The Atlantic's Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

The Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini's bust of Medusa on display in Rome (Gregorio Borgia / AP)

Don’t Miss

The Original ‘Nasty Woman’Elizabeth Johnston traces the surprisingly deep-rooted connections between classical depictions of Medusa, and the prevalent sexism of this election cycle.

Eloy Alonso / Reuters


Leonard Cohen’s Dark WisdomSpencer Kornhaber remembers the late singer’s unflinching worldview and pressingly relevant lyrical genius.

Hillary Clinton’s Final Rock-Star BlitzSpencer Kornhaber unpacks the final days of the Democratic candidate’s campaign, which saw the biggest names in music come out in support.



The Epic Intimacy of ArrivalChristopher Orr praises the alien-contact film starring Amy Adams as the best movie of the year.

The World Doesn’t Want Hollywood ComediesDavid Sims analyzes global trends and the fate of funny films as the industry prioritizes big-budget action movies for international success.

A War Movie That’s Hard to Watch for the Wrong ReasonsDavid Sims argues that Ang Lee’s use of advanced technology in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk proves too distracting to work.



The Best Show That Explores Sexual AssaultLaura Bogart illustrates how Rectify, now in its fourth and final season, offers the most nuanced portrayal of a subject often sensationalized on television.

Will Trump Help Make The Daily Show Great Again?Megan Garber explains why Trevor Noah may find his breakout moment during the Republican’s presidency.

Jon Stewart’s Election-Eve Cameo Was a DudDavid Sims laments the former Daily Show host’s uninspiring appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Samantha Bee Makes the Case for ClintonMegan Garber recaps the Full Frontal host’s election-eve segment, which made a feminist argument for the Democratic candidate.

The Fascinating, Maddening End of The FallSophie Gilbert reviews the Netflix show’s intriguing and frustrating third season.

Seth Meyer’s Promise to Donald TrumpDavid Sims contemplates the Late Night host’s humble, sad, and ultimately resonant look at what the future may hold.

Even Comedy Is Getting Serious About the ElectionMegan Garber examines SNL’s final cold open before the election when the show abandoned satire in favor of an earnest plea to get out the vote.

How Stephen Colbert Tried to Process Trump’s VictoryDavid Sims explains how the late-night host’s live election special was an indicator of the cultural moment the country is entering.



Still Poetry, Will RiseMegan Garber talks to the editor of Poetry magazine to understand why so many people are seeking solace in verse in the aftermath of the election.

Donald Trump’s DystopiasSophie Gilbert explores how writers have taken to speculative fiction to make sense of a future with the new president-elect at the helm.

The Poetry of CNN’s Election-Day ChyronsMegan Garber weaves together a sampling of the news network’s hilarious captions.

Clinton Concedes; Pundits Decide She’s ‘Emotional’Megan Garber tackles CNN’s gendered descriptions and expectations of the Democratic candidate’s powerful concession speech.

A Podcast Listener’s Guide to the 2016 ElectionMatt Thompson provides an extensive list of the best audio tools, both closely and loosely related to the presidential race.

Inside D.C.’s Donald Trump-Themed SpeakeasyMegan Garber adventures to a bar serving cocktails inspired by (and satirizing) the president-elect.