You’ve Never Seen A Show Like 'Atlanta'

When you first catch a glimpse at the show Atlanta, you might see a story that mirrors many in our own world: An up-and-coming rapper trying to climb the industry ladder and get by, flanked by his friends and family. They crack jokes, smoke weed and record music. But a few minutes into any episode, you will soon notice that these scenarios are both familiar and foreign, funny and tragic, unsettling and mesmerizing.

Don’t be surprised to see a black Justin Bieber or an invisible car; certainly no one on the show bats an eye at them. Donald Glover’s self-described “Twin Peaks with rappers” defies categorization, and it has the heart and intrigue to make you empathize and think. Here’s why you should catch up before season two premieres March 1 on FX.

1. The creative director is incredible

With plenty of experience in the music industry under his belt as rapper Childish Gambino, Donald Glover brings credibility and criticism artfully to the screen as the show’s director. He proves himself every step of the way to be a jack of all trades — actor, director, producer, rapper, and comedian — without compromising his quality of work. You may even hear some singing from Glover hidden in Atlanta, too. Glover collaborates on the show’s direction with Japanese filmmaker Hiro Murai, a key player in several of Glover’s music videos.

2. The cinematography is innovative

Cinematographer Christian Sprenger embraces the imperfections in the show’s gritty plot and tries to let the emotion speak for itself. He challenges the medium with underexposure to make each frame a unique work of art. The visuals seamlessly capture the dreamy realism of the show, as well as portraying the city authentically.

3. The characters are well-developed

Every character on the show serves a purpose, each with unusual features and mannerisms that bring them to life. From Darius’ zany musings and conspiracy theories to Van’s sense of self and fragile moments, the alternate reality is appealing because of the cast. No one phones in acting performances on the show.

4. There are prominent guest stars

Expect to see your favorite figures from the entertainment history make cameos. Spot Migos as a gang of drug dealers in Episode 3, as well as Jaleel White (Family Matters’ Steve Urkel) as himself in Episode 5.

5. The historic acclaim

Raking in both Emmys and Golden Globes for directing and acting, Glover and his show have broken boundaries for black artists in the entertainment industry. As the first African-American to win the Emmy for best director in a comedy series, Glover is now halfway to earning the EGOT — an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

 Glover says this upcoming season, aka ‘Robbin’ Season,’ will be enjoyable both as a whole and in individual pieces, taking inspiration from Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Summer Vacation. A stark contrast from the previous season, it seems Atlanta will continue to flip the script on its viewers and leave them in awe.