One of the biggest surprises of 2016 was FX's Atlanta, Donald Glover's insightful and occasionally surreal look at a young man trying to make his mark in the rap biz by managing his cousin. As FX is happy to trumpet, the series was 2016's most critically acclaimed show.
So how does the team behind Atlanta top Season 1? Tiny Toons!
Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Friday, Glover explained — to confused laughter — that one of the biggest influences on Season 2, which is called Atlanta Robbin' Season, was a 1992 straight-to-video animated film featuring the baby versions of Looney Toons characters. Yes, for real.
"I think we were in the writers room we talked a lot about How I Spent My Summer Vacation by the Tiny Toons, which was a show we all really liked. And yeah, that was the inspiration for Season 2," Glover said. After a collective chuckle from the assembled critics, Glover added, "It's a good show. You laugh, but Tiny Toons Adventures was amazing."
Glover explained that he didn't want to repeat what happened in Season 1, and Season 2 will tell a larger story in pieces — How I Spent My Summer Vacation was a film divided into bits that could be enjoyed individually. "You enjoy them more when they're all together, but you can also enjoy them in bits," Glover said.
It came also from really wanting to do something different from Season 1, and especially to move away from what people were expecting.
"If you [look back at what you did before] as a producer of television or any sort of art, you tend to be risk adverse, which is really bad for art," Glover said. "So we didn't look back and be like, 'What are the things that will make people happy?' We really just tried to beat ourselves."
"Even the title Robbin' Season is sort of setting up the audience to approach the show differently, and it's putting a different frame around the show," said director Hiro Murai.
So what does Robbin' Season mean? Robbin' Season is the time near Christmas and New Year's in Atlanta, when people have new stuff and cash from presents, and robberies increase because of that. Season 2 will be set during that time, and it will be the backdrop of the season when characters are going through "that desperate transition" that much of the Atlanta of Atlanta goes through.
Atlanta Robbin' Season will premiere Thursday, March 1 at 10/9c on FX.