Donald Glover Is Going For More Giggles Than Shits In New Dramedy ‘Atlanta’

Next month, Donald Glover‘s much-awaited dramedy ‘Atlanta‘ – which he created, co-wrote, executive produced, and stars in – begins airing, but until now, we haven’t known much about it.

The basic plot is this: the Dong Lover himself stars as Earn, a wannabe manager who jumps on the success of his cousin Paper Boi‘s (Brian Tyree Henry) burgeoning rap career. Obviously it all takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, a city that Glover calls “a beautiful metaphor for black people”

Now the notoriously media-aversive Glover has given a lengthy interview to the NY Times ahead of Atlanta’s premiere. He talks everything from the all-black writer’s room (virtually unheard of in television) to working with his long-time music video director (but first-time TV director) Hiro Murai, but what comes up time and time again is the representation of black culture.

The NY Times notes that the show “explores Earn’s ever-evolving balancing act between his origins and a life often spent in predominantly white settings”, and like all that falls from the 32-year-old’s mouth, the quotes from Glover are extremely dope. Here are some of the best of them.

On white people ‘getting’ black culture:

“I wanted to show white people, you don’t know everything about black culture. I know it’s very easy to feel that way. Like, I get it, you can hear about the Nae Nae the day it comes out. You follow Hood Vines, and you have your one black friend and you think they teach you everything, I get it that Deshaun said that black people love … nigga, I hate Deshaun.”

On ‘The Catcher in the Rye‘:

“When we were kids, it didn’t make sense to us. This dude is like, ‘Everybody’s phony’ — that’s such a white struggle, not realising until you’re a teenager that adults are full of shit. Black people learn that real early.”

On FX wanting the character of Paper Boi (the rapper who sidelines in drug dealing) to live in a run-down, “traplike” home:

“We were like, ‘No, he’s a drug dealer, he makes enough money to live in a regular apartment.’ There were some things so subtle and black that people had no idea what we were talking about.”

On prioritising comedy over political correctness:

“The No. 1 thing we kept coming back to is that it needs to be funny first and foremost. I never wanted this shit to be important. I never wanted this show to be about diversity; all that shit is wack to me. There’s a lot of clapter [a joke designed to make people applaud rather than laugh] going on. A lot of niggas be like … [Glover started clapping exaggeratedly] ‘So true, yes, so, so true.’ But what you did isn’t funny; they’re just clapping and laughing to be on the right side of history.”

Honestly this whole interview is pretty dope, read it here.

Oh, and have a gander at the Tame Impala-soundtracked trailer below. Thing drops on September 6 on FX in the States, and we’ll be waiting to see where we can watch it in Australia. COOL.

Source: Vulture.

Photo: Getty / Neilson Barnard.