Slate's Spoiler Specials Podcast
Slate's Spoiler Specials
Slate Podcasts
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Great Show
I disagree with everything you’ve ever said and likely I will disagree with everything you ever say, Dan Kois. Except when you hate something. Dana is mostly too generous with mainstream films and too fawning on the indie stuff, but she’s 100% right when she hates something. This review may say more about me than the show, but you’ve read it and there’s nothing either of us can do about that now.
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Fleabag episode
Marissa Martinelli, Inkoo Kang and Heather Schwedel — who are these people?! One has a 12yr-old voice in a cartoon, with a constant upward inflection, and another says “like” ever other word. It’s a pity because once they’ve calmed down they actually have something to say. Except that they never understood what the foxes symbolized.
Do all the hosts watch the whole movie?
Do all the hosts watch the whole movie being discussed? I listened to “Joker” and one of the hosts sounded like he was just making stuff up, he revised two major plot points that would have been very hard to miss. At least watch the whole movie if you’re going to talk about the whole thing....
Toxic Listener
Just what I’ve always wanted
I love to hear absolutely everything about movies even those I will never see. Spoilers also don’t spoil things for me. So this show seems to be tailor made for me and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Unfortunately at the end of the first episode I saw the hosts announced that the show was going on hiatus?!?! I just signed up for Slate plus for Dear Prudence and this was one of the first other Slate podcasts that I loved. Don’t get rid of it! One thing : commercial breaks. I have Slate Plus and there were still some ads. (A mistake, I hope?) Just far too many ads . But I don’t think that the hosts bear any responsibility for this.
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My go to podcast!!
Please come back! I love Dana Stevens and her methodical breakdown of movies I’m too scared or busy to see but want to know all about. Guests discussions flow so well and the banter back and forth is engaging. They are currently on hiatus? (2023) and I can’t find anything comparable. Other spoiler podcasts are just not the same. I’m going back and listening to the wonderful back log of episodes from 2006 so I am praying that by the time I catch up to present day that they will be back!!
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Dana Wins My Hero Award
I am a high school English teacher. Often, I take time to proper a silly statue thing, and I call it the “Hero Award.” Anyway, Dana would undoubtedly be a repeat recipient of the “Hero Award” in my classroom for her amazing attitude, open mind, fabulous sense of humor, and self-deprecating humility. I have been a Dana Stevens fan from the get-go (“Culture” Gabfest…). Sad the Spoiler is going on hiatus. Hope it comes back.
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One of you clearly didn’t see the movie Don’t Worry, Darling.
So Many Commercials
Four commercial breaks in a 27 minute podcast? What on earth. Also why is everyone so world weary all the time? Dana Stevens hates every movie she’s ever seen and everyone uses the word “edge lord” too much
Hit or Miss
Sometimes this show is really enjoyable and sometimes it is highly frustrating. Oftentimes I feel like Dana didn’t pay attention to the movie and/or do her research before reviewing and just kind of throws stuff out there that isn’t factually true or is a very “unique” interpretation of what occurred. I have had to turn off several episodes out of pure frustration for lack of research/paying attention by the hosts that day. When the show is good, it can be really enjoyable, but it’s all about the right mix of people and them actually have watched the same movie I did.
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Something obnoxious
Update: I’m updating my previous review to add that I recently decided to listen to this podcast again because I wanted to hear a review for “Don’t Worry Darling”… and man, Dana is still a truly obnoxious host. Most of the review went okay until the very end where she asked her guest, “…don’t you agree with me that this movie isn’t very good…” or something to that affect. She says it, not as an invitation to agree, but as an assumption that they do agree, a foregone conclusion. As I wrote down below, if you want someone’s opinion on something, you don’t need to lead them or ask how much their opinion is in line with yours. Feel free to state that YOU don’t like it. But don’t lead someone to the notion that the correct answer is to agree with you, or make them have answer in a way that first untangles them from your implication that they should agree with you, before they can express what they actually think. They should have the freedom to simply start the sentence saying what they actually think. Tl;dr, different movie, same obnoxiousness. As you can see, this is a sharp pet peeve of mine; haven’t experienced it in any other instance but this podcast. Previous review: I don’t really use the word ‘obnoxious’ very often, yet it describes something I keep experiencing with this podcast. I think the host is Dana; in the past two podcast episodes I’ve listened to, “Borat Subsequent Film“ and “Promising Young Woman,” Dana often uses a lot of words to express disappointment in the films basically not being what she expected. As though the film should’ve consulted with her first somehow. I tried to not be annoyed by this and keep listening, because it seems like this podcast gives relatively thorough reasoning behind their statements, but it really boils down to the movies not going in the direction she expected or not meeting her expectations, and how the movies are lacking because of it. The directors and creative teams made the movie they wanted to make, with the message they wanted to send. For “Promising Young Woman” to not end on a hopeful enough note for Dana... for her to say that she expected a lot more humor from Borat, and that when she watched it, she sat down specifically expecting to laugh a lot and yet it didn’t make her laugh out loud... for her to then say to her co-host Sam, “so you’re on the same page as me, it wasn’t laugh out loud funny as you expected...” Her while vibe is very “my opinion is right, and I’m also leading the witness to think as I do.” Kudos to Sam for his tactful and non-placating response. I stopped the episode right as I was listening to that moment and wrote this review.
