first time really seeing that teaser above and that was great, but me personally I think I didn’t want to watch this show because I didn’t want it to be like every other black show. For most black people who read this they will understand what that means, it’s constantly seeing roles be portrayed that don’t seem realistic or to dragged out that makes even the average watcher would feel like that’s not me but it’s entertaining; and if it’s not entertaining it’s just plain coonery for the white audience to laugh at it. So I think I just didn’t want that realization of here we go again, even though FX does pretty well with it’s TV shows.
With 4th episodes in my perspective has drastically changed this show is excellent, from that first episode all the way the last one that came out last night. For anyone that is not up to speed we have 3 main characters; Earn played by Donald Glover who is the main protagonist he is a young black man living in the hood with his baby mother Vanessa and their daughter, trying to work and make ends meet. Then you have Paper boy and Darius, Paper boy is a rapper who just came out with a hot new mixtape who we later find out in the first episode that him and Earn are cousins, and Darius is Paper boy’s best friend, business partner. All 3 of these characters have great compelling stories, with this show you don’t just see them focusing on Earn, it’s almost like he plays the background, and for most of the show they’ll totally just follow Paper boy, and Darius and then earn will be spread throughout the show.
One thing that the writer’s did amazing with this show is the real life situations that these characters are put into. For example, in the second episode we see Earn and Paper boy got in an altercation with someone, and both got put in jail, paper boy was free to go, but Earn had to make bail. Throughout this episode we see the different versions of the distinction of what is homosexuality . When a man is talking to be what he thinks is a woman, but all the other men in the holding area, are like man that’s a dude you didn’t know that was a man. So he gets embarrassed saying he’s not gay, and then says men in jail are gay but he isn’t; trying to prove that he truly was confused. All the while paper boy and Darius are chillin going about their normal routine while people think Paper boy shot someone, and he’s already free and clear out of jail. So right off the bat this show talks, about the hardships of homosexuality, how hard it is to find a job, and also dealing with people believing you committed a crime when you really didn’t. And the thing is it’s not fabricated, it’s situations where you laugh, but in the back of your mind you say man that really just happened to me the other day, or I know that happened to someone I know. Especially with episode 3.
Atlanta has comedy in it, but it’s comedy to where everyone can laugh, or if you been in that situation you know exactly how it feels. Like one of my favorite scenes so far in this show is the gif above when Darius and Paper boy are at the chicken spot, and the cashier said the owner don’t know if it’s true or not if you shot that man, but if so he put some extra sauce on your lemon pepper wings. That scene was just so authentic in my eyes because who doesn’t love extra sauce on their wings. Especially when they are really good chicken wings.
Donald Glover said in an interview, he wanted all black writers, because he wanted to show white people that they don’t know everything about black people. Just that quote alone shows you this show is in a whole different spectrum, from the theme, to even the new school, and old rap music that is played in the show. Oh yes side note the music in this show is great, I’m not really big on a lot of new school rap music, but this show truly gets you amped especially how the music flows with the scenes. This show is changing the atmosphere for entertainment and television.
So episode 3 I think is maybe one of the realest episodes so far, so Earn wants to prove to Vanessa that he isn’t one of these “corny dudes” she goes out on dates with especially since she bailed him out of jail. He wants to take her out on a date, the only problem is he just got paid, and is still broke. So he can’t tell Vanessa that so he looks for a cheap spot to take her, while Darius and Paper boy have this drug deal negation with supposedly these Spanish dudes who turn out to be the rap group named Migos. this was actually pretty cool to have the guess appearance of Migos in the show and they actually did really good. So Earn and Vanessa find this nice restaurant where his boy told him to go to and that they had a happy hour menu for the rest of the night. Low and behold they didn’t have happy hour menu anymore. But this was a perfect example of going on a date or when you’re out with friends and don’t have enough money, how you have to buy the cheapest things and make your money spread. He was in that restaurant calculating his money like (see the photo below)
Like that moment in the show Earn wanted to know how much the meal was, you knew it was hard times, and just being on twitter while this episode aired you saw a lot people say “I’ve been there, can’t even lie” like you want to treat someone on a nice date, but it’s hard. Then the conversation Earn and Vanessa had about the future and future plans where he feels like people need to be able to fail in order to achieve greater things, and to learn and grow and Earn wants to try and jump in the music industry with Paper Boy. Vanessa right off the bat is like naw you gotta put some money on the table to feed our daughter and live. So he is so frustrated in how he’s going make this money.
I won’t go in depth with episode 4, but we see Earn is struggling to find a way to make money and get money fast, so Darius being a noble and good person and friend decides to help, but Earn soon learns this is nothing more than a Russian nesting doll effect, and Paper boy deals with Youtubers and internet trolls. This is an amazing series and I think everyone should watch it, no matter if you’re black, white, spanish. One thing I think that truly shows a shift in TV and this show is the language like you hear the word “nigga” but it’s not used by black people in the show that much, it’s used by a white boy, and an Asian kid, but when you hear the word you can see the frustration on the characters faces almost like I know you didn’t just say that in my presence. So you see like the shift in how different people are comfortable using that word, but it still stings when black people hear from non black people.
I have to say Congratulations to Donald Glover and the cast of Atlanta for getting renewed for a second season, only 4 episodes in and already renewed. What show do you know get’s renewed that early, it takes most shows half a season or the end of a season to even get another season. So this goes to show that people are still watching TV, but it depends on what kind of show it is. The writing in this show is amazing and it’s compelling from Race, to relationships, to dealing with the black community , violence, and the youth to the struggle of finding work and making money. Hopefully this show get’s a few Emmy nominations in the future, keep tuning in everyone.