There are only a few days left until the Iowa caucuses—and the even-more-intense-than-we’ve-already-seen months of campaigning, stump-speeching, and voting that will follow. So this week Slate TV critic Willa Paskin went long on the “Daily Show–shaped hole in the culture”: Jon Stewart has been there to guide us through every presidential election since 2000, and his replacement Trevor Noah, for all his charm and ease in front of the camera, Paskin finds, is just not cutting it in the same role.
Elsewhere in chilly receptions, the fallout of #OscarsSoWhite and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ decision to reform its membership continued. The Culture Gabfest dug into the controversy and the changes. The rest of the major movie news of the week is coming out of Sundance, where a Nat Turner biopic emerged as the festival’s record-breaking “it” movie, indie darlings like Kenneth Lonergan and Whit Stillman are debuting new movies, Amazon and Netflix are on spending sprees, and a Bradley Cooper doppelganger is swindling the masses.
But that’s not all! Rihanna blessed her navy with a surprise free album—Forrest Wickman breaks it down here—Kanye West teased what he implied will be the album of his life while on a mad tweetstorm, and Justin Bieber hit the No. 1 spot on the music charts with “Sorry.”
More news and goodies from the week in culture:
- What Errol Morris thought of Making a Murderer.
- The many mice of children’s books, a quiz.
- The Magicians moves its TV setting to grad school and wishes it could be as racy as HBO.
- The sci-fi novel that eerily anticipated the Zika crisis.
- No, Joseph Fiennes should not play Michael Jackson in anything.
- The nonfiction book behind The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
- All about Tumanbay, June Thomas’ favorite new podcast.
- The TV show that celebrates Mexican pro-wrestling.
- Why one novelist gave his book a slur for its title.
- TV’s Lucifer has nothing on the comic book.
- A 3-year-old reviews—and loves—the new Sesame Street!