ATLANTA: THE FINAL SEASON
Starring: Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz
Creator: Donald Glover
Season Four of Atlanta cements it as one of the greatest series of all time. The unpredictably poignant writing makes every second a must see, and the main foursome’s screen presence continues to keep your eyes glued. But what really makes this final season shine is its return home. The deep connection to music culture, Southern culture, and Black culture has always been a strength, but the return to the city of Atlanta created some of the best episodes of the entire series. Kudos to The Glover Brothers and Hiro Murai for sending off Atlanta as weirdly down-home as it knows how.
What I’ve loved most about Atlanta is that it never intended to play by the rules, always doing its own thing. Donald Glover (a damn genius) and Co. did just that with the series’ fourth and final season, which brought the show back to its unique and brilliant roots. The stories told are so unpredictable that you never know what you are going to get in terms of tone and subject matter; that’s what made it such a fun and weird trip. I’m going to miss these characters dearly, and I’m bummed it’s over.
Though a smidge weaker than its previous seasons, Atlanta’s final go ‘round continues to deliver surreal, hilarious, and thoughtful takes on black culture while also wrapping up one of the best shows of (at least) the last decade. My only complaint is, while the final moments present an ambiguity that interestingly reframes the entire series, it feels tacked on. The ending works and is on brand, but it’s slightly unearned since they didn’t thread a setup throughout the season (it feels more like a season finale than a series finale). Then again, maybe I’m just sad and bitter because I’ll miss spending time with the characters.
Part of me wishes it had ended on a more satisfying note, but Atlanta ended in true Atlanta fashion, and for one of my all-time favourite shows, that’s good enough for me. While it once again lacks a cohesive structure, it’s refreshing to get a season focused on the main cast after Season Three’s anthology approach. We get deeper dives into these characters, and I’ve never felt more attached even as they walk off into the sunset. The show once again brings brilliant surrealism with an effective satirical bite and intensity; there are no other shows like Atlanta, and that’s why I will miss it.