Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Box of Treacle” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Love Actually, and Slate’s TV Club.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 534 with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Stephen Metcalf with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, the hosts discuss the tabloid phenomenon of “Sad Jennifer Aniston” with producer Benjamin Frisch.

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This week, the hosts discuss Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with the help of Slate’s chief political correspondent and resident Marvel expert, Jamelle Bouie. Together, they unpack how the movie subverts tired superhero tropes and recaptures the joy of comics. Next, the gabbers are joined by David Plotz to debate the merits of Love Actually. Is it “a clarion call” to love or “the least romantic film of all time”? And why does it still elicit such strong feelings 15 years later? Finally, Dana, Steve, and Julia reflect on how we sift through the glut of “peak TV” and share some of their own favorites from 2018.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Spider-Verse Is a Superhero Movie for People Tired of the Same Old Superhero Movies” by Sam Adams in Slate
• “Is Miles Morales Finally Getting His Due as Spider-Man?” by Abraham Riesman in Vulture
The Slate Shop
Love Actually
On Hating ‘Love Actually’ ” by Stephen Marche in Medium
• “Love Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All Time” by Christopher Orr in the Atlantic
• “Why ‘Love Actually’ Matters” by Ben Dreyfuss in Mother Jones
• “The TV Club, 2018: The Year in Fine TV” by Willa Paskin in Slate
• “The TV Club, 2018: The Year’s Best TV Shows Acted Like TV Shows” by Todd Vanderwerff in Slate
Killing Eve
The Good Place
Better Call Saul


Dana: Samin Nosrat’s recipe for Ligurian focaccia
Julia: Sam Anderson’s Boom Town
Steve: Five Books

Outro: “Fade Away” by Felix Johansson Carne

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

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