Culture Gabfest: The Fabric of the Cosmos, Once Upon a Time, and the New Classics

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Nov. 9 2011 10:43 AM

The Culture Gabfest, “I Want My Happy Ending” Edition

Listen to Slate's show about The Fabric of the Cosmos, Once Upon a Time, and the 21st century’s cultural canon.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 164 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner by clicking the arrow on the audio player below or opening this player in another tab:


Don't miss a single episode of the Culture Gabfest. Subscribe to the free Culturefest podcast in iTunes or directly with our RSS feed. You can also download this week's episode here. And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook here:


In this week's Culture Gabfest, our critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner wrap their brains around physicist Brian Greene’s new NOVA television series The Fabric of the Cosmos. Next, they discuss the new fairy-tale inspired television drama Once Upon a Time. Finally, Gabfesters ask what works of art from the last decade will stand the test of time.

Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:

“Where does Brian Greene stand in the pantheon of physicists?” at Slate.
The New York Times’ review of The Fabric of the Cosmos.
Brian Greene’s last NOVA special, The Elegant Universe.
Freeman Dyson’s review of Greene’s book The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality at the New York Review of Books.
The Fabric of the Cosmos
’ official site.
Troy Patterson’s review of Once Upon a Time and Grimm, at Slate.
Entertainment Weekly
’s Once Upon a Time recaps.
The New York Times’ review of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.
An interview with Once Upon a Time creator Adam Horowitz.
Once Upon a Time
’s official site.
’s critical survey of the 21st century, “The New Classics.”
Dana’s top 10 films of the aughts. 
The Clearview typeface is changing the look of American highways.
on which of Slate’s new classics you think will stand the test of time.

The Culture Gabfest weekly endorsements:

Dana’s pick: Cronenberg on Cronenberg
Julia’s pick: Christoph Niemann’s live sketches of the New York City Marathon.
Steve’s pick: Joan Didion’s The White Album, Frank Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending, and Richard Williams’ 1971 animated version of A Christmas Carol.

Outro: The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Jesse Baker. Our intern is Matt Sigl.

Follow us on the new Culturefest Twitter feed. And please Like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:25 AM The Brilliant Fake Novels of Listen Up Philip
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 9:39 AM The International-Student Revolving Door Foreign students shouldn’t have to prove they’ll go home after graduating to get a visa.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.