Paper Boi is going global.
Atlanta’s greatest strength is its unpredictability. While the macro story is about Earn and Al, there are plenty of adventures in-between the lines of that manager-artist relationship. So don’t necessarily expect the show to stick to the plot so far.
With that said, Season 2 ended with Earn and Al headed to Europe with rapper Clark County (RJ Walker) for a tour. In the finale, Earn tried to sneak a gun into Clark County’s luggage, only for Clark County’s manager to take the fall for it instead. The production schedule offers a pretty good hint that Season 3 will pick up not long after that flight, with the gang hanging out in Europe — according to Deadline, shooting begins in London before moving on to Amsterdam and Paris and eventually concluding in Atlanta.
More Van stories are in the works.
It sounds like Zazie Beetz will have a more prominent role as well. In a Hollywood Reporter piece, one of the show’s chief writers (and Donald’s brother) Stephen Glover stated the show would feature “a very specific perspective from the Atlanta woman that I think we’re gonna explore in season three.” Van-centric episodes like season 2’s “Champagne Papi”—in which the specter of Drake hung over Van’s night out—were extremely well-received, and Beetz herself told THR, “There’s no lack of women on the set, but I think in terms of storytelling it is different just like bonding with a woman and playing with that energy in terms of Van’s character. So it is something I would like to continue exploring.” Van very pointedly did not join the Eurotrip, so maybe while the boys are gallivanting overseas we’ll check in on the series’ home turf via her character?
Season 3’s theme is [loosely] inspired by Kanye.
While Atlanta had some heavy moments in its first season, the second, subtitled Robbin’ Season, was decidedly darker. In a 2018 panel, Glover compared season 3 to a Kanye West album. “I align the seasons, I think, to me, like Kanye records,” Glover said. “I feel like this is our Graduation. This is probably our most accessible but also the realest — an honest version of it — and I feel like the most enjoyable, like the third album.” On Graduation, Kanye baldly focused on making “stadium-status” hits, sharpening his mainstream appeal while maintaining his core qualities.
With critical and commercial acclaim already in the bag, most would say Atlanta’s mainstream appeal is already solidified, but the storytelling in some episodes is more challenging than a casual viewer might expect. Then again, the Glover brothers compared Robbin Season to Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation as a way of explaining how the season would send the characters off on more solo stories, so maybe the Graduation reference will become clearer in due time. And does that mean season 4 is 808s and Heartbreak?
Whatever the theme, Glover is confident. In a now-deleted tweet from last November, he stated the show will be “some of the best television ever made” before going a step further: “[The] Sopranos only one who can touch us.” We can’t wait.