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Atlanta [Post Discussion] - S02E04 - “Helen”

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level 1

I AM SO DEPRESSED

level 2

Yeah this show is a bit of a downer. I love it, but I also will go watch a few episodes of Community afterwards to remind myself of happier times.

level 3
136 points · 4 months ago

this episode is so good tho. it makes you laugh, feel awkward, depressed and annoyed at earn. the white lady mistaking him for wearing a black face was probably the funniest part of the entire show for. and that creepy dog dude. bruhhh

level 4

Yo Earn, seriously... how did you do that?

level 5

lool i was laughing so hard when he put them in

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level 1

Van having identity issues, excludes Earn from the bartender conversation on purpose, doesn't explain the hootzkootz game to Earn but gets salty as fuck when he wins and impresses everyone. Goes super hard in ping-pong. Etc.

Van was setting Earn up for failure so she looked better by comparison; so she looked more white---looked like she belonged.

Earn wasn't a good guy, but the bad guy was Van.

This is supposed to be about Earn taking a bunch of Ls, but in this season, so is everyone else (except Darius).

level 2

I dunno. The last few episodes make it seem like Darius might be losing it silently. Episode 3 had some scenes where Al was just staring at Darius like, "Are you okay?" It was subtle, but you never know.

level 3
17 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

I think he has a solo episode coming up, but I'm thinking the same now, all his odd interactions Al has a negative reaction to them. They might touch further into Mental illness within the black community. Especially the way Earn is acting, and Tracy's monologue in the mall.

Maybe that's why they weren't talking in ep1, maybe Al wanted Darius to get help and he refused, things were said etc. Massive stretch, but like you said subtlety is key in this show.

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level 2

Robbin' Season ain't just taking people's possessions.

level 1

Still gonna need a translation on that German exchange at the bar.

level 2
310 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

Late, but I was bored.

Van: A round of beers for the group back there.

Bartender: You speak German?

Van: Yeah, but just me.

Bartender: Not him?

Van: No, he doesn't speak German.

Bartender: So a secret language.

Bartender: He doesn't speak any German?

Van: Nah, none. He also doesn't understand any.

Bartender: Why the dumb mask?

Van: Yeeeah

Bartender: True, except you. (In reference to Ern's inability to speak German and Van being German/able to speak it).

Van: Yeah, I just bought them. (Her clothes).

Van: And you, yours? Are they real Lederhosen? (Lederhosen means "leather pants").

Bartender: Yeah, they're real Lederhosen. Proper Bavarian.

level 3
183 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

OK so this was just straight up rude on her part.

Ive been on positive and negative sides of this scenario.

Positive: 1/2 my family is from Germany. Ive visited. Im adopted Spanish and know 0 German. However when out with my cousins & meet up with some of their friends, they want to show off their Spanish american cousin to everyone. (not that many tan people in Düsseldorf) When we meet up everyone is speaking German HOWEVER. my cousins would also translate what people are saying to keep me in the loop. ALSO they knew I might have something funny to say and they would want to translate it to their German friends (who mostly knew a little English from school) so I could be included in the conversation and not just twiddling my thumbs. should be common courtesy to introduce people.

Negative: hell we have all been there. out with the GF or BF and they bump into some friends (who speak English mind you!) and they start a short conversation, inside jokes, etc. and no one acknowledges that you are even there. could be a short 5 min but it feels like an eternity. Its just fucking rude. And that "im sorry im bad at introducing people" or "i didnt know their name" excuse is B.S. ITS JUST RUDE. its not hard to include someone in a conversation. Its my biggest (only) pet peeve.

Van just got caught up in being at where she wanted to be and forgot about her +1 for a second. felt for Earn for this scene but damn did they both just screw things up this episode. The barkeep just shows that there is no such thing as "Guy Code" anymore. Hope guys like that get Kidney Stones.

But Shoutout to the "White Husband" he was really trying to help Earn out the whole episode.

level 4

I don't know, I feel like a lot of the people dogging on Van may not be multilingual or part of another culture. Like, when I've bumped into Germans in the US, I (German-American) am really excited to be able to speak my second language and talk about things that only we German speakers who have lived in Germany would get. It's not always being rude, more like running into an old friend and talking a mile a minute! Plus the "Fastnacht" was just a vaguely German themed party, so I was as surprised as Van that someone there could actually speak German.

That being said, you don't even need to speak German to see how hard Van and the Bartender were flirting. I think that's why they didn't add subtitles, so watchers would feel cut out like Ern did.

level 5
100 points · 4 months ago

She was talking to the bartender about her and Ern's relationship, in German, when he was literally one foot behind them. Doesn't matter how many languages you can talk, that's fucked up.

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level 3

Well she shouldn’t have been so shady. His face reminded me of when I used to date this Brazilian girl, guys from brazil were acting like I wasn’t there and I’m a pretty big guy. I wasn’t about to get into it around her ppl so I just waited “are you done?”

level 2

Van: A round of beers please, for the group over there.
Baarkeeper: You speak German?
Van: Yeah, but just me.
Barkeeper: He doesn't?
Van: No, he doesn't
Barkeeper: Ok, it's our secret language then.
They both laugh and Earn pretends to laugh with them.
Van to Earn: Did you understand that?
Earn: No.
Barkeeper: So he really doesn't speak a word of German?
Van: No, he doesn't understand it either.
Barkeeper: Why is he wearing that dumb mask?
Earn: "Mask" maybe?
(This next part seems like it had some dialogue cut out because it doesn't make much sense on its own.)
Van: Mhh well...
Barkeeper to Van: Right! Except you.
Van: Yeah, I bought this recently (referring to her dirndl). And you? Are those real lederhosen?
Barkeeper: Those are real lederhosen, yes. Real bavarian.
Earn: Ding ding, I'd love some service.

