Slate's Spoiler Specials

Reviews For Slate's Spoiler Specials

This review is for the Game of Thrones Coverage. I listen to a great GoT podcast but this game up in my feed under the Slate Culture Gabfest, which I enjoy, so I listened to a bit. It’s trash. In the part I listened to, all three hosts admitted that they couldn’t remember anything about two characters’ previous storylines. Then why are you doing a podcast about it?? I also disagreed with most of their takes throughout. They just didn’t seem to care all that much about anything, and they skipped entire scenes in their recap because they thought they were “boring.”
I see others are bothered by the use of “like”. Some reviewers are good, but the “like” users drive me over the top. I start counting how many times it’s used and can’t keep up. How does a person with this speaking ability get on air??
I enjoy film, of all kinds. I enjoy the big budget superhero to foreign Indy films and everything in between. I don’t mind critique and discussion about problems. What I can’t stand is people who discuss movies with such an air of superiority and focusing on any possible pet peeve they personally have that’s irrelevant in the wider scope of the film. That’s this podcast. I listen to a lot of review podcasts and this will not be one I’ll ever bother with in the future.
Like many movie podcasts this one can get pretentious, but the conversation is generally smart and insightful. However, a few panelists say “like” in every other sentence. It can really bring you out of the show and detracts from that which is smart and insightful. And as another reviewer noted, Inkoo’s vocal fry is unbearable. It’s so bad and pronounced that I just hope she’s doing it as an ironic affect.
+Willa et al carry on the legacy Go all the way back and enjoy some of the early episodes. Some shows hit the ground running, and this podcast doesn't waste a minute
The show is for people who like listening to arts critics, but are curious as to their informal thoughts beyond the page. The discussions are fun to hear and aren't attempting to cast final verdicts on the material as much as open up whatever production they're looking at to a casual back and forth. What I like is it avoids the geek love braying on many recap shows, while also not attempting to be anything more than an exploration of the (usually fictional) world they were presented.
The reviewers are hyper-critical of challenging films where the directors are stretching like “Hereditary” or “Annihilation” but rave about films like “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.” Ultimately, whether you can listen to this podcast depends upon your tolerance level for that kind of hypocritical nonsense from film reviews.
This is like a book club but for movies, it is a pleasure. I enjoy the richness of the conversation, Dana Stevens and the other Slate editors summarize the plot events in a way that I would normally expect from print rather than real time dialogue. Very rich yet succinct descriptions and summaries, the English major in you will swoon. At the same time I’m no movie aficionado (I’m in medical school!) and none of the dialogue is too ‘artsy’ or inaccessible for a casual movie watcher. I will say that for the Black Swan spoiler it would be nice to have had a counterpoint, with 2 people who didn’t care for the movie the resulting discussion was less interesting...and on the other end of it the Grand Budapest spoiler with 4(!) people was a little overwhelming. 2-3 people seems to be the sweet spot. Dana Stevens should do some TV spoilers as well since the quality of the TV spoilers is unfortunately quite poor (more like a collection of random comments and hot takes, not engaging in any way unfortunately) and it’s a shame because there are some amazing TV series out there!! (Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, GOT..) Dan Kois and Forest Whitaker would be great to improve the quality of the TV spoilers as well. It would be great to spoil older movies as well!!
This podcast is well produced and listenable enough but often feels like stuffy uptight critics picking films there’s no feasible chance they’ll enjoy. As someone who enjoys genre films this is super frustrating. My guess is that if they were reviewing high brow dramas or foreign films they’d enjoy themselves more, but they’re oftentimes reviewing Star Wars or horror films and as a listener it can be frustrating.
I hope that I love life, and movies, as much as Dana Stevens or Roger Ebert 10 years from now.


