Atlanta Recap: Season 4 Episode 5 – Tyler Perry, Kirkwood Chocolate

Man, Atlanta came right after film and TV mogul Tyler Perry with this week’s hilarious parody … and they didn’t pull any punches.

On Thursday’s episode, Van takes her daughter, Lottie, to a massive film production complex called Chocolate Studios, run by the elusive Kirkwood Chocolate. (For the record, Tyler Perry owns a 300-acre film production complex called Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.) On the way, they pass a tour guide who touts Chocolate Studios as “a studio for culture and through culture.” The complex includes state-of-the-art sound stages, as well as an ominous building that Mr. Chocolate has converted into “a personal office… No one is allowed in or out.” Van is there to film a scene on one of Chocolate’s sitcoms as a daytime player; A friend told her about it and she thought she would give it a try. However, she admits that she hasn’t seen many of Chocolate’s shows or films. And she’s not alone: ​​The girl who does her hair confesses, “I personally hate it.” (Van also meets a janitor named Shamik, and they seem to share a spark.)

Van directs a scene in a brightly lit, multi-camera sitcom in which her character comforts a friend with marital difficulties. The girlfriend’s husband blurts out angrily, “Didn’t I tell you you couldn’t have friends?” The actors pause, however, when a faceless voice on an intercom interrupts and suggests small changes to the scene, and the production staff quickly obeys . As they retry the scene, the husband yells at Van’s character to leave, and Lottie, who is off-camera, tells him to shut up. Van tries to apologize, but the voice on the intercom wants to see more of the girl. Lottie asks where that voice came from and she replies, “I’m everywhere, like God. I’m Mister Chocolate.” He brings Lottie into the scene and tells the husband to shut up — and when an assistant reminds him that Lottie wasn’t in any of the previous scenes, he simply says, “We will fix in the mail.”

Atlanta FX Season 4 Episode 5 Lottie VanThey send Lottie into the dressing room, and the assistant reassures Van, “The way Mr. Chocolate shoots, you’ll probably both be done by lunch.” (For the record, Tyler Perry currently has eight TV shows broadcast in be broadcast on various networks, including The oval and sisters, and has said that he doesn’t use a writer’s room, preferring instead to write and direct each episode himself.) While Lottie tries on outfits, Van confides in a kind older woman and tells her she’s not sure if Lottie would suit her a TV show should stick . The woman quotes a Bible verse to say that a person who isn’t open to the joy of a child isn’t open to true happiness — and Lottie seems happy. She’s filming a whole new scene on the sitcom, and another mom tells Van that Mr. Chocolate is probably writing a children’s show for her right now. (The mom even suggests her own child to play Lottie’s “best friend who’s good with computers.”)

However, when Van looks up, Lottie has disappeared. An assistant tells her Lottie has already moved on to the next scene – and she’s now been written into 14 more scenes. (She’s number three on the call list!) Van demands to speak to Mr. Chocolate…but the assistant has never spoken to him in person. However, Shamik offers to take Van to the next level and they chat along the way, revealing that Mr. Chocolate gave him this maintenance job after he got out of prison, giving him time off crypto mining at night to operate. (He also slips her his business card.) On the sound stage, they shoot a drama in which Abe Lincoln cries and a black woman says to him, “You white piece of shit. I hope you get shot in a theater.” Lottie isn’t there though; She’s already on the next level. Van is fed up, but one woman there can’t help her: “I’m directing two pilots and starring in another… Mr. Chocolate is the only person who knows what’s going on.”

Van insists on being taken to where Lottie is now, and the woman agrees, but she also says Van will be happy if Lottie “wins that BET award.” When they reach the next stage, Lottie shoots a serious dramatic scene that ends with her mother eating a crack sandwich onscreen? But as soon as the scene ends, Lottie disappears, and an assistant reassures Van that she’s safe: “Mr. Chocolate is always watching and he has plans for her.” Losing his composure, Van asks if they’re all in a cult and tries to get a security guard to help – but he’s also just an intern getting coffee. She stares at the intercom and orders her to hand Lottie back, and after a pause, the voice replies, “No.” So Van marches over to Chocolate’s office building, where two armed guards in military gear prevent her from entering. The old lady from before comforts her as she calls out to her about Lottie – and then the old lady pulls out a gun and shoots one of the guards in the foot! (The other guard says they were just holding fake M-16s from one of Chocolate’s films.)

Atlanta FX Tyler Perry Kirkwood ChocolateVan sneaks in and finds Kirkwood Chocolate in a room full of monitors and thousands of pages of script, banging on a piano that translates his playing into more scripts. (“Steve Jobs did this for me,” he boasts.) Kirkwood—a burly black man with a booming voice—shows Van that Lottie is shooting another scene on another stage. She threatens to call the police, but he says he owns the police: “I can do what I want!” Van calls him a scammer: “You just do incoherent shit that takes advantage of the people you say it’s about , that you want to help them.” Kirkwood points out that she’s now a struggling single mom with a formerly incarcerated love interest and a gun-toting Christian grandma: “Face it, Vanessa: you’re a Kirkwood chocolate woman.” The assistant fetches Lottie walks in, and she’s had a blast, but when Kirkwood offers her six seasons of a children’s series, Van says no…even though Lottie wants it. Van has to drag Lottie away, crying, while Kirkwood yells after them, “She’ll be Disgraced Woman #8 when I’m done with her!” (PS The actor who plays Kirkwood Chocolate is officially credited as “Kirkwood Chocolate,” as it Teddy Perkins was in Season 2, but we’re pretty sure that’s series star Donald Glover under all that makeup.)

Van returns home with Lottie, apologizing to her and telling her she wants her to be old enough to decide what she wants before committing to anything like this. She hugs Lottie tightly and promises that she will always be there for her. After Lottie runs into her room, Van Shamik checks his business card — and sees he’s written on the back: “Let’s have sex in the boiler room.” But no: instead, she tells Lottie she makes mac and cheese.

How did you like it? Atlanta‘s all-out Tyler Perry takedown? Click on the comments to share your thoughts. Atlanta Recap: Season 4 Episode 5 – Tyler Perry, Kirkwood Chocolate

Lindsay Lowe

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