The Atlantic's Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment


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Speechless Is Breaking New Ground on TelevisionDavid M. Perry explores how ABC’s new comedy is a rare show for putting a character with disabilities at the center of its narrative.

Columbia Pictures


The Magnificent Seven Is Anything ButChristopher Orr laments Antoine Fuqua’s less-than-impressive remake of Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece.

Storks Is a Kids’ Movie That Is Not for KidsMegan Garber reviews the animated children’s film that, in the end, is really about parenthood.

The Exorcist and the Lost Art of Catholic StorytellingNick Ripatrazone traces the deeper religious themes that dominated the original 1971 novel and film.



The 2016 Emmy Awards Point to TV’s PowerSpencer Kornhaber rounds up the winners and losers from a night that shone light on an industry taking its influence seriously.

Did the Emmys Offer Redemption to Marcia Clark?Megan Garber examines how Sarah Paulson’s win for her role in The People v. O.J. may have been a cathartic moment for the woman she portrayed.

The Good Place Finds Laughs in the AfterlifeDavid Sims revels in the humorous and philosophical depths of the new comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson.

This Is Us Is Must-Weep TVMegan Garber wells up at NBC’s newest tear-jerking drama.

Seth Meyers Proves He’s the Anti-FallonDavid Sims celebrates the Late Night host’s segment ripping into Trump’s false birther claims.

Michelle Obama Gave an SNL-Worthy Performance on The Late ShowMegan Garber praises the First Lady’s stellar comedic-acting skills during a sketch with Stephen Colbert.

Designated Survivor Realizes America’s Greatest NightmareDavid Sims reviews the premiere of ABC’s bleak new White House thriller starring Kiefer Sutherland.

It Would Take the Old MacGyver to Save the New MacGyverMegan Garber examines where the CBS reboot of the long-running action show falls short.

Transparent’s Third Season Is a Powerful Plea for CompassionSpencer Kornhaber unpacks the spiritual questions surrounding the Pfefferman family as the Amazon show returns.

Pitch Is a Baseball Drama With Only One Real TwistDavid Sims takes a swing at Fox’s new drama, which follows an underdog pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in the Major League.

Interscope Records


Will Rock and Roll Save Lady Gaga?Spencer Kornhaber discusses the singer’s chaotic new music video for “Perfect Illusion,” off her highly anticipated upcoming album.

Spotify Is Trying to Become the Music Platform of Modern DatingSpencer Kornhaber unpacks what the streaming service’s recently announced partnership with Tinder could mean.

Andreas Rentz / Reuters


How ‘Brangelina’ Gave a Couple Its MystiqueSpencer Kornhaber talks to the communications scholar Vanessa Díaz about the media coverage of the Jolie-Pitt divorce and the power of celebrity portmanteaus.

The Tabloids Know Who to Blame for the Jolie-Pitt DivorceMegan Garber reveals popular media’s regressive notions of women and marriage in the wake of Brangelina’s split.

Hillary Clinton Goes Full Deadpan on Between Two FernsDavid Sims celebrates the presidential candidate’s funny and strange appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s satirical chat show.

Doug McLean


Emily Dickinson’s Mysterious ‘You’Joe Fassler talks to the novelist Emma Donoghue about her literary influences and the power of ambiguous imagery, as part of The Atlantic’s ongoing “By Heart” series.

The Best Female Characters Come From BooksMeg Miller examines how complex women protagonists in movies are often adapted from works of literature.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters


How a Museum Reckons With Black PainVann R. Newkirk II dives into the heart of the Smithsonian’s triumphant and crushing new memorial of African American history and culture.