Q

Competence porn: Why we like to watch experts do things we can't

The q pop culture panel weighs in on the top trends and stories this week in entertainment.
In a scene from The Martian, Mark Watney (playes by Matt Damon) examines crops he managed to grow on Mars. (Giles Keyte/20th Century Fox via Associated Press)
Listen23:17

Shad wrangles q's weekly pop culture panel — Slate music critic Carl Wilson, journalist Rachel Giese, and Esquire columnist Stephen Marche — on the most discussed entertainment stories and debates of the past week. 

At issue today: 

  • From pop to politics, Canada is in the spotlight. Is this a unique cultural moment for our nation?
  • Growing potatoes on mars. Solving impossible cold cases. Dazzling the jury in court. Why we like to watch fictional characters dazzle us with their competence. 
  • If culture is Apple obsessed, why did the new Steve Jobs movie bomb at the box office? 

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