level 2
271 points · 4 months ago

I don't think it's necessary. It was quite clear that the bartender was hitting on her.

level 3

Agreed, there was a conscious decision to put subtitles on the German conversation outside and not at the bar. At that point in the episode we are supposed to relate to Earn.

level 4

Exactly

level 3
260 points · 4 months ago

Earn's a dick but there's dickish behavior on both sides, good on the writers for not making it one-sided.

level 4

I'm glad you said this. Just like the part with the game. She wanted to be the one to win the game with the balls and the jug. When Earn wins, she looks so bothered.

level 4

their relationship is pretty toxic

level 3

I think it's supposed to look like that, but judging from the conversation he had later (where he seemed like a decent guy) I don't think that's actually what was happening.

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level 2
Comment deleted4 months ago(10 children)

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level 3
12 points · 4 months ago

Yeah I posted about it a few days before the episode. Born in Berlin and everything. She also has dual citizenship.

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level 1
873 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

Earn’s collecting these L’s like Thanos is about to collect the Infinity Stones

level 2

That’s kinda who Earn is though, he’s a fuck up.

Also, Thanos is about to hand out mad fades this summer.

level 3

Man, really the new avengers is al about Thanos just delivering L’s. So many children are about to watch their favorite heroes just get absolutely washed. I just hope he takes out my boy spidey in one hit, cuz after Homecoming, I can’t see him struggle again so soon.

level 4

You didn’t Homecoming? Why not? Genuinely curious, I thought it was better than some other Spidey movies

level 5

I thought it was the best one, which is saying something since the first two spideys are phenomenal. I’m just saying it hurt to watch him get his ass kicked so bad. Thanos is like a million times stronger than Vulture.

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level 3

I'm so upset I haven't seen this gif before lmaooo

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level 2

I just realized his name is Earn Marks... like earn money.

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level 1
1.0k points · 4 months ago

this episode made me realize something. Earn’s not down on his luck. Earn’s a deadbeat.

level 2

Yea Earn's a fucking bum... and I hate that I find him so relatable.

level 3

I thought about what his ambitions are and I realized he doesn't have any

level 4

He wants to be the manager of Paper Boi, a successful rapper. Maybe one day start his own label with a stable of up and comers. That's an ambition he's been working towards from the beginning. Al is not always cooperative.

level 5

when has he actually demonstrated that ambition, and not just gone through the motions? He doesn’t really give a fuck about being a manager. He just wants to ride the coattails of his cousin and a manager just happens to be his platform.

I literally don’t think the word label has even been said by Earn in the show so I don’t even know where that’s coming from.

level 6
413 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

He got that mixed tape to the radio station and got it played. It's because of that anyone had heard of Paper Boi. Earn got him many gigs that Al would not go through with. Got him the celebrity basketball game and he fights Justin Bieber! Whips out a gun and gets arrested in a brawl in a parking lot. Won't do the Spotify thing. I mean, Clark County brags on his manager, but he is also willing to go through the motions.

I see a parallel here, actually. Van does to Earn what Earn does to Al. They want the other person to be performative, to act some type of fake way, to get work or make it work. Earn resents being fake for Van, Al resents being asked to be fake by Earn. Now if only Earn could parlay his lesson from this episode into being more deft and sensitive to Al, he might have a win. But probably not because we never have this kind of perspective in real life.

level 7
Comment deleted4 months ago(10 children)
level 8

Earn likes the arrangement with Van where he does basically no work and gets the benefits.

Earn also likes his arrangement with AL where he does basically no work and gets the benefits.

Earn is a fucking deadbeat who mooches off everyone in his life. He's content to just float by doing the absolute bare minimum.

level 9
35 points · 4 months ago

Earn also likes his arrangement with AL where he does basically no work and gets the benefits.

I think that's unfair to say. Paper Boi is pretty big now and a lot of it is probably due to Earn. The show doesn't beat you over the head with it, but Earn must be doing something right with Al's success.

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level 7

that’s a great thought. my general impression of Earn is that he goes the extra mile to be complacent.

level 8

My take on Earn is kinda the opposite. He is always trying to push the envelope. He doesn't know when to stop, to say no to something dumb, yes to something annoying but beneficial in the long term. Will not labor to maintain relationships that annoy him even when most people would plaster on a smile and tough it out. He doesn't want to finesse anyone. He's blunt as a sledgehammer when sometimes, a scalpel is needed. Smart but not wise. Wisdom comes through all the Ls, unless it kills you. I think Uncle Willy is a cautionary tale: if Earn continues to be a habitual line stepper, there be gators.

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level 6
55 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

He doesn’t really give a fuck about being a manager.

Wait, really, you got that impression from this episode? I mean so far Earn's scored him radio play, charity events, club appearances, major meetings and at least one gold single, it's not like he isn't hustling. Outside of his work and his parenting, he is a real prick, though.

Edit: I will concede though, Al was really tempted by Clark County's offer to hit up his manager, so maybe he's not as happy with Earn as I thought. I mean Al was the one who had to man up and fuck up the club promoter, Earn's often pushing him to do things he doesn't like and the reality is Earn dropping out of school means he doesn't have the connections other managers would.

level 7

we don’t even know if Earn is even setting up these opportunities. It could’ve literally just been that the charity and Fake Spotify already wanted Paper Boi and were going to arrange an opportunity regardless of whoever his manager was.

