Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 517 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and June Thomas with the audio player below.
On Slate Plus, Mark Harris joins the critics to discuss the Oscars’ newly announced “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film” award.
Go to Slate.com/cultureplus 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:
- A Very English Scandal
- “If Homosexuality Had Been Legal, None of This Would’ve Happened” by June Thomas in Slate
- “Norman Scott Criticises ‘Weakling’ Portrayal in BBC’s A Very English Scandal” by Lucy Mapstone in the Independent
- Jennifer Fox’s The Tale
- “The Tale Is the Perfect Movie for Our #MeToo Moment” by Sam Adams in Slate
- “Queen of Pop” by Robert Christgau in the Village Voice
- “Nobody Like You” by Aretha Franklin
- “I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)” by Aretha Franklin
- “Spirit in the Dark” by Aretha Franklin
- “Sweet Bitter Love” by Aretha Franklin
- “Without the One You Love“ by Aretha Franklin
- “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” by Aretha Franklin
- “The First Academy Awards Had Two Best Picture Categories, Too” by Olivia B. Waxman in Time
Dana: F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise
June: Juliet Lapidos’ forthcoming novel, Talent
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.