Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 560 with Marissa Martinelli, Stephen Metcalf, and Willa Paskin with the audio player below.
On Slate Plus, the hosts discuss summer reading (both actual and aspirational).
Go to Slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.
This week, the gabbers revisit Big Little Lies, which is no longer a murder mystery or a miniseries now that it has returned to HBO. The second season is undeniably elevated by the addition of Meryl Streep to an already star-studded cast, but can the show sustain itself without the kind of whodunnit that drove season one? Next, The Last Black Man in San Francisco follows a black man’s efforts to reclaim the home built by his grandfather in the Fillmore District, exposing the long tail of gentrification in the process. The critics debate whether Joe Talbot’s directorial debut is more than the sum of its parts. Finally, Slate copy editor and gaming expert Dawnthea Price helps them unpack the appeal of The Sims 4 and explains how players are getting increasingly inventive in modifying the game to their own tastes.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week:
• Big Little Lies
• “Meryl Streep Single-Handedly Justifies More Big Little Lies” by Willa Paskin in Slate
• Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley
• “I Wish More TV Shows Ran For Just One Season” by Alison Willmore in BuzzFeed News
• Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco
• “The Score of The Last Black Man in San Francisco Sounds Like No Other in 2019” by Tim Greiving in NPR
• “The Last Black Man in San Francisco Feels Like Something Utterly New” by Inkoo Kang in Slate
• Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight
• “The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a Flawed But Sincere Study of Gentrification’s Costs” by K. Austin Collins in Vanity Fair
• The Sims 4
• “To All The Sims I’ve Killed Before” by Jillian Capewell in HuffPost
• “How One Man Makes a Living Making the Sims Kill Each Other” by Luke Winkie in Vox
• roBurky’s emotional mods for The Sims 4
Willa: “The Queen of Eating Shellfish Online” by Jasmin Barmore in the New York Times
Marissa: Schitt’s Creek
Steve: Martha Wainwright’s Bloody Motherfucking Asshole
Outro: “Neon Raceway” by ELF
This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 send your Summer Strut submissions to email@example.com!