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TTM 98: Tarrare

Rod and Bassey recap Atlanta.

Twitter: @rodimusprime @Basseyworld

Email: theblackguywhotips@gmail.com

Site: www.theblackguywhotips.com

Voice Mail: 704-557-0186

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  1. rodimusprime

    Hi Rod, Karen and Bassey,

    Eddie from London here, just to say thank you so much for the fantastic Atlanta s3 recaps, I have been listening to them on a beach in Greece and have enjoyed your sharp funny analysis and interesting theories which have enriched my experience of this masterpiece of television.

    Quick observation on the ending of white fashion, where Van and Earn kiss while listening to the great song “In your Eyes” by the ‘New Jazz’ band called BadBadNotGood. Van mentions everyone is listening to this song at the moment and when I discovered what it was, I noticed it was made in 2016 when the first season of Atlanta was released. I think this supports Bassey’s theory of a non-linear time jump story, as this may be from Paper Boi’s first European tour, but I have no idea to be honest. I’m just really glad I discovered that song and am totally obsessed with that band now, which is an all white young jazz band, which I wonder is also a specific choice by the producers about how Earn and to some extent Van were embracing a new white identity even if often appropriatesb the best parts of black culture.

    Anyway, I may be way off, but thank you so much for all your work and I look forward to the retrospective and s4 recaps in the Fall!

    Much love from the UK
    Eddie aka Sasha

  2. JasonDK

    Hey Rod, Bassey and Karen,

    Love these recaps, the most in-depth analysis of the show out there. I’ve always felt like Van was supposed to be a character we rarely see and that changed over time, so the character never fully got fleshed out in the way the others did. Add in that she was probably written as a local Atlanta woman and Zazie Beetz couldn’t embody that believably, so they probably had to change her character’s backstory mid-season.

    Overall I think this episode did a great job at fleshing out what was there with Van and intrigued to see where they take her next season. It seems foolish to try and predict where they go with her, but it feels like Van has a solid footing.

    I loved this season as a whole, it wasn’t my favourite but it did what I want Atlanta to do, which is surprise me. I’m happy they even got five episodes together to be honest, them niggas all booked and extremely busy, Paper Boi is an eternal dammit! Rapping can wait.

    I also really agreed with both your takes on contemporary Black criticism. Other reviews tend to take a weirdly antagonistic approach to the show. It’s like they’re dying to show that they’re smarter than the show makers.

    It’s either that or hyper focusing on their parasocial relationship with Donald Glover and putting everything they dislike about the show solely on him. That episode of the Nod with Angelica Bastien saying she was ‘calling out Donald Glover by name’ was very weird. He didn’t make the whole season alone or for you personally.

    I’ve also never seen how shitting on Black creators for white owned media companies somehow makes you against the system rather than another puppet of it. These people Uncle Ruckus but think they’re freedom fighters.

    Also, with the guest star criticism, the attack lines are always super blurred. If Chet Hanks should never appear on TV again, surely Ziwe should receive some criticism as well. You’re still giving him airtime, even if it is an awkward interview.

    Kevin Samuels did the worst thing possible in that episode, which is a good job. It is funny because if Steve Harvey was available for the role, then the whole ‘Donald hates Black women’ reasoning falls apart.

    Personally, I do wish they would’ve chosen someone else as the casting of Samuels was always going to overtake the conversation. And Liam Neeson’s thing wasn’t even specifically about Black women, he just gets chucked in there like the cherry on top.

    But love the recaps and thanks for dissecting the actual show and not what you think the show should be.

  3. rodimusprime

    Hi Rod and Bassie!

    I’m so very glad to have found this recap pod about my favorite show Atlanta. As of about a year ago, I’m a frequent but not always listener of TBGWT and in one episode of that, you promoted This Too Much: Atlanta and even though that was after episode 5 or 6, I binged this season’s recaps to catch up. I did not go back to y’all’s recaps of previous seasons but I certainly will eventually. Upon discovering TTM, I googled you Bassie and heyyyyyyyy we have the same birthdate but I’m ’73.

    I love the show Atlanta for a bunch of reasons. I grew up in NW Ga but moved to Atlanta after college in 1997. So obviously, I had high hopes for the show and was nervous about how FX would portray “my” be-loved city and how it would be received. What I’m saying is, I was probably going to like it but curious to see how it comes off to non-Atlantans (or Atliens as we say) But these are the reasons I LOVE IT besides the characters, the themes, the actors, the screenplays all that goes without saying and I hope they keep getting more awards.

