Megan Garber
Megan Garber
Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, covering culture.
Kara Gordon / The Atlantic

Arch Enemies

A new company is bringing the engineering savvy of rocket science to the design of the high-heeled shoe. Can stilettos that are actually comfortable to wear change centuries’ worth of symbolism?

  • NBC

    This Is Us Is Must-Weep TV

    Do you like to cry? Then NBC has the show for you.

  • Charles Sykes / AP

    Did the Emmys Offer Redemption to Marcia Clark?

    At Sunday's ceremony, Sarah Paulson apologized to the woman she played on TV—on behalf of herself and “the rest of the world.”

  • Come Watch The Candidate With Us

    Warner Bros. / Refat / Shutterstock / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

    The people have spoken. For our inaugural installment of Political Theater, our new reader series, we’ll be watching … The Candidate, the 1972 Robert Redford comedy-satire that received, by far, the largest number of your votes. (Thanks to everyone who cast their ballots!) I haven’t seen the movie before, so I’ll be watching it for the first time, along with fellow Atlantic staffers, this coming week—and I hope you’ll join us!

    Here’s more on The Candidate:

    Marvin Lucas (Peter Boyle), a political election specialist, must find a Democratic candidate to oppose California U.S. Senator Crocker Jarmon (Don Porter), a popular Republican. With no big-name Democrat eager to enter the unwinnable race, Lucas seeks out Bill McKay (Robert Redford), the idealistic, charismatic son of former governor John J. McKay (Melvyn Douglas).

    Lucas gives McKay a proposition: since Jarmon cannot lose and the race is already decided, McKay is free to campaign saying exactly what he wants. McKay accepts in order to have the chance to spread his values, and hits the trail. With no serious Democratic opposition, McKay cruises to the nomination on his name alone.

    No spoilers, but it looks like, from there … the plot thickens. Here’s the original trailer:

    We’ll be watching The Candidate on Wednesday, 9/21, starting at 6:30 p.m. East Coast time. If you’re free to watch it at the same time, please join us! I’ll tweet some initial thoughts about the movie then. (The Candidate is available for free on Amazon Prime, and for $2-$3 on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.) Watch it whenever is good for you, though, and join in the conversation whenever you’d like—via Twitter (I’m @megangarber), or via an email to I’ll be thinking about it throughout the week.

    I’m looking forward to reveling in the wonders of ’70s-era political satire—and to hearing your thoughts about it!

  • AP / Bill Wippert

    Watching Football on Your Phone

    Twitter’s deal with the NFL is boring—and quietly revolutionary.

  • National Gallery, Oslo, Norway

    The Case Against Banning Offensive Words

    Why Instagram wins by letting users legislate for themselves which terms are abusive

  • Mark Makela / Reuters

    Miss America's Q&A Segment: The Most Absurd Pageant of All

    The competition’s one nod to the intellectual life of its contestants ends up proving just how regressive the whole show really is.

  • Warner Bros.

    Clint Eastwood, Bard of Competence

    The director’s latest film eschews his typically epic cinematic themes to revel in an everyday miracle: being good at one’s job.

  • Political Theater: Come Watch Movies With Us

    Jim Young / Reuters

    I love Dave—not just because it’s a thoroughly charming comedy, and not just because it’s a perfect relic of the early ’90s, shoulder pads and all, but also because it’s a whimsical fairy tale about … the behind-the-scenes workings of the U.S. executive branch. It goes like this: Dave Kovic, owner of a temp agency in Georgetown, happens to look almost exactly like President Bill Mitchell—so much so that, in his spare time, he moonlights at parties and car-dealership openings as “the president.” But when the real Bill Mitchell has a stroke that leaves him in a coma, Dave, under the direction of two scheming West Wing advisers, steps in so that the Mitchell administration can continue despite its lack of Mitchell himself.

    I know that doesn’t sound like much of a fairy tale, but here’s the real magic: Dave, the Regular Guy, ends up being a better president—more practical, more ethical, more compassionate, more fun—than the person the American public had actually elected to office. Dave is Cinderella, basically, only with a bulletproof limo instead of a bedazzled pumpkin.

    And that’s why I love it so much: Dave is a fictional story about Americans’ extremely non-fictional tendency to idealize the ordinariness of our leaders. It is a movie for the age of “the president I’d want to have a beer with.” This perfect relic of 1993 feels fresh and urgently relevant during the current presidential campaign.

    So, with that in mind: We’re going to watch Dave again! And, while we’re at it, we’re going to watch other political movies, too!

    Every week or so, starting in September, we’ll be getting together—the “we” being myself, other Atlantic folk, and, I hope, you—to watch, and discuss, a particular political movie. And the films we watch (except for Dave, which pretty much nominates itself) will depend on you. The American President? All the President’s Men? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde? They’re all on the table. In the form here, let us know which movies you’d most like to watch (and, for extra credit, why you’d like to watch them). We’ll use your ideas to put together a roster of movies that we’ll talk about, in Notes, over the months (yes, it’s still months) leading up to the election. We’re thinking of it as a way both to embrace and to escape the day-to-day doings of this long-running campaign season—’90s-tastic shoulder pads optional.

  • ABC

    The Crazy Edit: The Colorful Cruelties of Bachelor in Paradise

    The show, lacking an obvious villain, has turned to making fun of its (women’s) tears.

  • CBS

    Tim Kaine Embraces His ‘Dadhood’

    On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the vice presidential candidate hinted at a culture that’s rethinking family—and masculinity.

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    Can Ryan Lochte Redeem Himself on Dancing With the Stars?

    No. But if he joins the new cast, he won’t be the first chastened celebrity to seek forgiveness via the foxtrot.

  • NBC

    Reality (TV) Is Getting Kinder

    Competition shows used to revolve around simmering sadism. Recently, though, they’ve gotten noticeably nicer.

  • Fridays

    When T.G.I. Friday's Loses Its Flair

    Chain restaurants, which for so long used their decorations to celebrate America’s past, are now focusing on a (clutter-free) future.

  • Focus Features

    There's Something About Mary Bennet

    The things that make Pride and Prejudice’s middle sister so unappealing as a supporting character are precisely what make her compelling as a star.

  • Charles Sykes / Invision / AP

    Seven Steps to Swagger, With Amy Schumer

    Her excellent new essay collection, The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, offers a gentle rebuke to the comedian’s own self-effacing act.

  • Dylan Martinez / Reuters

    The Olympic Guide to Ladybragging

    The women athletes of Rio have been crushing it—not just in the arena, but on social media.

  • Rebecca Blackwell / AP

    The Olympic Quote (That Should Be) Heard ‘Round the World

    Simone Biles is not the next Michael Phelps. She is not the next Usain Bolt. She is ‘the first Simone Biles.’

  • Dylan Martinez / Reuters

    The Emotional Range of Olympic Hugs

    Embraces—in victory, defeat, and everything in between—are the best part of the Olympics, and they come in many varieties.

  • Pete Souza / The White House

    America’s Enduring Fascination With Political Families

    According to a corpus of recent search data, American voters don’t simply elect politicians. They elect husbands, wives, sons, and daughters.

  • Comedy Central

    Martha Stewart, Queen of All Internet

    She’ll soon be hosting a VH1 cooking show with Snoop Dogg—but that’s just one more way that the “domestic diva” has transformed her brand to be at home in the age of irony.