Atlanta — Episode 1 (Full Stream)

Earlier this week, I wrote on our experience of #Pharos. Now it’s time for #Atlanta.

And I come away equally as impressed.

I was unable to catch the live premiere of Donald Glover’s new FX show, but the network put up the first episode for free on YouTube above (and episode two is online with your subscription.) I also wanted to wait to digest the episodes and add some commentary to it. So if you’ve seen it already, perhaps you’ll agree with me that this is one of the most unique, real shows to come out in comedy in awhile.

And I feel like it’s not fully a comedy. It’s part-comedy, part-drama and when it steers one direction, there’s a scene that usually brings it back in the other. That balance was well-executed.

This whole pilot episode was well-executed. I’m in on all of the characters — Donald as Earn, the cousin and aspiring manager for the overnight ATL rap star Paperboi, his spaced out homie Darius, and even Earn’s parents and baby momma. Paperboi really works because of the name and song, that actually grows on you the more you hear it. And it also depicts the rap grind pretty accurately. I’m not sure a day of plays of one single would have the local legend impact it has for Paperboi… at least in just 24 hours… but it’s not so far from my assumption and witnessing in Chicago to be unbelievable.

That was a thought that crossed my mind to go along with my only true gripe: the overexcited cop taking a picture with Paperboi at the start of episode two. Those are just mere footnotes to the overall plot, themes, and entertainment of the show as a whole. Here’s another good example, as Chance brings up, from episode two. Hard not to feel something here.

Lastly, I gotta commend the overall acting and writing on the show. There are a lot of witty, somewhat dry moments of humor that are brought together by the mix of reactions, timing, and clever lines that the characters say: namely by Glover as Earn. As one example, I’m specifically thinking about the end scene in episode one with Earn, Paperboi, and Darius in the car. Keep that in mind if you watch it above.

Needless to say, I’m hyped for the 9-episode first season and I’m happy I’m not alone. Atlanta has been receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike (just google “Atlanta FX review”).

I also just wrapped up the Bill Simmons Podcast with guest Rembert Browne (the scribe of Glover’s recent NY Mag profile.) Simmons is one of my favorites so it’s cool to see Glover and his work enter his world — he says this is essentially the first he’s experienced Glover as an actor. He raves with Rembert, a native ATLien, about the show, the authenticity of Atlanta, its pop culture effects on the city, and if Glover has 25-year A-list staying power going forward. Exciting to hear their positive perspective on all of the above. Listen to that below (starting at the 31 minute mark.)