I don’t think the show has explicitly stated that Earn is creating all of these opportunities, and they’ve made a point to show that Paper Boi already has name recognition locally.

what I’m basically saying is: is he taking initiative? doing anything above the bare minimum? has Al been given any opportunities where it made a difference that Earn specifically was his manager?

you know what, going even further, Al’s constantly being put into environments that clearly don’t suit him. then what happens is exactly what you expect to happen. at some point, you stop blaming the client and start blaming the manager for constantly putting him in a position to fail

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level 2

He seems legit depressed.

level 3

Yeah as someone with depression and self destructive tendencies, earn really hits close to home for me. Makes me want to get my shit together

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level 3
15 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

As someone who relates with Earn a little too much, I would have to say that this is probably more accurate then we think. It probably has to do with him dropping out of college.

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level 2
172 points · 4 months ago

But at what point would a lifetime of being down on your luck morph into depression?

If he’s depressed about losing every time he tries then he’d stop trying because he knows he’ll just lose.

level 3

Yeah, everyone’s turning real quick on Earn but he’s supposed to be human. Let someone take your worst days and put it on film and people would start judging. Earn isn’t perfect. We’re just hoping he’s good enough.

level 4

That’s real. I felt for both characters. Such a great episode.

level 3

I’m hoping for more backstory on Earn and how all of this post-Princeton losing started. but I also wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t get it

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level 3

Remember in season 1 when he said

I just keep losing, I mean some people are just supposed to lose? For balance in the universe? I mean like, are there just some people on Earth who are supposed to be here just to make it easier for the winners?

He might really be depressed from all that losing forreal

level 3

"I just keep losing. I mean are some people just supposed to lose, for balance in the universe?"

level 3

This episode is way too real for me right now. I relate so much to Earn that it's scary. College dropout, barely skating by, just going through the motions in my relationship. Just a couple days ago my girlfriend told me she's kicking me out until I can figure my shit out. And I have no idea how I'm going to find an apartment because I'm poor and my credit is shit. Like this is way too depressingly real.

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level 2

Earn can't spend one night of his life doing something his girlfriend enjoys without having a meltdown. And not long ago he lost $4,000 dollars by giving it to an unemployed friend of a friend who promised to double it in gift-cards. Dudes a Grade-A Fuck-up.

level 3

followed up by him blowing a bunch of money at a strip club trying to force a win, to the point where he throws down money to race michael vick.

the guy cant get out of his own way because hes depressed and doesnt see a way out. he just puts up with the world around him because hes so focused on himself and his idea of making it on his own terms. hes not a sociopath, because he clearly feels conflicted and remorseful about the mistakes he makes, but hes 100% a deadbeat. if he just let someone help him he could realize that it doesnt have to be this hard. whether its letting van be there for him, or letting paper boi in so that he has a place to sleep. paper boi wouldve 100% let him stay the night in the first ep, but earn didnt want to be "that guy" and struck out on his own.

level 2

he's a smart guy who lets shit happen to him.

level 2

And honestly, this is what confuses me the most about the one detail of him having gone to Princeton. Earn ultimately lacks drive: the drive to ask for help when he was in the storage unit, the drive to save his relationship, the drive to make the type of connections Clark County's manager has. How the hell are we suppose to believe that he got into Princeton? Yea he's the "alternative" black guy but he's not the "work hard" type

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level 1
809 points · 4 months ago

Earn didn't do himself any favors this episode...but I think some of you need to get over how much you wish you had a girl who looked like Van and think about how you would have felt if you had a girl that treated you like Van treated Earn in this episode.

My immediate reaction was, damn Earn is a piece of shit, but if you didn't recognize the fucked up issues Van was trying to work out about her own identity while putting Earn in the crossfire you need to rewatch the episode. Not to mention...are any of you Black? Do you know how unbelievably uncomfortable most black people would be in a situation like that? And more often than not, the ones who aren't have some identity issues, as exemplified by both Van and her friend. Earn was an asshole, but I've been in situations like that and it's more uncomfortable than even the show let's on.

She already took him to that bougie ass Juneteenth celebration which, once again signaled her insecurities about race and class.

You guys do remember that someone rubbed his face because they thought he was in blackface right? Not saying he was right by any means, but I think they did a good job of showing things from Van's perspective as the episode went on.

Also, I love the inversion of the Love and Basketball ending.

level 2

Yes yes yes. So much this. No girl is hot enough to have some white lady try to rub the black off your face. Uh uh.

Nobody was "right" in this episode, but in my gut, imagining me? Earn was downright cool about it. I would have dipped after the blackface incident for fear of, IDK, fucking up the hootz-kootz, having my girl stunt on me in German with some dude in lederhosen, then PLAY PING PONG FOR MY FUTURE.

That was all some WTF. Van was out for blood. Seemed like she was simmering on the strip club/Michael Vick evening and this episode was the boil bursting. People can blame Earn, but good for him for knowing his limits and not agreeing to a commitment he's not feeling. I really hate when people knuckle under to those demands because it doesn't work out. Misery.

level 3

The "white husband" was right. He was the only one in the whole episode trying to help out Earn.

level 4
29 points · 4 months ago

That's actually a really good point.

level 4

big facts, the only decent person in the episode

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level 3

then PLAY PING PONG FOR MY FUTURE

Haven't read many comments regarding this. But endless comments about how they'd put up with her due to her outward appearance.

Ten bucks says their child was the product of a coin flip.

level 4

She didnt play ping pong for her future. She wanted out and only thing that would bring her back was Earn wanting her as much she wants him.

Playing ping pong she knew she could win, so did earn. She was watching him to see if he was going to try to win even harder (fight for her) or walk away (because he knew he couldn't win).

The game was a way for her to find out what Earn wants because he couldn't answer it.

level 5

"What's that going to prove?"

