The Atlantic's Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment


Don’t Miss

The Future Is Almost NowElizabeth Alsop on how in popular culture, science-fiction stories look more like the real world than ever before.


Columbia Pictures and Rovio Animation Ltd.

Party Fowl: The Angry Birds Movie Is an Allegory, Right? Megan Garber on how the film must be a feather-light metaphor for our times.

The Nice Guys: An Intoxicating Comic NoirChristopher Orr on how Shane Black’s latest film is uneven at times, but standout performances from Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe help keep it a fun ride.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Is a Surprisingly Self-Aware SequelDavid Sims on how the follow-up to Seth Rogen and Zac Efron’s 2014 frat comedy has some smart things to say about gender roles.

The Ongoing Outcry Against the Ghostbusters RemakeDavid Sims on how a subset of fans are protesting the new movie ahead of its July release, with many speciously insisting their complaints have nothing to do with its female leads.



The Fierceness of ‘Femme, Fat, and Asian’Spencer Kornhaber interviews C. Winter Han, the author of a book on Asian American gay men, who analyzes the RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorite Kim Chi.

RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Art of Self LoveManuel Betancourt on how the reality show’s emphasis on the survival stories of its contestants reveals that performance can be empowering.

The Weird, Sweet Comedy of Lady Dynamite — David Sims on how Maria Bamford’s autobiographical series on Netflix manages to break the fourth wall in new and unusual ways.

A New Age of AnimationKate Torgovnick May reports on how many animated series in the U.S. are hand-drawn in South Korea, but the country’s recent transition to digital tools could spur a transformation in American television.

Bully for Who?Megan Garber on how Megyn Kelly’s interview of Donald Trump made it clear once again: The definition of “bullying” has expanded almost to the point of meaninglessness.

The Night Manager: From the BBC With LoveSophie Gilbert on the imported British miniseries, both a dazzling six-part spy story and a James Bond audition tape for its star, Tom Hiddleston.

Network TV’s Future Is All About the Past David Sims on how reboots, spinoffs, and sequels dominate the small screen next season.

Game of Thrones: Burning Down the HutThree Atlantic staffers discuss “Book of the Stranger,” the fourth episode of the sixth season.


Robb D. Cohen / AP

Chance the Rapper and the Lessons of ChildhoodSpencer Kornhaber on how the uplifting Coloring Book makes profound use of Millennial nostalgia.

Whitney Houston and the Holographic Hell to ComeSpencer Kornhaber on how the debut of the digitized diva on The Voice was scrapped for not looking good enough—an unfortunately temporary problem.

How Pet Sounds Invented the Modern Pop AlbumJason Guriel on how Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys masterpiece paved the way for auteurs like Kanye West and anticipated the rise of the producer.

The Stakes of #FreeKesha, ClarifiedSpencer Kornhaber on how even if she doesn’t have to record with Dr. Luke anymore, his company still can do things like stop her from performing at the Billboard Awards.

Without Jazz and Blues, There’s No AmericanaDavid A. Graham on how the saxophonist J.D. Allen’s new record makes the case that any genre that pretends to represent the full scope of U.S. culture can’t ignore black music.


Doug McLean

Art Should Be UncomfortableJoe Fassler interviews the writer Mark Haddon, for whom Miles Davis’s seminal jazz album Bitches Brew is a reminder of the beauty and power of challenging works.



The Myth of the Perfectly Officiated GameRobert O’Connell on how better replay technology and refereeing rules don’t necessarily make sports any less messy, or fair.

Facing Baseball’s Unwritten RulesDoug Glanville on how it’s time for the game to think seriously about the best way to police itself.