Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Nobody’s Mad at Columbo” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Russian Doll, Minding the Gap, and the scenes that have changed moviemaking.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 541 with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Stephen Metcalf with the audio player below.

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This week, Steve, Dana, and Julia unpack Russian Doll, the new Netflix drama in which Natasha Lyonne’s Nadia is forced to relive her own death over and over. The hosts examine how the series twists familiar time loop tropes and debate whether it succeeds in escaping Groundhog Day’s shadow. Next, they take on the Oscar-nominated documentary Minding the Gap, in which 24-year-old director Bing Liu turns his camera on the boys (now men) he grew up with—forcing him to navigate both his closeness to his subjects and unexpectedly difficult material. Finally, the gabbers are joined by Vanity Fair’s K. Austin Collins and Richard Lawson to talk about “The 25 Most Influential Scenes of the Past 25 Years.” They discuss how the package came to be and the changing landscape it reveals, then share their own picks for the most formative cinematic moments of the era.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

• Natasha Lyonne’s Russian Doll
• “Russian Doll on Netflix, reviewed” by Willa Paskin in Slate
• Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘Prosthesis Statement’ Edition” by Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner in Slate
• Columbo
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘You and Your Strange Ways Here in Hollywood’ Edition” by Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner (featuring Natasha Lyonne) in Slate
• Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap
• “Sundance Winner Minding the Gap Is About So Much More Than Skateboarding” by Sam Adams in Slate
• Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma
• Steve James’ America to Me
• “The 25 Most Influential Movie Scenes of the Last 25 Years” by Richard Lawson and K. Austin Collins in Vanity Fair
• The Matrix
• Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
• There Will Be Blood
• Bridesmaids


Dana: Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer

Julia: ABC Radio’s podcast The Dropout

Steve: Paddington 2 and The Daily’s “The President and the Publisher

Outro: “Innovations” by From Now On

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

Feel free to email us at or interact with us at @SlateCultFest on Twitter. And you can follow all of Slate’s culture podcasts by liking our Facebook page.