The third season of the American television series Atlanta premiered on March 24, 2022, on FX. The season is produced by RBA, 343 Incorporated, MGMT. Entertainment, and FXP, with Donald Glover, Paul Simms, Dianne McGunigle, Stephen Glover, Hiro Murai, and Stefani Robinson serving as executive producers. Donald Glover serves as creator and showrunner, writing two episodes and directing three episodes of the season.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||March 24 –|
May 19, 2022
The season was ordered in June 2018. It stars Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz. The series follows Earn during his daily life in Atlanta, Georgia, as he tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his ex-girlfriend Van, who is also the mother of his daughter Lottie; as well as his parents and his cousin Alfred, who raps under the stage name "Paper Boi"; and Darius, Alfred's eccentric right-hand man. The season takes place in Europe, with the characters in the middle of a European tour. The European cities featured throughout the season include Amsterdam, London, and Paris. The season also explores events happening back in America outside of the core characters in a vignette format, all through Earn’s dreams. These episodes take place in Atlanta, and New York.
The season premiered on March 24, 2022, on FX. The season premiere received 0.310 million viewers with a 0.1 ratings share in the 18–49 demographics. The season ended on May 20, 2022, with an average of 0.25 million viewers, which was a 61% decrease from the previous season. The season has received critical acclaim, with television commentators lauding the performances, directing, writing, and storytelling. However, the standalone episodes have garnered a more mixed response as the season has gone on; whilst they were initially praised, as they have progressed criticisms have gone towards the abrupt changes in settings, the anthological nature of each episode, as well as the main cast not appearing in any of the standalone episodes. In August 2019, two and a half years before the season started airing, FX renewed the series for a fourth and final season.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Donald Glover as Earnest "Earn" Marks
- Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred "Paper Boi" Miles
- LaKeith Stanfield as Darius X
- Zazie Beetz as Vanessa "Van" Keefer
- Christopher Farrar as Loquareeous
- Jamie Neumann as Gayle
- Laura Dreyfuss as Amber
- Elisa van Riessen as Death Doula
- Matteo Simoni as Dirk
- Daniel Fathers as Fernando
- Patrick Kennedy as Will
- Sheyi Cole as TJ
- Jai Paul as Partygoer
- Justin Bartha as Marshall Johnson
- Samuel Blenkin as Wiley
- Tamsin Topolski as Sharon
- Fisayo Akinade as Khalil
- Justin Hagan as Miles Warner
- Chet Hanks as Curtis
- Aaron Heffernan as DeMarco
- Christina Bennett Lind as Bronwyn Warner
- Indy Sullivan Groudis as Sebastian Warner
- Ava Grey as Lorraine
- Liam Neeson as himself
- George Wallace as Greg
- Kevin Samuels as Robert S. Lee
- Tyriq Withers as Aaron
- Alexander Skarsgård as himself
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|22||1||"Three Slaps"||Hiro Murai||Stephen Glover||March 24, 2022||XAA03001||0.310|
The episode opens at Lake Lanier with two men, one black and one white, night fishing near a bridge. The white man starts monologuing about the concept of whiteness when the black man is attacked by the drowned souls of the flooded town beneath them. The scene is revealed to be the dream of a boy named Loquareeous, who gets into an unreasonable amount of trouble at school after dancing in class. When his family is called to the school to discuss his behavior, Loquareeous is reprimanded by his mother and slapped by his grandfather in front of his counselor, who reports the incident to child services. Loquareeous is put into a foster home with three other black kids run by a white lesbian couple who force their alternative lifestyle on the kids. Loquareeous quickly shows his disdain for the couple as they call him "Larry", underfeed him, and force him to farm their organic produce. At a local farmers' market, Loquareeous tries to get help from a cop, but the incident only results in public admiration for the foster parents. Soon after, a caseworker from Family and Children's Services comes to the home and quickly recognizes the abusive and neglectful environment. Before she can make a report, one of the foster mothers take her outside to talk things over. Later that night, the couple loads the kids into a van and Loquareeous spots the caseworker's clipboard in the trash. He manages to escape with the other foster kids before the couple drive their van off the same bridge from Loquareeous's dream. Loquareeous returns home to his mom who, despite her indifference, offers him spaghetti. While eating at the table, Loquareeous sees a news report about the incident before switching the channel to American Dad. As the sound from the television fades out, Loquareeous hears the floorboards behind him creak. As he turns around, the scene cuts to Earn waking up in a hotel room in Copenhagen with a random woman sleeping beside him, implying that the dream (and the dream within it) were his.
