Slate’s Culture Gabfest on American Hustle, the Danish political drama Borgen, and long-form journalism in the digital age.
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Dec. 18 2013 6:24 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Don’t Put Metal in the Science Oven” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on American Hustle, the Danish political drama Borgen, and long-form journalism in the digital age.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 274 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 episode, the critics discuss American Hustle, David O. Russell’s period gangster film starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. Featuring navel-baring necklines, big hair, and “fellas” good and bad, the film is loosely based on the Abscam scandal of the early ’80s. Next, the critics welcome Willa Paskin, Slate’s TV critic, to discuss her favorite shows of 2013. Why does she deem Borgen, a Danish political drama featuring a functioning parliament and a healthy marriage, the best show of the year? Finally, inspired by James Bennet, editor in chief of the Atlantic, the critics discuss the state of “long-form journalism” in the digital age. What role should length play in a magazine without page constraints?

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


Dana: P.S. 22’s fifth-grade chorus in Staten Island, N.Y. In particular, their rendition of Katy Perry’s “Roar

Julia: Northern Soul compilation albums. Especially Keep the Faith Vol. 8 featuring “Emperor of My Baby’s Heart” by Kurt Harris

Steve: The Stunt Man (1980), starring the late Peter O’Toole.

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

Follow us on Twitter. 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.

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