Photo: Quantrell D. Colbert/Copyright 2016, FX Networks. All rights reserved.

Donald Glover is Earn, who after dropping out of Princeton and returning home to Atlanta, Georgia, decides to try to make something of a crummy situation by managing his cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), who is actually getting pretty popular rapping under the name Paper Boi. In the process, he might improve his relationship with his ex, Van (Zazie Beetz), who is also the mother of his child.

…That sounds like a simple enough premise for a TV show, but Atlanta, one of the most critically acclaimed series in recent memory, is much, much, much more than that description implies. The comedy-drama, which frequently dabbles in surrealism, also stars Lakeith Stanfield. The fourth and final season airs in 2022.

  1. Episode 10 The Jacket
    Atlanta Season-Finale Recap: Have You Seen My Jacket? Atlanta closes out its first season with another stellar episode.
  2. Episode 9 Juneteenth
    Atlanta Recap: Oh, You Manage Rap? “Can we for once just pretend that we aren’t who we are?”
  3. Episode 8 The Club
    Atlanta Recap: I Hate the Club “If you’re at the club, then deep down you want to be at the club.”
  4. Episode 7 B.A.N.
    Atlanta Recap: Black American Network How is “Illuminati Sex” not a real song?
  5. Episode 6 Value
  6. Episode 5 Nobody Beats the Biebs
    Atlanta Recap: Black Bieber “Play your part. You’re a rapper. That’s your job.”
  7. Episode 4 The Streisand Effect
    Atlanta Recap: It’s Just the Internet “The Streisand Effect” isn’t exactly a letdown, but it’s not superb.
  8. Episode 3 Go For Broke
    Atlanta Recap: Just Try Not to Die “Why are you always turning me into the angry black woman?”
  9. Episode 2 Streets on Lock
    Atlanta Recap: In the System Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles is Atlanta’s most interesting character.
  10. Episode 1 The Big Bang
    Atlanta Series Premiere Recap: A Great Environment Atlanta is funny, fantastic, and totally unique.
  1. Episode 11 Crabs in a Barrel
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Finale Recap: Aight Then Finally, we see everything from Earn’s perspective — and confront the question of whether he’s okay.
  2. Episode 10 FUBU
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: It’s Gonna Be Bad It simply can’t be overstated what an achievement this episode is.
  3. Episode 9 North of the Border
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: Something’s Gotta Shake The split between Earn and Al is all but guaranteed now.
  4. Episode 8 Woods
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: Be Safe Out Here Al finds himself in the midst of a ghost story.
  5. Episode 7 Champagne Papi
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: It’s a Simulation, Van In the world of Atlanta, no good comes from vast, uncapped amounts of wealth.
  6. Episode 6 Teddy Perkins
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: Fine, Destiny “Teddy Perkins” is an episode you’ll be thinking about for a long time.
  7. Episode 5 Barbershop
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: A Good Day “Barbershop” is a gem because it highlights such a specific experience.
  8. Episode 4 Helen
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: Best of Five “Helen” is the episode that I’ve been waiting for.
  9. Episode 3 Money Bag Shawty
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: The Stunters and the Stunted Honestly, this entire recap could be all about Van.
  10. Episode 2 Sportin’ Waves
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Recap: Don’t You Worry Your Trappin’ Soul America loves a rapper that finally makes it big, but it also loves crucifying them.
  11. Episode 1 Alligator Man
    Atlanta Robbin’ Season Premiere Recap: You Good? No matter what you expect from Atlanta, “Alligator Man” will surprise you.
  1. Episode 10 Tarrare
    Atlanta Season-Finale Recap: Bread Up Atlanta ends the season with Van at the center of a demented episode of Emily in Paris.
  2. Episode 9 Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga
    Atlanta Recap: Autobiography of an Ex-Ex-Colored Man This week on Atlanta, in an episode shot entirely in black-and-white, the figure of the white-passing Black protagonist appears once more.
  3. Episode 8 New Jazz
    Atlanta Recap: Cakewalk Al goes on a trip and gets real with himself with the help of a new friend.
  4. Episode 7 Trini 2 De Bone
    Atlanta Recap: Homegoing “Who do you think she sacrificed to take care of those children?”
  5. Episode 6 White Fashion
    Atlanta Recap: For Them, by Them Al continues to navigate fame and what it means to perform offstage when he’s asked to join a diversity board for a fashion brand.
  6. Episode 5 Cancer Attack
    Atlanta Recap: Sock(s), Paper, Scissors This week, the boys revert to crime-drama antics when Al’s phone goes missing in Budapest.
  7. Episode 4 The Big Payback
    Atlanta Recap: Bitch Better Have My Money With another stand-alone episode, Atlanta throws its hat in the reparations ring and wrestles the topic’s enormous implications with satire.
  8. Episode 3 The Old Man and the Tree
    Atlanta Recap: Robbery and Fraud Atlanta’s tour through Europe continues to uncover the unquantifiable losses wrought by history with humor and horror.
  9. Episode 2 Sinterklaas is Coming to Town
    Atlanta Recap: Season’s Grievings Paper Boi’s celebrity might be on the rise on his European tour, but anti-Blackness works to close the distance between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
  10. Episode 1 Three Slaps
    Atlanta Season-Premiere Recap: See You in My Nightmares A nightmarish premiere reintroduces Atlanta’s penchant for captivatingly strange storytelling.
  1. Episode 10 It Was All a Dream
    Atlanta Series-Finale Recap: The Simulation Is Glitching A beautiful finale stays true to the show’s Afro-surrealist nature to the very end.
  2. Episode 9 Andrew Wyeth. Alfred’s World.
    Atlanta Recap: Feral Hogs Al escapes to nature, but it’s far from idyllic.
  3. Episode 8 The Goof Who Sat by the Door
    Atlanta Recap: The Making of the Blackest Movie of All Time A stand-alone mockumentary episode gives us a complete timeline of the making of Disney’s ’90s classic about a Black man and his son.
  4. Episode 7 Snipe Hunt
    Atlanta Recap: Happy Birthday, Lottie Don’t be fooled by the horror-movie setup — this episode is focused on something much scarier than camping: vulnerability.
  5. Episode 6 Crank Dat Killer
    Atlanta Recap: Watch Your Back, Soulja How could Al have anticipated that a YouTube video from the prehistoric year 2007 would come back to bite him in the ass?
  6. Episode 5 Work Ethic!
    Atlanta Recap: Mr. Chocolate and the Black Movie Factory What Van believes will be a quick adventure in a Tyler Perry–esque production turns into a pivotal moment for her as a mother.
  7. Episode 4 Light Skinned-ed
    Atlanta Recap: Take Me to Church Everyone has an Aunt Jeanie in their life.
  8. Episode 3 Born 2 Die
    Atlanta Recap: D’Angelo? This episode feels like a continuation of last season’s “New Jazz” and its themes of control, power, and who ultimately owns the culture.
  9. Episode 2 The Homeliest Little Horse
    Atlanta Recap: Spite Is a Powerful Thing Atlanta provides a delightful (and overdue) peek into Earn’s psyche.
  10. Episode 1 The Most Atlanta
    Atlanta Season-Premiere Recap: For the Culture Coming back to Atlanta is the perfect and most obvious way to begin such a bittersweet ending.

