John Boyega and Dawson's Creek: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about arts and entertainment

John Boyega at the 2016 BAFTA Film Awards
Jonathan Short / Invision / AP

Inside the Pied Piper of R&B’s ‘Cult’
Jim DeRogatis | BuzzFeed
“The music industry has a history of stars using their fame to gain the trust of young women—and their parents—who expect professional relationships but end up in sexual ones. But numerous sources, including women who left his inner circle, made on-the-record allegations suggesting ongoing mental and physical abuse of several women in [R.] Kelly’s entourage far beyond that of the groupie culture.”

John Boyega on Star Wars, Detroit, and Staying Sane With the Help of Robert Downey Jr.
Anna Peele | GQ
“The face we were seeing held warm deep-set eyes darting around the desert while sweat dripped down his forehead. Lips parted to reveal clenched teeth. It was all very human—and he seemed convincingly terrified. Boyega's talent was so obvious that you see him on the screen and think, Yeah, that guy belongs here.

Creek Theses
Justin Taylor | The Paris Review
“Here’s a thesis: All of Dawson’s Creek makes infinitely more sense, and is significantly more enjoyable, if you stop thinking about it as a show ‘about’ Dawson Leery and start thinking about it as a show about Pacey and Joey, and the grinding misery of growing up working-class in a snow-globe town where all your friends are well-to-do.”

Watching Fox & Friends, Trump Sees a Two-Way Mirror
James Poniewozik | The New York Times
“President Trump is the show’s subject, its programmer, its publicist, and its virtual fourth host. The stars offer him flattery, encouragement and advice. When he tweets, his words and image appear on a giant video wall. It’s the illusion of children’s TV—that your favorite show is as aware of you as you are of it—except that for Mr. Trump, it’s real.”

How Elisabeth Moss Became an Accidental Activist When Handmaid’s Tale Took on Trump
Lacey Rose | The Hollywood Reporter
“What makes this round of recognition different is not simply that her odds of taking home a statuette are greater than they've ever been but also that the universally lauded Hulu series has redefined Moss's career—as an actress, a producer and, at first reluctantly, an activist for women's rights. ‘What I've learned is, now is not really a time to stand in the middle,’ she says. ‘You've got to pick a side.’”

A Cloudy Future: Why It Matters If Soundcloud Lives or Dies
Michaelangelo Matos | The Village Voice
“SoundCloud, then, was by DJs for DJs. It just so happened that its orange casing, its waveform, its ability to target a comment to any point on an upload’s unfolding time grid, and its possessing the easiest interface imaginable happened to apply to discrete songs as well as DJ sets.”

O.J. Simpson’s Pop-Culture Resurgence Has Reframed His Celebrity—and the Era of His Downfall
Alissa Wilkinson | Vox
“It’s always hard to really make out what’s happening in the moment. More than 20 years after Simpson’s acquittal, though, things became more clear. In many ways, the 1990s sketched out the blueprint for America circa 2016—not just the Clinton shenanigans and the Simpson trial and the Rodney King riots, but all kinds of events, fears, rhetoric, and personalities.”

The Uses of Beauty: On Daughters of the Dust and Diasporic Inheritance
Carina del Valle Schorske | Los Angeles Review of Books
Daughters of the Dust involves its own characters in the argument over how best to carry this weight—the unbearable weight of diasporic inheritance. What does it mean to hold steady in minority experience while also charting new waters? To take the world’s horizon as the ultimate horizon of communication?”