FTC: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I am always late to the party when it comes to good television (I’m currently watching “Luke Cage” as I type) so its no surprise that I binge watched Donny Glover’s genius show “Atlanta” in one day. Relax guys… wasn’t too crazy of a feat. Atlanta is only half an hour and has 10 shows in its first season, so it was really only 5 hours of binge watching. And what a glorious 5 hours it was. I laughed, I smiled, I cried… (okay I didn’t really cry), but most importantly I thought A LOT!
It’s hard for me to classify just what I think is good television because I like so many shows that are so different from one another. Some are mindless, some are dramatic, some are for laughs and some are a little of all three. While watching Atlanta, I felt and thought so many things I didn’t know how to categorize it which made me love it even more. So much so that I had to come to the blog to share the 5 things I learned binge watching Atlanta.
5 Things I Learned Binge Watching Atlanta
1. Black Writers Matter: Donald Glover is a F&%^$#@ genius! Besides Donald being a major part of the writing team, Stephen Glover (Donald’s younger brother), Stefani Robinson, and Jamal Olori have worked magic into that script. It goes to prove what we already have known, that black writers writing for black actors is important and 9/10 comes out gloriously. The acting is remarkable, but the writing is ten times better. If you close your eyes and just listen to these characters talk to each other it is not only inspiring but refreshing.
2. We Don’t Always Have it all together: I love the fact that as I watched Atlanta in my currently disheveled state, I was seeing other black people on my screen who weren’t twerking, fighting, or fitting into some grossly overdone stereotype. I was seeing people on my screen who were trying, and failing, and still getting up to try again. We don’t always have to have it all together to be successful and we certainly don’t always have to be a mess to be captivating to audiences on television. Atlanta shows a beautiful spectrum of human beings dealing with all sorts of human conditions that we go through on a day to day.
3. Subtle Statements Are Strong: Atlanta isn’t preachy… and I respect and value that. Yet… there are several important messages that are uncomfortably hand delivered to our door step without making you want to change the channel. Donald Glover handles the difficulties of being Black in America with a certain grace that is impeccable. One of my favorite episode of the series is “Juneteenth” that handles the oh so popular trend of stealing black culture when appropriate. There are also gentle pokes at the validation of Black networks such as Centric and BET in Black lives. Even the duality of Paper Boi as a rapper adjusting to pseudo fame is a subtle statement about our social media heroes as of late.
4. Black Men Are Dynamic: Donald Glover’s character on Atlanta was so many different people in one and I loved that. I loved seeing a man on my screen that struggled with many aspects of life but knew he was as a person: A Weird mix of so many things. He never once fought his identity, and that could be because he was so busy fighting off everything else life was throwing at him. But I think that’s what is so important and different about this show. It wasn’t created to show one type of person or one type of storyline. It stuck to the realistic nature of what life can do and how you can or choose to react.
5. It’s Okay To Take Care Of Everyone & Your Self: As a character who has a child and a situationship with his baby mama, Donald Glover’s character can act a bit selfish from time to time putting his needs in front of everyone else’s. But as you watch him make these stupid mistakes and selfish choices you still route for him, because all he wants to do is take care of everyone around him. And when he fails, he knows as well as the audience that his flaw is also his greatest strength. Wanting to do for others to better himself, never works and hasn’t worked for him the entire season. But at the very end (I won’t spoil it for you don’ worry), we see Donald’s character begin to make better choices and those choices come at the cost of helping everyone around him and himself. He starts to grow and mature (I’m sure he’ll make several faux pas in the upcoming season as well) and take steps in the right direction that lead his family and friends in the right direction as well. Taking care of yourself isn’t a crime and its unfortunate we don’t do it enough. His selfishness came at very hilarious and sad costs, but it always brought him one step closer to doing what is right and getting on the right track.
If you haven’t watched Atlanta yet I strongly suggest you do because it is just that amazing! A quick watch that will keep you entertained, humored and thinking. Atlanta comes on FX and is currently off season, but you can catch it on demand. It also isn’t coming back until 2018… BLAHHHH that makes me so sad and annoyed… but that gives me one year to prepare for the amzngness that Donald Glover will have in store for us for season 2. Just hoping he doesn’t pull an Aaron McGruder and keep us waiting 2 years for each season!