There are many shows that went on hiatus due to the you-know-what of 2020, but few have been as highly anticipated as the bold and fearless ‘Atlanta’, the hit FX series known for its genre-busting mashup of dark comedy, social satire, and head-scratching surrealism. The critically acclaimed first two seasons had glowing reviews, and after waiting four years, critics are now raving about Season 3, which they say is a deeper, next-level continuation of what made it unlike any show on TV.
Daniel D’Addario from Variety
Daniel D’Addario from Variety is impressed with the first episode of Season 3, which starts the show on a full-throttle ride with thought-provoking racial issues while also giving viewers a glimpse into the journey of individual characters.
As D’Addario points out, “The premiere episode’s powerful assuredness, as well as the deep concern with looking uncomfortably hard and finding the grim comedy and the outlandish sorrow within American life, is precisely what makes this show, once again, great.” In the episode “Three Slaps,” he appreciates the surprising way the show seems to walk on the edge of nihilism but instead, becomes a narrative of eye-opening curiosity with just the right amount of cringe to make us uneasy.
Jen Chaney from Vulture
While other shows approach racial topics with a simplified after-school special vibe, Season 3 of ‘Atlanta’ is uniquely memorable because it dances between serious discussions about social justice and button-pushing satire.
Jen Cheney from Vulture points to “The Big Payback” episode, which explores both sides of the reparations discussion with dense details that illuminate broader themes. Cheney writes: “This is an episode about a man being jolted out of his bubble and forced to pay attention, and it, in turn, demands close attention from viewers.” She praises the way the writers allow the audience to draw their own conclusions by giving them multiple layers of deliberate complexity, which play out in an eerie, yet familiar alternate reality.
Darren Franich from Entertainment Weekly
In Season 3 of ‘Atlanta’, the show may have switched up the setting, but the characters have returned in full force, bringing the trademark social satire and magical realism through the eyes of a remarkable ensemble cast. Singing its praises, Darren Franich from Entertainment Weekly explains, “After four long years away, it’s a relief to report that creator Donald Glover and his collaborators have not lost their capacity for vital tone-clashing comedy.”
The crew is now in Amsterdam, supporting Paper Boi on his European tour, and the show expertly uses the realistic and believable plotline to depict the not-so-subtle undertones of racism across the pond. In their most courageous narrative yet, ‘Atlanta’ takes the shocks and absurdity beyond America and gives the series a touch of world-weariness that feels well-baked yet refreshingly insightful.
Daniel Fienberg from Hollywood Reporter
For fans of the FX breakout series ‘Atlanta’, it’s no surprise that the show isn’t afraid to take a close look at uncomfortable topics like racial justice. According to critics from the Hollywood Reporter, what comes as a delightful, mind-bending shock is the way the episodes hold onto their signature elements while also exploring new roads and experimenting with different effects and overtones.
The reason it stands out in the oversaturated world of TV, Daniel Feinberg says, is “…probably because no other show on TV is doing the thing that ‘Atlanta’ does, with its doses of humor, surrealism, horror, travelogue, and hip-hop as genre-blending starting points for an uncomfortable exploration of racial identity in America.”
Ciara Wardlow from Roger and Ebert
In the highly anticipated, long-awaited Season 3, Ciara Wardlow from Roger and Ebert gives ‘Atlanta’ high marks for circumventing expectations and reimagining them in a bold way. She makes the case that “many shows try to break rules, but few do so as gracefully as ‘Atlanta.’” Among the rule-breaking of Season 3, she gives a well-earned shout-out to the 90s flashbacks, which pushes back against expected continuity and paves its own timeline.
She also admires how the writers use brilliant details to ground the many surreal twists and turns in a believable way. As a result, the shock value produces lots of laughs from the vantage point of a relatable backdrop, which is both a refreshing and also surprising continuation of the show’s signature take on grim comedy.
Stream all episodes of Atlanta Season 3 with a Vidgo subscription, an all-in-one streaming service that includes access to hundreds of channels, the best in live sports, and thousands of on demand titles. For more entertainment articles, check out our review of The Old Man on FX, also available with Vidgo.