Eurotrip: The third season of "Atlanta" felt like homework
Throughout ten episodes of the third season of "Atlanta," Donald Glover's comedy-drama has completely moved away from what has made it incredible in the past.
So beauty, she's smart and full of brilliant meanings and sayings, but all that does not make her any less exhausting
Thursday, 19 May 2022, 20:49 Updated: Saturday, 21 May 2022, 20:50
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Promo "Atlanta" Season 3 (FX)
In the four years that have passed between the second and third seasons of "Atlanta," while the Corona is delaying filming but allowing its writers to work on two seasons in a row, Donald Glover has repeatedly stated the greatness of the series he has created.
"One of the best ever on TV" and "The Sopranos" is the only one that can touch us, "he said among other things.
After the incredible second season, "Atlanta" was definitely seen on the way there.
We at Walla also placed it in ninth place in the series ranking of the previous decade.
But then came the third season.
In some objective respects it can be argued that this is the best season of "Atlanta".
Made with a confident and skilled hand (regular director Hiro Murray is responsible for most of the episodes, Donald Glover trusts three), her statement is sharp even when ambivalent, it is replete with clever allusions - some very vague and niche - to black culture and itself.
The very occurrence in Europe, the cradle of old racism,
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Full of himself.
Donald Glover, "Atlanta" Season 3 (Photo: FX)
At the same time, Glover & Co. presented anthology chapters that deviated from the usual characters and their experiences.
They took us back for a while to the city whose name lives up to the name of the series, in favor of sub-stories that sharpened the themes of the season in particular and "Atlanta" in general, especially the power relations between blacks and whites (and also between blacks and whites who want to be black).
Two of those episodes, the first and ninth, were some of the best of the season.
Yet despite all its virtues, "Atlanta" in its current configuration is as exhausting to watch as it has never been before.
It's not just the anthology episodes, four of which are unrelated to the plot or the regular characters from a ten-episode season - a choice that in itself testifies to Glover's great arrogance and pretentiousness to more than a thousand quotes of himself.
The problem with the new season - whose latest episode aired yesterday (Saturday) Bite near a U.S. broadcast - is that her devotion to sophistication came at the expense of the heart. Create a click even within tens of thousands of miles of Atlanta, Georgia, among viewers who, like the protagonists of the series, also struggle with their daily lives or their identities.
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The cradle of old racism.
To Keith Stanfield, "Atlanta" Season 3 (Photo: FX)
It makes sense in a series like this that success would brighten the face of God (Brian Thierry Henry) and he would indeed become a star going on tour around the world.
There's no problem with that, but "Atlanta" took advantage of Piper Boy's stardom to float itself into the atmosphere, disconnecting from the ground of reality completely and shedding almost everything that aroused sympathy in it.
The spice in it, the surrealistic moments that have always been there, have become the main course.
Not only in the protagonists' encounters with eccentric people and events, such as Oli-Tupac-Shakur who undergoes a horrific euthanasia or another hallucinatory journey of God into the depths of his soul, but in the behavior of some of the characters themselves.
At the head of them, of course, is Val (Zaisey Beats), who flutters around like a butterfly - one who steals from shops and occasionally pushes someone into the pool for no reason.
Even the last episode, dedicated to her, did just that.
If one could still hope that the finale would bring the feet down to earth, on the way there we would have to go through eccentric adventures a la "Amelie", only in this case they include Golden Shavers, Alexander Skarsgård and Fucking Cannibalism.
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A tiring journey.
Zaisey Beats, "Atlanta" Season 3 (Photo: FX)
Everything seems like a conscious and intentional experience to be as weird as possible.
Not for nothing are the moments - not even episodes, just moments - the best this season were the ones that suddenly this missing heart hurt, and it is no coincidence that it connected us to the simpler past of the characters.
It happened in the final minutes of the last episode, when Val showed an exciting and winning vulnerability that was missing from the series for a long time.
In fact, since the midpoint of the season, in the fifth episode of it, when Al confronted a burnt-out fan who was sure he had stolen his phone.
At the height of the tale the two talked one on one, Al was suddenly exposed as he had not been for a long time, and the fan played and sang him a song he had written.
Although he did it reluctantly to Al, with every fret on the guitar he seemed to port on something real inside the rapper.
There was so much simple and beautiful emotion in this moment, that he managed to be very honest without detracting from the very strangeness of the scene, the one that paints everything in colors that make "Atlanta" unique.
After the second season I wrote that what is so special and wonderful about "Atlanta" is that it is many things at once.
Ironically this time, precisely when it is seemingly spreading in more and more directions, it is much less universal and much more monotonous, and precisely when it is polished and full of meanings more than ever, it seems to be mostly full of itself.
I wish the fourth and final season, which has already been written and is expected to arrive this fall, to be remembered again with emotion and really had a vital anchor in the past, will leverage Val's disillusionment in favor of Atlanta's disillusionment itself.
Given the post-credits scene, as well as Glover's remarks and his perception of himself, it's probably best not to build on that.
Atlanta - Series