In 2016, television is a frontier reserved for the ambitious. A forum Donald Glover will reenter on September 6 with his forthcoming FX series Atlanta.
On Tuesday night (August 23), Glover, alongside cast mates Brian Tyree Henry (Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles) and Zazie Beetz (Van), and host Angela Yee of The Breakfast Club, held a private screening at the Paley Center for Media in New York. Over 300 members of media and influencers in attendance, split between the theater space and a separate room for the overflow of attendees.
John Solberg, EVP of communications at FX Networks, introduced the guests and two 25-minute episodes to much fanfare. And by fanfare, we mean a spirited applause.
Afterwards, Yee moderated a Q&A session with Glover, Henry, and Beetz, during which the rapper we know as Childish Gambino clarified why his hometown was the perfect locale to base his brainchild.
“[Atlanta] is a fertile place to talk about America,” he said, citing the city’s 60% Black population and rich culture in music, art, etc. as inspiration.
Magnifying a very Black experience (the series’ writing staff is entirely Black) in a way viewers of various backgrounds could find palatable, or at the very least intriguing, is among the show’s more promising traits. Not to mention that there are moments where belly-aching laughter is the only viable reaction.
Peep a photo recap of the Atlanta screening on the following pages. See the official trailer here.
Photo: Bernard Smalls for FX Networks