Chet Hanks Continues To Be A Weirdo; This Time On 'Atlanta'
Atlanta is back this week with another standalone, anthology-type episode that features neither its main cast of characters, nor the city of Atlanta – although there is a brief glimpse of Al on a poster for Paper Boi’s homecoming tour on the side of a building, for those fans watching this show as attentively as some conspiracy theorists do The Shining.
“Trini 2 De Bone” is, unsurprisingly, a thematically dense story, mostly focusing on the inequities of America’s worsening child care crisis. And, like most episodes this season, it involves ghosts. In this case, a wealthy white couple’s Trinidadian nanny, Sylvia, passes away, and at the end of the show we see that her spirit is seemingly offering comfort to their young son – while also potentially haunting the parents, leaving mysterious packages at their front door.
Much of the episode is about the rich couple’s paranoia around the late nanny’s cultural influence on their kid, who now won’t even eat his eggs benedict without some homemade spicy mango curry on top. At the funeral, these fears are made manifest when they meet a white dude from Tribeca who speaks in a “Trinidadian” accent because Sylvia was his nanny too, and he’s played by … holy crap, is that Chet Hanks??
Yes, the cringetastic son of Tom Hanks (and step-brother of Wilson the volleyball) can now add Atlanta to his resume, next to Empire and the worst Indiana Jones movie. The meta joke here is that Hanks really does occasionally speak in a faux patois-esque accent, to the horror of the world in general.
Chet Hanks sucks for lots of reasons (the casual racism, the covid denial, the allegations of domestic abuse) but this was an admittedly funny scene. And his presence may tie into another of the episode’s themes: parental neglect. In this story, the rich white couple buck many of their parental responsibilities, and are content to let a woman they know virtually nothing about raise him. And Sylvia’s children vocally resent the fact that random white kids were afforded the attention and care from their mother that they never got to have.
And this is something that Chet has talked about to some extent; he made headlines when he claimed that he didn’t have a “strong male role model” growing up because his dad was always busy pretending to be in outer space, or solving riddles about Jesus. Obviously he was also the privileged son of a literal movie star, but part of the point of this episode seems to be that America’s wealth divide basically creates a perfect storm for kids to be ignored by their parents.
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Top Image: FX