Atlanta (TV Series 2016– )

TVSeries


Atlanta (TV Series 2016– )

Atlanta is one of the top cities for young rappers looking to make a name for themselves in the business. Among those up-and-comers is Alfred Miles, a hot new artist who is trying to understand the line between real life and street life. He is managed by his cousin, Earn, who gets caught up in the local rap scene and his cousin's career after returning home to the ATL. Earn does whatever he can to try to get Alfred's career to the next level. Darius, the rapper's right-hand man and visionary, is also in Alfred's entourage. When Earn isn't busy managing his cousin's career, he spends much of his time with best friend Vanessa, who is also the mother of his daughter.
USA
IMDb   8.6 /10
Metacritic   93 %
TheMovieDb    7.9 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   7.6 /10
Creators
Creator Donald Glover
Information
Release Date2016-09-06
Runtime30mins
GenreComedy, Drama, Music
Content RatingTV-MA (TV-MA)
AwardsTop Rated TV #129 | Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 47 wins & 86 nominations.
CompanyFX Productions, MGMT Entertainment
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Earnest 'Earn' Marks / ... 19 episodes, 2016-2021
Alfred 'Paper Boi' Miles 18 episodes, 2016-2021
Darius 16 episodes, 2016-2021
Van 11 episodes, 2016-2021

Atlanta (TV series)

Atlanta is an American comedy-drama television series created by Donald Glover. It premiered on September 6, 2016, on FX, and has been renewed for a third and fourth season with the third season set to premiere in early 2022. The series centers on college dropout and music manager Earnest "Earn" Marks (Glover) and rapper Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) as they navigate the Atlanta rap scene. It also stars Lakeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz.

Atlanta has received many awards and nominations, including two Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for Glover, and two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. Glover's Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series was the first ever awarded to an African-American, and his work as the series' writer and executive producer has received praise.


Plot

The series follows Earn (Donald Glover) during his daily life in Atlanta, Georgia, as he tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his ex-girlfriend Van (Zazie Beetz), who is also the mother of his daughter Lottie; as well as his parents and his cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), who raps under the stage name "Paper Boi". Having dropped out of Princeton University, Earn has no money and no home and consequently alternates between staying with his parents and his ex-girlfriend. Once he realizes that his cousin is on the verge of stardom, he seeks to reconnect with him in order to improve his life and the life of his daughter.


Cast and characters

Main

  • Donald Glover as Earnest "Earn" Marks, an early-30 something Princeton dropout turned manager trying to get his cousin Paper Boi's rap career off the ground. Earn is cynical and highly intelligent, yet often makes reckless decisions. He struggles with intermittent homelessness and poverty throughout the show.
  • Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles, Earn's cousin, an up-and-coming rapper from a low-income community, who exhibits signs of depression and moral dilemma while navigating his newfound fame as "Paper Boi".
  • Lakeith Stanfield as Darius Epps, Alfred's eccentric right-hand man and visionary. He is a first-generation Nigerian-American, and gun enthusiast.
  • Zazie Beetz as Vanessa Keefer, Earn's on-again-off-again girlfriend and the mother of their daughter Lottie. Van is a former grade school science teacher. She is a biracial Afro-German woman from Helen, Georgia and fluent in German.

