Into a Bizarre World: A Review of Atlanta: Season One, Episode Five



I like this series and I’m behind, so I’m going to review the next episode right now. Here is my interpretation of Atlanta season one, episode five.

Every week Donald Glover and his show peels back a layer of the music world. This week, in the fifth episode of Atlanta Earn and Alfred dive into the entertainment world. And, at the very least, it is surreal.

Earn and Alfred (Paper Boi) attend a charity basketball game featuring stars of the entertainment industry. Everything they experience in this charity event is a falsehood. When Alfred is out on the court, not one player is actually trying to play a real game of basketball. Every single person is just trying to make one of the players, Justin Bieber, look good. Even at the end of the episode when both Aflred and Bieber get into a pathetic fight, the whole matter is resolved with Bieber singing a song from his new album.


And, at least for Alfred, there is some sort of perspective from this situation. A journalist tells him, “Play your part… you’re a rapper, that’s your job.” So in this bizarre, very unrealistic/unappealing world Alfred has a job, to be an asshole. But, despite all of his performances, that isn’t quite what he wants.

Earn, on the other hand stumbles his way into the managers lounge, securing some promising prospects, which sort of give him some hope for the future of his and Alfred’s career. This is all right before the manager who got him into this room screams at him, mistaking him for someone who ruined her career four years ago.

So, while both Earn and Alfred are moving forward, they are moving into a bizarre world where they have no idea what to do.


But maybe the most significant moment in this episode is when Darius goes to a shooting range. In the few minutes Darius is in this episode he manages to start a confrontation with a couple of white dudes over the act of using a target with the outline of a dog.

Within this small story Glover and his television show opens a dialogue about race relations and the perspective of black man in Atlanta. When Darius is using the drawing of a dog as a target, it is only natural to him, as he says, “Dog’s from my neighbourhood, they’re crazy, they bite babies…” but to his white combatants it is almost irredeemable. And in the end it is Darius who get’s a shotgun pointed in his face, the man behind it escorting him out, despite the fact that he was the reasonable, cool-headed one.

From my perspective there were two different messages in this episode, one relating to the main plot of the series and one standing on its own, but maybe it is just like Alfred says, “It don’t even matter, man.”

Anyways, thank you for reading; I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of this episode. If you did happen to like it, why not hit the like button? Or better yet, hit the follow/leave a comment! Cheers.


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