Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Citizenfour, Jane the Virgin, and the unseen forces keeping your social media feed clean.

You Should Be Watching the Beguiling New Show Jane the Virgin

You Should Be Watching the Beguiling New Show Jane the Virgin

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Oct. 29 2014 2:11 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Watching the Watchers Do the Watching” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Citizenfour, Jane the Virgin, and the unseen workers keeping your social media feeds clean.

The Culture Gabfest has moved! Find new episodes here.


Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 319 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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


This week, Slate Plus listeners will hear Slate’s Willa Paskin on what it’s like to be a TV critic in autumn, and the best and most overlooked shows of the season. Go to to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

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

This week on the Slate Culture Gabfest, Slate’s war stories columnist Fred Kaplan joins the critics to talk about Laura Poitras’ documentary about the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, Citizenfour. The documentary undoubtedly records a historic event, but is this movie at heart propagandistic? Next, TV show Jane the Virgin has garnered rave reviews despite its unpromising premise: a 23-year-old pregnant virgin. Willa Paskin explains what is so riveting about the CW’s surprise breakout. Finally, Adrian Chen has reported on the unseen thousands of workers who scrub the Internet clean of gore, pornography, and worse. He joins the critics in the studio to talk about the human cost of our social networks.

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



Dana: Slate’s new Supreme Court podcast from Dahlia Lithwick, Amicus

Julia: The Culture Gabfest’s hot-stuff producer turns 40 today—an endorsement for Ann Hepperman! But also: a song from the new Taylor Swift album, “Out of the Woods.”


Steve: The Conversation, Francis Ford Coppola’s influential study of eavesdropping and paranoia. Also, bluegrass duo the Lonesome Sisters.

Outro: “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder

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This podcast was produced by Ann Hepperman. Our intern is Josephine Livingstone.

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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, the former editor in chief of Slate, is a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.