The Atlantic's Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

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The Complicated Relevance of Dr. Seuss’s Political CartoonsSophie Gilbert traces the reemergence of the children’s author’s earlier, more controversial works.

Myles Aronowitz / Dave King / Netflix / Guy D'Alema / FX / HBO / Kelsey McNeal / Eric McCandless / ABC / OWN / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic


Claiming the Future of Black TVAngelica Jade Bastién asks whether the industry can normalize the success of African Americans on television, after a banner year in 2016.

Samantha Bee Will Host a Shadow White House Correspondents’ DinnerMegan Garber discusses the Full Frontal host’s recently announced alternative to the annual event.

Superior Donuts Tries to Update an Old ClassicSophie Gilbert argues that the new CBS sitcom, while stodgy in format, has some genuine moments of freshness.

The Daily Show Lives On (on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert)Megan Garber recaps Jon Stewart’s surprise appearance on Colbert’s program.

Santa Clarita Diet: A Marital Comedy With a Heart (and Brains)Sophie Gilbert watches the new Netflix show which follows Drew Barrymore’s transformation to a zombie.

South Park’s Creators Have Given Up on Satirizing Donald TrumpMegan Garber looks into the Comedy Central show’s decision to back off making jokes about the president.



The 15 Most Talked-About Films From SundanceDavid Sims lists some of the more exciting movies to take note of from this year’s festival.

A Politically Charged Night at the SAG AwardsDavid Sims recaps a night at the ceremony that saw almost every actor address the Trump presidency.

Nominated for an Oscar, Barred From AmericaLenika Cruz speaks to a film scholar about the implications of the immigration ban for Iranian cinema.

Should There Be an Oscars This Year?David Sims questions the political relevance of the awards ceremony and what cancelling it would accomplish.

Rings Would Be Better Off at the Bottom of a WellLenika Cruz bemoans the strange sequel to the terrifying American remake of a Japanese horror classic.

The Comedian Is a Laugh-Free NightmareDavid Sims reviews the interminable new film starring Robert De Niro as a grumpy standup.

USA Today Sports / Jim Tanner / Mario Anzuoni / Paulo Whitaker / Reuters / Jim Rogash / Paras Griffin / Getty / Paul Spella / The Atlantic

Super Bowl

Super Bowl 2017: It’s Not Too Late to Chose a SideRobert O’Connell helps the undecided pick a team to root for, ahead of this weekend’s match-up between the Falcons and the Patriots.

How Political Will the 2017 Super Bowl Ads Be?Sophie Gilbert wonders if the commercials at this year’s sporting event will speak to the current divisive times.

Which Lady Gaga Will We Get at the Super Bowl?Spencer Kornhaber questions if the singer, who spoke out against Trump during the election, will make a political statement at the half-time show.

Melville House


How Culture Became a Powerful Political WeaponSophie Gilbert talks to Nato Thompson about his new book, which explores the history of how music, TV, games, and advertising have been used to influence consumers.

‘First They Came’: The Poem of the ProtestsMegan Garber analyzes the reemerging significance of Martin Niemöller’s lines, written after the Holocaust.

Why It Took So Long to Translate a Dutch ClassicJames Reith explores the reason and significance behind the much-delayed translation of Gerard Reve’s The Evenings.

David Gray / Reuters


The Australian Open Turned Back the ClockArnav Adhikari pinpoints the significance of the finals of the tennis tournament, which saw the unlikely return of two iconic rivalries.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters


Superstars May Be Rebelling Against the GrammysSpencer Kornhaber connects the rumored absences of Kanye and Justin Bieber to the lack of inclusivity at the music awards.

Beyoncé’s High-Art Pregnancy PhotoSpencer Kornhaber analyzes the visual lineage behind the singer’s Instagram post, in which she announced she’s expecting twins.

Pop Culture’s Fraught Obsession With Celebrity Baby Bumps—Spencer Kornhaber talks to the author of Pregnant With the Stars about the larger significance of Beyoncé’s announcement.