Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What I’m Watching: Atlanta

Atlanta: Season 2, Episode 4 “Helen” (B+)

This show has become known over the course of less than fifteen episodes for creating a world that may not align perfectly with the way things really are but is often exaggerated for thematic effect to show how its characters experience things. A black Justin Bieber or an over-the-top television show are examples we’ve seen already, and now we have a trip to Oktoberfest, where someone compliments Earn’s amazing costume only to discover that it’s actually just his skin and Van speaks fluent German in the kind of way that this show likes to assume might be normal even though it’s pretty strange. Starting out with Van complimenting Earn’s “tongue confidence” and their near run-in with the pig in the road on the way over was a false sign of positivity in their relationship, since things fell apart in a huge way when Earn didn’t make even a hint of an effort to try to enjoy himself or let Van have a good time once they got there since it wasn’t what he wanted to do. His selfishness was revealed when he summarized everything that Van had done with him as for his work, and it was hard to go back from there. Clearly, Van didn’t want to, and playing ping-pong to keep their “arrangement” alive seemed like a fitting way of representing how much Earn wanted to put into their relationship, leaving him with nothing. We haven’t seen a lot of Van yet this season, and I do hope that she’ll continue to stick around as part of the show’s universe even if she’s going to be much more minimally involved in Earn’s life.

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