The Latest on Atlanta

  1. the system
    Why Young Thug? How prosecutors made one of the hottest rap stars the face of urban crime.
  2. finale thoughts
    Zazie Beetz Lays Van to Rest Seven years playing Atlanta’s most wayward character has brought the actor clarity: “The character is a part of my transformation.”
  3. into it
    Atlanta Wasn’t for Everyone Stephen Glover on testing the boundaries of television as his (and his brother’s) show signs off.
  4. holey moley
    Post Malone Fell Into a Hole Again Somebody please buy him a better floor.
  5. close read
    Atlanta’s Van-ishing Act As the series’ narrative ambitions have grown, every character has benefited, save Zazie Beetz’s Van.
  6. trailer mix
    Atlanta Season 4 Trailer: The End Is Already Here The final season of the series is coming to FX, premiering September 15.
  7. urgent reconsideration
    Atlanta Season Three Was a Bad Trip After a four-year break, Donald Glover’s FX series returned unsure of what it wanted to say. Four Vulture writers and critics try to make sense of it.
  8. chat room
    Justin Bartha Welcomes All Interpretations of Atlanta’s Reparations Episode “I tried to connect to every little notch on the journey, the tick, tick, tick of the time bomb of him having no choice but to face reality.”
  9. close read
    This Week’s Atlanta Insists That Attention Must Be Paid “The Big Payback” makes a case for reparations and a case for how much small details can matter.
  10. chat room
    Don’t Worry, Atlanta’s Christopher Farrar Didn’t Have to Eat Raw Chicken “The chicken was actually done. They did some coloring and special effects to it.”