TV Review: Atlanta S4


Graphic by Rivy

Henry Brandler, Staff Reporter

…..The final season of Atlanta aired on FX from September 15 to November 10 with new episodes premiering each Thursday. The show, which started in 2016, has had four seasons premiering in 2016, 2018, and two in 2022 after a four-year hiatus. It was produced by Donald Glover and directed by Hiro Murai. Atlanta revolves around the four main characters: Earn, Darius, Alfred, and Van. Miles (Brian Tyree Henry), also known as Paper Boi, is a rapper who is managed by his cousin Earn, played by Donald Glover. Earn has a daughter named Lottie who he had with his ex, Van, and he quickly becomes friends with Darius, Alfred’s best friend. Throughout the show, the group builds up their success as Paper Boi becomes a more popular rapper. In season three, Paper Boi goes on a European tour and the rest of the main characters come with him. In season four, the crew returns back to Atlanta, and the show ends there.

…..The first couple of seasons gets the show off to a good start. The characters are likable and the chemistry between them leads to an entertaining show. Even though it has been on TV for six years, Atlanta still has managed to stay fresh and new. Although season one is a strong introduction to the show and season two continues to be great, season 3 is not as good, lacking some of the elements that make the show feel experimental. One of the notable differences is that the main characters get less screen time in season three and some of the episodes are short stories that connect to the overall story of Atlanta. It lacks a focus on the main characters and has an increased focus on an anthology. The season is still entertaining but is still not as good as seasons one and two. 

…..The components of season four are similar to that of season three. While Earn and Paper Boi are still important pieces to season four, Darius gets little screen time and the same thing goes for Van for the first few episodes. Atlanta is at its best when the four main characters are all together and interacting with each other, which was somewhat frequent before season four. However, most of the episodes show the events that happen to only one of the characters and tend to have very little continuity among each other. It also doesn’t have the same comedic touch that made the previous seasons memorable. 

…..Another thing to like about the new season is the surrealism. It is a key feature of past seasons and was evident in most of the episodes. The surrealism made the show feel weird and innovative. It is also interesting to see how the characters have developed since the first season. Paper Boi has grown from an up-and-coming rapper in the first season and found success as the show progressed. Earn’s relationship with Van and Lottie also changes throughout the show, and it takes a turn when Earn becomes interested in moving to Los Angeles. 

…..The ending of the show had viewers debating what exactly happened. It led to the question ‘was it all a dream?’ In the episode, Darius goes through sensory deprivation, questioning the difference between his dreams and reality. Many viewers came up with theories to explain the ending. The final episode connects the core of the show as it comes to an end.

…..Overall, I enjoyed the final season of Atlanta. It is good, but not great. It has its flaws and does not live up to the earlier stages of the show. However, it is still entertaining and interesting. I would recommend the series to anyone though it is rated TV-MA and there are definitely mature elements. It is available to stream on Hulu and the FX Channel.