A few years ago, I moved to Atlanta, GA. At the time, I was stuck in Washington, D.C., unsure of my next move, and tired of the same old same. Rent was too damn high, and the money wasn’t coming in fast enough. Like many young, Black people with a dollar and a dream, I viewed Atlanta as the Mecca-a place I could go to fulfill my dreams. And for me, it turned out that was true.That was back in 2013.
Although I’ve only been in Atlanta for three years, I’ve grown to love it. It’s home. A grimy, glamorous, easy going, high-maintenance, down home, cosmopolitan mix of everything and everybody, Atlanta’s unique culture sets it apart.
The die hard Falcons fans, the amazing food, the art, the museums, the hair shows, the entertainment, the history, all make for a smokin’ hot, eclectic mix of ATLiens. I think people who have lived here all of their lives sometimes overlook the things that make this city great. But I see it. And it’s meaningful-at least, for me.
It’s true. This is where dreamers come to pursue their dreams on a budget. The perfect place to network while keeping your head above water-a hustler’s paradise. That’s exactly why FX’s new show ATLANTA resonates with me. Earn Marks, played by the amazing Donald Glover is a guy whose only plan is to not be broke. Marks currently lives with the mother of his child, Van played by Zazie Beetz. He’s back and forth between there and his parents’ house, and struggling to pay rent. He needs an out.
Mark’s story is familiar to me. I too, couch surfed when I first moved to Atlanta, hoping that no one would get so tired of me that they’d eventually kick me out. (They did). But like Earn, I was willing to do whatever it took to make sh*t happen. Like Earn, I wasn’t a quitter. I think that’s what I like about Donald’s character-his foresight. His guts.
In the first episode, Earn’s main goal is to become his cousin’s manager. His cousin, known in the streets as “Paper Boi” is making a huge buzz in the hood with his music. Earn saw that as the perfect opportunity for him to get out of his rut.
What I like most about ATLANTA is its ability to feature real things, real feelings, and real people, without feeling like it’s actually doing any of those things. It doesn’t feel forced. I appreciate the authenticity, the occasional dry humor, the intentional focus on a culture that we don’t often get to see outside of music videos, or in our own neighborhoods.
Not only does this series captivate the viewer, but it leaves us thoughtful, wanting more, and wanting more for the characters that we’ve already grown to love. ATLANTA’s Premiere date is Sept 6 at10 p.m. ET/PT (FX).
*Sidenote: Donald Glover has employed an all Black writing staff for this show.
Check out the trailer below.