Atlanta: New Jazz
May 7, 2022 1:35 PM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Al tries Nepalese Space Cake and overthinks his fame on a strange trip through Amsterdam.

Vulture was not impressed with the Liam Neeson cameo but has good things to say about the angel Lorraine and Al's fear and emotional avoidance

The Ringer calls the episode "a much-needed opportunity to check in on Atlanta’s core tension: Al’s fundamental ambivalence toward his career" and raises a question I had as well: can we trust Earn's answer about who owns the Paper Boi masters?

Sepinwall takes an easy path through the confusion: "Given that this is a fictional show with an elastic sense of reality, does it even matter if any of this happened to Al, or if he just spent the whole 24 hours huddled in a doorway wearing a Goofy hat"
posted by mediareport (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Another strange episode about art and fame, from the crying performance artist to the odd, vaguely and not-so-vaguely threatening folks Al met during his trip. The "Cancel Club" napkin had me eyerolling a bit; not quite sure what exactly Glover, who wrote this one, was saying with that but it felt clunky. Lorraine was interesting but too much of a stock mysterious femme fatale, continuing the show's reputation for thin characterizations for its women characters (Glover's statement early on that this season would have Van as a focus seems to be not very true). Some reviewers note parallels with Paper Boi's night-long adventure in last season's episode "Woods," which also involved a Lorraine (Al's mother) dispensing pointed barbs of wisdom.

It was all pretty elliptical and yet also kind of obvious. Not really a standout but an interesting enough episode.
posted by mediareport at 1:58 PM on May 7, 2022

I really loved the Stereolab bit.
posted by Catblack at 5:06 PM on May 7, 2022

I'm pretty sure that none of that actually happened at least as early as splitting from Darius, if not right after the coffee shop.
posted by Marticus at 3:04 AM on May 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

For some reason "take drugs & then wander around the city by yourself" is like a thing people do on tv without thinking twice about it and I'm always like, nothing against doing drugs but wandering around like that seems like an incredibly reckless & stupid activity. The world is already dangerous enough & you're going to just, be unable to perceive it for awhile, for fun??? Which, Al finds out. However I felt like what Al was telling us was that he was not so sure he had a choice. Given what he said earlier about having run out of inspiration, having difficulty writing new songs, & then losing his phone with the last usable idea that he had come up with. So I guess he was feeling like he had to put himself in the way of inspiration and let it hit him. I hope something works for him soon.
posted by bleep at 10:54 AM on May 9, 2022

I'm pretty sure that none of that actually happened at least as early as splitting from Darius, if not right after the coffee shop.

The argument in favor of it being real is that we stay in the club for a minute after Al leaves, so we aren't completely tied to his perspective. But the concept of "really happened" on this show is so elastic anyway that I'm not sure it's an answerable question.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:03 PM on May 10, 2022

The actress playing Lorraine is Ava Grey. She's been in a few things I don't recognize, I think her first big role was in Pose. The actress is transgender and I think we're supposed to assume the character Lorraine is also trans. I thought she brought great energy to the show, loved her reading out Paper Boi's style. A bit of Dante's Inferno vibes with Lorraine as Virgil.

(Looking forward to the Fanfare post for the next episode!)
posted by Nelson at 6:19 AM on May 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

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