The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

Apple Music / Boys Don't Cry

Don’t Miss

Frank Ocean’s Blond(e) Is a Monument to MemorySpencer Kornhaber meditates on the ideas of time and timelessness that dominate the singer’s highly anticipated new album.

Paramount Pictures / MGM


Ben-Hur Was Hollywood’s Epic $100M MistakeDavid Sims bemoans the industry’s latest attempt at remaking Lew Wallace’s classic novel.

Southside With You Is a Gentle Bit of Political NostalgiaDavid Sims reviews the new film that takes a look back at Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date.

Apple Music / Boys Don’t Cry


So Is It Blond or Blonde?Spencer Kornhaber reveals how the album title’s ambiguity may be more significant for the music industry than it seems.

Britney Spears Finds Grace in the Hook-UpSpencer Kornhaber traces the iconic pop star’s changing views on sex and intimacy on her ninth album.

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters


Can Ryan Lochte Redeem Himself on Dancing With the Stars?Megan Garber explores whether the tainted swimmer might find forgiveness on the show where many celebrities have gone to fix their images.

Halt and Catch Fire Is TV’s Most Underrated DramaDavid Sims discusses the brilliance of the AMC show as it enters its third season.

Reality (TV) Is Getting KinderMegan Garber investigates a tendency toward empathy in today’s competition shows.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Claims Its Queer Cultural CrownSpencer Kornhaber revels in the giddiness of the Logo show’s new season premiere.

What Happens to Mr. Robot Without Mr. Robot?Lenika Cruz weighs in on how the hit USA show fares without its titular personality.

David Gray / Reuters


Immigrant Runners Winning More Than Olympic MedalsBen Geman explains how competitors like Mo Farah offer a rejoinder to nationalistic sentiment in the U.S. and Britain.

Fox Searchlight


Why the Debate Over Nate Parker Is So ComplexMorgan Jerkins traces the tricky historical politics behind the Birth of a Nation star’s recently resurfacing rape allegations.

Tim Kaine Embraces His ‘Dadhood’Megan Garber explores how the vice presidential candidate is renegotiating ideas of family and masculinity.



When T.G.I. Friday’s Loses Its FlairMegan Garber examines the increasingly uniform aesthetic sweeping across America’s popular chain restaurants.

Hello Games


The Joy of Naming Things in No Man’s SkyDavid Sims looks at the delight of labeling discoveries in the new video game’s boundless universe.