The game, so to speak, is almost over for Earn Marks, Paper Boi, Van Keefer, and Darius. FX’s award-winning comedy Atlanta will end with its fourth and final season, premiering on September 15.
Created by Donald Glover, the show follows Princeton dropout Earn (played by Glover), who becomes a manager to his cousin and rapper, Alfred, a.k.a. Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry). He wants to primarily reconnect with (and, ahem, earn the respect of) his ex-girlfriend, Van (Zazie Beetz). Lakeith Stanfield plays Paper Boi’s eccentric right-hand man, Darius.
During the Television Critics Association’s (TCA) Atlanta panel on August 2, Glover told reporters that season four is the most grounded one yet. “It explores people more than we have before because I feel like right now we are kind of living in a time where you just don’t give people the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “We ended up being a show about people whereas early on it was about ‘Do people matter?”
The trailer shows that the central crew returns to their titular hometown after their European adventures in season three. Naturally, this brings about new challenges as Earn and Van try to figure out where they stand romantically while Alfred makes moves in his career.
In teasing the series finale, Donald Glover told reporters: “We have a pretty good ending. We wrote an episode in the middle, and [producer] Francesca Sloane was like, ‘This has to be the last episode, right?’” (Sloane and Glover are also working together on Prime Video’s upcoming Mr. And Mrs. Smith series).
While discussing season three’s polarizing anthology-style episodes that often veered away from the protagonists, Glover and his brother, Stephen (who is an executive producer and writer on the show) said during the TCA panel that season four will have a “similar standalone vibe,” just not to the same extent. “Did we learn our lesson? No,” Donald Glover joked. Writer Stefani Robinson added that the team is “[proud] of the ambitious episodes.”
The show quickly became a critical and commercial success, earning several Emmys and has been touted for both its representation and groundbreaking storytelling. When asked about Atlanta’s legacy, Stephen Glover remarked, “It’s going to be about experimentation and how much weird stuff we’ve been able to do. Hopefully it leads other people to take risks and do weird stuff.”
Atlanta’s 10-episode final season will get a double-episode premiere on September 15 on FX, with the remaining eight airing weekly.