Guest and recurring roles

  • Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Raleigh Marks, Earn's father and Alfred's uncle.
  • Myra Lucretia Taylor as Gloria Marks, Earn's mother and Alfred's aunt. Also appears in the Robbin' Season episode "FUBU."
  • Harold House Moore as Swiff, a co-worker of Earn's.
  • Griffin Freeman as Dave, an acquaintance of Earn's who works at a prominent radio station and the significant other of Van's childhood friend Christina. Also appears in the Robbin' Season episode "Helen."
  • Brandon Hirsch as Devyonne Johnson, a famous actor who resides in the Atlanta area. Also appears in the Robbin' Season episode "Champagne Papi."
  • Emmett Hunter as Ahmad White, a mysterious being who appears to Earn and airs strange advertisements on television.
  • Cranston Johnson as Deshawn, Alfred's friend and confidante.
  • Lucius Baston as Chris, a shady club promoter who tries to swindle Earn and Alfred.
  • Alano Miller as Franklin Montague, a pretentious talk-show host who dislikes Alfred.
  • Niles Stewart as Antoine Smalls, a young black man who identifies as a 35-year-old white man named Harrison Booth.
  • Freddie Kuguru as Zan, a chauvinistic internet personality who antagonizes Alfred.
  • Austin Crute as a fictionalized, African-American version of Justin Bieber, who is portrayed as an obnoxious and extremely popular teen pop star.
  • Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff as the Migos, Alfred's drug suppliers.
  • Khris Davis as Tracy, Alfred's recently paroled friend who is currently staying on their couch. He and Earn often clash. Tracy beats Earn in a fight leaving the latter bruised and in a daze in "North of the Border."
  • RJ Walker as Clark County, an egotistical, commercialized rapper that Alfred befriends. Darius and Earn view him as an industry plant.
  • Matthew Barnes as Lucas, Clark's well-connected manager.
  • Katt Williams as Willie, Alfred and Earn's uncle who has a run-in with the cops. He owns an alligator named Coach, which is the reason for his nickname, "Alligator Man."
  • Robert Powell as Bibby, Alfred's flakey barber.
  • Derrick J. Haywood as Benny Hope, a reclusive pianist who Darius attempts to buy a piano from. His brother, Teddy Perkins, was the main antagonist of his titular episode and was played by Donald Glover himself in whiteface.
  • Kevin Waterman as Florida Man, a sinister entity, referred to by Darius as an “Alt-right Johnny Appleseed,” who commits a variety of strange crimes in Florida as part of a plot to keep black voters out.
  • Michael Vick as himself, an ex-NFL quarterback who challenges club-goers in "Money Bag Shawty" to foot races against himself.
  • Jerusha Cavazos as Violet, a college girl who has an obsessive crush on Alfred.
  • Tim Johnson as Prescott, a frat boy with a fondness for hazing, with whom the characters cross paths. He is a fan of Alfred's and an avid fan of trap music.

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110September 6, 2016November 1, 2016
211March 1, 2018May 10, 2018

Production

FX first began developing the show in August 2013, and then the pilot was ordered to series by FX Networks in December 2014. It was directed by Hiro Murai and shot in Atlanta. It got picked up to series with a 10-episode order in October 2015. Glover, who grew up in Atlanta and also works as a musician, stated that "the city influenced the tone of the show".

The series is also notable for having an all-black writing staff, which is virtually unheard of in American television. The writer's room consists of Glover himself, his brother Stephen Glover, and members of his rap collective 'Royalty' including Fam Udeorji (Glover's manager), Ibra Ake (Glover's longtime photographer), and Jamal Olori. Stefani Robinson, a writer for Man Seeking Woman, and Taofik Kolade round out the writer's room. During an interview with The New Yorker, Glover stated the characters smoke cannabis because "they have PTSD — every black person does". In January 2017, the series was renewed for a second season; however, FX announced the series would not return until 2018 due to Glover's busy production schedule. Glover revealed that the second season takes inspiration from Tiny Toon Adventures, specifically How I Spent My Vacation.

The series was renewed for a third season in June 2018, which was originally planned for a 2019 premiere, but was delayed due to scheduling conflicts. In August 2019, FX renewed the series for a fourth season and announced that the third and fourth seasons would begin filming in early 2020, with each season consisting of eight episodes. In January 2020, FX announced that the third season's episode count was increased to 10 episodes, and that both seasons were planned to air in 2021–season 3 in January and season 4 later that year. Both seasons were also planned to be shot together and that one of the seasons would be filmed outside the United States. However, production was postponed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, it was reported that the third season would not be able to make the January 2021 premiere date that was originally planned. Filming for the third and fourth seasons began in early April 2021, in London, with additional filming in Amsterdam and Paris. By August 2021, filming for the third season was completed and production began on the fourth season in Atlanta, and it was confirmed that the third season would premiere in early 2022.


Reception

Critical response

Atlanta has received widespread acclaim from television critics. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the first season an approval rating of 97% based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 8.58/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Ambitious and refreshing, Atlanta offers a unique vehicle for star and series creator Donald Glover's eccentric brand of humor—as well as a number of timely, trenchant observations." On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 90 out of 100, based on reviews from 36 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".

David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle gave it a highly positive review, writing: "The scripts for the four episodes made available to critics are as richly nuanced as anything you'll see on TV or, to be sure, in a movie theater. You will not only know these characters after only one episode, you'll be hooked on them, as well. In so many areas, Atlanta sets the bar exceptionally high." Sonia Saraiya of Variety also praised the series, declaring it a "finished, cinematic, and beautiful production that may be one of the best new shows of the fall."

The second season received further critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 98%, based on 63 reviews, with an average rating of 9.11/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Donald Glover continues to subvert expectations with a sophomore season of Atlanta that proves as excellent as it is eccentric." On Metacritic, the second season has a score of 97 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".

In 2019, Atlanta was ranked 10th on The Guardian's list of the 100 best TV shows of the 21st century. The Writers Guild Foundation listed the season 1 episode "Streets on Lock" as having one of the best scripts of 2010s film and television, writing, "The story features fully realized supporting players and miscreants, but right when we start laughing, everything takes a sour turn, causing us to reflect on what we’re really laughing at".

