Just like the real Yonk bar in USA Network’s Colony -- where an alien Occupation of near-future Los Angeles has all but destroyed freedom as we know it -- yes, you can enjoy a drink, and, yes, an imposing Redhat will be watching you.
At Hollywood’s hip Sayers Club, the Yonk came to life through an almost-eerie recreation Thursday night for the Colony season two premiere. The exterior was plastered with defaced Transitional Authority propaganda posters beneath its iconic neon sign. And once you made it through security, you entered Katie Bowman’s beloved New Orleans-themed bar, a cozy, fun, lively neighborhood joint -- with more of those Redhat guards at every turn.
Despite the heavy surveillance -- or thanks to, depending on how you categorize Facebook Live -- the Colony premiere party was a raucous event for the attendees of the Yonk and for the fans who participated by live-stream at home.
Here are just some of the highlights:
Creators Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal attended the premiere with the main cast of Colony: Josh Holloway (Will Bowman), Sarah Wayne Callies (Katie Bowman), Peter Jacobson (Proxy Alan Snyder), Tory Kittles (Broussard), Amanda Righetti (Maddie), Adrian Pasdar (Nolan Burgess), and seaon two newcomers Carolyn Michelle Smith (Devon) and Bethany Joy Lenz (Morgan).
In addition to the live-stream following the East coast broadcast, the gang tweeted along with the episode and participated in a number of onscreen and offscreen shenanigans. More on that in a minute!
There Was a Rap Lying on a Table
The location of the party itself already had many features of the in-show Yonk -- exposed brick walls, a long bar with a mirrored backdrop, dark wooden tables and chairs -- but a few new additions stood out.
Larry the Moose (that would be Katie’s giant taxidermied moose head who adorns the Yonk) was a centerpiece of the space, and off to the sides were two other key props from the show. Lying flat on a table was a full-sized Rap, not unlike the hostile invader who was captured at the end of season one. The Rap’s “gauntlet,” an important piece of hardware embedded in its forearm was removed (as it was in the first season), and the insignia matching Gracie's “Greatest Day” textbook was emblazoned on its chest.
On the other side of the room loomed a giant Colony drone. In season one, the drones were CGI-ed into the show, but in season two, there are actual props and they are massive and imposing!
Peter Toured; Sarah Poured
Since his character Proxy Snyder was ultimately responsible for Katie reopening the Yonk post-Occupation, it was only fitting that Peter Jacobson should give a tour of the bar, where none other than Sarah Wayne Callies was mixing up the Yonk’s signature cocktail. Now, that’s method!
Saying the Bar’s Real Name Is Damn Near Impossible
As most Colony fans are aware, the “Yonk” is short for “Yoknapatawpha,” a reference to Katie’s favorite author William Faulkner. And as Peter Jacobson demonstrated in episode three of last season, pronouncing the bar’s full name is something of a challenge (Faulkner's own pronunciation is here). To up the difficulty, Tory Kittles was selected by fans on Thursday's Facebook Live to say it three times fast after taking a shot. His attempt was admirable.
Sarah and Josh Played The Newlywed Game
We got a glimpse of Sarah and Josh’s dynamic behind the scenes in their version of The Newlywed Game, “Ask the Yonk.” The actors, who’ve played opposite each other even before Colony, playfully answered Peter’s questions, quickly devolving the game into a prank against their host as they punked him with silly answers.
One answer of note? Josh Holloway would choose Proxy Snyder to be his companion at the Factory. “You could negotiate me smokes,” Holloway joked to Jacobson. “Plus you could act like my girlfriend so no one would bother us.”
The Real Yonk Has Fun Rations
During the party, Twitter fans were gifted with Colony swag, including signed DVDs, Yonk tankards and t-shirts, and even Arrival coasters. But the big gift of the night was an actual cruiser bicycle, since -- as we were reminded during the season two premiere -- there are no cars allowed in the L.A. bloc unless you are a member of the Transitional Authority!
Tory Kittles Shared Hidden Talents
Kittles, in addition to revealing his own dancing talents during the live-stream, exposed Holloway’s musical interests to the world.
“Josh brings his guitar to set some days when we’re bored and Josh will start singing,” Kittles explained. “And the thing about Josh is that he has a voice that’s sort of like a mix between Willie Nelson and Stevie Wonder.” The reveal was followed by a very loud laugh by Holloway himself, who explained that it’s actually Kittles who’s the singer. According to Holloway, the real-life Broussard likes the drape himself across a piano and belt out a few numbers to the women in earshot. So, yeah, we’re not entirely sure how much of this is really true…if anything!
We know one thing that's definitely not true: Peter Jacobson and Carlton Cuse are not in a klezmer band together, as Peter would like you to believe!
The Yonk Is Colony’s Answer to Rick’s
“The Yonk is still a big character in the show,” showrunner Condal said about its venerable watering hole. “We love the bar and Carlton and I are big Casablanca fans and we always saw the Yonk as a sort of stand in for Rick Blaine’s bar in Casablanca.” So expect to see more action from the Yonk in season two!
The Cast and Creators Teased Season Two
Admidst all the joking, we were able to glean a few nuggets about what's coming up in season two of Colony. Cuse confirmed that we will learn about at least one other location outside the L.A. and Santa Monica blocs. We also know that the recruitment process for becoming a Redhat will show up in episode three. Finally, we will get to see Amanda Righetti do some stunt driving in episode 11. That should be interesting! Also, where's she going?
They Droned On and On
The fun didn't stop when the live-stream ended Thursday night. After the cameras turned off, the Yonk turned into a drone obstacle course as party attendees attempted to steer miniature drones around the bar with VR headsets. Let's just say Carlton Cuse is one helluva director, but his drone-racing skills need work!