I appreciated FX’s dynamic new comedy from Donald Glover right from the first episode, because while I found it funny, and at times powerfully disturbing (which is in itself a tantalizing combination), it also felt unarguably authentic, a quality missing from more television shows (including the better ones) than one might think. It never for a minute felt like something that was conceived in a writers’ room or victimized by network and studio notes (though it may have been, because who really knows). It felt real, even to someone who has no first-hand knowledge of rap music, economic desperation or the neighborhoods of Atlanta, where the show is set. I hadn’t had that response to a comedy since the premiere of HBO’s Girls though, again, I know next to nothing about why Millennials behave the way they do, especially those of the Brooklyn variety. There are similarities: Both shows play out in urban settings, and both star the person who created the series. The difference is that I find the characters in Girls to be largely detestable and exasperating; but I like most of the folks I have come to know in Atlanta, especially well-intentioned f**k-up Earn, played by Glover himself.
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