Mommy Dead and Dearest, the Public Theater’s Julius Caesar Trump controversy, and Hi-Phi Nation.

Et Tu, Delta Air Lines?

Et Tu, Delta Air Lines?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
June 14 2017 10:40 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Thus Always to Tyrants” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Mommy Dead and Dearest, the Public Theater’s Julius Caesar controversy, and the new podcast Hi-Phi Nation.

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Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

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On this week’s Slate Plus, Isaac, Dana, and Stephen are joined by our producer Ben to discuss the YouTube series Car Boys.

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On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics discuss the new HBO documentary Mommy Dead and Dearest about a daughter who murders her mother after years of abuse. They’re joined by journalist Michelle Dean, who wrote about the case for BuzzFeed. Next, they dive into the recent controversy of the Public Theater’s staging of Julius Caesar, which included a Trump-like protagonist and led some corporations to pull their funding for the production. Finally, the gabbers talk Hi-Phi Nation, a new podcast from Barry Lam, debating whether it treads too close to its public radio inspirations or transcends the form.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:



Isaac: Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, and the movie Little Boxes


Stephen: The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright

Outro: “Julius Caesar” by French Montana

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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. Our intern is Daniel Schroeder.

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Isaac Butler is a writer and theater director, most recently of Real Enemies, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the co-author of The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America, with Dan Kois.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.