Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What I’m Watching: Atlanta

Atlanta: Season 1, Episode 9 “Juneteenth” (B)

This show is singularly capable of focusing on just one plotline for the entirety of an episode, with just two characters in this particular case anchoring it and driving it forward. No need for Paper Boi in this episode, not the first time in this short season that he’s been present in name only, and instead we got Earn and Van guiding the whole thing. That’s actually a misnomer since the function that they went to required them to go along with a world that never of them live or want to live in. Earn didn’t do a great job at first of turning down his indignation, questioning Rick about the things he said and finding extra ways to be offended by the representation of black culture by a clearly white man. Van snapping at him and telling him that she didn’t want to be there either set him straight, and they actually seemed to have fun pretending to be other people. The compliment that Earn paid Van about doing all the work in their relationship could have been honest and genuine, but she did not seem to take it that way at all, expressing her frustration at his sarcasm. Earn getting recognized by the guys who wanted him to give their sister’s underwear to Paper Boi prompted an unexpected excitement from Craig, but Monique’s crack about Earn not shooting up this party led to a predictable outburst from Earn about how dumb and fake everything was. Ending with Earn and Van fooling around in the car surprised me, but it’s hard to know where this show is going to go at any given moment.

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