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Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.


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Get the Culture Gabfest and all of Slate's culture coverage here.




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Spoiler Specials: Tenet

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail. This week, Slate’s Sam Adams and Vox’s Film Critic Alissa Wilkinson spoil Tenet. Christopher Nolan’s time-bending thriller is visually spectacular yet incredibly confusing. The main character, played by John David Washington, simply referred to as the Protagonist is a CIA operative who becomes entangled with Tenet, a secret...


Thrilling Tales: Queasy Rider | The Uncertain Future of Harley-Davidson

There are few more iconic pieces of Americana than a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. But its singular Americanness - the thing that has kept the brand popular for decades - may now be a harbinger of its downfall. Podcast production by Jess Miller, with help from Asha Saluja. Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Hit Parade: One and Done, Part 1

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and deep dive into our subjects. What makes a one-hit wonder? To artists and pop chart analysts, it isn't just an academic question. On this episode of Hit Parade we explore the history and context of the one-hit wonder. In part 2, we'll propose...


Thirst Aid Kit: Good Night, and Good Thirst

And… SCENE. We came, we ushered in a glorious age of elucidating female desire, coined a few salient expressions of desire, and poof! like magic, we were gone. That’s right, we did it, folks: we wrapped up Thirst Aid Kit as a weekly podcast. We thank you for your ears, your enthusiasm, your tweets, your drabbles, your Tumblr Asks, your marriage proposals (1) and your gifs. This final episode is a song of gratitude and pride. Two Black women talking about female desire, race, and culture week...


Culture Gabfest: Pregnancy and Prayer

On this week’s episode, Steve, Dana, and Julia are joined by Slate’s Aymann Ismail to discuss the Emmy-nominated series Ramy (check out Aymann’s story for Slate on Ramy Youssef here). Next, the panel talks with Glenn Whipp, an entertainment columnist for the LA Times, about the new inclusion requirements the Oscars recently announced. Finally, the panel dives in HBO Max’s movie Unpregnant. In Slate Plus, the hosts open up about the first thing they’ll want to do in a post-pandemic world and...


Working: How a Costume Designer Dressed Two Seth Rogens in American Pickle

This week, host Isaac Butler learns the finer points of costume design from Brenda Abbandandolo, who recently dressed two different characters played by Seth Rogen in American Pickle. Brenda also designed costumes for The Disaster Artist, directed by and starring James Franco, and spent some time working on SNL’s digital shorts. In the interview, she talks about how costumes can communicate information about characters and how practical choices, like giving a character an umbrella, are a...


Thirst Aid Kit: A Bottle of Matthew Rhys-ling

Matthew Rhys’ energy is complex and layered, like a roasted pepper: there’s spice, there’s heat, and there’s smoke. In Rhys, there is a balance of all our favorite things — superb eye and face acting, characters that know how to yearn, tightly coiled power in a stern shell, and talent as deep as a Welsh valley. We talk about his career-defining work as a weary spy on The Americans, his turn as an older Mr Darcy in Death Comes To Pemberley, his laughter on The Wine Show and Archer, and so...


Culture Gabfest: Horrors Real and Imagined

On this week’s episode, Steve is joined by guests hosts Laura Miller, a books and culture columnist for Slate, and Jamelle Bouie, a columnist for the New York Times and Slate’s former chief political correspondent. The panel takes on Lovecraft Country, HBO’s new horror series. Next, they talk about Charlie Kaufman’s enigmatic I’m Thinking of Ending Things. And finally, the panel dives into the “is NYC over?” debate. In Slate Plus, the hosts talk about a George Washington University...


Working: Kimberly Drew on the Life-Enhancing Power of Art

This week, host Rumaan Alam talks about the importance of museums with writer and art advocate, Kimberly Drew, whose Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art set her apart as one of the most promising young voices in the visual art world. It also led to a job as social-media manager at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the interview, Kimberly discusses her new book, This Is What I Know About Art, and talks about the role art has played in peoples’ lives during the pandemic. After the interview,...


Spoiler Special: I'm Thinking of Ending Things

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail. This week, Slate’s Dana Stevens and Matthew Dessem spoil I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Charlie Kaufman starts the film following a young couple, Lucy (Jessie Buckley) and Jake (Jesse Plemons) driving on a snowy evening to meet and have dinner with Jake’s parents. Lucy is already second guessing the trip since she doesn’t know if she...


