The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment


Don’t Miss

The Year American Speech Became ArtTed Gioia on how technology and cultural trends turned Yankee diction into a global force during a whirlwind 15-month period in the late 1920s.



Popstar: Celebrity Satire Done RightDavid Sims on how the first film from Saturday Night Live’s Lonely Island trio gently mocks the fame of popstars like Justin Bieber.

Reshoot First: Rogue One’s Familiar TroublesSpencer Kornhaber on how the Star Wars franchise has a long history of mixed pre-release reviews and complicated post-production.

Hollywood’s Sequels Are Wearing ThinDavid Sims on how the lukewarm box office for films like X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass is part of a worrying trend for major movie studios.



Why the Roots Remake Is So ImportantStephane Dunn on how the new version of the 1977 classic miniseries is the rare work that focuses on slavery from the perspective of the enslaved.

Maya & Marty Shovels Dirt Onto the TV Variety ShowDavid Sims on how NBC’s latest effort to resurrect a classic TV format feels, at best, like reheated Saturday Night Live leftovers.

Game of Thrones: All in the Family — Three Atlantic staffers discuss “Blood of My Blood,” the sixth episode of the sixth season.


Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Tegan and Sara, Scientists of the Love SongSpencer Kornhaber on how Love You to Death sees the duo tinkering with synth-pop to communicate precise, and often bittersweet, emotions.

The Radical Power of ‘Killing Me Softly’Janelle Harris on how the 20-year-old cover, as sung by the Fugees’ Lauryn Hill, was a pivotal musical moment for many young black women in 1996.

Making Art in the Age of Trump David A. Graham speaks to the artist and musician Laurie Anderson, who reflects on the power of political rhetoric, why she voted for Hillary Clinton, and why she hated Hamilton.

How Tyondai Braxton Subverts and Destroys His Own MusicDavid A. Graham speaks to the composer and musician, formerly in Battles, about his immersion in electronic music and how it’s changed the way he thinks about sound.


Vittorio Reggianini / Wikimedia / Brian Bowen Smith / E! Entertainment / Kara Gordon / The Atlantic

The Real Housewives of Jane AustenSophie Gilbert on why reality television’s most popular stars so uncannily resemble the heroines of the 19th-century writer’s work.

Coming to Terms With TintinKrishnadev Calamur on how the scrappy Belgian reporter was his childhood hero, but reading his books as an adult is a little more complicated.


Mark Basedow

The Difficult History of Indigenous People in Video GamesKieran Delamont on how 2015’s The Raven and the Light illuminates one of the darkest stories of Canada’s native population.


Meng Viren / Getty

When Newsweek ‘Struck Terror in the Hearts of Single Women’Megan Garber on how 30 years ago, the magazine declared that single women over 40 are more likely to be killed by terrorism than to get married—prompting a nationwide crisis whose anxiety still lingers.