"That I'm tired"

That was such a good line

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level 3

JP was alright for giving Earn that mask. I’d be damned if I’m gon have some white people touchin my face all night.

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level 2

Yeah but it's just as likely that she's going to feel a similar level of discomfort at a strip club, and yet she went there with Earn to try and make him feel better. He was sulking in both situations.

level 3
250 points · 4 months ago

That's a good point but I think there are two differences.

  1. Earn pointed out that she could have said no or told him she didn't like it. Yeah she did it to make Earn happy, but she's still an adult and if it really bothered her she should have called him out on it. His response was selfish, but it was honest.

  2. Earn wasn't flirting with other girls that night. He didn't put her in a situation where she was unsure of what to do and then get pissy at her for not being perfect.

Point is, they both treat one another like an accessory instead of a partner, just in different ways. I think it's just easier to point out Earn's flaws because we see him fuck up more since be'she's the protagonist.

level 4

Point is, they both treat one another like an accessory instead of a partner, just in different ways.

You phrase things so well, but this is exactly how I felt about Van and Earn's relationship. Neither are stable individuals that are committed to each other.

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level 2

This episode definitely got me thinking as a black woman. There is always sides in the black community. You’re either that black “white” girl or that hood black girl. I left my teens a few years ago and I definitely have some friends like Van and her friend. You either embrace your black too much or not enough.

It’s late and there’s a possible word salad up there but this was a great cultural episode.

level 3

the "you chose black" scene, wheeewwwww that was rough

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level 2

I just wanted to let you know that Your comment made me rethink the episode a lot. Partly because I totally missed the blackface thing, but also just helped me see it more from Earn's perspective.

level 2

Breh, people are acting like Van planned this whole event just to be terrible. Also, Earn literally picked her as his woman and had a kid with her, how are we gonna act like all this identity issues she has now weren't there before?

It's no way she just now got these problems. You know who you're dating, he shouldn't get a pass just because this one time it annoyed him a lot. If I'm dating a girl who is fluent in German how am I going to go with her to a German event and then blame her for me not enjoying it. Earn is beyond goofy for that.

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level 1
668 points · 4 months ago

Remember how in the beginning of S01 we’re supposed to Feel for Earn’s downs and misfortunes? ‘wow he seems like a good guy this is so unfair he needs to be given a chance’, something of that nature.

This season so far goes to show how its not always good guys getting fucked over by evil world but rather them being not really good persons to begin with, we just didnt see the other side of things

Painfully relatable and quite sad episode

level 2
888 points · 4 months ago

"I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a funny show, but the way they dive into depression...I was like, like 'Can I even feel bad for this horse anymore?'"

level 3

Oh shit!!! That was great foreshadowing! Idk how I missed this

level 4
31 points · 4 months ago

It's kinda clouded how I've viewed the show since tbh

level 3

Holy shit how did I miss that meta

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level 3

Pretty sure they are talking about Bojack horseman there

level 4
29 points · 4 months ago

Foreshadowing my man

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level 2
105 points · 4 months ago

Agreed, I think ultimately separating is what's best for both of them right now, but finding out that Earn's been such a dick in the relationship was a pleasant (& unpleasant) surprise.

level 2
84 points · 4 months ago

We still don't know why he left Princeton

level 3

Well, given how he is this season, I may guess he fucked up and got kicked out but told everybody he left?

level 4
51 points · 4 months ago

but still....what really happened. I need the backstory. Idk if you've ever read the original draft for S1E1 but it shows the Dean asking him for his side of an incident in which the police are involved, talking about accusations. Rape accusation? Obviously that got written out of the pilot so it might not be canon anymore but you have to wonder he plans to do with Earn's past.

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level 1

After the past couple episodes, I’m beginning to think “robbin’ season” may be an ode to Earn’s self-destruction. His poor decision making has led to financial loss and emotional damage with Van. I wonder if it is poised to get worse?

level 2
353 points · 4 months ago

I bet what happens is that Earn loses the role of manager for Paper Boi, there's been a few hints that he'll lose it. The "Yoohoo" rapper talking about how good his manager is and Kat Williams' character talking about how Earn's cousins had a falling out because of a similar deal.

level 3
98 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

I think you’re right. Maybe season 3 will be the redemption arc and season 4 will finally be when they start making it?

level 4

You’re prolly right. But that means season 3 is gonna be so hard to watch. Earn might get it together at the end of this season, but I’m doubtful. Best we could hope for is getting it together at the end of 3.

level 5
34 points · 4 months ago

considering the bojack ref two eps ago, i don’t know if i could handle a heel turn into the darkness on this show like we saw in season 2 & 3 of bh

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level 3

This seems like the most logical conclusion to the season. Paper Boi and Earn will have a falling out. They are slowly robbing Earn of everything he had and he is going to self-destruct. Season 3 will probably be his redemption arc.

level 4

I’m not sure this show is gonna have a redemption arc.

level 5
49 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

Also, invisible cars aside this show is painfully realistic. People don’t exactly change over night.

I wonder how Earn will start to redeem himself within a few episodes. Then again I could be wrong because the first season finale has shown they could show redemption and have it not be a whole season or arc. Idk something about this show tells me they try to let whatever happens in the previous episode stay contained. I know it’s not true because things do progress, however.

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level 2

Seriously, it's starting to look like this is just one big downward spiral we're watching. Unless he gets his shit somewhat together in the second half of the season.

level 3

From the looks of it, by the end of this season, Earn’s character will have been completely destroyed meaning that everything he had in life that was promising will have been robbed from him. Including his managerial position with Al.

