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What Critics Are Saying About Atlanta Season 4 As The First Two Episodes Drop

Season 4 of "Atlanta" is shaping up to be a special conclusion to the Emmy-winning series. Created by Donald Glover, "Atlanta" has been a critical darling since it debuted in 2016 and is widely considered one of the most culturally essential shows to watch. The series made stars out of its leading cast, which includes Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, and Brian Tyree Henry. The trio, alongside Glover, returned earlier this year for Season 3, which was shot back-to-back with Season 4 (via Deadline). In an interesting move, much of the third season following the main cast was set in Europe, while isolated, stand-alone episodes were set stateside. This jarring change in storytelling led to the third season alienating viewers and critics because of the non-Atlanta setting and outside-the-box presentation. Dubbed by Vulture's Angelica Jade Bastién as "scattershot," the season was criticized for being an "empty provocation, relying on buzzy cameos meant to rile up audiences and slick stylization to hide its hollow interior."

Despite criticisms, the third season ultimately nabbed Glover and director Hiro Murai two Emmy nominations, proving that "Atlanta" is worthy of praise, even when it goes outside its established presenting format and narrative confines. The fourth season of "Atlanta" forgoes the European setting in favor of the iconic Georgian state, returning the FX comedy back to its roots. Now that the first two episodes have dropped, does Season 4 of "Atlanta" continue the show's hot streak of commenting on culture and race via laugh-out-loud surreal adventures, or is it an unceremonious end that fizzles?

Season 4 of Atlanta is an introspective, legacy-focused hit

Critics are feeling positive about the final season of "Atlanta." Critics have viewed three episodes so far, and the consensus seems to be that the show is wrapping itself up on a positive note. Collider calls Donald Glover's latest creative effort an "excellent finale," praising it for being introspective about the show's past, failures, and successes. "'Atlanta' ends where it begins, but over these years, 'Atlanta' has shown such growth and evolution, making it one of the most inventive, wholly unique visions on television," writes Ross Bonaime in their A rating review.

For IndieWire's review, Ben Travers notes how Season 3 was disjointed, focusing less on the core cast that made the series an FX staple. However, Travers praised the final trip to "Atlanta" for bringing its leads back into the fold and focusing on what made the series so great in the first place. "The final season wonders about legacy, particularly the conflict between personal and professional responsibilities," Travers wrote, teasing Earn (Glover) and PaperBoi's (Henry) relationship, which appears to be rockier than ever. The outlet ultimately awarded the first batch of Season 4 episodes a B +, a slight fall from their Season 3 rating of an A-.

The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg noted how Season 4 doesn't abandon the effects of the gang's time in Europe, writing how the confusion presented in Season 3 is brought back to the city of Atlanta, making their surreal home stranger than ever. "That pervasive unease, equal parts hilarious and nightmarish, may be 'Atlanta's ultimate commentary on storytelling and on contemporary America," writes Fienberg, calling the first batch of episodes "a masterpiece."