The Atlantic's Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

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Don’t Miss

Frank Ocean’s Construction Project, DeconstructedSpencer Kornhaber unravels the artist’s mysterious video stream, amid rumors of an imminent album release.



Tallulah Finds Depths in the Melodrama of MotherhoodDavid Sims reviews Netflix’s newest indie film starring Ellen Page.

What Is Matt Damon Doing on Top of The Great Wall?David Sims wonders how the creators of the upcoming Chinese epic didn’t anticipate backlash to the film’s whitewashing.

What’s Wrong With the DC Comics Movie Franchise?David Sims attempts to answer a few questions surrounding Warner Bros.’ disappointing efforts to compete with Marvel.

The First Woman of Color to Make a $100M MovieLenika Cruz identifies the historic significance of Ava DuVernay’s upcoming film, an adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time.

Suicide Squad Is the Worst of the WorstChristopher Orr reviews  what might be DC’s most disastrous and exhausting effort yet.



Buffy Summers: Third-Wave Feminist IconPatricia Pender explores the correlations between Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s last season and contemporary feminism.

The Bachelorette Finale Gets (Sort of) RealMegan Garber unpacks the live broadcast of the season’s last episode.

Ghostwriter: The Most Literary ’90s Kids ShowNick Ripatrazone looks back on the singular PBS series that encouraged a generation to embrace writing.

Bachelor in Paradise Has … Serious Things to Say About AbuseMegan Garber argues that the all-star version of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette provides some meaningful cultural commentary on misogyny, violence, and abuse.

How to Watch the 2016 Rio OlympicsDavid Sims provides a guide for all the ways to enjoy two weeks of sporting action.

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Tegan and Sara’s Cleverly Queer Pop VideosSpencer Kornhaber analyzes how two new works by the popular duo play with familiar tropes about gender and sexuality.

This Year’s Mercury Prize Nominees May Be What Britain NeedsArnav Adhikari observes how this year’s shortlist for the coveted music award is maybe indicative of a larger question surrounding British identity.


Matteo Ceruti / Shutterstock / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic

What We’re Reading This SummerThe Atlantic’s writers and editors share some of their favorite titles—old classics, new favorites, and more— from a season of reading.

Harry Potter and the Curse of ContinuationSophie Gilbert reveals how the newest addition to the series balances being both a sequel and a spinoff.

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Why the Pantsuit?Megan Garber traces the significance of Hillary Clinton’s preferred outfit as a symbol for the compromise between gender and power.

Matt Thompson


Date Night With ZombiesMatt Thompson revels in the surprisingly fulfilling experience of killing virtual monsters with his partner.

Lightspring / Amanda Carden / Shutterstock / The Atlantic


The Curious Appeal of ‘Bad’ FoodIrina Dumitrescu investigates the growing interest in food that is disastrous, unattractive, or just unhealthy.