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Below, our writers and editors process what was only the first week of 2021.
1. An attack on the U.S. Capitol—and its fallout
A pro-Trump mob, indulging some kind of superhero fantasy, swiftly took the building. The inaction of Capitol Police toward them was by design, the historian Kellie Carter Jackson writes: “Police brutality against Black Americans and police inaction toward white Americans is not some surprising anomaly; it is the status quo.”
Meanwhile, a single image (pictured above) told the whole story, Clint Smith writes.
2. A pandemic at its worst yet
For the first time, the daily death toll from COVID-19 crossed 4,000, according to yesterday’s data from our colleagues at the COVID Tracking Project. Hospitalizations also reached a new peak this week.
The first stage of the vaccine rollout is not going to plan—and it will get only more challenging from here, my colleague Sarah Zhang reports.
3. A historic pair of wins in the South
Democrats took control of the Senate in a final electoral rebuke of Trumpism. Russell Berman explains why the Biden presidency now stands a chance.
For those who remember the history of disenfranchisement, what happened in Georgia was especially poignant, Clint writes.
Wonder Woman 1984 marked a poignant end to a tiring year of cinema, our critic David Sims wrote. He also reviewed Pixar’s Soul, another cerebral winner from the animation studio. (It debuted on Disney+.)
A new year brings new movies: David previews 25 projects to look forward to in 2021.
Promising Young Woman, available to rent online starting next week, is a revenge thriller explicitly designed to subvert assumptions about femininity. Sophie Gilbert spoke with the film’s director, Emerald Fennell.
Fill your podcast queue, no frantic Googling required: Laura Jane Standley and Eric McQuade picked the best series of 2020 in their fifth annual list. (They recused themselves from considering Atlantic projects, but may I humbly suggest Floodlines?)
Embrace the cold.
My colleague Marina Koren is a self-proclaimed “winter evangelist.” She encourages you to give the season a chance.