It feels like Christmas came early this year and gifted us with a variety of television programming starring, created and produced by Black people.
You can add FX’s Atlanta to the list of shows that should not only be on your radar, but also should be your new obsession. Created, written and starring the talented, funny and sarcastic Donald Glover (or Childish Gambino if you prefer), Atlanta is simultaneously funny, poignant and socially-conscious.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to check it out, here’s five reasons it’s a must-watch.
1. Donald Glover – If you are a fan of Donald Glover and all of his witty, biting and dry humor, you will absolutely fall in love with Atlanta. Glover experiences growing up in the Atlanta inspire the project, which means you can expect everything to feel very personal. This series places Glover at the forefront and he does an outstanding job at both the funny and dramatic scenes.
2. Atlanta Realism – If you are a born and bred ATLien (such as myself) you will instantly recognize and appreciate the Atlanta series. From the visually comforting Atlanta locals and the endearing lingo to the southern accents and food requests, it’s all beautifully done. Even the cars are spot-on, which is the type of detail only a true native like Glover would accurately be able to translate onscreen.
3. Sharp Writing – Donald Glover flexed his skills as a young writer on 30 Rock and showed the world that his writing is funny, smart and interesting, which he brings to his Atlanta script. The subtle nuances of Atlanta, ie: comedic timing, glaring stares between character and deadpan responses are all important to the show’s success.
4. Strong Supporting Characters – Yes Donald Glover is the star or the show, but he doesn’t do it alone. The supporting characters on Atlanta are just as memorable and impressive as he is. Brian Tyree Henry, as aspiring local rapper Paper Boi, and Keith Stanfield as lovable stoner Darius perfectly mesh with Glover’s character Earn, rounding out their Three Musketeers dynamic.
5. Social Commentary – In the two episodes that aired Tuesday night, Atlanta tackled issues of class, race, poverty, the jail system, transgender identification, homophobia and mental health…and it did it exceptional well. Not with a preachy tone, but more of holding up a mirror to the audience and having them see themselves in these issues or seeing these issues magnified in the world around them.