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A staff writer on our Culture team, Megan Garber, found uncanny similarities between the title characters of two new television shows: Emily in Paris and Ted Lasso. Both projects, she writes, grapple “with cultural exchange during a time when American exceptionalism, always a myth, looks ever more like a lie.” Her essay is worth reading in full.
Here are three other recent releases, as contemplated by our Culture team:
The horror movie The Nest is one of the best films of the year, David Sims argues.
HBO’s The Undoing has a dangerous blind spot, Eve Gerber argues.
This holiday season, consider streaming one of these 20 great films about families and connection. But do not subject your child to Rudolph, Caitlin Flanagan argues: The world is bleak enough as it is.
This week, BTS achieved the unthinkable: The South Korean pop septet’s latest single, “Life Goes On,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 despite almost no radio play.
Over the holiday, a new Miley Cyrus album arrived: Plastic Hearts is the singer’s “most full-throated, nostalgia-soaked, capital-R Rock statement yet,” our critic Spencer Kornhaber argues.
Meanwhile, Elvis Costello’s 1979 album, Armed Forces, got a reissue. The work feels more relevant than ever, David A. Graham argues.
If podcasts are more your speed, revisit our list of nine great episodes to start now.
It’s not too late to start a quarantine reading project. Pick a book that can help you find focus. Or one from a writer who reimagined womanhood. Subscribe to our Books Briefing newsletter for a roundup of what our writers are thinking about.
As the year comes to a close, we’re curious: What was the best book you read? Tell us.
Go to space.
A thought experiment, courtesy of our space reporter, Marina Koren: “Imagine yourself at a scenic vista somewhere on Earth. … As your brain processes the view and its sheer vastness, feelings of awe kick in.”
Looking at a photo of the cosmos may trigger a similar effect, she reports. In short, galaxy brain is real.
For more awe-inspiring stories, explore Marina’s reporting on a moon’s mysterious glow, the rogue planets that wander the galaxy, and the asteroids that could help decipher our entire existence.
Arthur C. Brooks, a Harvard professor and our happiness columnist, argues that measuring your own happiness can help improve it.
Tour America from your couch.
Our “Fifty” project, from photo editor Alan Taylor, highlights extraordinary photography of each U.S. state. This week’s selection, pictured above, is known as the Keystone State. Can you guess which state that is?