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This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and Dana Stevens, discuss Hustlers, the new film from Lorene Scafaria starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, about a ripped-from-the-headlines clique of strippers who cleverly defrauded financial types in and out of the strip club. Jennifer Lopez’s performance is commanding, but the movie’s parable of post-2008 revenge falls a little bit flat compared with its larger themes of maternity and female friendship. Then, Ken Burns’ new epic-length documentary on country music is airing on PBS. The panel is joined by Slate’s Carl Wilson to help puzzle out the strengths and weaknesses of the documentary and its perhaps overly rosy treatment of one of America’s great art forms. Finally, the panel discusses the saga of Caroline Calloway and her ghostwriter, Natalie Beach, who wrote a long-form exposé about their relationship in the Cut.
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.