The Sacrifice of Teddy Perkins
If you haven’t seen the show Atlanta please crawl out from whatever rock you’ve been under. One weekend of binge watching and you’ll be all caught up. There are spoilers up and through this review so continue at your own risk.
Watching Atlanta is the equivalent of taking a purple pill and landing in the middle of the black urban struggle complete with whiteface. Oddly enough it’s not the characters themselves that are black culture. It’s the circumstances the characters find themselves. From micro aggressions, to hypocrisies, to the way companies market to black communities, Atlanta calls for us all to do better.
The series has four main characters. Earn (Princeton Dropout) worked at the airport trying to make ends meet when he discovered his cousin had a hit single and somehow upgraded from cousin to manager. Alfred aka Paper Boi is Earns cousin, a drug dealer turned rapper with the appearance of the big black dude you don’t wanna mess with. Darius is Paper Boi’s best friend but also the neighborhood plug, the guy who can get anything you need at any given time and also moves in mysterious ways. Vanessa, Van for short, has a baby girl with Earn and they are an awkward mix of I wanna be with you but I can’t stand yo ass.
We had to hit you with a brief show synopsis before going full fledge Teddy Perkins on you. It’s almost like writer Donald Glover went to sleep with the television on, had a crazy dream and wrote it all down.
The Teddy Perkins episode of Atlanta will be referenced for years to come. The episode opens with Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) at a mom and pop outside Atlanta where white people look at you like you peed in their pool. Darius buys a red marker and a red hat with a confederate flag and white letters that reads southern made. As he walks out of the store he alters the phrase on the trucker hat to U MAD, puts it on and tips hat to a white woman who smelled the frustration and cocoa butter a mile away. Darius plays Stevie Wonder and drives off in a Uhaul. He then arrives at a gated mansion and is buzzed in to pick up a piano. Darius knocks on the door and walks in after learning the door is ajar. Teddy Perkins (Donald Glover) appears from the shadows with creepy white face, high voice, chin cleft and introduces himself. Teddy invites Darius into his den and starts eating a boiled ostrich egg. We almost threw up 🤢.
This episode doubles as a cautionary tale of why you shouldn’t show up at someone’s house based on an internet ad. Teddy used a tape recorder to remember things, walked off to get Darius water and was found upstairs playing the piano and constantly touting his brother’s accomplishments in the music industry. Teddy said his brother Benny was still alive but very sick. He also talked about turning the home into a museum for abusive or stern fathers. Fast forward to Darius outside talking to Al saying he doesn’t think Benny exists and has a theory that dude bleached his skin and Teddy looks like they threw Sammy Sosa in the dryer. We cried 🤣. As Darius was trying to leave with the piano he found Benny mute and alive in the basement. Long story short Teddy tries to kill Darius, Benny kills Teddy and then himself. The last scene has police wheeling out both body’s, taking the piano into evidence and a defeated Darius driving off in the Uhaul listening to Stevie Wonder.
This legendary episode keeps the Robbin’ Season theme going as it reflected on those in the public eye that were robbed of either their childhoods or their ability to be themselves. Shout out to Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, The Williams Sisters, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergass and Prince. LaKeith Stanfield and Donald Glover play off of each other like grandmasters in a chess tournament. As the credits roll they say Teddy Perkins as himself. Here’s hoping the next Childish Gambino album will be called Teddy Perkins.