Atlanta in Pop Culture

Atlanta, Georgia has been the scene for many works of popular culture over the years. From literature, to film, to television. Take a look at some of the works where Atlanta has played a role, both the past and the present.

Historic Atlanta
While it’s not the modern Atlanta we know all know and love today, some of our favorite books and films are set in the Atlanta of the past.

Gone with the Wind
While most people think of the Tara Plantation as the setting of Gone With the Wind, much of the story takes place in Atlanta, before, during, and after the Civil War. The author of the original novel is from Atlanta and wanted to write about the state’s place in the Civil War.

Driving Miss Daisy
This beloved movie (adapted from a play) was filmed in the late 1980’s, but takes place in the 1950’s. Morgan Freeman stars as Hoke, a black gentleman who drives the white, Jewish, Miss Daisy all over Atlanta. The film documents their initial icy meetings and over the course of twenty years, the growth of their friendship.

Atlanta in the 80’s
Matlock
Fans watched the incredible attorney Matlock defend criminals in the Atlanta courts over nine seasons, from 1986-1992. While much of the drama took place in the court rooms, viewers often got to glimpse Matlock out and about in Atlanta, including enjoying his beloved hotdogs.

Designing Women
The television show Designing Women really showed off the excess that was the 80’s, during the seven years the program ran. The show revolved around a group of interior designers (mostly women) in Atlanta, Georgia. Fun fact – while the show was set in Atlanta, the exterior of the firm was actually from the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock Arkansas.

Atlanta’s Medical Center
Atlanta is the world headquarters for the Center for Disease Control, also known as the CDC. Because of this, Atlanta is featured in disaster movies, like Outbreak, the 1995 movie starring Dustin Hoffman that features an Ebola like virus outbreak. The Steven Soderbergh film Contagion featured virologists trying to find a way to stop the spread of a mysterious, contagious and highly deadly disease. Much of the early days of The Walking Dead is set in Atlanta as there are rumors that the CDC has established a zombie-free safe zone. When the characters arrive at the CDC, things don’t go exactly as planned.

Real Atlanta
Reality shows set in Atlanta are extremely popular. It all started with The Real Housewives of Atlanta featuring a cast of wacky, yet loveable ladies from the area. The show became so popular, that many of the women on the show, got their own reality shows including The Kandi Factory, Don’t Be Tardy and I Dream of Nene. Other reality programs set in the city include Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Big Rich Atlanta, and season 10 of The Bad Girls Club.

What’s your favorite piece of Atlanta pop culture?

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