Is Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” a Worthy Song of Summer? The Slate Culture Gabfest Weighs In.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Aug. 21 2013 11:07 AM

The Culture Gabfest “In a World Without Steve and Dana” Edition

Slate's podcast about the new film In a World, experiments in online longform journalism, and “Blurred Lines.”

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 257 with David Haglund, Seth Stevenson, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:

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The Culture Gabfest’s first ever show in Brooklyn will be on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Bell House. Buy tickets at

On this week’s episode, our critics discuss Lake Bell’s new romantic comedy In a World, which she directed, wrote, and starred in. The film follows Bell’s character as she tries to break the glass ceiling in the voice-over world—a world dominated by low-pitch, high-testosterone male voices. The gabbers review the film and discuss the state of the modern voice-over. Next, the gabfest dissects the New York Times’ multimedia story “The Jockey.” Like its Pulitzer Prize-winning predecessor, John Branch’s “Snow Fall,” “The Jockey” features high-quality photos and video clips embedded throughout. Does this species of online journalistic experiment work? Or does it get in the way of solid reporting? Lastly, Slate music critic Carl Wilson joins in to discuss the 2013 Song of Summer, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” This summer hit comes with copyright drama, a NSFW video, and allegations of sexism. But is it catchy enough to deserve the hype?

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


David: Reporter Sarah Stillman’s piece in The New Yorker on civil forfeiture.

Seth: Joe Swanberg’s new film Drinking Buddies, and, of course, the Slate softball team.

Carl: The songs of late summer, including Sam Phillips’ new album Push Any Button, John Cale’s “All Summer Long,” and Janelle Monae’s “PrimeTime.”

Julia: Steven Soderbergh’s film adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Out of Sight.

Outro: “Pretty Time Bomb” by Sam Phillips.

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Dan Pashman. Our intern is Sam McDougle.

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

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.

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


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