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De Vanna 7654
It’s not great, but can be good at times
I’ve listened to several of the episodes. Sometimes it seems as if the hosts didn’t really watch the same movie I did, often missing key points from the movie. However, there are other times when they do catch things that tease out some profound moments. I do have one extra note: while the hosts are quick to point out misogyny when it comes to men, they don’t always do the same with women. For instance, actresses like Tilda Swinton supported Roman Polanski (and still do, I think). There has never been a clearer case of rape and abuse of a minor than what Roman Polanski essentially admitted to. And yet, for some reason, the hosts (and others) don’t seem to have a problem with Polanski’s supporters or actors who continued to act in his films. A final note: I gave this another try. I listened to a recent review of the new Top Gun movie. There is a scene where the characters are playing football on the beach. After acknowledging that the scene had a purpose, the male host said he would have preferred if he could just watch bare chested guys and abs instead of having a scene that was improvement from the beach volleyball scene from the original. That did it for me. I’m not really sure what the point of this podcast is if not to actually review and critique movies. They don’t seem to be able to do that very well. One thing I will say is that music/ movie quotes montage in the beginning is one of my favorite parts of any podcast. Other than that, I wouldn’t waste my time.
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Dana Stevens is a bad reviewer.
I have a bone to pick with Dana Stevens because it’s like she doesn’t like any of the movies she’s reviewing and only half pays attention to them. Especially with the Marvel movies, you can tell she’s not a real fan and honestly none of the reviewers on the Marvel movies are fans. Dana also has a way of being negative towards a movie and guiding her cohost/s into trashing the movie along with her. No offense to Dana herself but these spoiler specials aren’t as fun when you can tell the host only watched the movie once and forgot most of it.
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Not a good podcast
If you need anymore reason to dislike film critics then this podcast is for you! Generally their criticism is often in information or plot they obviously just missed and didn’t bother to look into. When called out by other guests they just double down and never take a step back. Also, take a shot any time the guest Inkoo Kang says um, like or basically! :)
The Dead Sams
It’s like Dana doesn’t pay attention to the movie she is reviewing. The “plot holes” she discovers are her not paying attention or her inability to infer information with what she’s been given - isn’t that the whole point of being a movie critic? The Nope review made me so angry I had to turn it off. Go see it again, Dana, it’s not that difficult.
Host seemed dense
First time listener to catch Nope episode. It was cringe-worthy how the host missed obvious plot points and instead ridiculed the film for “plot holes”. Was she half-watching the film? I’m no cinema genius but even I knew the answers to the questions that befuddled her. I felt like maybe her co-host did but didn’t want to be rude continuously point out the mistakes. Because the host couldn’t even get the plot right, it really skimped on any decent analysis.
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Friends with Jen
So wrapped up in dogma it isn’t about films
Listen to the episode about Promising Young Woman - they talk about their uninteresting moral stances instead of the film! Ridiculous.
Getting tired of the podcaster’s elitist POV
Good Lord, we get it. You’re too cool and entitled to like or objectively review popular entertainment. You look down on the audience who enjoy certain kinds of movies like Marvel films or popular genre series. I thought the “I’m clueless about comic book movies” schtick was funny and quirky at first, but as you yourself say here, you’ve been doing it for a long time now, and it’s getting tiresome. Nobody should HAVE to like anything, ever. Yet the sense of being patronizing for deigning to review popular films is noticeable now.
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Poor Analysis
I couldn’t even finish listening to the doctor strange 2 episode. Neither of the reviewers paid much attention as they were already getting very obvious plot points incorrect. If you haven’t fully paid attention to a movie don’t review it.
If you hate Marvel movies so much just don’t go see them. I used to over look your disdain for those types of movies but the amount of complaining and belittling of Dr. Strange 2 just went over board. How about you just stick to properties you like or Just do better at keeping an open mind please! Even I had problems with the movie, but still enjoyed it for the most part. You on the other hand ripping it apart like it is “Sharknado” or something. I am done, will not be listening again. Have a good day.
