Atlanta: Robbin' Season

The second season of Atlanta is consistently very good. Donald Glover, who writes, produces, acts in, and directs the show (not always), did things differently this round, starting off these eleven episodes with the primary arcs and then taking a multi-episode digression to dig into characters individually before returning to the main story lines. The digressions ramp up its entertainment value, and "Teddy Perkins" (Ep. 6, directed by Hiro Murai) is one of the most bizarre, unsettling, and hilarious TV episodes I've seen in quite a while.

But the season isn't just kicks and giggles; it explores some big issues and social problems. The "Teddy Perkins" episode, for example, takes a look at the psychological pressures some famous kids experience and then continue to face later in life, with the creepy Theodore "Teddy" Perkins clearly based on a later-in-life Michael Jackson. Then there's the episode with Earn as a teenage boy in high school. "FUBU" (Ep. 10), directed by Donald Glover, shows us bullying and then teenage suicide which may be the result of that bullying.

The episodes do not always tie in with each other, but upon completion of the season and while looking back on the whole, I could see an overarching coherency to it all that's gratifying and works really well.