Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 553 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.
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This week, the critics unpack Avengers: Endgame with the help of Jamelle Bouie, and reflect on the legacy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the conclusion of this 22-film cycle. They debate whether it’s possible to evaluate the final installment on its own merits and how well the franchise as a whole has succeeded in humanizing its superheroic protagonists. Next, the gabbers take on Fosse/Verdon, the FX miniseries that traces the Broadway legends’ tempestuous personal and professional relationship. Finally, John August of Scriptnotes explains the unprecedented conflict playing out between Hollywood screenwriters and their agents as well as its likely consequences for both the industry and audiences.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week:
• Avengers: Endgame
• “Waiting for Thanos” by Dana Stevens in Slate
• Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr.
• Steve, Julia, and Dana discuss Iron Man on “The Culture Gabfest ‘Monopoly Edition’ ” in July 2008
• “Slate Spoiler Specials: Avengers: Endgame” by Jamelle Bouie, Dana Stevens, and Forrest Wickman in Slate
• Fosse/Verdon starring Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell
• Bob Fosse’s Cabaret
• “Fosse/Verdon Can’t Break the Myth of Male Genius’ Grip” by Willa Paskin in Slate
• Sam Wasson’s Fosse
• Mad Men
• John August and Craig Mazin’s Scriptnotes
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘You and Your Strange Ways Here in Hollywood’ Edition” by Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner in Slate
• “The Hollywood Fight That’s Tearing Apart Writers and Agents, Explained” by Jordan Crucchiola in Vulture
Dana: “A Definitive Ranking of the Avengers’ New Hairstyles in Endgame” by Inkoo Kang in Slate and “A Thorough Analysis of the Makeovers in Avengers: Endgame” by Kyle Buchanan in the New York Times
Julia: “With John Singleton’s Brilliant Boyz N the Hood, the Filmmaker Found His Voice from the Start” by Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times, “How John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood Shaped the Life of One Boy from the Hood” by Gerrick Kennedy in the Los Angeles Times, and Surfer Dudes
Steve: Jonathan Metzl’s Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland and Sean Illing’s interview with Metzl in Vox
Outro: “Feeling Calm” by Riverworn
This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.
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