You know how you need a fresh cut but your barber is always on some wack stuff? He’s lucky I only trust him…
The “black barbershop as sacred space” trope isn’t new; it’s made the rounds in Hollywood, the art world, academia and beyond. Unfortunately for Al, this week’s visit to a no-frills strip mall spot is steeped in none of the barbershop’s fabled camaraderie, current events catch-ups or stress release. When he stops in to get “the usual,” what he gets instead is all the worst barbershop experiences rolled into one, then exaggerated to the nTh degree and spun through the signature “Atlanta” absurdist filter.
Whether you’re a chair regular or a shop newbie, there are some cut day experiences that are universal. Tardiness, personal calls and mid-cut snacking are all garden variety annoyances. From the moment that cape snaps up, you expect to hear about the barber’s personal life and know full well you’ll be forced to watch some viral clips on a smartphone.
Al’s barber does all of this in only the first three minutes. Played to shifty perfection by standup comedian Robert Powell III, the fast-talking hustler Bibby traps Al in a bottle episode of sorts. They may not be bound to one specific location, but all of the action revolves around the two men making their way through a seemingly endless to-do list.
WATCH ‘Atlanta’ season 2 episode 5 ‘Barbershop’ BELOW!