I’ve often had to remind myself that Atlanta premiered in 2016, not 2017. Even when I was doing my Best TV Shows of 2017 list, I almost included Atlanta. Maybe that’s a testament to this show’s urgency and relevancy. There is no better time for a show like Atlanta than right now. And although I’ve seen the first season in its entirety at least four times now, it never gets old.
What I love about Atlanta the most is the setting. The old TV cliché “[insert city] is a character” couldn’t be truer with Atlanta. This show exists in an alternative universe that pushes through a lot of meta-narratives but given the absolute random nature of Atlanta as a city, everything that happens in this show seems feasible. Stephen Glover described this season as “Tiny Toon Adventures“. Each episode will be its own individual story with an overhead story arc connecting them all. While that descriptor really made no sense when I first read it, all became clear when this episode opened with a shootout at Mrs. Winner’s. Side note: I’ve heard their cinnamon rolls are really good, although I cannot attest.
Atlanta’s inaugural season was about the rise. It took place in the summer, so it was about getting money and stuntin. This season takes place in the gloomy winter, around Christmas time. It’s referred to as “Robbin Season” because of the robbery that occurs around Christmas and spills into tax season. Paper Boi is a little more famous than he was before, so he’ll definitely have to avoid being prey.
This storyline hasn’t reached our main core of characters (yet). Earn is homeless, once again. Darius and Paper Boi are giving each other the silent treatment, which actually plays out as a very awkward, yet hilarious scene. Darius, as Darius does, introduces Earn (and the rest of us) to a new theory of his: The Florida Man. The Florida Man is responsible for everything abnormal that happens in Florida.
It also presents a clever way to analyze how headlines are written.
The meat of this episode, along with the title, comes from the introduction of The Alligator Man played by Katt Williams. Paper Boi tells Earn that some he needs to go take care of a problem, that’s when it revealed that Katt Williams has locked his woman in the bathroom. Earn, who is now on probation, must now diffuse the situation without allowing anyone to be arrested, including himself.
I spent half of this episode looking for that damn alligator and of course, I wasn’t disappointed. Uncle Willy (Katt) uses the alligator as a distraction and takes off out the back door. Katt Williams absolutely steals the shine of this episode and I hope he’s around more. Not only is he hilarious, but there’s more to his character. I want to understand their family dynamic. I also hope there’s more sage wisdom to offer Earn, such as “And if you don’t want to end up like me, get rid of that chip on your shoulder shit. It’s not worth the time”. As sad as it is to say, Earn is a largely relatable character because he’s hindered by his pride. I want to see how this develops as the show progresses.
Whatever message this first episode was putting out, I received it loud and clear. This world seems familiar although it’s a different side of it. And I don’t know exactly where it’s going, but that mystery makes the journey worth it. Once again, this show delivers brilliant storytelling and a unique perspective all while clocking in under 30 minutes. I can’t wait to see how weird we get.
What did you think of the episode? Hit us up at @TheKWCBlog to let us know. Be sure to join us to live tweet on Thursday nights and expect a recap every Friday morning. Peace.