Accolades

Season 1

AwardCategoryNomineesResultRef.
American Film Institute AwardsTop 10 Television ProgramsAtlantaWon
Critics' Choice Television AwardsBest Comedy SeriesNominated
Best Actor in a Comedy SeriesDonald GloverWon
Directors Guild of America AwardsOutstanding Directorial Achievement for a Comedy SeriesDonald Glover (for "B.A.N.")Nominated
Golden Globe AwardsBest Television Series – Musical or ComedyAtlantaWon
Best Actor in a Television Series - Musical or ComedyDonald GloverWon
Gotham Independent Film AwardsBreakthrough Series – Long FormAtlantaWon
MTV Movie & TV AwardsShow of the YearAtlantaNominated
Best Actor in a ShowDonald GloverNominated
Best DuoBrian Tyree Henry and Keith StanfieldNominated
NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Comedy SeriesAtlantaNominated
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy SeriesDonald GloverNominated
Outstanding Directing in a Comedy SeriesWon
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy SeriesNominated
Peabody AwardsArea of ExcellenceAtlantaWon
People's Choice AwardsFavorite Cable TV ComedyNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Comedy SeriesAtlantaNominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesDonald GloverWon
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy SeriesDonald Glover (for "B.A.N.")Won
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy SeriesDonald Glover (for "B.A.N.")Nominated
Stephen Glover (for "Streets on Lock")Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy SeriesAlexa L. Fogel, Tara Feldstein Bennett, Chase ParisNominated
Producers Guild of America AwardsEpisodic Television, ComedyDonald Glover, Dianne McGunigle, Paul Simms, Hiro Murai, Alex OrrWon
Writers Guild of America AwardsComedy SeriesDonald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Paul SimmsWon
New SeriesWon
Episodic ComedyStephen Glover (for "Streets on Lock")Nominated
TCA AwardsProgram of the YearAtlantaNominated
Outstanding Achievement in ComedyWon
Outstanding New ProgramNominated
Individual Achievement in ComedyDonald GloverWon

Season 2

AwardCategoryNomineesResultRef.
American Cinema Editors AwardsBest Edited Comedy Series for Commercial TelevisionIsaac Hagy (for "Alligator Man")Nominated
Kyle Reiter (for "Teddy Perkins")Won
American Film Institute AwardsTop 10 TV Programs of the YearAtlantaWon
Critics' Choice Television AwardsBest Comedy SeriesNominated
Best Actor in a Comedy SeriesDonald GloverNominated
Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor in a Television Series - Musical or ComedyDonald GloverNominated
People's Choice AwardsThe Comedy TV Star of 2018Donald GloverNominated
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Comedy SeriesAtlantaNominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy SeriesDonald GloverNominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesBrian Tyree HenryNominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesZazie BeetzNominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesKatt WilliamsWon
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy SeriesDonald Glover (for "FUBU")Nominated
Hiro Murai (for "Teddy Perkins")Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy SeriesDonald Glover (for "Alligator Man")Nominated
Stefani Robinson (for "Barbershop")Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy SeriesAlexa L. Fogel, Tara Feldstein Bennett, Chase ParisNominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour)Christian Sprenger (for "Teddy Perkins")Won
Outstanding Music SupervisionJen Malone and Fam Udeorji (for "Alligator Man")Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less)Timothy O'Brien, Taylor Mosbey, Aimee Athnos (for "Teddy Perkins")Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy SeriesIsaac Hagy (for "Alligator Man")Nominated
Kyle Reiter (for "Teddy Perkins")Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and AnimationTrevor Gates, Jason Dotts, David Barbee, Jordan McClain, Tara Blume, Matt Salib (for "Teddy Perkins")Won
Satellite AwardsBest Comedy SeriesAtlantaNominated
Best Actor in a Comedy SeriesDonald GloverNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy SeriesKhris Davis, Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, and Lakeith StanfieldNominated
TCA AwardsProgram of the YearAtlantaNominated
Outstanding Achievement in ComedyNominated
Individual Achievement in ComedyDonald GloverNominated
Writers Guild of America AwardsComedy SeriesIbra Ake, Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Taofik Kolade, Jamal Olori, Stefani Robinson, Paul SimmsNominated

International broadcast

The first season was broadcast in the UK on BBC Two, from May 13, 2018 to June 17, 2018.


Home media

The Complete First Season was released on DVD in Region 1 on March 6, 2018, and The Complete Second Season (Robbin' Season) was released on DVD on December 17, 2019.