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TTM 102: Work Ethic

Rod and Bassey recap Atlanta.

Twitter: @rodimusprime @Basseyworld

Email: theblackguywhotips@gmail.com

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  1. rodimusprime

    Rod and Bassey,

    Bassey, I keep hearing your words about having a sense of how to watch the show. For me that articulated something I didn’t even know I was trying to understand. It’s like there’s an invitation to enter the world they’ve created, look at it from the inside out, then back in from the outside, if that makes any sense at all. And that view is different for each episode, which I think is Atlanta’s particular genius, pushing and pulling us somewhere else, wanting us to go with it. Now damn near all the episodes feel like anthology, each telling a small part of a bigger story that sometimes you get a thread of, but maybe we won’t know fully until the whole thing is told. Wait a minute! Is Atlanta life? This just got meditative and existential AF.

    For “Work Ethic,” I wonder if the meta aspect of it that you talked about is that it’s a farce about making farce (i.e comic dramatic work using buffoonery, crude characterization, ludicrous situations, which basically describes TP’s work for those who wanna get all high-minded about the simple joys of foolishness meant to entertain). For a minute I was taking Van’s position in the episode seriously, which, who knows if we should? Toward the end, when she says “You’re a monster” to Kirkwood Chocolate in this very melodramatic way, I said, in full agreement with y’all, this show’s got levels within its levels. (BTW, in addition to your Costco reference, Rod, Kirkwood is also my neighborhood in Atlanta, so I cackled.)

    Anyway, as to what to make of Van, maybe she is to Earn what Darius is to Alfred. Maybe they’re like foils for Earn and Al’s growth, and what’s to become of them ultimately, how they came to be the way they are, we’ll never know. Darius being in more of the show and so grounded in himself perhaps makes it feel like we know him better. Maybe Van is just any of us, sometimes struggling for a while to figure it out.

    Thank you for the time and thoughtful discussion you put into this. It’s like I wished for friends I could listen to talk about the show and the universe said “Here you go, I got you.”

    Much love and peace,

  2. Sean

    Darius has an anthology episode with very little character development and has basically been the same since season 1. Not a problem.

    Van has an anthology episode with very little character development and has basically been the same character since season 1. problem.

    I too would have like to see them develop Van’s character, but she is a peripheral character and I think that they may have been impressed with her in season 1 and decided to give half of Darius’ adventure sidebars to her.

    That being said, this was one of my favorite anthology episodes so far.

  3. Misskrysable

    Great episode as per usual, the only link I’ve been seeing with these Van episodes is that she may be trying too hard to not be a basic ATL girl. Like she’s trying not to be a basic baby mama. Trying too hard to not be a “airplanes in my bio” THOT. Trying too hard to not be a Bougie Bankhead Juneteenth negro. Trying not to be a Atlanta Station body count all-star. Trying to break out the mommy role by being weird in Europe. But I think at the end of the day she gonna embrace being a basic bword from Atlanta. IDK that’s my thoughts on the Van episodes.
    Can’t wait for y’all insight on my theory and your “spoilers” I mean guesses (wink).

  4. rodimusprime

    Hey y’all, I’ve been having problems creating a account on the site to make this comment but I had to get it to you with the revelation of the final episode name. I definitely think it could be a dream that a character is having. The reason is because back in 2014 Childish Gambino had a mixtape, STN MTN/Kauai that started with the phrase “I had a dream I ran Atlanta”. The mixtape proceeds to be a compilation of him rapping over a bunch of infamous beats and it ends with “… and then I woke up”. Ever since the TV show came out I’ve wondered if he would connect the two together. Probably far fetched but it would be dope to see it referenced somehow. Either way, thank you guys for doing a recap of the show that breaks it down into more than just” this shit is good “or” this some trash”. It’s definitely a very nuanced and layered show and I don’t have anyone to talk to about it so y’all are scratching that it.

    Much love,


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