Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Fourth Wall of the Fourth Wall” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum, Fleabag, and the New York Times’ package on Gen X.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 556 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, the hosts discuss their favorite cultural artifacts from the Gen X era.

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This week, Dana, Steve, and Julia discuss John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum. The first installment in the Keanu Reeves–led revenge saga felt smarter and funnier than the average action flick, but gorgeous choreography can only carry a series so far. Next, they rhapsodize about the razor-sharp British comedy Fleabag, unpacking how the second season improves on the first—and establishes creator, writer, director, and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge as an auteur the likes of which TV hasn’t seen. Finally, the gabbers take on the New York Times’ package on Gen X, discussing the events, assumptions, and cultural touchstones that shaped that oft-overlooked cohort and debating whether generational lines are really worth drawing in the first place.


Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
John Wick starring Keanu Reeves
• Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag
• “Fleabag’s Second Season Is a Profane, Profound Romantic Comedy With Jumpsuits” by Willa Paskin in Slate
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘Get a Load of This Clown’ Edition” by Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner in Slate
• Natasha Lyonne’s Russian Doll
• “Gen X Is a Mess” in the New York Times
• “Generation Catalano” by Doree Shafrir in Slate
• “1994 Was a Prison of My Own Making” by Caity Weaver in the New York Times
• “Stuff Your ‘Rules’ ” by Taffy Brodesser-Akner in the New York Times
• “Actually, Gen X Did Sell Out, Invent All Things Millennial, and Cause Everything Else That’s Great and Awful” by Alex Williams in the New York Times


Dana: Karen Tongson’s Why Karen Carpenter Matters


Julia:Yesterday Once More: The Feel-Good Sadness of a Carpenters Fan Convention” by RJ Smith in the Los Angeles Times and the Braun BNC008 alarm clock

Steve: Hatchie’s “Obsessed” and “The Rage of the Incels” by Jia Tolentino in the New Yorker

Outro: “Love Chill and Lounge 6” by Andreas Ericso

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

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