Atlanta is one of the few new comedies that already started broadcasting this month. Brought to us by FX, it continues the new tone that is also featured in You’re The Worst and Better Things: Comedy which is less light-hearted, more grounded, even darker at times, which presents real time situations and throws it all to our face.
Atlanta takes one more step in that direction, and, after watching the first 3 episodes, I must say, this is more Satire that Comedy. The series is created by Community alumni Donald Glover, who also stars as Earnest “Earn” Marks, young college dropout who finds out that his cousin, Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, makes his first steps in the rapping world. Earn Suggests to manage him, in order for his cousin to succeed, and for him to make some money to support himself and his little girl.
The portrayal of the characters is perfect. Being used to Glover as a funny actor and a comedian, it took me several minutes into the first episode to believe his more dramatic role, but it is believable and awesome. Alfred, his cousin, the his partner, Darius, are both serious and hilarious at the same time. Vanessa, Earn’s daughter’s mom, is a realistic who tries to support Earn’s decisions, but also gives him a hard time when needed.
The serious tone of Atlanta comes mainly from the attempt to portray the tough everyday life for African-American people. In the 2nd episode, Earn and Alfred are in police custody after being involved in a shooting incident, and a major part of the episode is spent in the hall where people (yeah, all of them are AfroAmerican) are being held before being sent home or to prison. One mentally disabled person is there, and the people say every week he is being arrested. After drinking from the toilet and spitting on the cops, they beat him. You cannot help but wonder, why, in god’s name, a mentally disabled person is in there in the first place? Shouldn’t there be a system to help those people?
Earn, being short on money, works as a ground flight attendant, and makes his first steps in the rap industry with his cousin. Being broke, he looks for the cheapest place to eat, park or hang. Alfred makes his money from selling drugs. All of these tough situations are maybe normal to young people these days, but they shouldn’t. It’s time for the government to take responsibility of the young generations.
But not all is gloom. There are many funny moments: The parking in episode 3, the waitress (same episode), the kids and their mother taking selfie with Alfred in episode 2, and many more. Don’t forget your smiles at home!
Atlanta is definitely one of my favorite shows right now. See Ya!