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level 3
29 points · 4 months ago

He refuses to learn from his mistakes. That's been the trend so far this season.

level 4

I mean, Uncle Willie even foreshadowed it. Told Earn to lose the chip on his shoulder.

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level 1

Did y'all notice how the episode started with Earn in the driver seat and Van holding the blunt, then ended with Van in the driver's seat and Earn holding the blunt?

Definitely says something about the power dynamics in the relationship.

level 2

Yeah I did notice that. Could you elaborate more on its significance?

level 3

The entire ep was a power struggle between Van and Earn. The first scene of the ep even started with Earn on his knees giving Van head (kinda subordination), then switched to Earn in the driver's seat (a position of power).

The driver's seat and the car rides were symbolic of who had the power in the relationship at that time. After Van seemed to come to her senses and break things off with Earn, she was in the driver's seat.

There's more to the ep but I'm gonna take off my critical analysis hat.

level 4

I agree. Thanks for the insight.

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level 4

It’s things like these that really make me appreciate this show. So many layers.

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level 2

What? He drove there. She drove back. Standard road trip etiquette.

level 3

True but narratively it wouldn't have worked as well if Van drove there and Earn drove back, right?

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level 1
152 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

That was harsh. Think it's intentionally vague but I'm betting that they aren't together after this. Can't believe Earn let it go down like that. Hurts to watch.

level 2
124 points · 4 months ago

Its not intentionally vague its just not spoken. The last shot is Van in a shadow while Earn is in light outside and walks by her window and walks out of the frame of the window. Windows are used to symbolize a lot of things but I think here it symbolizes Vans life. He literally walked out of her life and left her in the dark. Also this sub doesnt realize that Van loves Earn.

level 3

Also this sub doesnt realize that Van loves Earn.

yeah I haven't been coming here often but I thought this was obvious? People are saying Earn was Van's accessory in the same vein that Van is his, but I don't think that at all. I think it's pretty clear she's in love with Earn, and Earn loves her back but isn't in love with her.

level 4

Yeah exactly, one of her first lines of dialogue is "Do you love me?".

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level 1

This episode has me reflecting a lot on just how complicated relationships can be.

I know everyone is saying Earn is fucking up, and he is. But I think both Van and Earn are simply flawed human beings that clearly don't have their shit together. Van has issues with her childhood friends, and we see that she always feels like she has underachieved her entire life. On top of that, she's still unemployed. Earn isn't that different either. We know he was a Princeton student that dropped out for unexplained reasons.

They're both not in a stable place in their lives. Van wants commitment. Earn feels like he can't promise that. And as sad as it is, I can see both sides for feeling the way they do.

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level 1
127 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

I think if the show was primarily told from Van's perspective, we'd probably think she's a deadbeat who constantly fucks up too.

level 2

Some have probably forgot that Van is unemployed because she let a friend who belittles her and gives zero fucks about her, convince her to smoke weed before a drug test at her job. She's a pushover and seeks validation and influence from the wrong people.

Oddly enough, Earn may be the most right thing she has, but even he won't fight to value her.

level 3

Yeah I'm absolutely baffled by the amount of hate earn is getting here. At first I too thought he was just fucking up because he was having this really vulnerably moment about their relationship after talking to the bartender but in the end it felt like he just said what he really felt.

Also I'm sure the blunts had some significance this episode. They were in 3 scenes, two times in the car at the beginning and end and once when earn is outside thinking about their relationship

level 1

Kendrick Lamar's LOVE. was the perfect song to follow Earn and Van's argument.

level 2

I thought the same. But it's a dope song to begin with!

level 2

I heard Dua Lipa's New Rules, too. Looking back it makes sense on Van's part.

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level 1
290 points · 4 months ago

Said this at the end of the live discussion, but I will say it again: People are talking how Earn is dumb, but maybe he doesn't want to jump in all the way. She doesn't exactly treat him great either. Sometimes shit that should work just doesn't. If it's too hard, better to walk away.

level 2

I thought I was the only one who thought Van was straight up mean in this episode. The whole Helen excursion and her behavior seemed designed to show Earn how much he is not the guy Van wants.

level 3
343 points · 4 months ago

I mean going to Helen is fine, right? She wanted to share something in her life with Earn. But once they got there, she leaves Earn to hang with her friend, then volunteers them for a game that she never explains to Earn, then starts talking in German to another guy right in front of him. If it was me, I'd be like WTF? Why am I here? Not that Earn does a great job handling it, but she's not perfect either.

level 4

My past relationship had multiple situations like that. You have your girlfriend beg you to come somewhere, then when you get there they practically avoid you the entire time. She’s even talking to other guys. You want to say something but then you’re being insecure or starting a scene. You’re not having fun, and she can tell you aren’t having fun. So you don’t know what to say. You went together so you can’t just leave. Your only options are to just put on a face and act like you are having fun, or do what Earn did and straight tell her “this place sucks”. Then boom, you’re fighting.

Woo, that got a little personal.

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level 4

I think I would have probably acted exactly like Earn, so that's why I'm defending him. I realize she's trying to share part of her life, but she had an agenda. We see it when she is talking to her friend who basically accuses her of "marrying down" but in racial terms. She's offended by that and by being "Lottie's mom," but she seems also to be mad at Earn for being "Lottie's dad" and not her husband, not someone who speaks German and loves to polka. IF that is who she wants, Earn is right to get out. That resentment is just gonna build and build, and it's a lot harder to get out of a marriage than a LTR.

level 5
Comment deleted4 months ago(8 children)
level 6

Yes, this is what I feel too. My brother used to have a poster of a hot girl that said, "Some guy, somewhere, is sick of her shit." After a while with someone, you don't even see their hotness or lack thereof if they just make you mad all the time. That's the hard truth of long term relationships. Their dynamic is toxic. They do not have a good way of expressing their discontent. And yes, it's super ironic that the minute Earn is paying the bills, Van wants to put a ring on it, but when Earn was broke, he was out of doors. Not cool AT ALL.

level 7

"Show me a hot bitch, and I'll show you a nigga who's tired of fucking her." Even Jay cheated on Bey...

