Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Prosthesis Statement” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Vice, Sex Education, and the hits no one knows are hits.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 540 with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Stephen Metcalf with the audio player below.

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This week, Steve, Dana, and Julia discuss Vice, Adam McKay’s biopic of Dick Cheney starring a totally transformed Christian Bale. They debate why the techniques that made The Big Short great fall so flat in McKay’s latest—and whether its depiction of Republican nihilism is as credible as he wants it to be. Next, the critics take on Sex Education, a British comedy on Netflix that offers a frank, funny examination of high school life. Finally, the gabbers are joined by Willa Paskin to unpack how we measure who’s watching what in the age of streaming. Can we trust Netflix’s data, and what does it mean for our culture if they’re true?

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

• Adam McKay’s Vice
• “Vice Tries (and Fails) to Give Dick Cheney a Heart” by Dana Stevens in Slate
• “Humanizing Dick Cheney” by Todd S. Purdum in The Atlantic
The Big Short
Sex Education
• “‘Sex Education’ Is a New Kind of Teen Comedy” by Alison Herman in The Ringer
• “Netflix’s Sex Education is set in a British school – so why does it feel so American?” by Ellie Harrison in Radio Times
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
• “Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa Doesn’t Want to Play the Gay Best Friend” by Dee Lockett in Vulture
• “Netflix, You, and the Hits No One Knows Are Hits” by Willa Paskin in Slate
• “Netflix plays peekaboo with its ratings. Hollywood isn’t amused” by David Ng and Stephen Battaglio in the Los Angeles Times


Dana: The music of Michel Legrand, particularly the scores for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Young Girls of Rochefort, and the song “The Windmills of Your Mind,” as well as two obituaries: “Le compositeur Michel Legrand est mort” by Bruno Lesprit in Le Monde and “Farewell, Michel Legrand” by David Hudson on the Criterion blog

Julia: The Report starring Adam Driver

Steve: Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends

Outro: Dusty Springfield’s cover of “The Windmills of Your Mind

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

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