A new comedy by Community alum, Donald Glover, referred to as Atlanta premieres on FX top top Tuesday night. And over ~ above Oprah"s network, OWN, Queen Sugar premieres. Both shows reflect the push toward diversity in call cable television, with creators, stars and also subject matter concentrated on black color people.

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Two brand-new series that start on cable this evening depict black culture and modern-day life, and our TV doubter Eric Deggans claims they"re precious watching. One is a comedy on FX called "Atlanta." The other is a family members drama called "Queen Sugar." It"s ~ above OWN, Oprah Winfrey"s network.


ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: indigenous the opening moments the "Queen Sugar," the sultry score through neo-soul star Meshell Ndegeocello hints that we"re around to view an unconventional story. The an initial scene reflects star Rutina Wesley in the bedroom with her lover, yet it"s a sexy minute in i m sorry he"s helping her to gain dressed to begin her day. It"s a authorize that even moments the passion obtain a different kind of therapy in this world.


MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO: (Singing) desires never die, take trip as the people turns. Desires never die, take flight as the human being turns.

DEGGANS: "Queen Sugar" is a an ext grounded, realistic leave for OWN. Oprah Winfrey"s channel"s built recent success through the melodrama of fact TV shows and nighttime soap operas aimed at a black color audience. Winfrey is an executive producer on "Queen Sugar," and also she"s teamed up through Ava DuVernay, who directed the mogul actress in the civil legal rights movie "Selma."

For this project, they"re bringing a novel to the small screen. "Queen Sugar" is around a black family members in brand-new Orleans struggling v the fatality of the household patriarch. DuVernay takes her time through the story and also humanizes personalities that might be empty stereotypes elsewhere.

Actress Rutina Wesley theatre Nova, a pro-black activist v a an enig white lover. She clashes with Charley, her wealthy sister who dares to hire a caterer because that the family"s funeral repast and also gets an earful indigenous Nova.


RUTINA WESLEY: (As Nova Bordelon) we don"t honor our father by having actually strangers offer those grieving. We serve comfort food to those who need comfort, and we do it v our own hands. That"s just how a family members (unintelligible). And also we certainly don"t salary our respects v American Express.

DEGGANS: It"s a rare minute of fireworks in a complicated drama the plays like a slow burn. In a pioneering move, DuVernay has actually hired female directors for every single episode. That might be why so plenty of scenes feel fresh and surprising. This is a family drama v soap-opera-style storylines for world who dislike soap operas choose me. It"s also a authorize of the magic the can happen when you let black writers, producers, directors and performers call stories about black people.

That"s something that "Queen Sugar" has in typical with another wonderful present that debuts tonight, Donald Glover"s comedy "Atlanta" top top FX. Glover"s an alum of the NBC comedy "Community," and on Atlanta, he"s the creator, writer, executive, management producer, director and music supervisor. He also stars together a struggling university dropout begging his cousin to let him control his career as a rapper.


DONALD GLOVER: (As Earn) i don"t want a handout. I want to regulate you.

UNIDENTIFIED gibbs #1: (As character, laughter) control - you recognize where the word regulate come from?

GLOVER: (As Earn) Manus, Latin because that hand.

UNIDENTIFIED actor #1: (As character) Probably, yet I"m going to say no because that the function of mine argument. Control come from the word man, and also that ain"t really your lane.

GLOVER: (As Earn) mine lane?

UNIDENTIFIED actor #1: (As character) Yeah, Man. I need Malcolm. You"re also Martin. You recognize what lock did come him? They killed him.

GLOVER: (As Earn) Didn"t they kill Malcolm, too?

UNIDENTIFIED actor #2: (As character) They only say that, however ain"t nobody checked out the body due to the fact that the funeral.

GLOVER: (As Earn) That"s exactly how funerals work.

DEGGANS: "Atlanta" is a slice-of-life dramatic comedy as with loads of various other shows special young, white 20-somethings in California or brand-new York. Yet this is around two young, black guys trying to break right into Atlanta"s laboratory game. And also Glover"s character, earn Marks, is a smart man who"s had some challenging breaks, together he tells a man sitting alongside him on the bus.


GLOVER: (As Earn) I just keep losing. I median some human being just supposed to lose for balance in the universe. I mean, like, are there simply some human being on planet who an alleged to be here just to do it simpler for the winners?

DEGGANS: Earn and also his friends aren"t the typical TV vision of what young, black guys should be. They usage the N-word. They smoke weed. The very first episode attributes a dispute leading come a shooting, and they gain arrested. It"ll make some world uncomfortable, but it"s additionally authentic and also creative. It"s smart, and it"s funny.

Along with "Queen Sugar," "Atlanta" is a welcome sign that the civilization of high-quality cable TV is ultimately tapping into the power that comes from letting people of color tell their own stories. I"m Eric Deggans.

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