Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, #squad, and country music for people who don’t like country music.

What, Exactly, Is So Mesmerizing About Tom Cruise?

What, Exactly, Is So Mesmerizing About Tom Cruise?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Aug. 5 2015 11:32 AM

The Culture Gabfest #Squadgoals Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, #squad, and country music for people who don’t like country music.

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Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 359 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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

Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

This week on Slate Plus, the critics join Carl Wilson to share their favorite country music lyrics.

On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the gabbers discuss Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, the fifth installment in the Tom Cruise franchise that’s been around for almost 20 years. What makes this plotless movie so mesmerizing to watch? Next, Katy Waldman recently demystified the hashtags #squad and #squadgoals in Slate. Why is this the summer of #squad? Finally, Carl Wilson’s recent Slate review of Kacey Musgraves’ latest album explores the problem with country music for people who don’t like country music. Why has the dismissal of this genre become widely acceptable?

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This episode of Slate’s Culture Gabfest is brought to you Braintree, which offers a best-in-class mobile checkout experience. To learn more, and for your first $50,000 in transactions fee-free, go to braintreepayments.com/culture. The Culture Gabfest is also sponsored by Volvo. Get a month’s payment on Volvo and spend your summer doing the things that matter to you. Visit volvocars.com/us or test drive a Volvo at your local dealer.

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

We learned after taping the show that the great Nashville producer Bill Sherrill died on Tuesday morning. Sherrill worked on lots of George Jones’ songs that Dana, Steve, and Carl mentioned in the Plus segment. He also produced the Elvis Costello country covers album, Almost Blue, that Carl discussed. 

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Endorsements:  

Dana: Anindo Chatterjee on Pandora and “The Song Decoders” by Rob Walker*

Julia: Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow and a request for academic and popular sources that analyze The King and I

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You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Lindsey Albracht.

Follow us on Twitter. And please “like” the Culture Gabfest on Facebook.

*Correction, Aug. 10, 2015: This article originally misspelled the first name of Anindo Chatterjee. (Return.)

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.