Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Taking Up Space” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Knock Down the House, Tuca & Bertie, and Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 554 with Isaac Butler, Stephen Metcalf, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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This week, Julia, Steve, and Lend Me Your Ears’ Isaac Butler discuss Knock Down the House, a new Netflix documentary following four women (including now-political-superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) as they challenge the incumbents in their districts. The gabbers debate what the tension between AOC’s victory and the other women’s losses tells us—and whether the doc manages to be both optimistic and honest about our current moment. Next, they take on Tuca & Bertie, a new Netflix series from BoJack Horseman’s Lisa Hanawalt. The show represents the best (and weirdest) of what animation can achieve, but does that constant stream of sight gags come at the cost of a deeper meaning? Finally, the gabbers are joined by Slate music critic Carl Wilson to unpack Vampire Weekend’s first album in six years, Father of the Bride. Ezra Koenig and co. are arguably the last remnant of the aughts indie boom—do they deserve to be the final band standing, and how did they become so popular in the first place?

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

Knock Down the House
• “ ‘I Need to Take Up Space’ ” by Sam Adams in Slate
• “How Did Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick Predict the Rise of AOC? They Didn’t.” by Jada Yuan in Vulture
• “Progressive House Democrats Rebuke DCCC ‘Blacklist’ of Companies Working With Primary Challengers to Incumbent Democrats” by Devan Cole in CNN
• Lisa Hanawalt’s Tuca & Bertie
• “Support the Girls” by Inkoo Kang in Slate
BoJack Horseman
• “She Draws Deeply Human Characters. They’re Just Animals.” by Amanda Hess in the New York Times
• 30 Rock starring Tina Fey
• Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride
• “Vampire Weekend’s New Album Is Their Least Cool and Maybe Their Best” by Carl Wilson in Slate
• “The Only Living Band in New York” by Rob Harvilla in the Ringer
• David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today


Isaac: Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise

Julia:Who Owns a Story?” by Katy Waldman in the New Yorker and Josh Levin’s The Queen

Steve:Live Commentary on the Žižek-Peterson Debate” by Nathan J. Robinson in Current Affairs

Outro: “Slow Jam” 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!