Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “[Laugh Track]” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Tully, Decoder Ring, and brands.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 503 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

On this week’s Slate Plus, Stephen, Dana, Julia, and Willa have a spoiler-filled discussion of Tully’s ending.

Go to to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

This week, Slate’s TV critic Willa Paskin joins the gabbers to discuss Tully, starring Charlize Theron as a beleaguered mom of three and Mackenzie Davis as her night nanny. What are writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman, the team also behind Juno and Young Adult, trying to say about motherhood? Then, Willa sticks around to talk about her new podcast, Decoder Ring, where she tries to solve cultural questions, like why shows don’t use laugh tracks anymore. Finally, the gabbers discuss Amanda Hess’ new piece about personal brands and why everyone seems to need one nowadays.


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:


Dana: “I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye” by Ta-Nehisi Coates in the Atlantic

Julia: Howards End by E.M. Forster

Stephen: The work of artist James Castle

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. The production assistant is Daniel Schroeder.

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