Sunday, October 2, 2022

What I’m Watching: Atlanta

Atlanta: Season 4, Episode 3 “Born 2 Die” (B)

For a show that’s all about how reductive expectations and portrayals of Black people can be, it felt very wrong to go right from a father offering Alfred one million dollars to teach his son how to rap to a title card with a Jewish star on a cake. That direct association between Jewish people and money is a problematic assumption, one that feels like it didn’t need to be included. The plotline itself was rather ridiculous, though I think that’s more meant to be a comment on how such an extreme sum of money means nothing to some people and can be a huge payout for others, who don’t like the fact that there’s no work involved. Alfred did make a new friend and got to mentor someone who might have had a great hit, if not for the fact that he died just before winning a Grammy. Earn had even less luck pursuing a new client, and had another experience like the parking garage once with Van where it felt like he was in a truly messed-up and trippy space from which there was no escape. In a business that involves a lot of transactions and perceptions, a lot of what the characters on this show have been experiencing recently is of a less literal form, having conversations about things that might just be in the idea stage and need to be considerably more physical and tangible to actually be capable of keeping them financially afloat and secure.

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