Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Exploding Birkins” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on The Good Fight, the Universal Music Group fire, and Sally Rooney’s Normal People.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 561 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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On Slate Plus, the hosts continue to debate Normal People in full spoiler-y detail.

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This week, Dana, Steve, and Julia are joined by Vulture’s Mark Harris to discuss The Good Fight, a legal procedural that’s taken on Trump more directly than anything else on television. Does it remain prescient after three seasons or has it pushed its premise too far in an effort to stay relevant? Next, the gabbers talk to Jody Rosen about his blockbuster investigative piece on the fire at Universal Studios that destroyed thousands of master records. They discuss the technical and cultural significance of the losses and how Universal Music Group worked to conceal them. Finally, they consider the work of Sally Rooney, the 28-year-old author who’s been heralded as the voice of a generation—and debate whether her latest novel, Normal People, is as unprecedented as some critics have claimed.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

The Good Fight starring Christine Baranski
The Good Wife
• “The Only TV Show That Gets Life Under Trump” by Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times
• “The Day the Music Burned” by Jody Rosen in the New York Times Magazine
• “Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire” by Jody Rosen in the New York Times
• George Martin’s remix of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles
• Sally Rooney’s Normal People
• Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends
• “Sally Rooney Gets in Your Head” by Lauren Collins in the New Yorker
• “The Small Rebellions of Sally Rooney’s Normal People” by Annalisa Quinn in the Atlantic
• “Sally Rooney Writes Books Millennials Want to Read” by Elisabeth Donnelly in BuzzFeed


Dana: Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old and MacLeod’s Books in Vancouver

Julia: JK Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series

Steve: Picture by Lillian Ross and dim sum brunch at Backbar in Hudson, NY

Outro: “Tiger Tracks” by Lexica

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

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