If you’ve read this blog which (big shout out) Jackson posted right after the season premiere of Donald Glover’s show Atlanta, you know that it was a great episode.
My favorite part, as always, was Darius’ subtle humor that they’ve made even better than before. In the very first episode, Darius asks Earn’s parents if he can measure their tree. They have a tree in their front yard and he wanted to measure it – it was funny because it was weird. I’m not in any way implying that the first season wasn’t deep, it was, but they did it even better this time around.
The Florida Man Joke is an instant classic. If you haven’t seen the show, Darius basically talks about a man in Florida called “Florida Man,” an “alt-right Johnny Appleseed” who absolutely terrorizes the state. While it’s pretty obvious that Darius doesn’t understand the headlines, he makes an interesting point that “Florida Man” does all these things to scare black people away from registering to vote/voting in Florida.
Voter suppression is a real thing that happens in this country, and this take that seems too absurd to be true somehow also makes the issue suddenly feel a lot more real.
The same subtlety permeates the show, and it presents things so simply that you can’t help but believe them. I’m gonna go ahead and spoil the ending of the first episode here: Jackson was right, the bigger budget does make the show a lot more fun. There’s a dude who keeps an Aligator in his bathroom, and then he releases it as a diversion from his front door so he can run away from the cops.
I took this to mean that Atlanta can be a pretty messed up place at times, and I thought that this was part of Donald Glover’s effort to expose this. The show is super lowkey the whole time you watch it – it feels like you’re having a lazy conversation that you’re only half paying attention to the whole time. Everything is quiet, and the plot progresses so slowly that nothing ever seems to happen. That’s the point, though. The colors and camera work are pretty enough to keep you focused, but you don’t bat an eye when there’s a real life alligator in the middle of Atlanta on the show (or a literally invisible car that hits people in the first season).
This season premiere was about “robbin’ season,” where it’s prime time to steal stuff if you’re struggling to get by. The lesson: it’s easy to look past ridiculous things or serious problems even when you probably shouldn’t.