It may be a little early to say, but Atlanta may be one of the best new shows this fall. It’s easy to see now why actor/rapper Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino left Community on Comedy Central to pursue other television avenues and after the first episode of his brand new show Atlanta on FX, I’m glad he did.
Atlanta Series Episode 1 & 2 Review
Critics and fans alike both loved the double episode premier on Tuesday night. The comedic drama is based in no other than the city of Atlanta and follows two cousins (plus a friend) in their pursuit to make it in the rap game. Though, surprisingly enough we didn’t really get much music in the show. Those fans who watched the show for “Childish Gambino” might be disappointing to learn there was no plethora of new music dropped throughout the premier, but instead we got a few snippets of songs. However, the fans of follow Donald Glover more for his acting and comedic skills than his music will be happy to know that this is Donald at his best.
Because of Donald Glover’s versatility, I was a little unsure what to expect from the show. I mean I’m use to seeing him in Community or things like Mystery Team, but then again the 30 minute prequel to Because The Internet and the script that released with the album had a completely different feel. So it left me wondering which version of the actor I would see.
Yet somehow after watching the premier I had the feeling as if it was exactly what I knew it would be. Funny, artistic, and laced with real world issues and complexities of life. The story itself was interesting enough to keep you engaged and more importantly curious. It made you want to know the background and the open questions. The characters were well-developed and formed a nice combination as well. There’s really a lot I can go on and say, but instead of that go watch the show! You won’t be disappointed.
Now for those of us who have already seen it let’s talk a little about the details.
Ok, so if you’re still reading then I hope you have already seen the first episodes. From here on out I will talk about actual things that happened in the show. If your anything like me a few things surprised you. The biggest of which may be that Glover isn’t the rapper in the show ?!
The Biggest What? Moment
This was a little bit of a shock, but hey it’s only the first two episodes so who knows how it will transition. Yet one thing in particular makes me think we will never see Glover assume the role of the rapper; they used his voice for paper boy’s song. Initially I thought OK, his cousin just took his song or it was a secret they had, but neither of those played out. So letting Glover or Earn in the show become the rapper would be a little weird to me to hear the same voice used for two different characters. Then again that may be the reason they used so little music in the first episodes. A close second though I hope we find out what happened to Earn at Princeton this season.
Either way the show still looks dope and I’d love to see either character as the artist. Speaking of characters…
Darius: My Favorite Character So Far
Keith Stanfield plays Darius, the “you know he’s lifted but low key he makes a lot of sense” sidekick for the duo. Just coming off small roles in Dope and Straight Out of Compton, Stanfield may be a familiar face, but in Atlanta he steals the show. Funny and well-timed dialog made him easily my favorite character so far and the random stuff he does like stacking the salt in the restaurant just made him more interesting. He’s the type of guy you just want to know what he’s thinking about. Hopefully they continue to keep him heavily involved in the progression of the series. Speaking of the restaurant scene…
Lemon Pepper with The Sauce or Weirdo?
OK last, but not least what was your favorite scene from the premier? For me it’s a battle between the jail waiting area scene and the lemon pepper wings moment.
The prison scene is really a great indication of where the show can go. It reminded me of The Carmichael Show in the way that it dealt with real issues though comedic representation with a taste of realism. They went from profiling, to the dumb stuff you can get locked up for, to sexuality and gender, to mental illness and the justice system. This was all in a few minutes. These are the types of issues that need to be talked about and brought to light. I’m glad shows like The Carmichael Show and Atlanta can do it while still keeping it funny. And I really want to know how Earn was being a weirdo lol.
Now the lemon pepper scene, well that’s simple….”With the sauce”. Need I say more? Everyone loves some good lemon pepper wings. I mean Rick Ross even bought Wing Stops just for an unlimited supply, but on another note the scene touched on the state of hip hop and a dynamic battle of conscious that Paper Boy was facing.
On one hand he just blew up over night for “living” his lyrics and bringing the hard gangster rap back to the scene, but on the other he just blew up over night for “living” his lyrics and bringing the hard gangster rap back to the scene. No that’s not a typo, but rather this is the internal battle Paper Boy is going through. You see it in an earlier scene with the kids playing with the toy gun and his reaction to that and in this scene as the waiter thanks him for keeping it real, you can see that he is conflicted about the image he is giving. It will be interesting to see the path he takes.
Overall the show was super dope. Between The Get Down, The Breaks, and now Atlanta we are getting a peak into a few of the errors of Hip-Hop and how the environment and social issues at the time shaped the artist coming up. It’s too early to say which tale will be the best, but I’m just glad we got all three.
Be sure to leave your rating of Atlanta’s series premier below.