My Pen Is Mighty
Pay Attention To What The Food Scenes Are Saying In FX’s ‘Atlanta’
Hidden messages abound.
We’d waited almost four long years to get new episodes of Donald Glover’s thought-provoking Atlanta on FX, and I’ve got to tell you that it was totally worth it. Before this third season of the critically acclaimed series, the last time we saw these eccentric, carefree characters was in spring 2018, and Paper Boi’s (Brian Tyree Henry) rap career was just starting to take off.
There’s much speculation into why Atlanta has been off the air for so long, including scheduling conflicts and the pandemic, but Glover and company have had a lot to think about during the show’s absence. So much has happened. And that makes for a lot of great content.
In every episode this third season, there are many hidden and overt messages. There’s no doubt about it as the overarching themes range from privilege and institutional racism to woke-ism and the downside of achieving fame. With the rising popularity of Paper Boi comes wealth for him and his friends, yet also a whole bunch of other issues, such as with what happens after an overzealous fan is accused of stealing his phone.
Food also features prominently in several key scenes this season. Some were more haunting and ominous as they played out, while others were meant to serve as a warning to keep some things for the culture. Keep reading and you’ll understand what I mean (watch out for spoilers!).
Episode 1: “Three Slaps”
The season’s premiere kicks off with the story of a little Black kid named Loquareeous (Christopher Farrar), whose white teachers fear he’s being abused at home because his grandfather slaps him three times in front of them after he misbehaves at school. Loquareeous also takes his mother’s cooking for granted because she’s always making spaghetti, and he wants something else to eat. Be careful of what you ask for because he’s soon taken to a foster home where the foster moms are a white lesbian couple with three adopted Black children.
The kids look malnourished and miserable, the house is smelly and dirty, and the food they cook looks nasty as hell. Dinner typically consists of overripe avocado slices, olives, and “fried” chicken…