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Original Poster387 points · 4 months ago

This was a great Get Out-esque episode. Loved all the German outfits lol. Funniest part for me was when Earn just put the balls in the jug and they were all in awe. Great acting by Earn and Van in this episode.

level 2
319 points · 4 months ago

It felt like the history of basketball. All this passing and fundamentals and here comes Earn and just dunks the ball and all the white folks are impressed.

level 3

technical foul.... uhh offensive foul.

reminds me of semi pro when they first dunked

level 4

"Are you outta your mind? He was floating!!!"

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level 3

I think that's what it is. I was like...uh he dunked it wtf is the big deal lmao

Did they not make rules!

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level 2

How is that fucking game supposed to be played anyway? Was what Earn did really that impressive or was it some big joke? Please excuse me i not smart

level 3

I mean I'm not 100% sure on all weird games, but it's probably just a joke about how sometimes there are regional sports with odd rules that don't seem to make much sense.

level 4
Comment deleted4 months ago(4 children)

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162 points · 4 months ago

I’m only 5 minutes in and I immediately thought of Get Out when they almost hit the pig!

level 3
142 points · 4 months ago

Tbh I really think that was done intentionally. Exactly the same scene, just more Atlanta-esque.

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level 2

Juneteenth episode reminded me of Get Out even though it came out before the movie.

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level 1

Great episode. Albeit a little sad and relatable.

  • Van's friends are fucking terrible people, They all stunt on her in some way and this has definitely rubbed off on her. Jayde is really materialistic and believes she is the definition of perfect, Monique is snobby and only loves wealth and the infamous Christina loveeees to stunt on Van. When her other friends came over she barely introduces her, just Lottie's Mom and talking about her hair being "Kinky"

  • Now I love Van like 95% of this sub, but even i could see she was in the wrong some of the episode, this isn't a shit on Earn ep but showing that neither of these two are happy really with each other. They both feel neither is giving 100% to each other and that's shown through the table tennis scenes. She was wrong for the bilingual flirt that she does with the bartender, mainly cuz she does it twice. I think she may indeed go to Germany.

  • That monster thingy that had her phone (s'cuse my ignorance I have no idea what it's supposed to be) showed up as a kind of mocking asshole when they both felt really vulnerable, and a bit of surrealism when the person underneath just isn't there when she smacks him.

  • Earn...Earn, Earn, Earn. He's happy to take the fun parts of the relationship like giving Van Oral (I'm jealous, okay that's enough Van worship) or having a nice place to stay,but won't take the other parts of Van's life. To be fair the party wasn't that bad until the whole blackface incident, and when he was just being ignored. He didn't wanna feel fake and was just uncomfortable. However German is part of Van's culture whether he likes it or not and he pretty much dismissed it, they touched upon this stuff though, Earn doesn't like these type of spaces, he feels like he's constantly being stunted on.

  • Earn and Dave have either made up or he's just learnt his lesson. He actually gave Earn advice and I was waiting for him to say nigga again. Is the main announcer guy Clark County's manager? Him and Earn seem to know each other and he shared his blunt with him too.

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level 1

some of you need to stop crushing so hard on Van and realise there's blame on both sides of the relationship.

level 2

Exactly!

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🖕🏾138 points · 4 months ago

Earn = Michael Jordan of HootzKootz

level 2

Nah this goes beyond Jordan. Earn straight revolutionized the game

level 3

Wilt Chamberlain dunking for 100 on 5’6” white dudes who were lawyers outside of game nights.

level 2

Why can't I see your comments

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level 1

As someone who is amazing at ping pong, this episode really made me realize that I should abuse my talent to get what i want and settle arguments

level 2
Comment deleted4 months ago(5 children)
level 3

I think the ping pong game represented something like...

If Van wins the game, then Earn "wins" the ability to only have to deal with her whenever their child is involved. While Earn says that that "isn't what I said/want," it's clear that he sees Van and their baby as a nagging responsibility, hence the line about the bills. I think this comment personally struck Van.

Van loves Earn, and does not want to lose him, however she realizes that the current relationship is something that she cannot currently handle. Earn on the other hand is fine with how the relationship is. Neither one can be happy while the other is, but if things are left as they are, Van knows she will limit her own happiness.

It is clear from the previous game that Van will destroy Earn. Both Van and Earn know this. If she loses, both Van and Earn will know that she lost on purpose, and this was not due to a lack of skill, but rather a lack of will to lose Earn.

Essentially, Van forced herself to give up something she loved, in order to grow and escape what she considered to be a "toxic" relationship. She sort of... sacrificed her arm in order to save her body.

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Original Poster167 points · 4 months ago

The white guy in this episode is from the first episode of Season 1.

I took him aside, looked him in the eyes and said... really?

level 2

Thank you! All the white dudes have looked the same, I couldn't tell if the dude from today's episode was from episode one, Pete Savage (or whatever) from the radio station, or Clark County's manager

level 3

That guys who was sort of the MC of the festivites was Clark’s manager, Lucas. Is it supposed to be a statement, having all these white guys who work in the rap industry get together and have a super-German celebration?

level 4

Maybe more of a statement on how Hollywood treats black vs white actors. Like six black men that are in everything, but hundreds of white guys.

level 5

Bro if they keep the same white guys in rotation that would be a hilarious running gag

level 2

Was it the same guy? So he was that guy at the radio station and the guy at the streaming service office.

