The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

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Don’t Miss

The Dark Morality of Fairy-Tale Animal BridesSophie Gilbert traces the long history of interspecies relationships, as explored in a new collection of folk stories called Beauty and the Beast.



Ghost in the Shell Is a an Incoherent Misfire of a RemakeDavid Sims finds little to praise in the new Hollywood update of the classic ’90s anime.

The Boss Baby Missed the MemoMegan Garber laments the disappointing new animated film, with Alec Baldwin voicing a corporatized infant in a suit.

The Zookeeper’s Wife Is a Staid Tale of Holocaust HeroismDavid Sims reviews the new film starring Jessica Chastain as Antonina Zabinski, who used the Warsaw Zoo to save the lives of hundreds of Jews during World War II.



Fake News Is Television’s Favorite New StorylineSophie Gilbert identifies a trend in shows like Homeland and Quantico that are featuring  plots about misinformation.

When the Cliffhanger Takes Its Sweet TimeMegan Garber looks at a collection of new shows that are setting up mysteries that remain unsolved ... and unsolved ... and unsolved.

PBS’s To Walk Invisible Finds Fire in the Lives of the Bronte SistersSophie Gilbert watches the two-hour work, a vibrant dramatization of how three sheltered women became such extraordinary novelists.

The Soul of Big Little Lies Is in Its MusicSpencer Kornhaber listens closely to the soundtrack of the HBO show.

Why Saturday Night Live Is Actually Going LiveDavid Sims explains the significance of the sketch show airing at the same time across the U.S. for the first time in its history this April.

The Voice’s Empty Promise of the American DreamJulie Beck posits that while the reality singing competition has been selling glittering visions of fame for 11 seasons, it has rarely delivered on them.

Dave Chappelle Reckons With HimselfDavid Sims weighs in on the comedian’s two new Netflix specials.

Hulu’s Harlots Takes a Modern View of 18th-Century Sex WorkSophie Gilbert believes the new series has a surprisingly sharp perspective on the dynamics of pleasure and power.

Big Little Trust Funds—Megan Garber pinpoints the looming, monstrous role of wealth in the HBO limited series.

The Discovery Has a Great Premise, but Little ElseDavid Sims considers the new Netflix film, which posits a world in which the existence of an afterlife has been conclusively proven.

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The Subtle Radicalism of Julio Cortázar’s Berkeley LecturesDustin Illingworth analyzes Literature Class, a new collection of the author’s classroom chats, which reveals his lifelong quest to reevaluate reality.

The Hate U Give Enters the Ranks of Great YA NovelsAnna Diamond reads Angie Thomas’s young-adult bestseller, which looks at police violence through the eyes of a teen girl.

Andrea Morales


S-Town Is a Well-Crafted Monument to EmpathySpencer Kornhaber parses the much hyped podcast, which evolves from murder mystery and rural tourism into timely, humanistic biography.

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Hip-Hop Adds a Chapter to the Flute’s Epic HistorySpencer Kornhaber talks to an expert on the reedless wind instrument, to trace its ubiquity in popular music today.