Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Epistemological Meltdown” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Atlanta, whether smiling can make you happier, and beloved ’90s comedy Walking and Talking.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 417 with Julia Turner, Stephen Metcalf, Willa Paskin and Dana Stevens with the audio player below.

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This week on Slate Plus, the critics grill Slate TV critic Willa Paskin on what shows to look forward to this fall. (Spoiler alert: She’s excited.)


On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, Willa Paskin joins the critics to discuss Atlanta, FX’s new show about a young Princeton graduate attempting to launch his cousin into the Atlanta hip-hop scene. The show has had the best ratings of any cable comedy in the past three years, but will the Gabfesters be as impressed? Next up, Daniel Engber joins the gabbers to discuss his recent piece for Slate on how the hyped results of well-known psychology studies so often fail to stand up to scrutiny. Finally, for Slate’s 20th anniversary, Dana looks back on female-friendship comedy Walking and Talking, which is also celebrating 20 years since its release. The critics discuss its subtle brilliance and cultural poignancy.  


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

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Dana: Beauty is Everywhere with Bob Ross and his pet squirrel, now streaming on Netflix.

Julia: Slate and The Next 20

Stephen: Lil’ Deb’s Oasis and kayaking

Outro: “When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)” written by Larry Shay, Mark Fisher, and Joe Goodwin, and performed by Seger Ellis.

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This podcast was produced by Zack Dinerstein. Our intern is Lizzie Fison.

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