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Donald Glover Explains ATLANTA’s Season 2 Title, ROBBIN’ SEASON

When FX announced the return date for Donald Glover‘s critically-acclaimed FX comedy Atlanta, the news came with an interesting angle. The network kept referring to the television series as Atlanta Robbin’ Season, not Atlanta. When did that change? And what did the new title mean? It’s best to let the creators take that one, as the minds of Donald and Stephen Glover, the brains behind the operation, work like no one else’s.

The very first question asked of them during a panel at the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association press tour, was what the new title of the series means for the 11-episode second season.

“‘Robbin’ season’ for most people who don’t know is a time in Atlanta before Christmas time and New Years where a bunch of crime happens in that time because people have to get Christmas gifts and people need money so it’s a time when robberies go up all the time,” Stephen said. “You might get your package stolen off your front porch. When we were there shooting my neighbor got her car stolen off her driveway. It’s a very tense and desperate time so we wanted to make that a backdrop to our season and our characters are going through that same type of transition their whole lives to where they’re headed now. Robbin’ Season is kind of like a metaphor for all of our characters.”

The new title just applies to the second season, according to Donald. But that doesn’t mean there will be new titles for every season moving forward, either.

“I don’t know if the other seasons are going to have other titles,” Donald says. “What we liked about the first season is that we just looked at it as 30 minutes on television. We weren’t trying to think about it in terms of sitcoms or tropes or what has come before it. We really tried to just devolve what television was. We just had 30 minutes to do whatever we wanted. We just went into this why are we going to do seasons? Everybody does seasons. The theme we wanted to go for was this.”

The highly experimental and stylized show was an instant hit with both viewers and critics, as Atlanta earned award after award. But Donald didn’t want the success to change the series or force them to do the same thing in season two. He wants to keep pushing Atlanta to try new things since that’s what it was envisioned as from the start. And it’s safe to say that Atlanta Robbin’ Season will be unlike anything that’s come before, since Donald and Stephen literally used the “How I Spent My Vacation” episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures as the inspiration for the new season.

“It’s a really good show,” Donald says as the room of critics erupts in laughter at his revelation. “You laugh but that was a really good mini group that they did. It was our favorite as kids.” According to Donald, that run of episodes of the animated series can be watched all together as a movie, but you can also watch them as individual episodes. “You enjoy them more when they’re together but you also enjoy them in bits,” Donald says.

Director Hiro Murai adds that they decided to use that format to “set up the audience to approach the show differently.”

“We approached this season wanting to do something a little more cohesive,” he explains. “We picked a lane a little bit more. That said, part of our game is making ourselves uncomfortable. We thrive the most when we slightly don’t know what we’re doing. We got to try a lot of weird experimental stuff.”

Images: FX

Atlanta Robbin’ Season premieres Thursday, March 1 at 10 p.m. on FX.

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