The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

Don’t Miss

Moonlight, Best Picture’: The Oscars and the Rare Power of ShockMegan Garber analyzes how surprise can be a wonderful thing in an era when audiences are usually so sure.

Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP


The Oscars Have Never Ended Like ThisDavid Sims recaps a shocking end to the 89th Academy Awards, which saw Moonlight go home with the Best Picture award over La La Land.

The Shadow of Trump at the OscarsSophie Gilbert discusses the overwhelming presence of the president at the awards ceremony.

Five Ways of Seeing Five Minutes of ‘Real People’ at the OscarsSpencer Kornhaber asks whether Jimmy Kimmel’s prank humbled Hollywood or just condescended to the band of tourists at the awards show.

What Moonlight’s Win Says About the Oscars’ FutureDavid Sims wonders how the film’s massive Best Picture win will affect the Academy Awards.

Viola Davis’s Urgent Call to ‘Exhume the Ordinary’Spencer Kornhaber dissects the Best Supporting Actress’s moving speech.

The ‘Only’ Profession That ‘Celebrates What It Means to Live a Life’Spencer Kornhaber tackles some of the criticism of Viola Davis’s acceptance speech at the Oscars.

20th Century Fox


Logan Is a Fitting Farewell to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine­David Sims believes that the new grim, R-rated film is an appropriate way for the comic-book icon to ride into the sunset.

In Get Out, the Eyes Have ItLenika Cruz analyzes the significance of sight in Jordan Peele’s excellent new horror film.

What Was Louis Theroux Trying to Do With My Scientology Movie?Sophie Gilbert argues that the British documentarian’s newest project is a fascinating failure.

Table 19 Doesn’t Know Whether to Be Nasty or NiceDavid Sims bemoans Jeffrey Blitz’s staid and irritating new rom-com.



What Is ‘The Media’? (Jon Stewart Edition)Megan Garber unpacks the former Daily Show host’s appearance on The Late Show, in which he rebuked the press’s approach to Trump.

Could YouTube TV Mean the End of Cable?David Sims wonders how successful the newly announced $35-a-month live-television package will be.

Donald Trump and Late-Night: Two (Completely Different) StrategiesMegan Garber analyzes the divergent ways in which Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel approach the president.

In National Treasure, a Comedian Faces DisgraceSophie Gilbert reviews the four-part Hulu series imported from Britain.

Stephen Colbert and Patrick Stewart Wait for Godot (and an Obamacare Replacement)Sophie Gilbert recaps the actor and late-night host’s homage to Samuel Beckett in a time of uncertainty surrounding healthcare.

Conan O’Brien’s Empathetic Trip to MexicoDavid Sims shows how the late-night host emphasized America’s common interests with its neighbor in his latest international special.

Corinne Found the Perfect Way to Rebel Against The BachelorMegan Garber analyzes the exit of the reality show’s appointed villain.

Feud: Bette and Joan Deconstructs a Rivalry for Tragedy, Not ComedySpencer Kornhaber watches the new FX series from Ryan Murphy.

I Pilon / Shutterstock / Francisco Moreno / Katie Martin / The Atlantic


The Case for the FlâneuseArnav Adhikari talks to the author Lauren Elkin about the forgotten history of women wanderers who fought back against the masculine notion of the drifter.

Universal Music New Zealand Limited


Lorde Joyfully Crashes Into Her Next ChapterSpencer Kornhaber listens to the inventive pop star’s comeback single “Green Light.”

Future Contains MultitudesSpencer Kornhaber illustrates the Atlanta rapper’s versatility with two very different records released in the span of two weeks.

Matthew Murphy


The Magnificent Harmony of Sunday in the Park With GeorgeSophie Gilbert reviews the Broadway revival of the Sondheim musical starring Jake Gyllenhaal.