With a show as popular as “Atlanta”, the challenge for a second season always comes in living up to the hype.
If your first batch of episodes really captures people’s attention, you have to find new, bigger, bolder ways to expand the scope and raise the stakes in a second season – but, crucially, you have to do so in a way that doesn’t alienate viewers who liked what you did the first time.
It’s hard to find someone who didn’t enjoy the first season of “Atlanta”, a show that made the already very impressive Donald Glover even more prolific and celebrated, not just for acting, but also as a director.
With several Emmy wins under his belt for the show, Glover now has the unenviable task of trying to meet expectations.
We don’t get to see much of “Atlanta” season two in the short teaser that’s been released thus far. Presumably, at a later date, we’ll get a better look at the new story arc for the show, and we’ll see where things are going next.
heavy rotation pic.twitter.com/Rcl9xadwjl
— AtlantaFX (@AtlantaFX) January 14, 2018
In the meantime, this teaser is all about style, and showing that, if nothing else, the directing is going to be on point in season two.
It’s easy to make a short teaser that catches attention, but rarely does such a quick glimpse at an upcoming show seem to so perfectly describe what the show is about.
Rotation is key here, and for a very good reason – as with Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” last year, the rotating camera viewpoint can be taken as a metaphor for music, as a record spins around in a constant circle.
(It’s worth mentioning that “Baby Driver” is also set in Atlanta, which is probably – but not definitely – a coincidence.)
You can go deeper, though – this viewpoint is deliberately disorienting, hinting at the confused, lost, constantly shifting world that Glover’s character finds himself in. We see Earn Marks constantly rising and falling, destined to constantly spin endlessly without ever managing to completely get a solid bearing on the landscape.
This is smart stuff, and it’s certainly a lot more complex than a thirty second teaser needs to be.
As such, it’s worth assuming that “Atlanta” season two has what it takes to completely eclipse everything that people loved about the first season.
After all, if this is the stuff that FX is willing to throw away in a quick teaser, you’ve got to assume that there’s some even cooler stuff coming in the show’s actual episodes.