Donald Glover has created something no one else could have created.
The buzz surrounding his new series on FX Atlanta is growing, and deservedly so. As TV Guide’s Liam Matthews writes, Glover’s show depicts “complexity in a way most shows don’t bother to even try.”
The comedy/drama follows the journey of Earnest ‘Earn’ Marks, a young father and Ivy-League dropout attempting to reboot his life via his cousin’s budding rap career. The lead character, Earn, is played by Glover, who created the series, co-wrote and co-directed the project. Glover’s previous acting experience in NBC’s Community and his own real-life rap career as Childish Gambino make him the perfect candidate to bring this story to life.
Earn (Glover) is joined by ‘Paper Boi’ (Bryan Tyree Henry) and Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) who make for a hilarious trio to watch on TV, but not in clichéd ways. His relationship with his friend and daughter’s mother, Vanessa (Zazie Beetz), is also genuine and loving, while being realistically complicated.
According to an interview with New York Magazine, Glover said he “wanted to show white people, you don’t know everything about black culture. I know it’s very easy to feel that way. Like, I get it, you can hear about the ‘Nae Nae’ the day it comes out… You follow Hood Vines, and you have your one black friend and you think they teach you everything.”
People of color in Atlanta will be well-represented not only in front of the camera but also behind. The show boasts an all-black writers’ room and features an Asian-American director and longtime Glover collaborator Hiro Murai.
Glover’s younger brother, Stephen, writes for the series, too. The brothers grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Atlanta gives viewers the kind of multi-faceted look at black people so many African-Americans clamor for when it comes to TV representation.
Black folks are aspirational, positive, sad, angry, annoyed, depressed, bored and curious — because they’re people like anyone else. The show also doesn’t shy away from addressing social issues like racism, incarceration, homophobia and poverty, without beating people over the head with a message. Glover previously described the show’s setting of Atlanta as a “beautiful metaphor for black people.”
Seeing Earn navigate through the uncooperative waters of his life is also beautiful. This is the kind of creative work that black people deserve and should support. Here’s to #Atlanta trending on Twitter tonight…
Check out some of the most recent promos for Atlanta below: