Thursday, October 13, 2022

What I’m Watching: Atlanta

Atlanta: Season 4, Episode 5 “Work Ethic!” (B)

It must be fascinating to get inside Donald Glover’s mind and map out a season of this show. This episode was definitely creepy, reminiscent of past installments that felt supernatural in nature. I had a feeling that Glover was the one portraying Mr. Chocolate, who finally made his appearance towards the end of the episode when Van just couldn’t stand it anymore as Lottie was constantly moved from set to set without her knowledge or permission. There were plenty of red flags along the way, like how Lottie was just pulled onto the stage when she told the mean man to shut up and all of a sudden was promoted to number three on the call sheet. Zazie Beetz did a great job of conveying the terror that she felt as a mother suddenly without her child, and she was as freaked out by the people allegedly trying to help her, like the Christian woman who shot a security guard in the foot so that she could barge in to Mr. Chocolate’s private residence. Apparently Mr. Chocolate is meant to be a send-up of Tyler Perry, who I can’t imagine is quite as omniscient as the unseen voice on the speaker commanding everyone who had never met him. His continued assurances of “We’ll fix it in post” were entertaining given my recent interviews with sound mixer Peter Devlin talking about how crazy it was when he first came to the United States that directors wanted to fix things in post rather than getting it right the first time. This was a tremendous exaggeration of all that, but an effective and haunting one.

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