View Full Version : Atlanta (Season 1)

09-16-2016, 01:11 AM

Calling it early, but I think this is one of the best shows of the new season.

First three episodes are amazing. I almost cannot believe this is the same dude from Community, Childish Gambino, etc. Everything about the show is so confident, measured, assured. Good drama, perfectly timed, and darkly funny. (I don't think I've seen anything outside the UK with this level of dry humor.)

09-16-2016, 02:04 PM
It's rare for a show to come right out of the gate already fully formed, and this is one of those shows. The first episode already has the characters' voices so distinct and clear, and the overall tone of the show completely baked in by the end of the pilot (it even introduces its love for surreal tinges in the cold open). The second episode is a great slice of life story that expands on the world, and then the third episode this week is not only the funniest, but also gives the most insight into the daily lives of the characters when they're not locked into the music arc set up in the pilot. It's a perfect 3-episode mission statement.

I feel a little bad about Better Things, which is quite good also and was greenlit with a lot more pedigree, but now FX is kinda treating like the little stepsister show because of how much this show is resonating with people.

09-21-2016, 02:01 AM
After watching the first three episodes, I can definitely say that the entire cast is really good. I'm looking forward to seeing how they develop Darius. Keith Stanfield is the most hilarious aspect of the show so far, and Darius' eccentricity really helped to set everything off the on the right foot (the deja vu/dog remark from the first episode was great). I'm just curious about how they'll (inevitably) add more dimensions to his character beyond the off-kilter comments.

I certainly didn't anticipate it going to the places that it did in the third episode, drama-wise. Then again, I didn't read much about it prior to watching it, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I've enjoyed the distinct offerings of each episode.

The visual highlight, so far, is that overhead shot from the third episode: the slow, serpentine cruise into the woods.

09-24-2016, 07:52 PM
this show has redeemed donald glover in my eyes

09-29-2016, 03:11 AM
I say goddamn. The way this show takes stock concepts and spins them is pretty f'ing brilliant.

09-29-2016, 02:06 PM
I bet there's already a thousand thinkpieces about the notion of identity and perception being written about Black Bieber.

10-02-2016, 06:45 PM
Stephen Glover on the last episode (http://www.vulture.com/2016/09/stephen-glover-atlanta-black-justin-bieber.html):

I’m glad people aren’t too weirded out by the Justin Bieber episode and could handle it 'cause there’s some weirder stuff to come.

I haven't seen Jane Adams in anything since Frasier, where she tormented Niles, and it took me a while to realize that she was playing the vengeful agent here. Good performance.

Keith Stanfield is still one of the key attractions for me — the expressions, the minute physical comedy, the deliveries, etc. Great.

10-05-2016, 05:05 PM
At this point, Atlanta is just making every other show on television look bad.

Episode 6 dinner convo between the two women was perfectly done.

And that kid in whiteface was hilariously fucked up.

10-11-2016, 06:07 PM


10-13-2016, 12:30 AM
While I liked the ideas that this episode was interrogating, I think my initial, gut reaction is that it was kind of…tedious? That's probably a testament to how much I'm interested in watching all of these characters actually exist and interact within their world, rather than having all but one of them skip the episode in order to facilitate the Charlie Rose parody, the SNL-esque skit, and the other novelties that we saw this week. I think I would have rather seen these ideas mobilized in a more traditional capacity. Although, given some of what was going here, that would kind of be impossible. It was jarring going from the more down-to-earth, detail-oriented dilemma of last week to this, and I do prefer something more along the lines of the previous episode.

Still, I admire the ambition and the thoughtful heft. And I am glad that the show went to this place, as the episode was hardly without merit, and it ensures that the realm of possibility is now all the more elastic.

Alfred's increasing chagrin and bewilderment at Montague's attempts at painting a negative narrative was hilarious, as was the bit with the guy who launches into the most quizzical look after explaining that he's the one who called the cops.

10-13-2016, 11:13 AM
I liked this a little less because it wasn't a narrative episode about characters I care about, but ---

The faux ads and "trans-racial" profile felt like outtakes from an alt-universe Chapelle show, one in which it never went off the air.

This exchange was incredible:

Montague: Paper Boi, are you afraid to speak your mind on this subject?

Paper Boi: Actually, yep, I am. You can't say real shit any more without somebody trying to make sure you never make money again.

Montague: So you feel like you're being persecuted?

Paper Boi: Yes, I am. You can't even say 'ho' in a song no more.

Dr. Debra Holt: A travesty, I'm sure.

Paper Boi: Yo, like why you talk like that? Like, 'a travesty, I'm sure.' Like, what?

Dr. Debra Holt: You're whining about chickens coming home to roost.

