Monday, March 28, 2022

What I’m Watching: Atlanta (Season Premiere)

Atlanta: Season 3, Episode 1 “Three Slaps” (B)

It’s been almost four years since this show concluded its very well-received second season, and I suppose it’s hardly surprising that this show, which has never conformed to any expectations, wouldn’t feature a single member of its regular cast until the final frame in its latest opener. It still felt jarring to me because I’m used to watching shows with straightforward narrative arcs, and I was concerned that maybe I had missed something and should have known who these characters were. I was also pretty sure that the less terrifying of the two foster mothers, Amber, was played by Laura Dreyfuss, the actress who originated the romantic leading role of Zoe in “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway and then took on a distinctly different kind of part on “The Politician” for her follow-up. It’s disheartening to learn that this episode was in part based on true events of a couple who did continue to be allowed to foster children despite repeated issues being reported and who ended their lives – as well as the lives of all the children in their custody – in a similar manner. There’s a very dark humor to be found in the idea of making “fried chicken” in the microwave and being obsessed with eating and living healthily to the point that the exact opposite is happening, and this show has always known where to find that line and stay uncomfortably on it for a while. This episode will definitely stick with me for a while, but I’ll be glad to see Earn and the rest of the characters presumably return to the forefront in the next episode.

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