Atlanta is the breakout series of the past two years due to several qualities; acting, characters, cultural significance, sincerity and surrealism being among the more discernable traits. Though I enjoy many of the predominantly black shows that have appeared on network television and cable, I’ve never seen anything like Atlanta on FX. Not even remotely close to it. In the past, black characters were rarely realized in such a three dimensional nor possessing any redemptive qualities at all. Atlanta itself is steeped with so many black characters of extreme dimensions, it becomes surreal to the eye.
With Atlanta, the viewer is completely free of out of context buffoonery disguised as comedy. Terms like problematic and troublesome are void in this realm. This season is called “Robbin’ Season,” a not-so-subtle allusion to the manner in which certainly economically depressed communities tend to fall into nefarious calamity at the holiday seasona time of year when want and need become more apparent than ever.
Here was my assessment of Atlanta juxtaposed against Get Out and the forthcoming Sorry to Bother You starring LaKeith Stansfield.
As we screened the first few episodes of the second season of this groundbreaking series from Donald and Stephen Glover, it became apparent that surrealism within the black experience has been paramount for the artistry the entire time.
Unemployment, underemployment, the schoolhouse to jailhouse societal paradox, the financial redlining of black neighborhoods, and the perpetual hustlers mindset that many can recall from their old haunts, are all addressed in some form or another by a continually growing list of hilarious, familiar, yet unique to television characters. To that end, I present to you the most interesting people in the hood, Atlanta style.
Bibby the Barber
Fx series Atlanta season 2 episode 5 “Barbershop”. Paper Boi goes on a wild joy ride with his barber Bibby. No copyright infringement intended.
One of the most recognized individuals in any African-American community is your block’s best barber. He’s a jack of all trades, really. As you sit for that long overdue edge up, you spy his portfolio of bootleg DVDs, counterfeit trucker hats, and high-priced Air Jordans of uncertainty authenticity.
Finally, after hours, it’s your turn. The barber, often equipped with a Bluetooth device to cut hair and hold a remote conversation simultaneously. His cuts take more time than average.
Not because he’s concentrating on giving you the best fade ever, but because he isn’t. However, despite your angst and trepidation, as well as the annoyance that comes with watching your time wasted, you can’t be mad because your edge is laser sharp. For you, he goes by another name. But in the surreal world of Atlanta, he’s Bibby, barber, construction worker, phone salesman and all-around man about town.
No one knows his true identity. All new episodes of Atlanta Robbin’ Season Thursdays at 10p on FX. Subscribe now for more Atlanta clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Two cousins work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families.
In the very first episode, it became apparent the skill with which black mythos is immediately injected into the storyline. Florida Man was described as an “Alt-Right Johnny Appleseed”. A witty scene unfolds when Darius explains to Earn the habits and habitat of Florida Man like a smooth ass zoologist specializing in redneck lore. “Why would anyone do that?” Earn. “To prevent black people from moving too or coming to Florida! C’mon, Earn, think!’ Hilarious.
Earn checks in on his uncle Willy played by Katt Williams
In the same episode as Florida Man, we find Alligator Man. In fact, Alligator Man is actually the name of the episode in which Earn’s Aunt calls for help, saying their Uncle was holding her against her will. Alligator Man was played appropriately by comedian Katt Williams. Appropriately meaning he was his normal, troublesome, cantankerous, irrational, foul-mouthed self. Personally, I wouldn’t have Katt Williams any other way. When the fabled alligator made his appearancegrooving to the Delfonics’ “Hey Love”, I nearly imploded with laughter.
this guy is creepy asf Atlanta s2ep6 : teddy perkins
For its satire of the madness of self-hate and colorism, for its unwavering look into the psychological toll of childhood sacrifice and pain and for providing a glimpse into how deductive reasoning can be nullified by single-mindedness within the insulated mind, Teddy Perkins has to be one of the most mind-blowing examples of episodic television that I’ve ever seen.