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The Monthly (Australia) - - VOX -

his milk any good?” asks Dar­ius (Lakeith Stan­field), a stoner, sniff­ing from a car­ton at a re­frig­er­a­tor door. “What you using it for?” asks his stoned rap­per friend Al­fred “Pa­per Boi” Miles (Brian Tyree Henry) – as if there were a range of pos­si­ble an­swers. “Drink­ing,” replies Dar­ius, poker-faced. “Yeah, no,” says Pa­per Boi. “Don’t use it to drink.”

At­lanta, a half-hour FX com­edy se­ries now show­ing on SBS, comes from the mind of ac­tor-rap­per-co­me­di­an­pro­ducer-singer-song­writer Don­ald Glover: he cre­ated, wrote, pro­duced and stars in this pleas­antly am­bling, at times pleas­antly dis­jointed, here and there oddly paced se­ries. It is lan­guid and warm and funny, and of­ten mov­ing. The show is pep­pered with ex­changes like the above: some of them are ob­vi­ous, in keep­ing with the cur­rent trend to­wards ob­ser­va­tional, low-key, lo-fi hu­mour, but even at their most el­lip­ti­cal, as lit­tle comic riffs, they sparkle.

Glover is Earnest (“Earn”) Marks, a low-key, lo-fi hu­man him­self. Read­ing his sur­face, you’d call him aim­less. But be­neath that there’s some­thing else go­ing on: he’s try­ing to find a fu­ture, even though he doesn’t even seem all that good at the present. He wan­ders around At­lanta. He has a daugh­ter, a tod­dler, with his ex, Van (Zazie Beetz). Some­times Earn and Van still sleep to­gether, though she’s dat­ing some­one else, or, rather, go­ing on dates. Earn him­self is largely home­less – or, rather, do­ing a fair amount of couch surf­ing. (He vis­its his par­ents. They’re not so wel­com­ing, and don’t even in­vite him into the house.)

Pa­per Boi, who is Earn’s cousin, is just be­gin­ning to gain some lo­cal no­to­ri­ety as a rap­per. Earn of­fers to be his man­ager, ex­plain­ing that he’ll need help if he’s to stand

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