Donald Glover's new FX comedy, Atlanta, probably has more in common with its network-mate, Louie, than anything else. But Glover told E! News while promoting the show at FX's 2016 Television Critics Association summer press day that he drew inspiration from another cult favorite series: "I wanted to make Twin Peaks for rappers," he told us.
While Atlanta follows an up-and-coming rapper in Atlanta and his manager cousin, Earn (Glover), and Twin Peaks was a moody drama that investigated the murder of a teenage girl, it makes sense. "Twin Peaks was this show I really liked...it was very strange and had a lot of almost, for Millenials, was Lost-esque at the time," he explained. "A lot of questions would come up with no real answers and there was a mystery, and I kind of wanted to do a show that had those elements but for people who were rappers."
Glover expanded on that idea in the panel discussing the show. "The thesis with the show was kind of to show people how it felt to be black, and you can't really write that down. You kind of have to feel it. So the tonal aspect was really important to me."
He added, "There really isn't a limit, I feel like, to how abstract you can get as long as you believe it. Like, there has to be some sort of grounded nature to something so people don't start being, like, 'I don't believe this,' and then they turn the channel. I think if you have something that is grounded on some level, you can go anywhere."
Atlanta premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on FX.