Never been a fan of anything Donald Glover has done. I think I stumbled in on a performance he had at SXSW once as "Childish Gambino" but I was pretty wasted so I'm not sure if it was him or not because I don't know any of his songs. I just kept saying to myself "That's a weird looking mothafucka rapping," and then I started trying to holla at this chick and after failing to get any play from her I stumbled out.
I've watched a stand up he did. I didn't laugh once. I never watched an episode of "Community." I think the only music I heard was "Camp" and I wasn't feeling that shit. I don't hate the guy it's just the shit he's done has never appealed to me. I just never gave a fuck. Until now.
Ladies & Gentlemen. A Polite Review. Atlanta.
"I just keep losing. I mean. Some people just supposed to lose? For balance in the universe? I mean like are there some people on earth who supposed to be here to make it easier for the winners? Like really?" - Earnest Marks
When I seen the trailers for this show I was really interested in what the show would be about. It just looked like something I would watch. That's very rare because Donald Glover is involved but I must say after watching the hour premiere I really fucks with this show.
We're welcomed into the life of a loser named Earnest Marks (Earn for short). That name just sounds like a loser name. Sounds like a shady preacher who spends the church offering on hookers. He's a college dropout from Princeton. Alumni that include great people such as Dr.Cornel West and Carlton Banks from Bel-Air Academy. Earn works at a airport making $5.15 an hour plus commission. Shit in Atlanta you can buy a nice 3 bedroom for like the price of a Imos pizza so his pay not that bad. He's homeless shacking up with his baby momma kissing her all in the mouth while listening to OJ The Juiceman (A legend) or taking shits at his parents house whenever he can. Most importantly, he's a father. The love for his daughter is the best thing in his life at the moment. She has her own pair of Beats By Dre headphones and she goes to sleep listening to the soothing sounds of pop music. She laughs at her father's sarcastic (sometime corny) jokes. Given his circumstances Earn is a good father.
Earn finds out about a popular local rapper named "Paperboi" through his co worker showing him a music video and Earn sees that Paperboi is his blood cousin Alfred. Broke as fuck, Earn then comes up with the idea that he wants to manage his cousin promising rap career to turn his life around. He meets up with Al in Glenwood and Al immediately sees Earn's intentions. Even points out that he hasn't even seen or heard from Earn since his mother's funeral. He dismisses Earn initially but after Earn takes a huge risk and makes a power move and Al has a talk with his uncle (Earn's Father) Al has a change of heart and the journey begins.
This show is basically a dramedy which I expected it to be because Donald Glover is an emotional guy so I knew this wouldn't be a straight up comedy. I don't mind. The mixture is good because it gives the viewer more sense of reality. Everything not always funny in life. In just the premiere we see scenes of police brutality, white people feeling entitled to say the word "Nigga," gun violence, and mental illness. Those are topics other shows are afraid to cover. Atlanta showed it on it's premiere which is a bold statement so I'm sure we're going to get more topics in that realm in future episodes.
The show also has a real HBO "Entourage" feel to it. A group of guys trying to come up and it all falls on the talent of one man. In this show case Paperboi is the shows Vincent Chase. Earn is E. Darius is Drama/Turtle. Two totally different shows but the end goal is the same which is success and a better life.
Earn's life we see it as it is. We don't know yet how he got to the low he's currently at. Dropping out of Princeton is some serious shit. It's one of the most expensive schools. What made him dropout? What was he there for? Did it just happen abruptly or did Earn have a plan like he did with being a manager that just fell through? Getting a decent job should be easy if you have Princeton in the school history part of your resume. Shit, just to get into Princeton you have to have been involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. We don't know anything of his crash landing to rock bottom. We just know he's a homeless guy down on his luck.
As far as the comedy. Darius steals the show. Darius is Paperboi's right hand man. A stoner. A philosopher. A Flo-Rida fan. Very free spirited and chill guy. He had so many quotes and he made me laugh the most. Darius was hella woke too. Informing Paperboi that the food they serve you in jail is genetically modified to make you lie is some funny and real shit. I'm intrigued to see what Darius role will be in the future.
Paperboi is the character I'm the most interested to see develop over the course of this series. There were a couple key scenes that hint at the possible depth he could have. It seems he's approaching the "real or fake" crossroads and since he's the one that will be heavily invested in because of his talent, his decisions in the future will not just effect him but Earn and Darius also. He can't please everybody but does he really know that? Paperboi seems like a laid back person like his friend Darius so possibly transitioning to being a rap star and how he will handle it will be interesting to see. Shit he got the 10 piece lemon pepper wings with the extra sauce because he lives out his rhymes. Shoutout to Sam The Plug in the kitchen. He's getting play from MILF's in the hood. Life about to get crazy for Paperboi.
Overall I really enjoyed the Atlanta premiere. Salute to Donald Glover for this series and everyone involved. I will be tuned in weekly and that's rare because I don't watch shows weekly anymore except for Game Of Thrones and Better Call Saul. Everything else I don't care for. I can see Atlanta being one of my favorites.