This guy's made three/four appearances and I swear his character still hasn't been named.

level 3
Original Poster34 points · 4 months ago

IMDB has him listed as Dave

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level 3

There's Dave. And there's Lucas. But I bet they ALL look the same to you... lol!

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level 2
42 points · 4 months ago

Darius was perfect at the end of that clip lmao

level 3

I dunno, man. I like Flo Rida.

level 4
14 points · 4 months ago

moms need to enjoy rap too

level 1
102 points · 4 months ago

Can we just talk about how beautifully painful that last ping pong scene was between earn and van? I swear... the feels trip was full speed once the Harry Belafonte song played. You could see the contrast between the two: Earn: lifelessness vs. Van: angry

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level 1

They've introduced us to two of Van's friends and both are terrible friends. One is a self-absorbed gold digger and the other tries to distance herself from things that are culturally viewed as "black." Both look down on her and are surprised she's still "with" Ern. She really doesn't have anyone in her life that values her and is committed to her for the right reasons.

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level 1

Come on we've all been in earns shoes. Having to have the what are we talk, inability to commit and the long awkward silence. That feeling of disconnect when youre not able to give your partner what they want when what they want is already what you have. Its painfully real

level 1

That was... heart-wrenching, or as I like to call it, herzzerreißend

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level 1

Damn, my heart fucking broke when Earn said, "I don't want you to waste your time." This show is amazing at taking you through a gamut of emotions in 30 minutes.

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level 1

Just my two cents and apologies if it's been discussed already.

I've been in a position similar to this (hasn't every guy?) and made similar choices to Earn. In the moment I even knew I was running down the wrong path and almost need someone outside the relationship to point out how ridiculous both parties are being. Unfortunately ego and pride get in the way and things are said that both resent but can't admit for fear of being "wrong".

Earn's was too reluctant to answer the simple question, what do you want? Stating he was being trapped x2 just shows me he had his mind mostly made up and was looking for Van to acquiesce. Van felt he was wrong in the same situation and was looking for the same thing he is, an apology.

Both of them standing in front of the door for a few extra moments was very telling. They both didn't want this outcome but neither wanted to give ground.

It seems from the information we've been presented Earn rubbed elbows albeit briefly with a different class (Princeton) and felt out of place and returned to his roots and familiarity. Unfortunately Van seems to be coming from the opposite direction. She seems to crave the same validation Earn does but from the same people he felt alienated by thus creating this weird tension between them. Since neither wants to truly reflect on their past (Earn never brings it up) they are both doomed to repeat past mistakes. Van makes some headway this episode when talking to her friend and some of the cognitive dissonance started creeping out with her friend reminded what color she chose.

From a story perspective I missed Al and Darius both God Damn this shit felt so much like my life in that moment and while depressing it was probably the realest episode we've seen.

level 1

This show just keeps hitting out of the park with every episode, can't wait for the first Donald directed episode next week.

level 2
12 points · 4 months ago

oh shit didn't know that

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level 1
167 points · 4 months ago

Earn so FUCKING stupid sometimes.

level 2
[deleted]
87 points · 4 months ago

Why?? I know that you're supposed to go the extra mile for your SO but if there is that much conflict maybe the relationship just isn't meant to work. I'm not sure if its bc most of this sub is white but when your ethnic in a situation like that it is incredibly uncomfortable especially if you don't even know german like Van. Earn felt like a joke there.

level 3

There are classier ways to communicate that though.

level 3
70 points · 4 months ago

All shes asking is for him to come halfway.

level 4

The price isn’t on the can here.

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level 1

This episode was so uncomfortable & I’m sad about Earn & Van.

level 1

I'm an afro-caribbean man that is living with my Swiss wife in Switzerland and this episode was way too real for me.

Try not to stare at the outsider. Fake smiles everywhere.

level 1

Let's be real, Van stunted on her boyfriend in a language he doesn't understand and smiled coyly at this bartender in front of him.

She and Earn spend way too much time trying to dominate each other. We see why they do these things because they have huge insecurities. But jeez they were both acting like bitches this episode.

level 1
24 points · 4 months ago

Man, after this season I'm taking that Bojack Horseman reference as a shout-out to their inspiration.

level 1

One thing I want to say it seems like every time there's an episode that doesn't have a ton of Darius or Al the first things I read are its weak or boring or the worst episode. It's so wierd so many people watch this show cause of Donald Glover isn't really a traditional guy but his biggest fans seem to only want Darius acts weird or Al gets angry. Like begging for the shows characters to get flanderized.

Donald and the team have a vision and its pretty unique and often eerily realistic. Let them flesh out the characters, let them be real people, let the show develop. It's like if it ain't memeable then it isn't good. We know the show is labeled comedy but anyone who saw the first season knows its anything but. I mean do you want a good show with a story or funny characters doing dumb shit. You're not wrong for wanting either but thinking DG isn't aiming at the former is somewhat oblivious.

On to the episode.

I think we just got a lot more real look at who Earn and Van are as people.

With Van seems like piece by piece we can try to put together her background. Seems like she's a girl who had some light privilege who talked herself into Earn being on her level because he was on his way up with getting into Princeton. In addition to that her own life doesn't seem to line up with what was expected of her based on her connections and old friends. Seems like she was expected to do more by her friends and family and defends it to them why she's doing less but will turn around and get pissed and resent earn for not wanting to be more.

