Television Review: Alanta

Mario Saldana, Reporter

Donald Glover, also known as rapper Childish Gambino, premiered his new television series “Atlanta” after being on hiatus for a while and delivers a series premiere that not only opens a door to an interesting story, but also a cast that fits perfectly.

Hiro Mural, who’s known for directing music videos, directs the first episode and instantly shows off his unique storytelling that Gambino fans are familiar with, mixing reality with some off-scene fantasy sequences, for example a moment where Earnest converses with a mysterious man on the bus making a sandwich.

Glover is known for being a musician, comedian and a writer,who wrote for the hit comedy show “30 Rock,” comes back to the television scene with “Atlanta” which he wrote and produced. Glover stars as Earnest Marks, also known as “Earn,” a smart young African American man growing up in the urban part of Atlanta.

Due to some unknown reasons, Earn dropped out of Princeton and is now living in poverty close to being homeless, but lives with the mother of his daughter, “Van,” played by Zazie Beetz.

After having problems with making money for rent, he goes to his cousin who is a local rapper Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles played by Brian Tyree Henry, and his friend Darius, played by Lakeith Stanfield, hoping to become Paper Boi’s new manager and help him become a rich successful rapper.

The characters of the series easily grow on you from the first episode with a very talented cast that bring these characters own individual personalities that makes viewers come back to know more about them for example, Earn’s mysterious past and his relationship with Van and his family.

The show delivers a comedy feel to it, with jokes and situations throughout the show, but it’s nothing like what we’re used to seeing with Glover’s time on the comedy show as Troy on “Community.” It also has a serious tone to it. One moment you’re laughing and the next you feel that sense of stepping back into reality with the pressure and pain Earn goes through day to day.

It’s clear that throughout the show Glover wants to show the world how it’s really like in urban communities while understanding these social issues which he addresses from the first episode through the eyes of Earn: race, class, gender, art and expression, and mental illness are all represented.

I also believe he touches moments of his personal life that were hard for him like leaving a secure career writing for “30 Rock,” a successful show, to pursue a full-time rapping career and the criticism that he got from that made him disappear from the public eye for a while.

Trying to find something to dislike was very hard for me, everything was set up to get to know the characters, but it kind of just drops these characters at you that give you no full background, but the show might unravel characters back ground throughout the season.

The two-part episode makes a giant statement not only for fans of Glover’s work, but a variety of viewers looking for a new series that will deliver a unique story with a group of characters that will have you invested in the show. Atlanta airs on FX, Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

(Five Stars)