By MSAX123
The hosts purport to dissect the movie/tv show in question but instead of interesting dialogue it typically revolves around some form of “i don’t know, did you understand that?” Or “ I forgot that point, and the character’s name”. Yeeesh. Not insightful. It’s a great concept and slate has some outstanding stuff. And it’s just a pop culture piffle of a podcast but it should be fun. Instead its simply lazy which robs it if it’s enjoyment.
The show is UNEVEN. Sometimes it’s very boring and obnoxiously pretentious but sometimes it’s fun, funny, and intelligent. Also, how is Dana Stevens a well renowned critic? She never seems to know anything about the movies or the actors, and is constantly missing or forgetting HUGE PLOT POINTS. Maybe she should stick to reviewing art movies nobody wants to see? She apparently has so much disdain for popular movies/shows, that even though she hosts a podcast, she doesn’t bother to pay attention them. It can really ruin otherwise good episodes. Like, take some notes or something, lady.
It's a Spoiler Special, youspend too much time recounting the movie beat for beat as if you're describing it to someone who hasn't seen it.
Excellent podcast when they cover good material... which, unfortunately, is just about never. What a shame.
I was disappointed in the second season of the Handmaid's Tale , and eager to get a Slate-y critical take on it. But this episode was shockingly, horribly lame. Every point they made was vacuous and shallow. They were far more interested in how the series made them "feel" as a [fill in the race-gender-sexual-identity-politics category here] than in any kind of disinterested critical analysis of any aspect of the show. Two of them were so mush-mouthed that it was hard to understand them ... though maybe that was for the best. If you're looking for examples of millennial responses to popular culture that suggest that the stereotypes are true, this will suit your purposes. Just because you have access to all that audio equipment doesn't mean you have anything interesting to say, kids.
One of the three panelists who discussed season 2 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” seems to think that her identity as a lesbian pre-qualifies her to provide unique and necessary perspective on a show that is a genuine cultural fire alarm, yet she takes an automatic position against the showrunner because of his identity as a male. It’s hypocritical and ironic, since his material went way over her head. Among the idiotic points the hosts tried to get across: “Season 2 didn’t hew to the source material” (Atwood’s book was written a generation ago, and the series is set in the present day. People say “What the actual *uck” a lot in Trump’s America); “The story is too focused on June and her glum face [paraphrase] when they could have done more of an ensemble” (the source material is June’s POV). Also: “How do these characters find joy in Gilead?” (er, Gilead is a bummer and then you die). When I tune to Slate, I expect well-informed, insightful and smart discussion, not wandering, incoherent, uncentered smack because it’s cool to be contrarian. And seriously, I counted 837 utterances of the word “like” as filler (I didn’t actually count - there may have been more).
Unfortunately, the hosts don't seem to enjoy movies or television. They especially don't enjoy putting effort into fully understanding the programs that they review. Perhaps they should try covering things they actually like instead.
They just miss a lot of the significance/meaning of scenes and elements of movies and their analysis can be so I guess basic? Uninformed? Bland? Sometimes just reading Reddit comments analyzing the movies are more insightful and interesting. Maybe they should think about researching more about what the directors/fan theories and explanations are
Dana and co. give wonderful analyses. I recommend!
Dana is my fav film critic, so this podcast is like a gift if I’ve seen the movie.
I can accept that in almost every episode, the hosts can be expected to get several basic facts wrong. I can accept that we often don’t agree. I can accept that Dana keeps insisting on discussing Marvel movies despite her clear contempt for the franchise. But I draw the line at having to listen to hosts who don’t know how to speak. The vocal fry on some of these people literally hurts my ears. The Annihilation episode in particular felt less like a conversation and more like an endurance test. I can’t take it anymore. I’m out.
Overall this podcast is just terrible. Listened to one episode and that was one too many.
I used to really like this podcast but the new group of people are absolutely horrible Valley girls personified. Not sure who is who but the one woman literally said “like” every other word!!! Won’t be tuning in again until new hosts. 4 people way too many.
Aisha Harris is the only reason for listening to this podcast. Can nobody else hear Inkoo say "like" ad nauseum? And the vocal fry affect makes her unlistenable. So many dead spots in the conversations, and no chemistry between the panelists. Come on, Slate - you can do better than this.
I could not even listen to this further than the first 10mins. The inaccuracy of what reporting what happened and how, namely Zach Dempsey’s story from the first season, was just too much!! Please hire people with contracts requiring them to watch both seasons in preparation for any kind of review podcast, otherwise they end up making your podcast looks stupid! They referred to Clay as “a bland white boy/man” and like the character or not, it is just a horrible description of anyone... Especially, one of the main players who (in both seasons) is well fleshed out character wise, probably at least twice most of the others. This was seriously disappointing! I was really looking for a great place to hear good/or bad reviews about the show from season 1 to 2 and see if people agreed or disagreed with me or needed:had info. I felt I was missing!!
While all the commentators had insightful comments, one inserted “like” to the point of “like” total annoyance. I couldn’t “like” listen anymore.
I normally don’t write reviews on here, but this podcast is absolute trash. I listened to the 13 Reasons Why episode and as a fan of the show, I understand many are not, BUT if you’re going to do a review on something whether you enjoy it or not, YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT YOURE TALKING ABOUT! A lot of this review was like they read a summary online and did a review. Next time actually watch the show and make valid points. This just seemed lazy. Also simply saying “there are too many characters” to actually remember anything that happened in the show is not an excuse.
There was a time when there were some good opinions by people who knew something about movies. Now it seems to be a bunch of not-very-bright 20-somethings blathering. There were some good moments in Ready Player One talk. Got two minutes into Solo and turned it off. Gooid idea, now pretty much in ruins.
And the people on this podcast are usually pretty good. However, I am much less concerned with the discussion that occurs nearly every episode about how to watch a movie through the lens of the trump era. My God.
The premise of this podcast excited me, since so many reviews from other outlets are burdened by having to talk around major plot points to avoid spoiling anything, which doesn't make for the best conversation. Unfortuantely, in the first episode I listened to (the Infinity War one), they casually and out of nowhere dropped a major spoiler for the next Avengers movie near the end of the episode. I guess that's what I get for listening to a podcast called Spoiler Special, but as far as I can tell, nowhere in the description of the podcast or the episode did they mention that there would be spoilers with no warning for a movie that hasn't even been released yet.
Just listened to the infinity war podcast and I must say if you’re going to review a marvel movie please have some background knowledge about the MCU. One of the critics hadn’t even seen civil war or Dr. strange and just mainly complained about character development. These characters have been developed over 18 movies! This one was primarily about Thanos’ development. Thy made some interesting points but a lot of the confusion would have been cleared up by having knowledge from the last 10 years
Probably about 400+ ums and uhs in a one hour podcast. Lots of “you knows” too. Being a decent writer doesn’t make a good podcaster. Work on crutch words. Also, the content wasn’t good.
Couldn’t wait to hear discussion about Ready Player One after just seeing it and enjoying the story and commentary on today’s society, and listened to this podcast for the first time. It will also be my last time. Instead of an analysis, it ends up being a discussion about how two of the reviewers (one of whom fell asleep during the movie) were offended that the movie wasn’t made “for them”. They over-analyze the intent of the movie instead of discussing the artistic merits, the obvious analogy to today’s internet, and the story itself.
It’s a hammer. Smart guy. Did y’all watch the movie though?
I thought I would give them a chance after giving them up two months ago. The "Ready Player One Review was obvisously not the one to come back to. Or perhaps it was. Original decison not to continue listening was oviously the right one. Undoubtedly well put together but more about tearing things down rather than anything else. Spielberg's movie is simplistic but has some truths one of which is true fans know haters and should avoid them.
This is a movie podcast that movie critics might listen to as part of their homework. It is not fun. It is not entertaining. These people don’t seem to enjoy movies but they do seem to enjoy listening to the sound of their own voices.
I listened to the Isle of Dogs episode as well as several others. The IOD episode is emblematic of them all with regard to the poor quality of language usage. Inkoo Kang, in particular, comes across as a precocious youngster because of her ruinous habit of interjecting “like” into each uttered sentence, often more than once. Almost all of the commentators on this podcast interject words of equivocation, usually “like”, to some extent. What happened to Americans born since 1985? How did this degradation of the spoken language occur? Whither shall it go?