    · They take their time with scenes but it’s never slow to me. I’m always on the edge of my seat. One example is in season 1 when Van meets her jet setter friend for dinner. That scene still sticks with me for the awkwardness and tension and it’s because they didn’t rush the dialogue.

    · The ambient noise in outdoor scenes (when set in Atlanta). Because of all the trains in Atlanta, you can almost always hear a distant train and I’m not sure, but I believe it’s not sound they added postproduction. It sounded very real. Same with when they are on the south side for airplanes from Hartsfield Jackson. If you are south of downtown ATL, there’s plane noise.

    · The random shit that happens in Atlanta that the show slides in. Mike Vick racing in the parking is not farfetched and the people dressed as cows for Chick Fil A founding day (season one Jacket) is a real thing and everyone is on board for that free chicken biscuit or original sandwich. LOL! And you can literally safety pin some round black dots to your shirt. You don’t have to buy a cow costume.

    · I love spotting the landmarks and trying to figure out where they are. The end of Big Payback, the restaurant is Tiny Lou’s on Ponce that sits above the notorious Clermont Lounge strip club. You can see a sticker on the locker Doug from the Hangover is leaning on. It’s a very good restaurant. The Lounge is not everyone’s cup of tea but locals find it a true treasure.

    About this season though. I really enjoyed it. Rod, like I feel you expressed on the season finale recap, it’s odd how people go in trying to critique art just to have some profound “hot take” on how it didn’t hit for them. To me it does feel free to just take art as it comes in, deal with it yourself, and understand that the emotion that you feel, regardless of what that emotion is, is a win for the artist.

    At first, I was really miffed at Trini 2 de Bone because it was set in NY and not Atlanta and didn’t want to like that episode because of that but it’s the one that has stuck with me the most. I can’t pinpoint why. I think it felt like the most “sensible” episode for me. No big horror elements or questioning is this character real or a figment of a dream, or drugs or illness. Every part of it was completely plausible and the fact that these parents have no clue who their son or Sylvia is makes no sense to me but there are so many parents like that and it makes me really sad. I hope Bash emancipates himself from his parents one day. I think its too late for them to clue in. Bassie, your comment about how the parents didn’t even flinch when the family mentions at the funeral that Sylvia danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company. That made me very mad too! I thought rich NYers were supposed to be SO knowledgeable about fine art. Ugh! So clueless.

    I do love eggs benedict and any variation of. Haha! It can be bland and that’s why we have Tony’s seasoning and all kinds of hot sauce. But I must look up recipes for spicy mango sauce now.

    Thanks so much for breaking down the show so well for us fans and I’m looking forward to the “season 4” aka, the rest of this season. Peace and Love Y’all!


  4. RoninRaphael

    Hi Bassey, Rod, and Karen’s laughs.

    Thank you once again for your wonderful recaps. Old me before I found TBGWT would have been like I hate this show, but now I love it. I love what they did this season cause eventhough I didn’t expect it, I had a hell of a good time watching it and processing afterwards. It’s one of my favorites and I’ll be back for the 4th season. I wish there would be more but I’m glad that we got as much as we did. I’ll go rewatch it again.

    Finally, another reason I appreciate you is that you were the person that got me to stop listening or reading critics that hated anything with diversity especially Black. I did not realize how many of them I had been consuming, getting mad and looking for who to fight with. Now I’m happier. If I don’t like a work I simply move on. Now let me go study to pass my Black test and get them sporting waves on my bald head. Trying to be a high-value Negro!

  5. Sean

    Thanks for your recaps! Even if I didn’t enjoy Atlanta I would watch it anyways so I could enjoy your recaps. I held on to this episode for a while, and then watched when I saw your review drop. I have really enjoyed this season, but I grew up on Twilight Zone, so that half of the season really worked for me.

    I found this episode hilarious except for the pan-fried left hands. I mean, that is disgusting. Hands have no meat, only fat and sinew. You have to pressure cook that shit! Also, could have used some tarragon and thyme… you can’t just salt and pepper to taste!

    Also, do you think the one-eyed man who attacked them was a previous course?

    That being said, I am looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing how they connect the anthology and core stories.

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