Wu-Tang: An American Saga
GenreDrama
Created by
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Running time42-59 minutes
Production companies
DistributorDisney Platform Distribution
Release
Original networkHulu
Original releaseSeptember 4, 2019 (2019-09-04) –
present (present)

Wu-Tang: An American Saga is an American drama streaming television series, created by RZA and Alex Tse, which premiered on September 4, 2019, on Hulu.[1] The show portrays a fictionalized account of the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan. In January 2020, the series was renewed for a second season which premiered on September 8, 2021.[2][3] In November 2021, the series was renewed for a third and final season.

Premise

Wu-Tang: An American Saga is set in New York City during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic in the early 1990s. It follows the Wu-Tang Clan's formation, a vision of Bobby Diggs aka The RZA (Sanders), and rise amid the dangers and excesses that came with the epidemic.[4] Seeking his own way out, Diggs turns to rap in order to carve a path to fame going against his older brother Divine (Martinez), who favored the drug trade as the means to giving their family a better life.[5] The story depicts how it all came together for the clan as Diggs unites a dozen young black men who are torn between music and crime.[6] The group battles against the forces that hold them down and these include their own occasional impulse to give up the fight.[7]

Cast

Main

Recurring

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
110September 4, 2019 (2019-09-04)October 23, 2019 (2019-10-23)
210September 8, 2021 (2021-09-08)October 27, 2021 (2021-10-27)

Season 1 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [10]
11"Can It Be All So Simple"Chris RobinsonThe RZA & Alex TseSeptember 4, 2019 (2019-09-04)
Staten island, New York. Red Top. Blue Top. The birth of Wu-Tang starts with a bang. After a drive-by on Dennis Cole, he seeks revenge. His Close Friend, Bobby Diggs, has his eyes set on an SP-1200 drum machine.
22"Winter Warz"Norberto BarbaThe RZA & Alex TseSeptember 4, 2019 (2019-09-04)
33"All In Together Now"Darren GrantThe RZA & Alex TseSeptember 4, 2019 (2019-09-04)
44"All That I Got Is You"Tara Nicole WeyrRodney BarnesSeptember 11, 2019 (2019-09-11)
55"Cold World"Jet WilkinsonRyan O'NanSeptember 18, 2019 (2019-09-18)
66"Impossible"Craig ZiskZina CamblinSeptember 25, 2019 (2019-09-25)
77"Box in Hand"Malcolm D. LeeChelsey LoraOctober 2, 2019 (2019-10-02)
88"Labels"Tara Nicole WeyrGabe FonsecaOctober 9, 2019 (2019-10-09)
99"I Declare War"Craig ZiskZak SchwartzOctober 16, 2019 (2019-10-16)
1010"Assassination Day"Colin BuckseyEmily SheshOctober 23, 2019 (2019-10-23)

Season 2 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [10]
111"Little Ghetto Boys"Mario Van PeeblesThe RZA & Alex TseSeptember 8, 2021 (2021-09-08)
Bobby and Dennis have joined the Diggs family in Ohio, with Bobby seemingly having abandoned his ambitions around music and Dennis and Shurrie expecting their first child. However, things heat up when Bobby is cornered by his girlfriend's ex. Bobby defends himself and is urged by his mother to turn himself in and tell his truth.
122"Brooklyn Zoo"Craig ZiskEmily SheshSeptember 8, 2021 (2021-09-08)
133"Hollow Bones"Matthew RossRyan O’NanSeptember 8, 2021 (2021-09-08)
144"Pioneer the Frontier"Craig ZiskZina CamblinSeptember 15, 2021 (2021-09-15)
Bobby assembles Dennis, Divine, Sha, and Power on the Staten Island ferry, asking them to squash their beef and come together as Wu-Tang Clan.
155"Visionz"Dinh ThaiZak SchwartzSeptember 22, 2021 (2021-09-22)
The group works together to build out their recording studio, while simultaneously finding their harmony as collaborators. Divine utilizes his business acumen to guide Wu-Tang's branding and entity formation. Dennis prepares for Shurrie and Infinite to arrive in New York.
166"Protect Ya Neck"Mario Van PeeblesLakshmi SundaramSeptember 29, 2021 (2021-09-29)
177"Airwaves"Nijla Mu’minGabe FonsecaOctober 6, 2021 (2021-10-06)
188"Saturday Nite"Rachel RaimistEarl DavisOctober 13, 2021 (2021-10-13)
199"C.R.E.A.M"Dinh ThaiSolange MoralesOctober 20, 2021 (2021-10-20)
2010"As High as Wu-Tang Gets"Mario Van PeeblesMichael C. MartinOctober 27, 2021 (2021-10-27)

Production

Development

On October 11, 2018, it was announced that Hulu had given the production a series order consisting of ten episodes. The series was created by RZA and Alex Tse, both of whom were expected to write for the series and executive produce alongside Brian Grazer, Merrin Dungey, and Method Man. Consulting producers were set to consist of Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and GZA as well as the estate of Ol' Dirty Bastard. Production companies were slated to include Imagine Television.[6][11][12] On January 17, 2020, the series was renewed for a second season which premiered on September 8, 2021, with a three-episode release.[2][3] On November 4, 2021, Hulu renewed the series for a third and final season.[13]

Filming

Principal photography for the series commenced in February 2019 in New York City, New York.[14]

Release

Wu Tang: An American Saga was Released internationally on Disney + Star in selected teritories.

Reception

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 74% based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 7.10/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "While not quite as impressive as its legendary subject matter, An American Saga is a beautifully rendered and raw exploration of the Wu-Tang journey."[15] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100 based on reviews from 4 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[16]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music RZA Nominated [17]
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Episodic Short Form – Music Shie Rozow Won [18]
Online Film & Television Association Best New Theme Song in a Series Wu-Tang: An American Saga Nominated [19]
2022 Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Series 1 Hour – Music Sebastian Zuleta Won [20]

References

  1. ^ "Video: New Teaser Trailer for "Wu-Tang: An American Saga"". The Futon Critic. July 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b White, Peter (January 17, 2020). "'Dollface' & 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' Renewed For Season 2 By Hulu – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Iannucci, Rebecca (July 14, 2021). "Wu-Tang: An American Saga to Return in September for Season 2 on Hulu". TVLine. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Lowry, Brian (September 3, 2019). "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' joins wave of musical bios". CNN. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  5. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (September 2, 2019). "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (October 11, 2018). "Wu-Tang Drama Series Ordered By Hulu From The RZA, Alex Tse & Imagine TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  7. ^ D'Addario, Daniel (August 28, 2019). "TV Review: 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga'". Variety. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (March 10, 2021). "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga': Uyoata Udi To Play Inspectah Deck In Hulu Drama". Deadline Hollywood.
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (May 27, 2021). "La La Anthony Joins Season 2 Of Hulu's 'Wu Tang: An American Saga' As Recurring". Deadline Hollywood.
  10. ^ a b "Wu-Tang Clan: An American Saga – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  11. ^ Otterson, Joe (October 11, 2018). "Wu-Tang Clan Scripted Origin Series Ordered at Hulu". Variety. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 11, 2018). "Wu-Tang Clan Scripted Drama Ordered to Series at Hulu". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  13. ^ White, Peter (November 4, 2021). "'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' Renewed For Third & Final Season At Hulu". Deadline.
  14. ^ Welch, Rebecca (November 7, 2018). "Bringing Wu-Tang to Life on Hulu". Backstage. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "WU-TANG: AN AMERICAN SAGA: SEASON 1". Rotten Tomatoes.
  16. ^ Wu-Tang: An American Saga, retrieved May 2, 2022
  17. ^ "See All the Winners of the 2020 Emmys". Time. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  18. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (January 20, 2020). "MPSE Golden Reel Awards: 'Ford V Ferrari', '1917', 'Parasite', 'The Mandalorian' Among Winners". Deadline. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  19. ^ "24th Annual TV Awards (2019-20) - Online Film & Television Association". Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  20. ^ Pedersen, Erik (March 14, 2022). "Golden Reel Awards: 'Dune', 'West Side Story', 'Nightmare Alley', 'Succession' & "The Witcher' Among Winners – Full List". Deadline. Retrieved May 2, 2022.