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TV Review: Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” Is Black and Necessary

“Atlanta” debuted earlier this month and it is the next must-watch television series. After leaving the scene for a few years, rapper and actor Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) returns to television with his new show “Atlanta” on FX.

Donald Glover also known as rapper Childish Gambino shows what life in Atlanta is really like in his new comedy. Atlanta, Georgia has been known has a wealthy city for African Americans, but “Atlanta” succeeds at providing a more realistic side of the African-American community.  Glover is a writer for the show and also stars as its protagonist, Earn. Short for Earnest.

We take a journey with Earl through the streets of Atlanta, learning about his life and his journey to the top of the underground rap scene. Earn is a Princeton University college dropout who works a minimum-wage job, has a young daughter, and lives with the mother of his child, Van, played by Zazie Beetz. Life’s been difficult for Earl and he has been struggling, until he sees his cousin new music video, “Paper Boi” played by Brian Tyree Henry.

In the first episode, Earl’s main goal is to become apart of his cousin’s music situation. His cousin, known in the streets as “Paper Boi” is making a huge name for himself in the hood with his music. Earl sees this as an opportunity to turn his life around and wants to manage his cousin.

Glover gives the audience a glimpse into the “Atlanta” rap scene, makes us laugh, and addresses important social issues going on in the African-American community. In the first three episodes, Atlanta has already addressed issues on police brutality, mental health issues, and hip-hop’s influence on the youth. Atlanta shows us what it’s like to be black and below the middle class line in 2016.

Final Thoughts:

“Atlanta” is something different. It is honest, real, and comical all at once. What I like most about “Atlanta” is its ability to feature real things, real emotions, and real people. It is something that everyone can relate to. The show doesn’t feel forced. The authenticity, the witty humor, and the focus on a culture that we often don’t get to see outside of music videos, or stereotypes is what makes “Atlanta” great. “Atlanta” is exactly what it should be and it’s excellent.

Donald Glover does a wonderful job. He is known for being creative and giving the audience an experience. Glover has also just given his fans an experience with his new album ‘Pharos’. Through his ‘Pharos’ concert, he shared a full album to the audience instead of just directly putting it out for sale.

Overall, Donald Glover is making power moves this year in music and in television. He has also managed to hire an all-black-writer staff for Atlanta, which is amazing. “Atlanta” is being released at such an important time in our society. Glover has really come a long way from his Community days.

“Atlanta” airs Tuesday nights on FX.

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