The Culture Gabfest Tries Tinder

Slate's weekly roundtable.
July 16 2014 10:48 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Migrating Buns” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Boyhood, Botched, and the dating app Tinder.


Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 304 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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


The sponsor of this week’s show is Audible. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 150,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at This week’s pick for the Culture Gabfest Bucket List—the books you’ve got to read to be a smarter culture hound—is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, read by Jim Norton.

This week Slate Plus listeners will hear a bonus segment in which the gabbers discuss the broad strokes of their career trajectories. Go to to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

Culturefest is on the radio! “Gabfest Radio” combines Slate’s Culture and Political Gabfests in one show—listen on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WNYC’s AM820.

And don’t forget you can find Culture Gabfest T-shirts for sale in the Slate store.

On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s film about the development of a young boy, which was shot over a 12-year period in Texas. Has the film’s groundbreaking technique made it impervious to criticism—or is it really Linklater’s masterpiece? Next, the gabbers turn to Botched, a reality show on E!, starring plastic surgeons who specialize in correcting failed cosmetic procedures. It panders to our worst rubbernecking impulses, but it may also perform a public service. And finally, the critics welcome Anna Shechtman, outgoing Culture Gabfest intern, to discuss the dating app Tinder: Despite its shallow “Hot or Not” format and its founders’ purported misogyny, is the app “good for women”?

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


Dana: You Must Remember This, Karina Longworth’s history podcast about Hollywood’s first century.

Julia: HBO’s Veep, which has greatly matured since its first season.

Anna: Michael Reid Roberts’ language column “Life Sentences” on the American Reader’s blog.

Steve: Getting couples massages at Bodhi Holistic Spa in Hudson, New York.

Outro: “Anna (Go to Him)” by the Beatles

You can email us at

This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our interns are Anna Shechtman and Josephine Livingstone.

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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