“Atlanta” debuted Sept. 6 and is the next must-watch TV series of the season. 

The executive producer, Donald Glover, also known as rapper Childish Gambino, has expanded his horizons yet again and has created a masterpiece in his new comedy-drama on FX. 

The multitalented Atlanta native not only produced the series and wrote the script but also stars as the main character ­— Earnest “Earn” Marks. 

We take a journey with Earn through the streets of Atlanta, learning about his life and his journey to the top of the underground rap scene. 

Earn works a minimum-wage job, has a young daughter and lives with the mother of his baby. Life’s been hard as of late, until Earn hears his cousin’s new hit single “Paper Boi.”

Earn then sees this as an opportunity to turn his life around and begins to manage his cousin, Paper Boi, who eventually gets involved in a shooting. But this isn’t the climax of the story; the plot continually gets more complex and interesting. 

GQ magazine writer Scott Meslow explains it best: “On a different series, the shooting would be the dramatic powder keg that propels the entire season forward. Here, it’s merely an opportunity to spend an episode showing us the inner workings of an Atlanta correctional facility.”

Glover’s ground-breaking, original style gives the audience a glimpse into the “Atlanta” rap scene and addresses important social issues, all while making the audience laugh. Brilliantly, “Atlanta” addresses the issues of mental health, police brutality and rap music’s influence on the youth in just two episodes. 

“Atlanta’s” first two episodes have received an 8.8/10 on IMDb and 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as well as a lot of social media attention. 

On its debut, #AtlantaFX was already trending on Twitter and was praised by some big names in the music scene, notably Chance The Rapper, who thanked Glover for producing the series. 

Just two days later, Chance The Rapper posted a snippet of the show praising Glover for addressing the issue of mental health within correctional facilities. 

“Atlanta” opens the eyes of many into a world unexplored by mainstream media and unknown by most in America. Glover’s ingenious, clever style brings the city of Atlanta to life and accurately depicts not only the rap culture, but the African-American culture as well. 

The New York Times describes the series as “a layer cake of African-American life, bourgeois and street, hipster and old school. Even in a more diverse TV environment, it’s a statement for a marquee show to be this immersively black (including, unusually for television, the writing staff).”

“The thesis with the show was kind of to show people how it felt to be black, and you can’t really write that down,” Glover said. “You kind of have to feel it,” and that’s exactly what Glover does with “Atlanta” — the audience can’t help but empathize with all the characters. While watching, the show captivates you and keeps you at the edge of your seat. To watch this show passively is almost impossible. “Atlanta” is engaging, entertaining, impactful and invokes thought all at once.

Glover, an actor, musician and comedian, combines his humor with his musical and artistic talents to produce the brilliant, must-watch comedy-drama.

“Atlanta” is now streaming on YouTube and is available through XFINITY On Campus. The next episode airs Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 10 p.m. 

 

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(1) comment

Janet Robinson

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