Culture Gabfest

The Culture Gabfest “Uncanny Savannah” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on The Lion King, TikTok, and The Loudest Voice.

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Episode Notes

On Slate Plus, the hosts discuss the Cats trailer.

This week, Dana, Steve, and Julia are joined by Aisha Harris to discuss the new photorealistic remake of The Lion King. What does the revamped version reveal about the original, and how concerned should we be by the technology Disney used to create it? Next, they explore TikTok, a social media app that’s become one of the most popular in the world—but is still virtually unknown to most adults. With the help of Slate’s own Daniel Schroeder, the gabbers consider how it compares to predecessors like Vine, the unique format that puts clips in conversation with each other, and the algorithmic and human elements responsible for its astonishing success. Finally, they debate the merits of The Loudest Voice, Showtime’s new miniseries about Fox News founder Roger Ailes. What’s the utility of this kind of rendering of recent history, and what gets left out in the process?

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

The Lion King (2019)
• “Disney’s Lion King Remake Is a Dazzling Safari in the Uncanny Valley” by Dana Stevens in Slate
The Lion King (1994)
• “The Lion King Remake Represents the Biggest Technological Leap Since Avatar” by Sam Adams in Slate
• Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book
Atlanta starring Donald Glover
The Loudest Voice starring Russell Crowe
• “The Culture Gabfest ‘Prosthesis Statement’ Edition” by Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner in Slate
• Jesse Armstrong’s Succession
• “How Russell Crowe Channeled Roger Ailes in The Loudest Voice” by Austin Considine in the New York Times
• “The Loudest Voice Stops Short of Revealing Roger Ailes” by Sophie Gilbert in the Atlantic
• Gabriel Sherman’s The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News-and Divided a Country
• “How TikTok Is Rewriting the World” by John Hermann in the New York Times
• “Memes Are the New Pop Stars: How TikTok Became the Future of the Music Industry” by Alyssa Bereznak in the Ringer


Dana: What the Last Nuremberg Prosecutor Alive Wants the World to Know” by Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes

Julia: The Gutenberg Bible at the Huntington in Pasadena and seeing Paul McCartney in concert

Steve:Not Enough Delilahs” by Andrew O’Hagan in the London Review of Books

Outro: “Sunset Palace” by Ecobel

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

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About the Show

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says, “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop.

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