Does Masters of Sex Offer More Than Prurient Intrigue? The Culture Gabfest Discusses.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Oct. 9 2013 10:37 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Watch Out for the Dildo” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Alfonso Cuarón’s new film Gravity, Masters of Sex, and “coolness” in 2013.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 264 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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

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On this week’s show, the critics discuss Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón’s new 3-D film, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts adrift in space. Visually dazzling, the film’s cinematography uncannily captures the experience of weightlessness. Next, the critics turn to the new Showtime drama Masters of Sex about William Masters and Virginia Johnson, two pioneering researchers in the field of human sexuality in the 1950s. And finally, with the help of Carl Wilson, Slate’s music critic, the gabbers discuss the concept of “coolness,” posing the question that befuddles middle schoolers and pop stars alike: What does it mean to be “cool” in 2013?

Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:

Endorsements:

Dana: Alfonso Cuarón’s 1995 film adaptation of A Little Princess.

Julia: Planet Money’s episode 489 on the nonsensical difficulty of wiring money.

Carl: Daniel Mendelsohn’s essay on Newyorker.com, “ ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ and the Government Shutdown.”

Steve: Portuguese singer Amália Rodrigues.

Outro: “Cool” from the musical West Side Story, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Sally Herships and engineered by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

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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.

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