Donald Glover didn’t think Atlanta would make it past the first season when it premiered in 2016, let alone be gearing up to unveil its fourth and final season six years later. But the actor has found his happiness and a bit of existentialism in the series, and he’s ready to go out on a high note. Glover revealed the Season four trailer on Tuesday, ahead of the season premiere on September 15.
“The theme for the last season that we ended up landing on was, ‘Have more fun.’ Like, life is short, let’s have more fun. You can do literally whatever you want with the time you have here,” Glover shared in a rare public appearance during a press conference for the Television Critics Association virtual press tour. “We talked a lot about that in Season four. People can do whatever they want. You just have to find your own happiness, and that’s a process. Not to make it sound like therapy.”
The final trailer catches up with the entire Atlanta crew. An utterly confused LaKeith Stanfield sits with two hysterical women at a wellness center. Glover is trapped in his car as the sole audience member for a cypher led by the same neighborhood kids who scammed him into paying more for room temperature water. Zazie Beetz goes camping. Brian Tyree Henry destroys the soundboard at a recording studio. Everyone is screaming, in celebration and in anguish, ahead of the 10-episode finale.
“I think our show started kind of punk. My mindset was, ‘No one cares,’” Glover continued during the conference. “But then by the end, we cared about a lot of stuff … Before, it was a show about, ‘Do people matter?’” As Atlanta producer Stefani Robinson remembers, on the first day in the writer’s room, “Donald looked at all of us and said: ‘We are going to get canceled, so let’s just have fun.’”
The risk-taking that went into having the most fun as possible while they could is what Stephen believes will be the series’ lasting impact. “I think the legacy of it is gonna be about experimentation and how much weird stuff we’ve been able to do,” he shared. “Hopefully, that leads other people to want to do weird stuff, too.”
That was the goal from the beginning. “If we’re here only for four episodes, they’re going to be the best four episodes ever,” Stephen explained of the early Atlanta mindset. He called back to the Dana Carvey show, which only aired for one season that consisted of 8 episodes, one of which never aired, adding: “For me, that’s exactly what I want to be: a place where your heroes worked and did the crazy stuff that nobody else would do on television. So from the beginning, we’ve had that mindset of, ‘Let’s fuck shit up.”