The freest series of the moment
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It has arrived with some delay and without much hype, but Disney + has finally premiered in Spain the return of one of the best comedy series of the 21st century: ‘Atlanta’.
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The Serie created by donald glover he fucked four sabbatical years since Earn, Paper Boi and Darius managed to catch the plane that would take them to their European tour at the end of their second season, and this time has only enhance the hallmarks of the series to unsuspected limits.
But let’s start at the beginning, for the most clueless. ‘Atlanta’ began as a comedy series (somewhat oddly humorous) following the adventures of Earn (Donald Glover), a young man trying to break into the music world while dealing with an on-and-off relationship with Van (Zazie Beetz), the mother of his daughter. Her great opportunity comes from the hand of her cousin Al of her (Brian Tyree Henry), rapper known by the alias Paper Boi. Earn will get to be his manager and, together with the strange friend of Al Darius (LaKeith Stanfield), the three will work their way up the industry ladder while living the day-to-day lives of their Atlanta neighborhood.
And we say that ‘Atlanta’ “started” being that, because now it’s something else entirely.. Earn has ceased to be the protagonist, the ironic comedy has become an oppressive horror in the purest Jordan Peele style and the main story is the least of it. There are individual chapters that have nothing to do with the history of our characters, and surreal situations that break the barrier between reality and the world of the supernatural. When you put on an episode of ‘Atlanta’ you don’t know what you’re up against, proving that it’s the freest series of the moment.
The second season was already beginning to give clues to this process, with an episode whose plot was totally different from the rest (‘FUBU’, the 02×10) about the adolescence of various characters, and the masterpiece entitled ‘Teddy Perkins’ (02×06)), the most disturbing chapter in recent television history.
In this third one, with the characters already in Europe (Van included), the episodes that follow the protagonists are macguffins to laugh at, denounce, or terrify about much larger social issues. The ‘blackface’, the culture of cancellation (with a totally unexpected cameo)euthanasia, the social commitment of large companies… Donald Glover does not leave a puppet with a head and, together with his usual director hiromuraiset reviews so acidic that the lines between parody and drama are terribly blurred, and they do so with horror elements that irremediably reference Jordan Peele from ‘Let Me Out’, ‘Us’, ‘Nope’ and even his reboot of ‘The Twilight Zone’with those autoconclusive chapters in which ghosts, child kidnappings, hallucinogenic trips and cannibalism appear.
The fourth episode stands out above the others, ‘The Big Payback, the biggest nightmare of a white supremacist, in which it is exposed with a Machiavellian sarcasm what would happen if the descendants of slaves claimed financial compensation from the heirs of the people who enslaved their ancestors; but also the penultimate chapter ‘Rich Wigga Poor Wigga (Rich Mix, Poor Mix)’, which deals with the identity crisis of a teenager of interracial parents (with a metaphorical black and white photograph to match) and that plays with the idea that being black is something that goes beyond the color of the skin and that racism has many twists and turns.
The only story arc that takes place in this season 3 is Van’s existential crisis, which culminates in a surreal episode 10 that parodies action movies, ‘Amélie’ and European bourgeois cinema that triumphs at auteur festivals like Cannes (a few names come to mind: Ruben Östlund, Paolo Sorrentino, Luca Guadagnino…) with another hilarious cameo.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait long to continue enjoying ‘Atlanta’, since FX will premiere the fourth season in the US this September, and the preview that you can see below promises to continue raising the level of surrealism without measure… The bad news? that season 4 will be the end of the series.
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