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One quick and easy way for an entertainer to make money is to go to the club. However, between the club owner and Alfred learning that he isn’t that big of a draw, the usual drama ensues.
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: The Club Is Boring (Alfred)
For 5K Paper Boi is showing up at this club called Primal and ain’t no one trying to get into his section since an Atlanta Falcon football player, with an invisible car, is in the house. Thus leaving Paper Boi bored and having no excuse as to why he can’t deal with this fan who wants to recite all his lyrics.
Money and hoes are often what is associated with rap music, and I think that is all Alfred really cares about. That and becoming famous. Yet, he doesn’t really want to deal with his fans who like his music too much, especially if they are male. He won’t put in any extra effort, half the time he’ll tell them to get out of his face, and if they aren’t offering him something, be it food or something else, he is almost downright nasty. Making it seem having Earn as his manager won’t be the only thing holding him back.
Topic 2: But This Girl Right Here Tho’ (Alfred)
To draw people to his empty section, Alfred decides to buy a round and then people leave the football player’s area for his. Which, at first, he is cool with. Especially since this girl named Janice is fine and has been eyeing him. Making him feel good about himself for, as we already know, Alfred is a bit of a punk and a bit insecure as well.
Let me explain that statement. When it comes to real thugs, Alfred will cower in fear because he knows he is dealing with the real deal. However, let it be someone like Chris, the owner of Primal, then it is a different story. But when it comes to women I found it weird how he lacked confidence. He was straight up thinking that he could talk to that female reporter in the often referenced Bieber episode, yet a girl at the club makes him feel unworthy and unlikable? A part of me wonders if he knows he can’t step to Black girls with his usual BS but thinks he can pull that nonsense with white girls. I mean, as of now that is the only explanation I can come up with.
Topic 3: But The BS Involved (Alfred, Earn, and Darius)
Darius makes a welcome return but it is short lived. He originally was at the club but because he leaves Alfred’s section and doesn’t have the right wristband to get back in, he just goes home to eat cereal and play games. Leaving Alfred and Earn to deal with club BS. Part of which deals with Earn being punked and ducked by Chris, and Alfred really learning no one gives a damn about him at the club unless he is buying bottles. It gets worse though when he learns Janice got a man and was just enjoying Alfred’s company and conversation. Making him mad as hell since he thought he had a connection with her. So with Earn coming back with less money than he was supposed to, he roughs up Chris and ends up having the cops called on him. Then, to make matters worse, a shooting happens outside the club and it is assuming Alfred did it.
Remember Al shooting someone, allegedly, in the first episode. Well, what happened with that? Is this going to lead to the show finally dealing with that case? Much less, are we ever going to address Al’s insecurities and issues? We know some of it stems from his mother’s death, but what about the rest? Was he picked on as a kid, it would explain this would-be tough exterior until he is dealing with real gangsters. But what perhaps I wonder about the most is, can this show ever show Earn and Al making it? If his career actually took off, would that be the end of the show?
I ask because it seems the struggle, and the weird people they meet along the way, is what this show is about. So if Al ever did become as famous and rich as he wants to be, where could the show go from there? Would it just switch to focusing on mo’ money mo’ problems?
Perceptions & Assumptions
It was interesting watching Chris duck and punk Earn yet becoming a sniveling shell when Alfred got involved. Almost as if he didn’t expect to get his butt whooped for jipping a “gangster” out of more than $4,000. On top of that, you have to enjoy the idea that Janice hanged out with Alfred for company and he likely thought he was going to get something more. Little things like that, the various perceptions people have and assume, are one of the things we see consistently from episode to episode. The idea that as sure as any of these characters are in pursuit of anything, they really don’t know a damn thing. But, while some try to adapt like Earn did with that radio station situation in episode 1, then there is Alfred who is too stubborn to try. Sort of leading you to understand how two people can be raised in a similar environment but become two different people.
On The Fence
I like this show, I genuinely do, but I can feel my interest waning. For while the characters are odd Black people, and not like kid show weird but just eccentric cause they are, like Darius, the baseline story isn’t enough. What I mean by this, we know the storyline is Earn and Alfred trying to make money off Al’s rap career. We know Vanessa is trying to handle her responsibilities as a parent and independent woman and etc., but this show isn’t structured to focus on that. It features a huge amount of here today and gone tomorrow characters, who all contribute something to talk about, but sometimes feel more like distractions, or filler, than actual contributors to the show. And while in episode 2 these characters seem like their purpose is fleshing out the varied Atlanta as a real place, that reason increasingly feels like an excuse to stretch out the show’s primary storyline.