The Atlantic's Week in Culture
A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment
Pop Culture Resents the Establishment Too—Megan Garber reveals how American movies and TV shows helped predict the rise of Donald Trump, and the rebuke of Hillary Clinton.
Arrival’s Timely Message About Empathy—David Sims chats with the sci-fi film’s screenwriter about the geopolitics of the movie and creating an alien language.
Fantastic Beasts Charts a New Path Through a Familiar World—Christopher Orr journeys through the newest J.K. Rowling tale, which feels like a Harry Potter spinoff, but not a knockoff.
The Edge of Seventeen Is an Instant Teen Classic—David Sims praises Kelly Freamon Craig’s beautiful, sometimes abrasive, coming-of-age debut film.
Nocturnal Animals: The Art Without the Heart—Christopher Orr reviews Tom Ford’s latest film, which has the director’s signature style, but is ultimately lacking in depth.
A Tribe Called Quest and the Shadow of Trump—Spencer Kornhaber finds politics and solace in the legendary hip-hop group’s remarkable final album, We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service.
It Pays to Be a Jerk, Bob Dylan Edition—Megan Garber believes the iconic songwriter’s latest antics around the Nobel Prize reveal pop culture’s tendency to celebrate bad behavior.
John Oliver, Activist—Megan Garber analyzes the Last Week Tonight host’s first post-election show, the final one of the year, in which he blurs the lines between comedy and political action.
What Westworld’s Twist Says About the Show—David Sims examines the latest episode of the HBO series, as it moves closer to its season-one finale.
Stephen Colbert Finds Refuge in Punditry—Megan Garber looks at how the Late Show host took sides during his monologue explaining (and condemning) the alt-right movement.
Saturday Night Live’s Post-Trump Blues—David Sims recaps the sketch-comedy show’s first episode after the election.
Selfishness Is Complicated in You’re the Worst—Lenika Cruz dissects the finale of the FX show’s largely hopeful third season.
The Battle Over Adult Swim’s Alt-Right TV Show—David Sims questions the future of Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace, which has become a political flashpoint for the subversive network.
The National Book Awards Make a Powerful Statement—Arnav Adhikari recaps a historic night that saw the prestigious literary prizes go to three African American authors whose work explores black history.
Elena Ferrante’s Right to a Pseudonym—Mira T. Sundara Rajan explains why the journalist who “unmasked” the anonymous Italian author violated a time-honored means of protecting creativity.
Zadie Smith and the Politics of Fiction—Megan Garber unpacks the British author’s talk in Washington, D.C., where she spoke about the changing role of the writer-activist.
Queer Writers in the Age of Trump—Gabrielle Bellot wonders about the renewed urgency of LGBT literary voices in an anxious political moment for the community.
What Gwen Ifill Knew About Race in America—Jeffrey Goldberg remembers the late iconic journalist and newscaster, whose loss is a cruel blow to a nation that could use her voice now more than ever.
Joe Biden, a Meme for All Ages—Megan Garber finds solace in the viral jokes imagining the outgoing vice president as rather mischievous.
Popular Culture’s Failed Presidential Campaign—Spencer Kornhaber talks to the political scientist David Jackson about the significance of Hillary Clinton’s celebrity endorsement.
Finding Meaning in the Mannequin Challenge—Spencer Kornhaber makes sense of the viral craze sweeping the internet.