Prior to the premiere of his latest project, the FX series Atlanta, Donald Glover stood as one of popular entertainment’s most versatile stars. His most recent success coming up as a rapper under the pseudonym Childish Gambino, Glover has written for and acted in Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, NBC’s Community, 2015’s blockbuster film The Martian, and he has enjoyed a successful stint as a standup comedian. After Atlanta’s debut on Tuesday, September 6, Glover is undoubtedly the most exciting crossover talent of the day.
The aim of Atlanta is, in Glover’s words, “ . . . to show people how it felt to be black.” Already, the show has addressed – deftly – such topics as the n-word, mental health, and gun violence, with the first episode opening on a scene of a shooting which stemmed from an altercation over a damaged car. Glover created, wrote, co-produced, and starred in the show as Earn Marks, a young Princeton dropout and father of one, who works minimum-wage jobs while trying to manage his cousin’s nascent rap career.
FX opted for a two-episode premiere, possibly taking a cue from the success of Netflix’s multi-episode releases. The first episode was even made free on YouTube.
Atlanta will return this Tuesday, September 13, at 10pm on FX.
In its short run, Atlanta has had the mark of all Glover work–that is, self-aware, perceptive and honest yet approachable. Like few shows have managed to before it, Atlanta has me hooked.