The Leftovers and Bookstores: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about arts and entertainment


The Leftovers Turned the End of the World Into the Best Show on TV
Alison Herman | The Ringer
The Leftovers inadvertently became a solution to, or at least a respite from, pop culture’s solution addiction. In a TV ecosystem consumed by figuring out either what’s already happened or what will, it’s a relief to have a show that can’t be cracked — and one where cracking it is beside the point. The Leftovers has discovered the creative potential of exploring the fallout of a climax rather than the buildup to one.”

David Lynch Forces Your Brain to Work Differently
Matt Zoller Seitz | Vulture
“This is a series that communicates with us in much the same the way Gordon Cole communicates with his agents, the way Margaret’s log talks to her, and the way the figures in the red room and beyond speak to Cooper. The translation is necessarily inexact, but we get the gist, perhaps more emotionally than rationally. And the undefined areas of the translation are what make Twin Peaks, both versions, works of art as opposed to mere escapism.”

The Women Who Wanted a Revolution
Lovia Gyarkye  | The New Republic
”What emerges from these artifacts is the story of women forced to work in unconventional ways to ensure their voices would be heard, who forged strong bonds to remain sane, and who created community when none could be found. Thirty years later, art from black women like Solange and Beyoncé to Jamila Woods draw inspiration from these early women and their works.”

The Leftovers, Life, Death, Einstein, and Time Travel
Maureen Ryan | Variety
“The thing that unites the characters of The Leftovers is that the Departure confirms their worst fears: that they didn’t deserve to be loved, that they didn’t deserve a family, that they were always in an unstable environment, that, sooner or later, rug was going to be pulled out from under them. They were waiting for it, on some level. In the wake of this worldwide and intimate tragedy, they’ve split; they exist across many dimensions. Like subatomic particles, their trajectories cannot be predicted.”

Supreme Copies: The Instagram That Attempts to Decode Supreme Clothing
Melvin Backman | The New Yorker
“Brian Procell, who opened his Procell Vintage boutique four years ago, is a streetwear picker who takes annual weeks-long trips around the country to source pieces for fashion-house clients. Procell has worked directly with Supreme to find references that designers use as a ‘starting point or blueprint’ for its tees, and his insider status makes him wary of would-be Supreme whisperers. “For a lot of these kids, Instagram is their Wikipedia,’ Procell said.”

The Bachelorette Is the Best Science Fiction on Television
Kevin Nguyen | GQ
“I’ve always preferred The Bachelorette to the original Bachelor. Partly, I think the booze and testosterone-fueled aggression among 30-some male suitors is far funnier. But more to the point, The Bachelorette inverts the existing power balance between men and women, tilting everything in the favor of the Bachelorette. Considering the patriarchal nature of planet Earth, a show that, by definition, gives all the power to a woman might be the show's most sci-fi quality.”

The Woman Working to Open the Bronx's Only Bookstore
Zoë Beery | Broadly
Santos is less optimistic. As she looks for a storefront with a late-2017 opening in mind, she's been courted by a number of property owners, including condo developers who want Lit Bar for their ground-floor retail. ‘I know they're thinking about me as a catalyst for them to bring similar businesses,’ she says. ‘They want to use me as their poster child, some little black girl from the Bronx that they helped, as if that would make everything all good.’”

How Steven Universe, a Joyous Cartoon About Love and Aliens, Used Music to Evolve
Caroline Framke | Vox
“For all its intergalactic drama and hard-won lessons, Steven Universe is still at its core about Steven and his loving family helping each other through whatever comes their way. In the beginning of the show, a ‘crisis’ rarely amounted to more than Steven running out of Cookie Cats. As the show settled into some of its grander ambitions, Sugar began to feel like the theme song—written before much of the Steven Universe’s mythology was even a blip on her radar—needed a tune-up.”