Wednesday, May 11, 2022

What I’m Watching: Atlanta

Atlanta: Season 3, Episode 8 “New Jazz” (B+)

I’m not sure this show needs drugs to make its storylines weird given what we’ve been seeing this season, and this episode felt like a relatively subdued if extraordinary stroll through Amsterdam. I like seeing the curious side of Alfred rather than the disgruntled one, and after Darius tried to pay without enough money and then left him, he was able to wander the streets on his own and have an entirely unique experience. Trying to talk to the art didn’t go very well, and then he found someone ready to critique him. I’m not familiar with actress Ava Grey but was very impressed with her work her, tearing Alfred apart starting with his hat before diving deeper into the essence of who he was as a person. She even managed to spirit him out of the club before he got introduced as New Jazz and might have had to perform or do something that wouldn’t have felt as focused or serene as the experience that he was having. Whether or not what he actually went through happened, Alfred woke up the next day ready to question his life choices, starting with finding out who owned his master recordings. Earn was able to reassure him that he did without much effort, and he’ll likely be haunted more by his chance run-in with Liam Neeson, who was happy to address his real-life instance of racism but then double-down and say what many apologists likely believe, boiled down to the fact that being white allows you to never have to learn anything if you don’t want to. I don’t think I would ever have expected to see an actor like Neeson on this show, but I certainly won’t forget that anytime soon.

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