The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

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Don’t Miss

The Real Reasons for Marvel Comics’ WoesAsher Elbein investigates the deeper issues of business and culture plaguing the company’s decline in sales.



In the End, We Got the Baywatch We DeservedMegan Garber watches the new movie reboot of the ’90s TV show starring Dwayne Johnson.

Roger Moore, Sultan of Self-DeprecationSophie Gilbert looks back on the career and legacy of the late, suave British actor.

War Machine Isn’t Sure What Kind of Movie It IsDavid Sims reviews the Brad Pitt-starring film based on Michael Hastings’s book about General Stanley McChrystal

Michael Jackson's Final Tragedy, Told GentlySpencer Kornhaber explores the uncomfortable irony of Lifetime’s Searching for Neverland.

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Is a Sinking VesselChristopher Orr pans the latest installment in the flagging franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales.



The Leftovers: Time to DiveSophie Gilbert and Spencer Kornhaber dissect the sixth episode of the HBO show’s third and final season.

ABC’s Dirty Dancing Remake Is a Sad, Strange ProductionSophie Gilbert bemoans the musical special.

Chris Pizzello / AP


The Ideology of an Arian Grande ConcertSpencer Kornhaber highlights how the singer’s career of female self-determination demonstrates the rights of religion, sexuality, and expression that much terrorism seeks to undo.

‘Despacito’ and the Revenge of ReggaetonSpencer Kornhaber talks to a scholar of the genre about the song, whose remix with Justin Bieber is the first Spanish-language U.S. No. 1 hit since “Macarena.”

Celine Dion Saved the Billboard Music AwardsSpencer Kornhaber recaps a memorable performance of “My Heart Will Go On” from the persevering singer.

Eduardo Verdugo / AP


How One Hundred Years of Solitude Became a ClassicAlvaro Santana-Acuña delves into the unlikely success of Gabriel García Márquez’s most famous novel.



Twin Peaks Returns to Terrify, Delight, and ConfoundDavid Sims revels in the strange and beguiling comeback of David Lynch’s television classic.

The Bachelorette: Memes for the Right ReasonsMegan Garber recaps the premiere of the show’s 13th season.

What Saturday Night Live’s Departures Mean for Its FutureDavid Sims wonders where the sketch show will go after more cast members left at the end of this season.

Andrew Yates / Reuters


The Horror of an Attack Targeting Young WomenSophie Gilbert tries to make sense of the atrocities at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert.

Why So Much Is ‘Bonkers’ Right NowMegan Garber traces the history of the word that seems to most aptly sum up the current news cycle.

Scala / Art Resource, NY


‘Instagram’ for 18th Century TouristsKimberly Chrisman-Campbell analyzes highly realistic landscape paintings of the 1700s called vedute, which gave European visitors proof of their trips to exotic destinations.

Why Remix The Birth of a Nation?—Kriston Capps discusses DJ Spooky’s  live multimedia performance, in which he considers the 1915 silent film’s legacy as a document of alternative facts.