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I first spoke with Lima in 2020 when I put together /Film’s oral history of the climactic Powerline concert scene in “A Goofy Movie.” It was incredibly surreal for me, as a big fan of “Atlanta,” to watch the show basically do its own version of an oral history in that episode, but I suspected the experience of watching it was even more bizarre for Lima.
“The movie is so entrenched in our culture and in Black culture in that way,” he said. “It’s amazing to me and it’s so confirming that it touches people. So I dig it, I’m into it.”
Lima said none of the writing staff reached to him about the episode beforehand, so the whole thing took him by delightful surprise. Regarding how the episode came together, he has a theory:
“I’m guessing that [Donald] loved it when he was a kid. I’m just guessing — and I’m supposed to talk to him. I have a friend of a friend. There have been a couple of videos online that people have made calling it like ‘The Blackest Disney Film Ever Made.’ I’ve watched a couple of those things just to get a sense. The Black community just adores the movie and takes ownership of it in a big way. So I’m sure it’s the perfect storm of all of those things. And then I figured FX is owned by Disney. So there’s that little connection there.”
If you’re one of those viewers who fell off as “Atlanta” took a big break between seasons 2 and 3, I highly encourage you to go back and catch up now that the fourth and final season has concluded. The show takes some daring chances in its third season that won’t be to everyone’s liking, but season 4 brings things home in an emotionally satisfying way. “The Goof Who Sat By The Door,” which has nothing to do with the adventures of Paper Boi, Earn, Darius, and Van, is the third-to-last episode of the entire series, and serves as a wonderful reminder that “Atlanta” began as a show that was built to push audience expectations and ended with that same mentality six years later.