Monday, October 17, 2016

What I’m Watching: Atlanta

Atlanta: Season 1, Episode 7 “B.A.N.” (C+)

This was by far the least traditional episode this show has offered yet, and I can’t say I was a big fan. I understand what Donald Glover was going for here but it just didn’t win me over. This show, up until this point, has been all about subtly parodying American society, particularly the way that black people are treated and perceived. This episode is all about that, with a fake show with a host named Montague on a fake channel called the Black American Network. Paper Boi being a guest along with an advocate for trans people was never going to go well, but that wasn’t enough. Defending the fact that he didn’t want to sleep with Caitlyn Jenner was just the start, and then things got crazy with a black man who identified as “transracial” and considered himself to be a thirty-five-year-old white man. The eventual revelation that the transracial guy was not into gay marriage and actually quite a homophobe just highlighted the absurdity of all these conversations, ending with an advertisement by Montague for Paper Boi’s new mix tape. The commercials mixed in throughout the episode were all sort of dark and strange, and none more disturbing than the one featuring the black wolf being arrested by the cop for just trying to eat the kids’ cereal than they were more than happy to share with him. If nothing else, Glover was brave for not appearing at all in this very experimental installment that was just a bit blunt for me.

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