Vince Staples is a fan-favorite rapper and singer who has delivered some incredibly fresh music over the past several years. He’s also made a name for himself as an actor, earning roles in notable TV shows and movies like Abbott Elementary and White Men Can’t Jump. Now, the star is set to headline his own eponymous series – The Vince Staples Show. Netflix subscribers like myself have already gotten a taste of the show via its teaser trailer. I’m impressed so far, and part of my excitement stems from the fact that it seems similar to FX’s Atlanta – and I’m hoping that proves to be the case.
I still miss Donald Glover’s slow-burn comedy, which concluded its four-season run back in 2022. To put it lightly, the show – which is streamable with a Hulu subscription – is one of the greatest TV shows ever made. So, on the surface, it may seem wild to say that another production seems similar after only seeing a trailer (which is on YouTube). Still, I believe Vince Staples’ upcoming small-screen venture has a chance to achieve greatness, in great part due to his unique creative style. There are specifically five elements I’m hoping the limited series takes from Atlanta, and we’re going to discuss them now.
I’d Love To See Standalone Stories Utilized
Plot details on the comedy are scarce, but it would appear that it won’t employ serialized storytelling. If that is true, then that means each of the five episodes would stand on their own to some degree. I really hope this turns out to be the case because, if it is, the series could still cover a lot of ground narratively. Each story can also draw from a specific genre and employ distinct styles.
Atlanta was famous for telling standalone stories, some of which didn’t even involve the show’s main characters. In going with that approach, Donald Glover and his collaborators gave themselves the free rein to explore a wide range of story templates. For instance, there’s an episode like Season 1’s “The Club,” which continues plenty of comedy, and then you have the horror-infused “Teddy Perkins.” On top of that, installments such as “The Woods” and “New Jazz” mirror psychological dramas. While I’m not sure The Vince Staples Show will go that far, it wouldn’t hurt for it to include varied stories that function well on their own.
I Hope The Comedy Is Sharp, Quirky And Pop Culture-Infused
Above all else, the upcoming series is being touted as a comedy, which means it has to bring the laughs. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that humor is in the mix, especially when you consider just how funny the leading man is. (Seriously, just during the interviews he does, he conveys a lot of humor whether he means to or not.) The “Big Fish” rapper is very quick, and one would think that the show’s comedic energy will match his own.
Atlanta wasn’t the kind of production to constantly toss out quips as, in many cases, it took its time to wind up jokes and deliver punchlines. Regardless of that, Vince Staples’ comedy could still stand to take a cue from Childish Gambino's. The FX original didn’t go for the easy joke, instead opting to go for more complex gags. Pop culture-centric puns also came into play at times, as Earnest Marks, Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles and the rest of the characters enjoyed their share of TV and movies. Staples is also a purveyor of entertainment, and it’s likely that his TV counterpart will, too. All in all, I’m confident that the writers and actors are able to bring some nuanced comedic sensibilities to the table.
A Roster Of Strong Guest Stars Would Be An Excellent Touch
I mean, what’s a quality comedy without a few high-profile guest stars? So far, it’s been announced that Vince Staples will be joined on his show by a recurring cast featuring Vanessa Bell Calloway and Andrea Elsworth. While a few other actors have been confirmed as well, I’m truly hoping that some surprise faces might pop in over the course of the series.
This fan has no problem saying that few shows throughout the history of TV were able to perfectly bring in guest stars like Atlanta could. The Migos, Soulja Boy and even Alexander Skarsgård were among the notable stars to pop up during the show’s run. (The creative team could’ve even scored a Chris Evans cameo.) What was even more impressive than the big names themselves was the matter-of-fact nature in which most of them showed up. I’d be shocked if the Dope alum didn’t bring in some famous people for his satirical series. If anything, some veterans of the music community would make the most sense. This actually links to the next point I'd like to make.
Music Will Hopefully Be A Part Of The Show
This may seem obvious, especially given the person at the center of the project, but music should play into the proceedings. I’m sure the actual soundtrack will be top-notch but, from a storytelling standpoint, it would be interesting if hip hop factors into the life of this fictionalized version of Vince Staples. That could enhance his characterization and contribute to some wild moments.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Donald Glover’s show focused on two young men hoping to break into the music industry. A number of the hijinks that Earn, Alfred and co. would find themselves involved in would stem from their professional endeavors. Episodes like “North of the Border” and “Nobody Beats the Biebs” exemplified the kind of offbeat scenarios that could occur as a result of their attempts to move up in the world. The series also dropped some sharp critiques in regard to Black musicians. With any luck, TVSS will take similar cues.
There Need To Be Some Surreal Scenes Mixed In With The More Grounded Moments
Last but certainly not least, I hope The Vince Staples Show has its share of surreal moments. Yes, there should absolutely be plenty of grounded situations that audiences can connect to on different levels. However, heightened sequences can add a lot to a TV series, especially if they’re well-executed, and Atlanta is absolutely proof of that.
Throughout its run, the Donald Glover-produced dramedy employed afro-surrealism in a way that few other shows before it ever had. Fans were treated to installments involving an invisible car, a man who owned an alligator and a creepy Michael Jackson-esque recluse. There was also that wild faux documentary on the making of A Goofy Movie (which the real-life director responded to). And the wild series finale, “It Was All a Dream,” closed out the show on an appropriately off-kilter note. I’m not so sure Vince Staples’ production will get that wild, but the trailer certainly suggests that he’ll get into some seriously weird situations. I hope the teases ultimately do the show justice.
There are still plenty of unknowns when it comes to this upcoming series, but there’s still cause to be excited, if you ask me. The entertainer at the center of it is easily one of the most unique creatives working today, and there’s very little reason to doubt what he can do. I could be wrong, but I’m confident that he and his team will knock it out of the park, not unlike Donald Glover and his colleagues before them.
All five episodes of The Vince Staples Show are set to hit Netflix on February 15 as part of the 2024 TV schedule. If you need something to watch in the meantime, head over to Hulu and stream all four seasons of Atlanta.