Why does ‘Atlanta’ keep disappearing main cast?

Hitherto, Atlanta There have been three standalone episodes this season that do not include the main cast. This number sounds small (it’s still about 50% of what we’ve seen at this point). But on a show that boasts some of the best, hottest young actors working today — Brian Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz, and Donald Glover — all three episodes feature no chemistry and magnetism. they are, to be honest, one too many.

Which brings us to “Trini 2 De Bone,” tonight’s heavy-duty examination of the wealthy whites and the immigrants and/or blacks they hire to raise their children. I think more than any other episode this season, this episode highlights the identity crisis Atlanta currently experimenting with who its audience is and for whom the writers are creating the stories. Listen, I get it. A lot has happened in the four years since the show last aired that can change the direction and energy of any show. I wouldn’t be surprised if Robbin ‘Season leaving without an Emmy in 2018 caused Glover to overthink a few things.

Despite all the ideas and complexity, you can extrapolate from a single set of Atlanta, the reason why I and the Negroes I spoke to liked the show was simple. The jokes are funny. The characters feel like people you know or have met before. (Bringing back Tracy!) Excellent performances (you want to hug Paper Boi). And the show also feels – forgive me for using this phrase – inexplicably black, in that Glover and the screenwriters don’t need to explain the jokes or refer to the internal culture. set for the show’s white audience.

That said, the simple premise of Earn, Al, Darius, and Van having goofy adventures in Europe and encountering weirdos is more interesting than any obvious racial commentary and fable. There are no clear whites that the writers seem to insist on telling this season — one that I enjoyed and the thought well formed. But I’m definitely only good at one.

But let’s really get into the episode written by Jordan Temple and directed by Glover. We begin with a white man named Miles (Justin Hagan) who returns to his New York penthouse to find his son Sebastian (Indy Sullivan Groudis), whom he stares at like a villain. breaks in, and his wife Braunwyn (Christina Bennett Lind) is there. Suddenly, he gets a call that a woman named Sylvia, who we find out to be Sebastian’s Trinidadian nanny, has passed away. The main highlight throughout the episode is that Sebastian has spent so much time with Sylvia that he has absorbed all of her cultural knowledge, from the food, the language to the music. Then, at her funeral, we meet a white man with a fake Caribbean accent who says he was raised by Sylvia, too. Even before we get to Chet Hanks’ nasty cameo, the joke is old.

Likewise, the episode revolves around the family attending Sylvia’s funeral in a Trinidadian neighborhood. (Notably I’m not from New York and wouldn’t guess where). Braunwyn has mixed feelings about allowing Sebastian to see someone who died at such a young age, which we can assume is just a cover-up for her fear of having to go to a foreign space, mastermind. weak are Blacks. Miles, it’s also unclear, wants to use Sylvia’s funeral as an opportunity for Sebastian to confront human death for the first time. Throughout the episode, he also repeatedly receives a piece of Sylvia’s letter on his doorstep that he has tried and failed to return to the sender.

As the family flocked to the funeral at a storefront church, Miles and Braunwyn didn’t seem as comfortable as you’d expect. But Sebastian feels at home, exchanging words with Sylvia’s daughter Khadija (Khadija Speer) as she greets them. If you’ve attended any black service or church service, a vibrant and jubilant environment is not uncommon. But the fuss of service clearly confused Miles and Braunwyn. On the other hand, Sebastian, who had apparently been brought to this church regularly by Sylvia, was participating in the call and response. Oh that’s right, and Chet Hanks is there. (We don’t need to talk about it).

“Sebastian, who has apparently been brought to this church regularly by Sylvia, is participating in the call and response. Oh that’s right, and Chet Hanks is there. (We don’t need to talk about it).”

Things escalate when Sylvia’s other daughter Princess (Alia Raquel) picks up the microphone during a dance performance of “Trini 2 De Bone” — something Sebastian knows by heart — and tells the congregation that her mother is not was never there for her and her siblings because she was always taking care of the white people’s children. Her brother interjected that their mother was providing for them. This eventually escalated into a major melee, and Miles, Braunwyn, and Sebastian quickly left.

Back home, Miles and Braunwyn try to digest what they’ve just witnessed, like every white person reacts to a slap at the Oscars. Braunwyn also worries that she and Miles weren’t present enough in Sebastian’s upbringing, but Miles assures her, and by extension himself, that they always have been.

In the episode’s final sober moment, all of Miles’ insistence that he and his wife be an important part of his son’s life is erased when he receives Sylvia’s mysterious package outside the door. your house again. Finally, he opens it and finds family photos of Sebastian and Sylvia seemingly non-existent of their biological family.


Justin Hagan as Miles, Indy Sullivan Groudis as Sebastian Warner, Christina Bennett Lind as Bronwyn Warner in Atlantaof “Trini 2 De Bone.”

Guy D’Alema / FX

As a Black viewer, I’m not sure what I’m going to feel about this episode or take away from the overall lesson I don’t already know. Even if you don’t understand what it’s like to be you personally when white people take all your labor for granted, we all see Help in 2011. And this episode doesn’t do a better job of focusing on the person of a black domestic worker than that movie.

Instead, this episode inadvertently reduces Sylvia to a host of functions because we understand who she is primarily through a white glance. Miles and Braunwyn only realize Sylvia’s worth at the end of the episode because it shows what they lack as parents. They still don’t know or care what kind of person she is. Aside from a brief eulogy, the script doesn’t offer her much introspection or even a sense of challenge, as she takes on unappreciated and often abused roles in her life. White skin-man. The fact that Sylvia is just one teachable moment in Miles and Braunwyn’s life isn’t really subversive or challenging.

But that would be a completely different episode with a different approach. According to the description, “Trini 2 De Bone” is at least partly written with white viewers in mind. Hopefully, the next five episodes will be less anxious about upsetting white people as this is a test for good blacks on television. I simply wanted to play with my boys and Van, especially in situations where they were more than just props to reveal their white nature. Why does ‘Atlanta’ keep disappearing main cast?


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