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 be on your radar. 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 all his witty and dry humor, you will absolutely fall in love with Atlanta. Glover lived in city, which means you can expect everything to feel very personal.
2. Atlanta Realism – If you are a born and bred ATLien (such as myself), you will instantly recognize and appreciate this series. From the visually comforting locals and the endearing lingo, to the southern accents and food, 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 – 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 characters, and deadpan responses, are all important to the show’s success.
4. Strong Supporting Characters – Yes, 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. 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 – So far, Atlanta has tackled issues of class, race, poverty, the jail system, transgender identification, homophobia, and mental health. It is all done without being preachy. What it does is hold up a mirror to the audience so they can see themselves in the show or give them a new scope on how to view these issues.
Catch Atlanta every Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX.