Brow Beat

The Week in Culture, “Potemkin Jon Stewart” Edition

Some guy who is not Jon Stewart.

Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central

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 hereKanye 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.”

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