TV: Atlanta, BBC2

You might almost think this was planned. Just as the video for Chidlish Gambino's This Is America has gone uber-viral BBC2 has scheduled Atlanta, the 2016 comedy-drama created by and starring Donald Glover, the alter ego of the very same Mr Gambino. If that doesn't get people watching this enjoyable but slightly hidden-away series I don't know what will. 

Glover plays Earn, a decent, ambitious Princeton drop-out trying to make a living for himself, but stuck in a dead-end job getting travellers to sign up for credit cards. He has a baby to look after, his parents are unhappy with him for blocking up their toilet with a massive turd and his girlfriend complains that he never says he loves her.

Things aren't looking good. Until he hears people talking about underground rapper Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), who just happens to be his cousin. Is this Earn's big break? Could he manage Paper Boi and become his "silent wildcard"? The rapper takes some persuading but when Earn hustles his way into the local radio station and gets his track played maybe he is on his way...

Atlanta would stand out even if Glover had not been making waves with his own music. It's not an out-and-out comedy, but there are plenty of wry lines and a quirky, idiosyncratic visual style (director Hiro Murai also helmed This Is America). Having seen This Is America dissected everywhere over the last week one immediately wants to go through Atlanta with a microscope too. What's with the dog in the background? What's with the guy making a Nutella sandwich on the bus? 

And Glover is certainly a very watchable performer. The camera likes him and one immediately warms to Earn even if he is far from perfect. We won't give too much away but this series certainly starts with a bang and is well worth sticking with.

Sundays from May 13, 10pm, BBC2.


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