Slate's Culture Blog

Oct. 30 2014 10:47 PM

How Strong Is the Case Against Adnan Syed? We Discuss the Latest Episode of Serial.


Serial, a new podcast from This American Life, is investigating the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a Baltimore area high school student. Here at Slate we are following the story closely, discussing each new episode as it appears. This week, Katy Waldman and David Haglund are joined by Mike Pesca, who interviewed the host and executive producer of Serial, Sarah Koenig, on his own podcast, The Gist.



This edition of the Spoiler Special is meant to be heard after you’ve listened to Episode 6 of Serial, called “The Case Against Adnan Syed.” 


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Oct. 30 2014 7:00 PM

Finally, Nas Raps Over a J Dilla Beat: Listen to New Song “The Season”

One of rap’s biggest sins is that Nas and J Dilla, both equally regarded as two of the greatest to ever do it, never got the chance to work together before the celebrated Detroit producer died in 2006. Now, thanks to a bit of sampling magic, Nas has finally laid his pristine Nasty Nas bars over a Dilla beat—this one being “Gobstopper” from Dilla’s acclaimed 2006 album Donuts—in a new song called “The Season.” Nas first teased the song last night during a Run the Jewels in-store appearance at Rough Trade NYC and, now, we have the official studio recording to feast our ears on.

Oct. 30 2014 6:48 PM

New Key & Peele Parody Taps Into Everything You Loved About Bad ’90s Action Movies

Everything you’ve ever loved about terrible action movies from the ’90s—the wild hair, the cheesily choreographed showdowns, the synthesizers ominously alerting you to impending danger—is parodied with flair in Key & Peele’s latest sketch. “Strike Force Eagle 3: The Reckoning,” which will air on next week’s episode, finds the hero Jamison Teague (Keegan-Michael Key, as actor “Cal Flavell”) facing off against drug kingpin Fernando Escubado (Jordan Peele as “Kris Baucom”). His challenge? To save Dr. Carol Roberts (Anna Camp as “Barbara Van Kraft”) from Fernando’s clutches.

As pitch-perfect as the parody is, Key and Peele can’t spoof the genre without throwing in their own weird twist—and it’s a great one.

Oct. 30 2014 3:48 PM

The Best Horror Movie Death Scenes of All Time

Yes, there are a couple of obvious choices in CineFix’s countdown of the “top 10 horror movie death scenes of all time”—how could such a list be complete without Marion Crane’s still-shocking death in Psycho? But what makes the movie buffs’ video particularly fun is the combination of cheeky commentary and hard horror history they use to back up their picks.

You may not agree with the way the list shakes out, but the folks at Cinefix usually support their choices well, and there’s no better time of year to reignite this perennial horror nerd argument.

Oct. 30 2014 2:31 PM

This Is What Peter Pan Live! Will Look Like

After the ratings success of last year’s The Sound of Music Live!, NBC is staging a live televised musical adaptation of Peter Pan. Girls star Allison Williams, like many women before her, will play the title role in Peter Pan Live! when it airs Dec. 4. And while we’ve previously seen a couple shots from the show, today the network has shared its first official teaser trailer.

Oct. 30 2014 1:01 PM

The Horror Movie Tagline Quiz

Earlier this Halloween week, we quizzed you on horror movie music. Now, we turn to another blood-curdling aspect of the horror genre: Its marketing! The taglines that appear on old horror movie posters are often corny enough to make you shiver, so, for another Halloween treat, we made a quiz out of them. For each of 18 horror movies below, we’ll show you three taglines. Only one tagline was used to actually market the movie; the others are either fake or were used for other movies.

You might not have seen every movie, so here’s a hint: The most ridiculous tagline is often the correct answer. Good luck!

Oct. 30 2014 12:11 PM

Sure, Street Harassment Is a Problem. But What About What It’s Like for White Men?

In the couple of days since Hollaback!’s anti-street harassment video went viral, we’ve heard about the merits of the experiment (video proof that the harassment women describe actually happens on a regular basis) as well as the downside of its presentation (why were most of the white catcallers edited out of this video?). And of course, we’ve heard from the men who still just don’t get it.

But what about what it’s like for white men? We can’t forget about what it's like to walk around the city in their shoes, as this new Funny Or Die parody reminds us.

Oct. 30 2014 11:15 AM

Pee-Wee Is Officially Returning for Another Big Adventure

It’s been almost 30 years since Paul Reubens and Tim Burton teamed up for the one-of-a-kind comedy cult classic Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (which, I can personally confirm, still plays great in 2014). A new sequel has been rumored for years now, and on the Tonight Show last night, Reubens confirmed that he’ll once again be donning his red bowtie.

As previously reported, Judd Apatow will produce the movie, and a director has been chosen, though Reubens said he can’t yet announce his name. (He said we should expect a “huge announcement” next week.) There’s no word yet on whether the movie will also see the return of his bicycle.

Oct. 29 2014 9:18 PM

Sharon Van Etten’s “Your Love Is Killing Me” Gets a Simple Yet Stunning Music Video

Sharon Van Etten’s “Your Love Is Killing Me” is one of the year’s best songs, off one of the year’s best albums. Aptly described as a “pocket epic,” the track has Van Etten’s voice simmer and simmer until it reaches a low boil, her anger and heartbreak exposed over a rising tide of organ, piano, and guitar. It’s a straightforward but wrenching tune, and the music video, by Sean Durkin, does its raw beauty justice.

Oct. 29 2014 5:18 PM

Even Carved on a Pumpkin, the Psycho Shower Scene Is Still Thrilling

What’s more terrifying than the shower scene in Psycho? The shower scene in Psycho carved out on a pumpkin and presented in stop-motion.

OK, maybe it’s not more terrifying.