The Atlantic's Week in Culture
A weekly roundup of our writing on arts and entertainment
How Buffy the Vampire Slayer Redefined TV Storytelling—David Sims explains how the show, which turned 20 this week, set the tone for the Golden Age of television.
Quieter Than 1984, but No Less Terrifying—Jason Guriel makes the case for Kingsley Amis’s 1976 alternate-history masterpiece The Alteration, which mines the dangers of authoritarianism.
The Lucky Ones Is No Ordinary Coming-of-Age Novel—Amy Weiss-Meyer reviews Julianne Pachico’s remarkably inventive debut.
The Peculiar Power of a Zadie Smith Sentence—Joe Fassler talks to Jonathan Lee about a line from the British author’s story “The Embassy of Cambodia,” as part of The Atlantic’s ongoing “By Heart” series.
We Sell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live—Megan Garber analyzes Joan Didion’s South and West: From a Notebook.
Exit West and The Edge of Dystopia—Sophie Gilbert reads Mohsin Hamid’s striking new novel.
A Forgotten Novel Reveals a Forgotten Harlem—Jennifer Wilson analyzes what Amiable With Big Teeth, a newly discovered book by Claude McKay, reveals about African American history.
John Legend on Underground and the Importance of Empathy—Vann R. Newkirk II talks to the musician and executive producer of the WGN historical drama about the relevance of telling marginalized stories.
Where Saturday Night Live Loses Its Political Power—David Sims pinpoints why the sketch-comedy show sometimes feels less urgent.
‘The Body’: The Radical Empathy of Buffy’s Best Episode—Sophie Gilbert discusses the WB show’s treatment of grief in its fifth season.
The Bachelor Gets Political—Megan Garber unpacks the reality program’s seasonal The Women Tell All special.
When Saturday Night Live Loses Alec Baldwin—David Sims wonders what will happen to the NBC show once it loses its current Donald Trump impressionist.
Chance the Politician—Spencer Kornhaber discusses the rapper’s public persona after he announced a $1 million donation to public schools in Chicago.
The Game of Thrones Live Experience Lets Fans Bask in the Highlights—Spencer Kornhaber attends the show’s composer Ramin Djawadi’s concert tour in Boston.
A 50-Song Memoir Brilliantly Argues Music Can Change Lives—Spencer Kornhaber listens to the Magnetic Fields’ ambitious new album.
Personal Shopper Is an Unusual Postmodern Ghost Story—David Sims praises Oliver Assayas’s new film starring Kristen Stewart as a Parisian fashionista moonlighting as a medium.
Inside France’s Most Controversial Film of the Moment—Boyd van Hoeij investigates This Is Our Land, a new movie that says a lot about the rise of the country’s far-right.
Kong: Skull Island Is a Likable Near-Miss—Christopher Orr believes that Jordan Vogt-Roberts’s Vietnam-era reimagination of the giant ape is just good enough to make you wish it were better.
Amal Clooney’s Baby Bump and the Awkward State of the Media Brand—Megan Garber weighs in on the reaction to Time’s coverage of the human-rights lawyer’s speech at the U.N.