I was excited to listen to this podcast because I never seem to have enough people to dissect movies with. But I found myself constantly pausing this because either the host or one of the other speakers was just misremembering details of the movie and then criticizing the movie for it. Or poking at things that have no consequence on the overall film viewing experience. I tried to carry on but after several more moments where I had to pause this thing, I gave up. This was frustrating to listen to, not interesting. I suggest the hosts watch the movie twice and take notes during the second viewing before you record a podcast discussing a film.
I subscribed when weekly serial spoiler episodes were coming out. I enjoyed listening to the opinions of the staff. Now content is very sporadic and today’s episode is about 50 Shades. I don’t think this movie really needs reviewed, it has an audience that will see it without your opinions. There have been tons of other movies I would have loved to have heard about but it’s been weeks since tour last episode and weeks before that for the previous. Go back to being consistent and then you can review crappy movies because you did a good one the week before.
Thank you so much for bringing back the movie reviews! Love it! Love Dana Stevens! The best!
Love Dana Stevens, but the guests are varied. Dan Kois and John Swansburg and June Thomas. But Jonathan Fischer is terrible. Every other word is "UM" and he sounds unprepared to speak about the movie he's reviewing. Please prepare or find someone else.
Really uninformed commentary throughout. But what did it for me is the criticism that in Justice League, Cyborg said "Booyah". I think they were utterly unaware that booyah is Cyborg's signature catchphrase. Among other critiques that didn't make any sense, I would not recommend this podcast.
Movie reviews done by ppl who have no idea about source content.
What movie did you watch? How do you folks do this for a living? Bad review.


They don't seem to pay attention and then talk over plot points inaccurately
I listened to the recent reboot of this podcast. The first few were okay, but I had not seen the movies prior to. I did see Thor Ragnarok before listening to the podcast and there were some big flaws. If it was my job to review movies and discuss media, I would like to be much more accurate. I am a casual viewer of the Marvel movies and these reviewers missed multiple facts about the universe and thus sounded like hacks. Examples: Vision could pick up THor's hammer. It was a running joke in Age of Ultron. Loki was a villian in 3 prior movies. Ant-Man, Civil War, and Spiderman both had a great blend of comedy and action (far better than Thor.) I loved Hunt for the Wilder People and great respect for the director, but Raganrok was uneven and not that funny.