Eat or be eaten: The A.V. Club reacts to the Atlanta Robbin’ Season finale

The second season of Atlanta, subtitled Robbin’ Season, ended with the stunning, tentatively optimistic “Crabs In A Barrel.” After weeks of hard truths and consequences, an embattled Earn (Donald Glover) comes perilously close to losing it all. The finale sees Earn flailing, as usual, while Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry)…

As Atlanta’s Robbin’ Season comes to an end, Earn pulls off a daring reverse heist

Of the many compliments that can be hurled at Atlanta, the highest has to do with the show’s tendency to dramatically shapeshift from week-to-week. It’s a horror anthology. It’s an indie comedy. It’s a commentary on contemporary black life. It’s a high-art after-school special about the grave consequences of fashion…

FX snaps up "This Is America" director Hiro Murai for his own development deal

Donald Glover/Childish Gambino made a resoundingly successful grab for the internet’s often-fleeting attention this weekend, compounding a great SNL performance with the release of his much-talked-about new music video, “This Is America.” The video—which features Glover cheerfully strutting through a violence-filled…

Atlanta, Westworld, and the episode-description revolution

There’s always too much good TV to keep up with, but in a packed spring—The Americans, Westworld, The Terror, Legion, sigh—Atlanta’s second season has felt like uniquely essential viewing. Comedies go “dark” all the time, but few manage to delve all the way into horror, as Donald Glover’s has, while still retaining…

Atlanta can be anything it damn well pleases, even a coming-of-age period piece

“FUBU” has a vestigial quality, which probably sounds like an insult, but it’s not intended to. Perhaps it’s because Atlanta has acclimated its audience to ten-episode seasons, and Robbin’ Season features 11, including “FUBU,” the first episode of the show in which none of the regular cast members appear. But it feels…

Another chaotic road trip leads to a fateful confrontation in Atlanta Robbin' Season

Nine episodes into Atlanta Robbin’ Season, each of the four central characters has lived their own surreal horror movie. In “Helen,” Earn was stalked by the Schnappviecher but ultimately succumbed to his fear of commitment. Darius witnessed the bloody final confrontation between Teddy Perkins and his brother after…

Keeping it real goes wrong for Alfred in a brilliant, harrowing Atlanta

It’s hard to tell if anything will ever truly stick in the Atlanta universe. At the risk of belaboring the point, we’re now two full episodes out from “Teddy Perkins,” and that ghoul-white visage continues to haunt my dreams, and yet here is Darius looking no worse for the wear. Hell, he’s even making fresh pasta, if…

With Darius behind the wheel, Atlanta becomes an American horror story

“Teddy Perkins” is the sixth episode of Atlanta’s second season, a point by which most television shows have become whatever they’re going to be. Even Master Of None, Atlanta’s closest auteur sitcom peer, settled into a groove by the back half of its second season, save for occasional experiments like the Emmy-winning…

In an underwhelming Atlanta, Alfred is subjected to the most unkindest cut of all

Atlanta goes heavy on the callbacks, which is to be expected of any sitcom that strives to build its own alternate reality. But Atlanta has never done a callback quite as overt as the moment in “Barbershop” when Alfred’s gifted-yet-troubled barber Bibby (standup comedian Robert S. Powell III) forces him to watch a…

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Earn and Van come to a dead end in Atlanta's oddest tourist destination

In most durable couples, there’s a dancer and a spectator, the person anxiously waiting for “Hot In Herre” to play at the wedding reception and the person who’s convinced themselves their body is a load-bearing pillar. In Earn and Van’s complicated situationship, it’s pretty clear which one is which. It’s equally…

There's no honor among hustlers during Atlanta Robbin' Season

To clear up what appears to be a common misconception I’ve seen in most coverage of Robbin’ Season, the concept behind this season’s subtitle isn’t specific to Atlanta and probably didn’t even originate here. It was, after all, the D.C.-based rapped Shy Glizzy who recorded a song called “Robbin’ Season,” a lyrically…

Earn, Al, and Darius aim for better as Atlanta heralds the start of Robbin' Season

In the run-up to the second season of Atlanta, Donald Glover’s comments to the press have revealed two interesting themes about his approach. The first is that Glover wants the quasi-anthologized Robbin’ Season to be better than the show’s first batch of episodes, and the second is that his writers’ room spent a lot…

Atlanta aims to top itself, and often does, in Robbin’ Season

Atlanta debuted in the fall of 2016 with all the confidence, vision, and specificity of “Paper Boi,” the regional hit that inspired Princeton dropout Earnest “Earn” Marks (creator Donald Glover) to ask his cousin—the song’s eponymous MC, Alfred Miles (Brian Tyree Henry)—if he needed a manager. What followed was at…