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Pleased Audible User
Horrible voices
Except for Dana and maybe two or three guests, no one should be speaking in public since they have horrible voices.
Film criticism not simple-minded recaps needed
What has happened to this podcast? Why is it terrible now? What is going on with Slate podcasts in general? Are there no more editors? Don’t podcasters have to do their homework first. On that note, one of the very best Slate podcasts, How to do it, was eliminated, while all these other superficial ones remain. It’s not worth my Slate Plus membership anymore, because I have to delete all of the ones I don’t listen to anymore.
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The lost daughter pod
The hosts seem to have seen the movie once and didn’t seem to have paid attention or do research. It was hard to listen to because they kept getting plot details wrong, mispronouncing names, and making major misplaced judgements on characters that feel like projections rather than studied character analysis. Please see The Lost Daughter and don’t let this pod confuse you about the outstanding work of Elena Ferrante.
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Like Like Like
I used to listen all the time but stopped because of the horrendous vocal fry valley girl reviewers. I tuned in for House of Gucci and it’s the same. Heather I think. Sorry won’t be listening again
The Power of the Dog podcast consists of one reviewer who does not possess the cognitive ability to understand the plot of the movie and a second reviewer who does not possess the emotional sophistication or attention span to hang with a film that really is not all that narratively or emotionally complex. Dumbfound. [You really went up to an actor in a major motion picture and asked him to explain the ending of his film? He should win the Oscar for “most polite at a party”; Pauline Kael is rolling over in her brilliant, pompous grave.]
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What’s the rush
I had to check to see if I accidentally hit the wrong button- the woman reviewer talks SO fast I thought it was sped up.
The movie podcast for people who hate movies
Finally deleted this one off my feed after two years of frustration with reviewers (not gonna dignify them as “critics”) who not only seem to be disappointed in every movie they see, but can’t be bothered to pay attention to those movies in order to coherently explain what they didn’t like. It’s become funny, in a sad way, to hear Stevens say for the umpteenth time that she’s totally spaced on this or that aspect of the story of any given picture. Maybe she (all of them, really) would be happier finding other things to cover at Slate. Child care, maybe, or animal news?
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Just Good Sense
Lazy reviewing
Just listened to one episode on the movie Power of Dog. I was really hoping to get good insight into the twists of this movie. Disappointed that both reviewers got many parts of the movie wrong admitting that they couldn’t remember scenes and omitted many key scenes. Kinda half-baked and lazy reviewing, in my opinion. If you’re going to do a spoiler podcast review of a movie, maybe try taking some notes.
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Broad array of topics including current and classics, TV and movies, intelligent, insightful, animated, and witty discussions.
Mark from Rhinebeck
So negative
The hosts are always so negative about the movies they review. I’m not claiming any of these are the films of our generation but the constant tearing down of the films gets old really fast.
Saying Stupid a lot is not Film Criticism
I suppose it doesn’t matter since I have unsubscribed and will not be coming back. But all I think about is how too many people (podcasting, YouTube, TikTok) believe they can pull off intelligent commentary with humor & sarcasm. Being reductive, saying “That’s Dumb” A LOT and replacing snarky insults where actual thoughts about plot should be is like listening to some self important college freshman who read one book on film theory. The worst part is the episode was about a movie that’s completely bananas with an odd plot so I showed up because I expected criticism and discussion. What I got was lazy and unfunny. Truly just a turn off so I turned it off.
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Shallow, horrible analysis
Allegra Frank and Nitish Pahwa are terrible at this! Listening to them is like listening to two junior high kids try and recall a movie without any insight or interest in its thematic ideas. No attempt at subtext or symbolism. Just, this happened… and then this happened… and it was dumb. What absolutely useless and mindless commentary. They are incredibly shallow and inarticulate. Find better critics!
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Boring. There are too many good podcasts to choose from to waste time listening to this.