I think everyone is taking the line where Earn talks about paying the bills the wrong way. I think him snapping was more of a hey i dont wanna be doing the shit either but it pays the bills. I feel like it was an act of desperation for Earn to ask to be his manager I mean he didn't even know what songs were poppin off in Atlanta. I think he just saw that as a come up and not his true passion.

Looks like Earn is still trying to find out what he wants out of life and van is like well we've already got a kid and lived together let's just make it work and he knows that isn't right for either of them.

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level 1
🖕🏾20 points · 4 months ago

This episode got me like

level 1

So did Van just knock that guy in the German demon costume out cold and everyone forgot about him?

level 2

I thought when she looked in the dumpster it was just the mask, no actual person, and thought it was some kind of crazy surreal moment I didn't quite get.

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level 1

If this had been another show, Earn would have had a realization and reconciled with Van with a big monologue at the end about how much he loves her. But Glover knows that isn't what happens in real life. He fucks it up and even though he could have maybe possibly saved it, he doesn't cause that's the kind of person Earn is. It sucks but people mess up their lives all the time by making stupid decisions like that.

I don't see them getting back together and I don't see it ever getting better for Earn.

level 2

Did he fuck it up? It seemed to me like he had a realization that he was not what she wanted. He sort of had the same realization at the end of Juneteenth, and ideally they would have stayed split after that, but you know how it is with someone you get wrapped up with. Take a lot of untwisting to get free.

What will happen to Earn is he will grow up and get old. Running around will seem tiring instead of exciting. Then he might regret letting Van go, but until then, he shouldn't make promises he can't keep, and he shouldn't try to fake being someone he's not, because that is not real love.

Not to be too corny, but I've been there.

level 3

True. I definitely wouldn't call Earn a bad guy in the slightest. Earn and Van have "something" there but it isn't a thing that should have been a long term relationship. If they didn't have a kid, they wouldn't see each other again. It reminds me of a line in the movie Zodiac. When one of the characters is getting a divorce they say: "It was just a first date that never ended."

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level 1

I had a knot in my stomach that entire episode, damn it was good.

level 1

The writers actually incorporated some of Zazie’s background into Van’s character. Hearing Van speak German was something else.

level 1
[deleted]
15 points · 4 months ago

Why is everyone challenging Earn's character? Looks to me like both of them knew it wasn't gonna work due to their conflicting identities and the child is the only thing keeping them strung together.

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level 1

Earn is so dumb but props to him for saying how he really feels I guess. Van is a catch though.

level 2

“That’s a really good answer.”

Proceeds to give her the worst answer possible.

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level 2

Did he say how he really feels tho? Like does he honestly not know what he wanted out of Van or did he just not want to admit it?

level 3

I meant more so the first part. But that is a good point regardless. I feel like I’ve been in a very similar mindset with a long term gf as Earn and there definitely is some indecision there, but it could also be not wanting to admit it. Why would he let them kinda start to split if it’s not what he wants though?

level 4

Honestly I just think Earn is apathetic as all hell; not really caring if him and Van break up or stay together.

I hope I'm not projecting too much on his character, but he seems like he is dealing with some pretty heavy clinical depression, and I can definitely attest to the general feeling of apathy undermining a once-healthy relationship because of unchecked depression.

level 5

Yeah I agree 100%

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level 1

Earn ain't ever gonna stunt on anyone

level 1

Wow, this episode cut way too deep. I recently got out of a LTR and so much of the dialogue between van and earn was so similar to me and my ex toward the end of our relationship. I feel pretty bad because I know I took her for granted. Watching this episode just made me feel like earn will regret his decision.

But, in all honesty I don’t think van wanted earn. Deep down she wanted something different. She didn’t know with who or what. Van is a confused character who’s currently stagnant in her life. I’ve had experience with girls like that and once Van finally gets her shit together, she would’ve dumped earn. So in the end earn made the right decision but in a lousy way. Van doesn’t want a guy like earn, she’s just lost and will gravitate to what she knows.

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level 1
15 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

I can tell who's black or just non-white in here because that face touching shit really struck a cord. I feel like Van's identity issues have her oblivious to a lot to the shit Earn deals with as a black man, from Juneteenth to how he was treated when he tried to spend that $100.

level 1

Everyone being kind of an asshole makes every episode so real.

level 1
13 points · 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

Song notes for S02E04 - Helen

EpisodeTimeSongLinksNotes
S02E0400:15Slime feat. Selah Sue - At Sea Again[YT]Bedroom / Intro sequence
07:29Troye Sivan - My My My[YT]Song playing during the German conversation between Van and the bartender - Thanks /u/Rejeba-620
12:58Dua Lipa - New Rules[YT]Song playing during the party - Thanks /u/PhasmaUrbomach
14:20Kendrick Lamar - LOVE. FEAT. ZACARI.[YT]Song playing at thy party while Van pulls her friend aside - Thanks to /u/Jzahck, /u/the_medins
23:14Harry Belafonte & Miriam Makeba - My Angel (Malaika)[YT]Song playing towards the end

Edit: Will be updating song notes for each episode, any help to fill in the blanks will be much appreciated.

I'll try to link to official song links / videos to support the artist, if I had the wrong link do feel free to hit me up.

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level 1
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level 1

Idk why all clowning on Earn. That shit was uncomfortable, and he said it. Why is he in the wrong for that?

Lol not every relationship works. I think y'all too caught up in Van to realize maybe they just don't work

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level 1

Oh shit. Is Earn gonna be the new Bojack Horseman?

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Atlanta is an American single-camera comedy tv series created by Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) who is also starring. The series is about two cousins in the Atlanta rap scene. The second season, titled Atlanta: Robbin' Season, premiered on March 1, 2018.

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