Slate’s Culture Gabfest on British TV import Black Mirror, cultural obsession, and the decline of TV comedy

Is It Good or Bad That We’re All Obsessed With Serial?

Is It Good or Bad That We’re All Obsessed With Serial?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Dec. 3 2014 2:39 PM

The Culture Gabfest “Totally Obsessed” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Black Mirror, Willa Paskin on cultural obsession, and more Willa Paskin on the decline of TV comedy.

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Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 324 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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This week, Slate Plus listeners will hear the critics respond to Jonathan Rauch’s piece on the midlife crisis and talk about the theory and practice of growing older in the 21st century.

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This week on the Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics talk about British television import Black Mirror, newly available on Netflix. The show’s dystopian vision of our tech-saturated present (and possible future) is darkly thrilling. But does it quite live up to the hype that has preceded it from across the Atlantic? Next, a double whammy of Willa Paskin. Slate’s television critic joins the gabfest to talk about her analysis of cultural obsession and the way we talk about things we love today. Finally, television comedy is in sad decline. Why don’t we watch comedy any more, and can the genre be rescued?

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

Endorsements:

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Julia: Sam Cooke’s version of “(Ain’t That) Good News.

Steve: The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin

Outro: Sam Cooke, “(Ain’t That) Good News.

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

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