Welcome to Atlanta - one of the most exciting TV series broadcast this year. This is a series that not only saw its lead, Donald Glover, win the Best Actor award for comedy at this years Golden Globes ceremony, but also saw the series pick up the Best Comedy Golden Globe too. It's a show that the critics love, with audiences quickly finding its charms also.
Atlanta is set to debut on SBS VICELAND on 28 February at 9:20pm, but in a special treat for soon-to-be fans of the show, the entire first season will be available to stream from that same night on SBS On Demand.
Here's what you need to know about the show:
Atlanta is about a young man named Earn, played by Donald Glover, whose life is not going in the direction he'd like. After dropping out of Princeton University, Earn is broke and homeless. He's couch surfing between the home of his parents and the home of his ex-girlfriend, also the mother of his daughter. In an effort to find direction, Earn offers to manage his cousin who has a promising career emerging as rapper 'Paper Boi'.
But that's not what the show is really ABOUT.
Critics will often talk about 'world building' on a TV show, crafting stories that have a consistent feel week to week with a sense of organisation to the environment that the characters operate in. For Atlanta, it is the creation of the world of the show that Glover and the other series writers seem the most interested in.
The characters and the problems each of the characters face feel real. Their struggles never feel like plot contrivances because they are consistent with the cause and effect of the other characters in the show.
When asked about his approach to creating the series, Glover explained: “I don’t care about shows where it’s like, are they going to make it? I think it’s more interesting to ask, why are they hustling?”
The Buzz on this show is HUGE
In the same way that viewers with considerable taste have all flocked to Atlanta, the critics have all embraced the show. Here is a small sample of the many favourable things critics have said:
"Each of Atlanta's 10 episodes found new and profound ways to show how everyday life can be messy, and mean, and, yes, incredibly strange."
-Caroline Framke, Vox
"Glover seems like a known quantity. Atlanta suggests the depths of his talent are only beginning to be tapped."
-Sam Adams, Rolling Stone
"Glover's creative force has been poured into this series about young black men in Atlanta with its insightful commentary about race in America. It's also darkly, awkwardly funny."
-Wenlei Mai, News.com.au
"It's unlike anything currently on television, which is a good indicator that it needed to be made."
-Kwame Opam, the Verge
Why do they have peaches in their mouths?
The official state fruit of Georgia (Atlanta is its capital city) is the peach, so when it came to the publicity photos for Atlanta, it was decided to photograph the cast with peaches in their mouths. More than just a representative statement of the location of the show being fundamental to the characters, the show speaks to the abstract oddity of the show.
In an early interview for the show before it launched, Glover said that the vibe of Atlanta is “Twin Peaks with rappers.” This isn't to say that there is a murder-mystery at the core of the show, but rather it is about Glover and his team developing a show that constantly pushes at the boundaries of reality. The most-discussed episode of Atlanta has been an episode from the middle of its first season featuring a young black actor playing the role of Justin Bieber. A show of Atlanta's budget was never going to attract Justin Bieber to play himself, but in the world of Atlanta, there's no reason why Bieber can't be a young African American kid.
It's what makes the show Atlanta.
Atlanta starts on SBS VICELAND on 28 February at 9:20pm with double episodes, but you can also stream the show in full on SBS On Demand from that same night.