Atlanta S2E1 Review: Florida Man

The premiere episode of Atlanta’s second season was released March 1st.

When I saw HULU had the first season streaming I was excited because I thought I’d be able to enjoy the new season the day after but turns out it just has only the one.

I finally watched it today and it was amazing.

Donald Glover is a great talent winning both Golden Globes and Emmys for his work on this show.

But there’s also a phenomenal writing staff including brother and Royalty member Steve G. Lover.

The opening is of two Black men just hanging out discussing their life and one mentions how you could get a number seventeen at a drive thru which means the restaurant staff was also dealing drugs reminiscent of the story of a McDonald’s manager being busted for serving drugs through the drive thru window to an undercover cop.

They show why the backdrop of the show is called Robbin’ Season with the two men attempted to rob the spot once knowing the information was legit.

Then it switches over to the main story picking up where the finale left off.

One thing I enjoyed about this episode is that it felt like there was continuity.

I know the goal was to make it like Tiny Toon Adventures where you could just pick up any episode and not be lost but the fact that there was story progression was special.

“In the writers room, we spent a lot of time talking about ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’ by the Tiny Toons. That was kind of the inspiration”

— Donald Glover, about the writing process of Season 2

This series of episodes from that show is a television movie that is split into four episodes that play like a complete television arc.

In the first season where there was a shooting that occurred in the pilot but was never centered around or truly talked about until the last episode.

It was used as great comedy with Albert correcting kids for promoting the thug image and getting lambasted until they realize he’s actually Paper Boi and in the second episode they’re in the holding area in jail but that just served as a backdrop to what was taking place with the cast of characters not specifically the shooting.

But with this first episode Earn has to go to his probation officer while Albert is on house arrest.

It’s also a great way to show the costs of mass incarceration.

The audience learns he has to be pay a jail entrance fee and also participate in a mandatory drug class which isn’t cheap costing hundred of dollars.

This is because the cops trumped up charges of having a joint in the car but charged him with trafficking narcotics with intention to sell.

While it was revealed Earn actually is homeless sleeping in a storage unit this episode shows how he’s actually “homeless, homeless” with an employee explains he’s getting kicked out and his stuff will be sold.

There are great moments from Earn asking what flavor Flaming Hot Cheetos and there’s classic Darius with Lakeith Stanfield delivering a great monologue about the Florida Man, explaining why new stories start off with “Florida Man” followed by the absurd actors from eating a man’s face to shooting an unarmed Black person.

As a Florida resident I truly enjoyed this part and not just because stylistically it switched to a more stylized look while he weaves his tale.

The MVP of this episode is by far Katt Williams as the Alligator Man.

Uncle of Earn and father of Albert he’s an unhinged hilarious man who steals every scene he’s in.

It’s a reminder of how multitalented Katt really is especially with great direction.

My favorite scene is when Earn and Willie have a confrontation, now that Earn is on probation and would go to jail if he’s even arrested he petitioning him to just cooperate with authorities who are outside his residence.

There’s anger on Earn’s part but he’s also scared.

Not just of becoming a talent who has wasted his potential but of Albert not needing him anymore because Paper Boi is a really big deal right now.

There’s a moment of true honest between the two where Katt’s character gives him advice on how to not end up like him. It’s to not keep carrying a chip on his shoulder and how it’s just not worth it.

Just like the episode where Atlanta delivers on the invisible car it pays off the build up of an alligator being in his house with Willie releasing the gator in the front door as he escapes out back.

The ending song is The Delfonics’ Hey Love which reminded me of this gem from Biggie’s Life After Death, Playa Hater.

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