Thirst Aid Kit: The Sweet Thirst of Sweet Magnolias

Thirst is a broad church—did you know that? Which is why we can cackle like dirty aunties at filthy innuendos but also relish the pure PG-13 sweetness of a show like Sweet Magnolias. *Stefon from SNL voice* This show has everything: the long term female friendship of Helen, Maddie, and Dana Sue PLUS smouldering looks between exes; the exploration of something new after a drought; on-off entanglements that cancel out good judgment; all wrapped in a SFW picnic basket of subtle, Southern...


Culture Gabfest: Bogus Journey

This week Steve, Julia, and Dana take a trip to the Bill and Ted universe and share their thoughts on the latest addition, Bill and Ted Face the Music. Then Wesley Morris from the New York Times joins the show to pay tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman. And finally, Dana shares the group's final comfort pick, Days of Heaven. Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Culture Gabfest each episode, and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback....


Working: How Kurt Andersen Succeeds in So Many Creative Fields

This week, host June Thomas talks to novelist, journalist, editor, and radio host Kurt Andersen, who talks about the curiosity and drive that has fueled so many of his creative pursuits. He also discusses his latest nonfiction book, Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America, and he ponders the legacy of Spy magazine, a publication he co-founded in the 1980s. After the interview, June and co-host Isaac Butler discuss the difference between generalists, who know a little bit about a lot of...


Thirst Aid Kit: The Naughty Bob Ross (feat. Marc Rebillet)

Okay. You might be saying “who?” but trust us. Marc Rebillet’s rising star is one to watch. Using a loop machine, a keyboard, and a strong WiFi connection, Marc live-streams his way across platforms and into that delightful intersection where humor, undeniable talent, and thirst meet. He improvises songs based on suggestions from his audience which means sometimes he sings about processing grief and sometimes he sings about buttholes. We love a man with range. In our Plus segment, we try to...


Spoiler Specials: I May Destroy You

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail. This week, Slate’s Television Critic Willa Paskin is joined by Vulture Staff Writer Angelica Jade Bastién to spoil I May Destroy You. Michaela Coel is at the heart of this series. Besides writing and producing the show, she directed many episodes and plays the main character, Arabella Essiedu. Coel covers consent, rape, friendship,...


Working: The Pulitzer Won’t Change Playwright Michael R. Jackson

This week host Isaac Butler traces the creative origins of Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer-winning musical A Strange Loop. In the interview, Michael talks about his early songwriting attempts and the gradual process of turning a monologue about his experiences as a young, Black gay man into a one-man show and then turning that one-man show into a “proper musical.” After the interview, Isaac and co-host June Thomas discuss Michael’s distinction between an “autobiographical” work and a...


Thirst Aid Kit: A “Two Appetizers” Kinda Guy (feat. Jake Johnson)

Every so often, the thirst stars align, or the thirst goddesses smile down on us, or whatever you want to call it... and well, it all came together for us this week. We manifested a long held TAK desire — we got to interview Jake Johnson! ::scream:: He told us about his new adult animated show Hoops, working on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, and why he thinks the pandemic has affected the way people see Nick Miller. In Slate Plus, we spoke to a few of our very favourite writers of...


Culture Gabfest: Mad as Hell

On this week’s episode, Steve, Dana, and Julia discuss a recent video of twins’ listening to Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” that went viral. Then, the panelists talk about John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza. Finally, they take on this week’s comfort watch—Network. In Slate Plus, the hosts break down The Daily’s recent two-part series on cancel culture. Endorsements: Dana: The accurate lime cordial recipe! Julia: Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld Steve: “Dickens in Brooklyn” by Jay Neugeboren...


Working: Paul Mpagi Sepuya on the Inherent Intimacy of Photography

This week, host Rumaan Alam talks to artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya about his unique style of intimate studio photography. In the interview, Paul breaks down the difference between artist and photographer, shares what it was like to get recognized for his work early in life, and explains why critical success doesn’t always translate to monetary success. After the interview, Rumaan and co-host Isaac Butler talk about why it’s so difficult to sum up visual art with language. Send your questions...


Decoder Ring: Mystery of the Mullet

The mullet, the love-to-hate-it hairstyle is as associated with the 1980's as Ronald Reagan, junk bonds, and break dancing. But in at least one major way, we are suffering from a collective case of false memory syndrome. In this episode we track the rise and fall of the mullet, and also the lexical quandary at its heart: who named the mullet? Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work. Learn...