TV review: Atlanta Robbin' Season 2, Fox UK (5 stars)

TV review: Atlanta Robbin' Season 2, Fox UK

Donald Glover's hip hop infused dramedy and dissection of American culture goes from strength to strength

The creative team behind Donald Glover's surreal critique of American society go to even darker places in the highly anticipated and unflinching Season 2. Hiro Murai – who recently dropped the provocative Childish Gambino music video 'This is America' – directs the majority of the series delivering an electric weirdness throughout. Amy Seimetz and Glover direct a couple more episodes touching upon modern Sisyphean anxieties and a keen insight into the fickle nature of the music industry.

The opening episode starts on a brutal note but soon ends up in blackly comic territory as Earn (Glover) visits his uncle, The Alligator Man, to solve a domestic dispute. The viewer is given more insight into Earn's family life with a later episode, FUBU, highlighting his dynamic with Alfred (aka Paper Boi played by Brian Tyree Henry) from a young age.

Earn's romantic relationship with Van (Zazie Beetz) is also painfully examined when she takes him to her home town to celebrate the Germanic festival, Fastnacht. The backdrop of the festival supplies a strange carnival ambience that builds slowly with dread as Earn's selfish side rears its ugly head. However, it's an episode titled Eddy Perkins where the real terror ramps up with Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) visiting a wealthy musician in a haunting mansion to pick up a free piano. Stanfield is marvellous as he encounters a heavily made-up, white faced, eccentric played by Glover. An unforgettable 2018 TV highlight suffused with a Lynchian quality.

Glover and his writers' (including his brother Stephen) approach their characters and narratives with a down to earth genius that eases confidently into absurdity as they pry open and poke the cult of celebrity worship, Instagram lifestyles and race.

Atlanta Season 2 starts on Fox (UK), Sun 17 Jun, 10pm.

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