When the fourth and final season of Atlanta (Metascore: 93) premieres Sept. 15 on FX, Earn (Donald Glover), Al (Brian Tyree Henry), Van (Zazie Beetz), and Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) will be back in the eponymous Southern city after a whirlwind (and at times trippy) European tour. And when they return, star-showrunner-director Glover said the show will focus even more intently on "Do people matter?" more than ever before.
"This season explores people more than we have before because we're, right now, living in a time where you just don't give people the benefit of the doubt, so I feel like this is a good time to explore that a little bit more," he explained during the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour panel for the series.
The third season of Atlanta wrapped up on FX in May 2022, just a few months before the final stretch begins. That season saw the core characters overseas, experiencing everything from international acts of racism to artistic theft, but it also devoted full individual episodes to standalone stories featuring brand new characters, including one that was inspired by Jennifer Hart but was told through the eyes of a young Black boy put into temporary care in a white household and one starring Justin Bartha as a man dealing with white fragility and reparations.
"Those episodes felt, for a lot of people, like a step out of the way we do things, but for me, we've always done stuff like that," said writer and executive producer Stephen Glover. (Remember the "Teddy Perkins" episode in Season 2, for example?) "So, even Season 4, there are elements of that and pieces of that. Maybe people won't hate us this time, but we'll have some of that."
Donald Glover added: "If the question is, 'Did we learn our lesson?' The answer's no."
However, Donald Glover also acknowledged that he is aware of and listens to criticism (including the criticism that it is "not a Black show") but he feels "the conversation isn't as elevated as it should be." Considering a lot of what they do on Atlanta to be "just takes for the internet," he said, "I do a lot of this sh-- for the people, but for the culture at this point? ... We actually have to relearn a lot of stuff, so if you're sitting there thinking, 'Oh this is misogynoir,' why do you think that? And why do you think I think that when I'm nothing without my people?"
The fourth and final season of Atlanta is set to premiere with two back-to-back episodes Sept. 15 at 10 p.m. The official season trailer was also released during the TCA session, and you can watch that below.
Where to watch Atlanta Seasons 1-3: