‘The Express Way with Dulé Hill’ Showcases the Power of Art (VIDEO)

TV Shows

“We go on an artistic expressway throughout the country,” says host Dulé Hill (The West Wing, Psych, Suits, The Wonder Years remake) of this engaging and enlightening four-part series that drops in on fascinating creative folks in California, Appalachia, Texas, and Chicago.

By design, the musicians, dancers, visual artists, and actors Hill visits aren’t the most famous faces. Says The Express Way with Dulé Hill producer Danny Lee, “[They are] artists who use their art in high-stakes ways, to solve a problem within a community or themselves versus things that just look aesthetically pleasing or move you.”

Hill, Lee, and Grammy-nominated bluegrass musician Amythyst Kiah, who appears in the Appalachia episode, reflected on the series in our suite at the Television Critics Association. Watch the video above to see our entire chat.

When Kiah got the call to participate, she says, “I really loved the idea and the concept behind it. It was also a really cool opportunity to be recognized as part of Appalachia because, in media, there has always been a huge conception about Appalachia being one kind of a place with certain kinds of people.”

Expectations are delightfully subverted by the series’ many engaging subjects including the leaders of a lively senior citizens’ cabaret in San Francisco; a blind painter in Texas; and a Chicago theater company performing a play written by an incarcerated playwright.

“With all of these stories, the thing is, if you lean in and listen, lean in and engage, all of these preconceived notions, the blinders, can fall away. It happened to us along the journey as we went throughout the country,” Hill says. “It is my hope that it will happen to the viewers as they watch the show. Just because something is at a distance, or something or someone is different, does not mean that we’re not the same. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but there’s so much that connects us if we just take the time to lean in.”

The Express Way with Dulé Hill, Series Premiere, Tuesday, April 23, 9/8c, PBS

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