This episode is inspired by the real-life 2018 murder-suicide of the Hart family.
|23||2||"Sinterklaas is Coming to Town"||Hiro Murai||Janine Nabers||March 24, 2022||XAA03002||0.288|
|A sick Earn wakes up in a hotel room in Copenhagen with a random woman sleeping beside him. He rushes to the airport to make a flight to Amsterdam, where Paper Boi is supposed to perform at a Christmas concert. In Amsterdam, Vanessa and Darius go on a scavenger hunt after finding an address in a thrift store jacket. The journey leads them to a living funeral for a terminally ill man (whom Darius believes to be Tupac Shakur), who is suffocated at end of the service. Meanwhile, Alfred lands in jail after two groupies destroy his hotel room and is pleasantly surprised by the hospitality of Amsterdam's prison guards. Earn asks for and receives an advance of $20,000 from Paper Boi's fee from the venue owner to post Alfred's bail. That night, Earn and Alfred ditch the concert at the last second when they discover the whole audience is dressed as Zwarte Piet. The venue owner chases after Earn but ends up beating up a random person in blackface, who he believes is Earn. Back at the hotel, Earn and Vanessa briefly chat before Alfred texts Earn to get food for him.|
|24||3||"The Old Man and the Tree"||Hiro Murai||Taofik Kolade||March 31, 2022||XAA03004||0.284|
|25||4||"The Big Payback"||Hiro Murai||Francesca Sloane||April 7, 2022||XAA03009||0.260|
|26||5||"Cancer Attack"||Hiro Murai||Jamal Olori||April 14, 2022||XAA03007||0.290|
|27||6||"White Fashion"||Ibra Ake||Ibra Ake||April 21, 2022||XAA03006||0.203|
|28||7||"Trini 2 De Bone"||Donald Glover||Jordan Temple||April 28, 2022||XAA03005||0.152|
|29||8||"New Jazz"||Hiro Murai||Donald Glover||May 5, 2022||XAA03003||0.305|
|30||9||"Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga"||Donald Glover||Donald Glover||May 12, 2022||XAA03010||0.225|
|31||10||"Tarrare"||Donald Glover||Stefani Robinson||May 19, 2022||XAA03008||0.152|
The series was renewed for a third season in June 2018. FX Networks and FX Productions programming president Nick Grad commented, “Atlanta is phenomenal, achieving and exceeding what few television series have done. With Atlanta Robbin' Season, Donald and his collaborators elevated the series to even greater heights, building on the enormous success of their award-winning first season. We're grateful to the producers and our extraordinary cast and crew for achieving this level of excellence, and we share the excitement with our audience about the third season knowing they will continue to take us to unexpected and thrilling places."
Before production started, Stephen Glover said that the season would focus on more female-centric stories, "I think we have some cool ideas in season three that'll put some more women on screen. There's a very specific perspective from the Atlanta woman that I think we're gonna explore in season three."
Regarding about setting the season in Europe, Donald Glover said "It's our point of view; it's not really about the place. Although in Season 4, it makes a very heavy resurgence, as far as the actual place. Atlanta is a state of mind. Europe solidified how we felt while writing Season 3. Director Hiro Murai calls it our maximum season."
In 2020, Donald Glover drew attention when he claimed that the third and fourth season "are going to be some of the best television ever made. Sopranos only ones who can touch us." When questioned about the statement, Glover said "I'm not backing down from that shit. I'm holding my nuts out on that shit. I just want audiences to know this shit is good. It's high quality shit."
Part of the season is divided on anthology episodes, consisting of "Three Slaps", "The Big Payback", "Trini 2 De Bone", and "Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga". Executive producer Stefani Robinson explained the decision, "it just sort of felt like the natural progression of what we wanted to try creatively. Donald has done such a good job of making us feel like the show can really be whatever we want it to be in terms of creativity. He's referred to it a couple of times as a playground or at least this is how it feels. You don't have to be shackled to this idea of making a more traditional sitcom or comedy structure. This is something very different."
In January 2019, Zazie Beetz stated that filming for the season would be delayed due to the cast's schedule. In August 2019, FX confirmed that the season would start filming on spring 2020, filming back-to-back with the fourth season. However, production was shut down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Production was set to resume in April 2021, with the series planning to film in Europe. Donald Glover confirmed that production on the season started on April 2, 2021. In August 2021, FX confirmed that the season wrapped filming.
In February 2019, Chairman of FX, John Landgraf, confirmed that the season would be delayed and that it would miss eligibility for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards. In January 2020, Landgraf said that the season would air in January 2021, with the fourth season airing later that year. However, due to production pausing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Landgraf said the season would not be ready for its intended January 2021 premiere date, later signaling that the season would premiere in 2022. In December 2021, FX finally announced that the season would premiere on March 24, 2022.
Based upon the first two episodes given to critics, the third season has received critical acclaim. The season has a score of 91 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 21 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 97%, based on 121 reviews, with an average rating of 8.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Atlanta takes Paper Boi and his entourage out of Georgia, but this inspired third season proves that the more things change, the more they stay weird."
Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave it a highly positive review and wrote, "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." Liz Shannon Miller of Consequence wrote that the series "remains as ethereal and shocking and fascinating as ever" and "in just the first two episodes of Season 3, the creative team delivers at least a half-dozen moments you'll never forget. Atlanta is a gift."
|TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Atlanta||Pending|||
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