Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “No Bad Horses” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on A Very English Scandal, The Tale, and Aretha Franklin.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 517 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and June Thomas with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, Mark Harris joins the critics to discuss the Oscars’ newly announced “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film” award.

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

This week, the critics discuss the British miniseries A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe, the closeted Liberal Party leader accused of ordering a hit on his former lover. How accurately does it represent the scandal, and does the light tone work for such a dark reality? Next, they discuss The Tale, Jennifer Fox’s “meta-memoir” about her own childhood sexual abuse, and its exploration of the nature of victimhood. Finally, New York Times Magazine contributing writer Jody Rosen stops by to help the gabbers reflect on Aretha Franklin’s life, career, and legacy as the Queen of Soul.


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:


Dana: F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise

June: Juliet Lapidos’ forthcoming novel, Talent

Stephen: A passionate re-endorsement of the ice cream at Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, New York, and The Return of Eva Peron by V.S. Naipaul

Outro: “Black and White” by the Magnus Ringblom Quartet

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.

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