Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Come as You Were” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Captain Marvel, PEN15, and Seth Stevenson’s “Guilty.”

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 546 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

Or find the Culture Gabfest via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On Slate Plus, the hosts continue their discussion with Seth Stevenson and share their own experiences with jury duty.

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This week, the critics discuss Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, the first installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe led by a woman. They unpack the controversy around the film, its politics, and the effectiveness (or not) of its ‘90s nostalgia play. Next, they take on PEN15, a new comedy in which Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star as versions of their thirteen-year-old selves amidst a sea of actual seventh graders. The show’s celebration of female friendship feels fresh and authentic, but is its central device an asset or a distraction? Finally, they’re joined by Seth Stevenson to discuss his recent cover story for Slate about his experience as a juror who helped convict two men of murder—and the challenges of reporting on the aftermath two decades later.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson
• “Spoiler Specials: Captain Marvel” by Jonathan Fischer, Marissa Martinelli, and Dana Stevens in Slate
• “Finally, Women Have Their Own Mediocre Marvel Movie” by Dana Stevens in Slate
• “‘Captain Marvel’ Ends Box Office Myths About Female Superheroes” by Rebecca Rubin in Variety
Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot*
• Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Sugar
• “How Brie Larson’s ‘Captain Marvel’ Made Angry White Men Lose Their Damn Minds” by Melissa Leon in the Daily Beast
Sex Education 
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘Prosthesis Statement’ Edition” by Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner in Slate
Big Mouth
Freaks and Geeks
• “Guilty” by Seth Stevenson in Slate
Twelve Angry Men


Dana: Oprah Winfrey’s “After Neverland” and Dan Callahan’s The Art of American Screen Acting, 1912-1960

Julia: Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for a homemade devil dog, ding dong or hostess cake

Steve:Hudson Yards” by Jake Bittle in Point Magazine and “Why W.H. Auden Hated His Most Famous Political Poems” by Michael Weiss in the Daily Beast

Outro: “Underwater Love 4” by Andreas Boldt

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. You can follow all of Slate’s culture coverage by signing up for our newsletter and liking our Facebook page. And come to our Slate Plus Anniversary Party on April 3rd!

Correction, Wed. March 13, 2019: This post originally misspelled Gal Gadot’s last name.