The hipster friends you gladly left behind
First of all people need to chill with the whole “Inkoo uses the word like too much!” criticism. Plenty of people do and it doesn’t alter the quality of their inputs. That being said the quality of the inputs on this show can be severely lacking. I was surprised that they reviewed The Witcher after having only seen 1 or 2 episodes. How on earth can you know anything about a show after having seen so little of it? And yet they were so confident in their criticisms. This is a recurring theme. I also find that the main criticism of many, many films and shows is that something is too “stylized” or “twee”. I can understand that being a valid criticism when that is all a film or show has to offer but if a well written and well acted film/show is heavily stylized I don’t think it needs to be remarked on constantly. I also don’t think it’s a valid enough criticism to deem a film to be “good” or “bad”. In all honesty some of the regulars on this show remind me of my overly hipster friends in high school who were so above everything that it made them insufferable. I found it particularly rude that in your Uncut Gems episode Willa repeatedly referred to the gem mine as being in “Africa” despite the fact that other hosts and guests referred to it as Ethiopia and it was obvious in the film that it was Ethiopia. This is a form of erasure. If I was talking about a coal mine in England but I kept referring to it as Europe that wouldn’t do much to paint a picture, would it? Not to mention Willa’s treatment of Nichole during the Bridgerton episode. I think Willa needs to examine some ingrained biases.
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El of Oz
Like like like
All they say is like and it’s like like jus say like instead of like making like sense like it’s terrible don’t like bother like
Thoughtful and smart conversations
Love this podcast. I’m probably in the minority of people who don’t care about getting movies spoiled and I love listening to these spoiler conversations prior to watching the actual films. It helps me view and understand films in a new way.
They minimized/excused a rape because a woman committed it. Embarrassing
Great Episode
Your Promising Young Woman episode was great. I have been listening to a lot of podcasts about it, and yours has been my favorite. I listened to an episode about that movie by The Cinema Guys and they basically said that the rapist was probably just as traumatized as the victim. So maybe we don't let CIS white dudes talk anymore.
White Woman Talks Over Black Woman
Why even bother bringing a black guest host to discuss Bridgerton if the white host is just gonna talk over her the entire time? Willa, the white host, rambled on so much in this episode and even when she’d remember she wasn’t alone, she’d interrupt Nichole, the black guest host, before she could even finish answering. Nichole, the one who has read the books, criticizes the adaptation and Willa stills seems to share more thoughts on it than Nichole. And the worst part is when Nichole, a WOC who has a very different perspective on representation in TV from a white woman, expresses some criticism with the way the shows’ black characters are portrayed, and Willa pushes back and justifies the show choices repeatedly. I felt awful for Nichole and I hope Slate treats her better than this going forward.
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Fantastic Tenet Examination
Thoughtful discussion of Tenet; professional production with thoughtful insights from Both hosts; pleasant sounded voices, too
So “like “ANNOYING!
I tried to listen to the episode about Parasite, but it was so annoying hearing “like” constantly. I’m sure in Inkoo Kant is a fine writer, but as a podcaster she’s unlistenable. Not everyone should do everything. Stick to writing. Speaking is not your thing.
Smart, engaging
I’m a relatively new listener, but I’ve been loving this Podcast. Smart people having interesting conversation. I appreciate having women’s perspective as well, since most of the movie Podcasts I listen to our hosted by men. Love it! I definitely recommend.
Needs more perspective
Would have loved this show, and the format, however, it has become too tiresome to listen to such narrow viewpoints. I appreciate that the show invites “different perspectives” into the films/shows however, rarely do the insights go deep enough, especially when it comes to speaking about race. When people of color go on to the show to point this perspective out, it is never discussed or recognized, instead challenged as if it was an artistic “choice” to be “race blind”, like this show. It’s just tiring!
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My favorite film podcast
Great work guys! Wish you would revisit more classics!
Nits will be picked
Their review of doctor sleep made little sense. They thought it was weird to have a scene of Danny and his mom at the end. Not sure why that would be weird? That was an often repeated criticism. It’s weird how this is in the movie. However no explanation as to why it would be weird was offered. It’s weird how that was the depth of their analysis. Very subpar art criticism. Roger ebert these guys are not.
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Ads are way too loud
Love you guys but your ads come across as around 200% louder than the actual programming. We play podcasts on our Sonos so the podcast is a no-go due to us needing to desperately rush back and turn down the volume when the ads start, at risk of getting in trouble w the neighbors.
Don’t mistake this for a review
This is not a review. It’s a group of friends gabbing about the movie that just came out, and explaining to you what happened. When the explanation is not perfect is generally because the movie was confusing (or boring), when the discourse isn’t perfect it’s because they’re just gabbing. It’s fun to hear different voices, different passions and different perspectives. Come back soon please!
Turned me off
I listened to 20 minutes and gave up. Some speakers use the word “like” in nearly every other sentence, and just generally talk too much. I came to this by way of Slate’s Culture Gabfest, which is much more articulate and insightful.
Sloooow down
I found it interesting but so hard to listen to - you tall waaaay too fast and say like as like idk like every other like word like . I kept having to check if my audio was at 1 1/2 times the speed
Good but...
Why does Rebecca sound so out of breath during this episode?
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