Donald Glover’s Atlanta: Why You Should Watch


Selena Bell, Editor-in-Chief

Not only has the FX hit television show Atlanta won twelve prestigious awards, including a Golden Globe for best television series and the NAACP image award for outstanding director, but also it has shed some light on the reality of being a person of color in 2018 and given many some solace in its comedy.  As season two begins and exceeds expectations, one can only ask, “Why aren’t you watching Atlanta?”

For those of you that the previously asked question applies to, here is a short description of this visual and ideological masterpiece.  It is impossible to unveil any spoilers as the purpose of this series is less to convey a complex plotline, but more to display what is is like to be young/African American. Soooooo, the only part that one really need to know is that the two main characters are Earn (Donald Glover) and Paper Boi aka Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), and they are cousins working together to get somewhere in the Atlanta, Georgia hip hop scene.  With Earn, a Princeton dropout, as his manager, Alfred attempts to climb the popularity ladder as alias Paper Boi. The two struggle with prolific stereotyping as well as being on the poverty line during the first season. Glover uses each thirty minute installment for its own intimate story revolving around being young, black, broke, and trying to make something out of life in our modern America. Through jokes and cleverly staged situations Glover portrays the realest aspects of being the odd-man-out.  Nothing seems to go as planned for Earn and Alfred within their own personal relationships as well as their musical career.

In addition to the genius conveyance of his message, Glover’s acting and directing is not something to overlook either.  Each scene is natural and the cloudy, dim, southern lighting matches the cloudy situation of Earn and Alfred; the purpose of the show is to portray what is real not to make the actors look their best and not to romanticize any setting or situation.  Glover and his cast all portray their characters seemingly with ease, making their situations relatable and their problems realistic. Need I say more?

After all of this rambling praise of mine, I indeed hope that you get to the couch and catch up on Atlanta.  Whether you are white or black, young or old; Atlanta will give you new insight on what it is to be a human being with your dreams in sight.  Though the dreams may seem out of reach, a little talent, luck and hip-hop can most definitely make them come true.