Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “De-Snappening” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Avengers: Endgame, Fosse/Verdon, and the fight between Hollywood screenwriters and their agents.

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.

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 live show in New York on June 8!