Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 523 with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Gabriel Roth with the audio player below.
On Slate Plus, the hosts discuss their own personal picks for the 21st century canon.
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This week, the critics talk about the new season of Serial, which takes on the broader criminal justice system through weekly dispatches from Cleveland’s Justice Center. They debate whether the new structure is Serial’s most ambitious move yet—or a step back for the iconic podcast. Then, they grapple with the recent spate of “redemption essays” by men accused of sexual assault in venues like Harper’s and the New York Review of Book. Is there any responsible way to publish such pieces? Was NYRB editor Ian Buruma’s resignation justified? Finally, the gabbers debate the high-concept Amazon series Forever in full, spoiler-y detail.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- Sarah Koenig’s Serial
- “Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming From Inside the White House” by Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair
- “Exile” by John Hockenberry in Harper’s
- “Reflections From a Hashtag” by Jian Ghomeshi in the New York Review of Books
- “Why Did the New York Review of Books Publish That Jian Ghomeshi Essay?” by Isaac Chotiner in Slate
- “Jian Ghomeshi: 8 Women Accuse Former CBC Host of Violence, Sexual Abuse or Harassment” by Kevin Donovan and Jesse Brown in the Toronto Star
- Forever, starring Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen
- “The Creators of Forever Don’t Want You to Know What It’s Actually About” by Willa Paskin in Slate
- The Good Place
- “The Surprising Story Behind George Washington’s Inaugural Bible” by Stacy Conradt in Mental Floss
Dana: “Some Interpersonal Verbs, Conjugated by Gender” by Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post
Outro: “Mitsuwa” by SINY
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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.