He's the comedian who worked as a writer on 30 Rock before landing a role in American comedy Community (now on Netflix). No? He raps under the name Childish Gambino, and his song This is America got over 10 million hits in 24 hours last weekend after Glover hosted SNL? Still nothing?
Frankly, if you haven't already memorised his face by now, then you're going to want to do it quickly, because he's about to become one of the most famous people on the planet. And you're definitely going to want to start by tuning into his Golden Globe and Emmy award winning series Atlanta when it comes to BBC Two this May.
Emotionally fraught and in equal measure joyous, hopeful and bleak, Glover originally wrote Atlanta to give America (and now BBC Two audiences) an insight into the Black experience, telling FX on the Television Critics Association press tour: 'you can’t write that down. You have to feel it.'
Considering that the show is regularly referred to as a 'comedy', Atlanta's first episode is surprisingly dark and humourless. Young, talented men – their lives on the brink of change – stand in a petrol station (translation: gas station) in an altercation with a couple fighting over who is going to pay for a broken wing mirror. Guns poke out of gym shorts, glove compartments and belt buckles, and of course, it's not long until someone pulls one out.
It's not really a comedy, but it isn't really a drama either – and the show exists somewhere between the two, flicking between the surreal, the appalling, the hilarious and the unimaginable... how else could you explain having a gun pulled on you by someone who you definitely knew was about to pull a gun on you.
Having dropped out of Princeton for some yet unknown, mysterious reason, Earnest 'Earn' Marks (Glover) returns to his hometown of Atlanta to discover that his cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry) has become an overnight rap sensation and is an up-and-coming new artist.
Fighting with his sometimes girlfriend, worried for his daughter (to whom he jokes 'no this is a great environment for you' as her mum prepares to go on a date with some other guy) and struggling to make any kind of rent, Earn navigates past the gun at the door and the man with a knife and a plate of cookies to speak to Alfred about becoming Paperboy's manager.
Much like Childish Gambino's hit single This is America, Atlanta is as American as the city in which it's based. What a beautiful, important and creatively stimulating look at America this is. No wonder it earned itself two Golden Globes and a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Welcome to the BBC, Donald Glover. Remember that face.
|What||Review: Atlanta episode one on BBC Two|
13 May 18 – 31 Aug 18, Atlanta airs on BBC Two on Sunday 13 May 10pm