Paper Boi: No, no, no, no. Rap is chickens coming home to roost. Look, my life is messed up from shit y'all did, okay? That's black news. You can look that up.

Dr. Debra Holt: Your news is problematic.

Paper Boi: Bitch, that ain't my fault.

10-26-2016, 03:28 PM
I wish more people were commenting in this thread. What are your thoughts, Acapelli? Still watching?

The more I read about that "B.A.N." episode, the less comfortable I feel about some of the stuff to which I had originally given the benefit of the doubt. I thought that maybe I was missing some thoughtfully subversive and incisive underside to certain aspects of the episode — something that might have distanced said aspects from transphobic territory. However, while the blinkered perspective and biases of the characters are not necessarily that of the show, the transracial skit does stem from the episode itself rather than Alfred's characterization. Commenting on how a character's necessary entanglement with his own struggles makes him less keenly sensitive or invested in those of others is fine, but the derision and mockery that the show suddenly adopted was a decidedly problematic turn...

I'm glad the last two weeks have been operating in a better mode while still gilding the events with surreal touches (last week, I knew the invisible car was coming as soon as it was brought up, but that didn't sap any of the force from the weirdness of that shot). I also admired the emphasis on the occasional bullshit of loud, disorienting clubs. Darius' "this is meaningless" line was a great highlight.

10-26-2016, 03:58 PM
Also, the show's visual identity is settling in nicely.

Two salient features are the variations on the deeply unimpressed expression — Glover and Henry have mastered this — and the increasing array of nighttime car rides, with those cozily lit interiors aided by a moody smattering of dashboard lights. The inside of these cars figure as a recurring, abstracted space for the nurturing and rehabilitation of bonds, both romantic and otherwise (Mad Men often went in the opposite direction with its car rides). It's there in the first scene of the series, which kind of exuded something like...treehouse fort vibes. I appreciated the close-quarters camaraderie there: celebrating Paper Boi's song getting some radio play, the confiding admission that he kind of hates the song, etc.

Then the world intrudes. The fragility of the makeshift utopic spaces we create for ourselves: it's an interesting idea unto itself, but obviously of especial importance in a show that is interrogating the complications of present-day life as a black individual.

10-26-2016, 07:19 PM
I like how this show plays as a series of vignettes instead of a contiguous narrative -- but last night's opening confused me. Why were Van and Earn so pissed at one another?

The one line Earn said about Van to those three women seemed especially cruel, and more so because he knew it was cruel when he said it.

11-03-2016, 06:11 AM
I can't believe that's it for the season :(

11-06-2016, 10:46 AM
I knew the invisible car was coming as soon as it was brought up, but that didn't sap any of the force from the weirdness of that shot.

I didn't really think about it beyond "Darius being weird", so I ended up laughing at the pay-off shot more than I had laughed at a single thing in years.

12-05-2016, 01:36 AM
In the weeks since the finale, I've been thinking about this show and how three of the main characters never really got a lot of revelatory moments that dramatically redefined our understanding of them. I hope the next season will deliver more in-depth characterizations. I feel like I understand Van and Earn better than everyone else, but Earn's romantic and economic struggles felt a bit muted throughout (the date from earlier in the season is a key exception). Van's episode was the best of the season and probably exhibited the most effective balance of surreality and character excavation. "B.A.N." is the episode many seem to be praising as the season's best, but it still seems weird to me; the transphobic edge to the jokes is disappointing and careless.

In general, I really like the Louie-esque punch of this show: its surreal paths and provocative heft. I think they need to make more room for character development, though, especially since this show is more serialized than Louie, and Atlanta's characters lend themselves to greater scrutiny. It's the first season, so I don't think this is a major flaw yet, but most shows take a moment early on to illuminate each main character in a prominent way (the closest equivalent for Darius was him becoming friends with Earn, which was a nice moment, but it didn't say enough about the character).

Alfred and Earn's rapprochement also felt kind of automatic (remember how contemptuous Alfred was in the first episode, and how this seemed rooted in their specific personal history?). Consequently, Alfred's olive branch of payment and thanks in the finale was inorganic. Meanwhile, Darius got super high and disappeared into the house…funny, sure, but I wish he had been given more to work with besides his eccentricity. There was also some missed potential in Alfred's storyline. I think there was more they could have done with his aspirational, uneasy negotiation of fame and his drug dealing.

The foundation they've built is really solid. It's often a thoughtful and adventurous show — a second season is an irresistible prospect for these reasons. However, I think they need to find more opportunities for the disclosure of character. More interiority would be welcome.

12-12-2016, 09:14 AM


just watch --- I can't believe Stanfield had the balls to do this

12-12-2016, 03:28 PM
I thought he was going to do a Zoolander thing but that's even funnier.

12-12-2016, 11:03 PM
I loved Sam Richardson's reaction.