Television

Southern Fried Tuesday Nights: Atlanta

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Tacos aren’t the only thing to look forward to on Tuesdays anymore. Why? Because the FX Network has cooked up something even better. A spicy yet savory entree called Atlanta.

Created by the multi-talented Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, Atlanta is a comedy-drama that chronicles the highs and lows of two cousins navigating their way through the Atlanta rap scene. While on their quests toward superstardom, the two remain committed to improving their lives as well as the lives of their families. The Hiro Murai directed show premiered on September 6, 2016.

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Glover brilliantly portrays Earnest “Earn” Marks, a young Princeton dropout turned manager trying to get his cousin Paper Boi’s rap career off the ground. To make living, Earn struggles to make a living by working a minimum wage job and finds it hard to remain on his feet. Not having a place of his own, he usually divides his living space between his cousin Paper Boi’s home and daughter’s mother Vanessa’s. Throughout his personal pitfalls, he desperately tries to redeem himself to those closest to him, and remain a good father to his daughter.

The talented cast also features Brian Tyree Henry, who is hilarious as Earn’s no-nonsense yet comical cousin  Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles. Paper Boi is an up-and-coming rapper trying to understand the thin line between real life and street life. Zazie Beetz is delightful as the patient, yet ambitious Vanessa “Van” Keefer. Van is the mother of Earn’s daughter, and also serves as his on and off girlfriend. Although, they are not an official couple, they maintain a close friendship for the sake of their daughter. Newcomer Keith Stanfield shares many laugh worthy moments as Darius, Alfred’s right-hand man, and visionary.

The show’s creativity in evident in everything from its opening to ending credits. Although Glover is the show’s notable star, each cast member is often spotlighted with their own episode. One of the most creative episodes thus far is episode number seven entitled “B.A.N” B.A.N is an acronym for Black American Network and is a satirical episode, which features Paper Boi on a talk show called Montague. There, he is part of a discussion on the media’s indictment of Black culture and its intersection with trans people. In addition, Fictitious commercials play throughout the episode, which are both educational and comical ant the same time.

In 2006, the California-born, Georgia-bred Glover obtained a degree in dramatic writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and after several self-releasing albums and mixtapes, signed to Glassnote Records in 2011.

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He released his first album, Camp, on November 15, 2011, to generally positive reviews. His second studio album, Because the Internet,was released on December 10, 2013. Glover was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2015, Best Rap Album for Because of the Internet and Best Rap Performance for his single 3005.

Glover began professionally flexing his acting chops after being discovered for his work with popular internet sketch group Derrick Comedy. With the help of Tina Fey, was hired at the age of 21 to become a writer for the NBC comedy series 30 Rock.He later played college student Troy Barnes on the NBC sitcom Community.

During its short time on the air, many have already become addicted. Haven’t seen it yet? Fear not. Catch Atlanta Tuesdays at 10PM on the FX Network.

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Ashly E. Smith
Ashly E. Smith is an author, poet, columnist, and freelance writer from Baltimore, Maryland. With her strong pop culture and entertainment backgrounds, Ashly strives to create articles that inspire as well as entertain.

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