Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour

By NPR

Get obsessed with us. Five days a week, Pop Culture Happy Hour serves you recommendations and commentary on the buzziest movies, TV, music, books, videogames and more. Join arts journalists Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson, and Aisha Harris - plus a rotating cast of guest pop culture aficionados. The Happy Hour team leaves room at the table for exploring a range of reactions and opinions on every bit of the pop universe. From lowbrow to highbrow to the stuff in between, they take it all with a shot of cheer.

Make your happy hour even happier with Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus! Your subscription supports the podcast and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/happyhour

Episodes

Drive-Away Dolls And What's Making Us Happy

The movie Drive-Away Dolls is a shaggy comedy about a couple of lesbian friends (Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan) who take a road trip and unwittingly find themselves wrapped up in a bizarre criminal caper. There's a strange briefcase, a shady senator, and psychedelic vibes, which makes for one weird little movie. The movie directed by Ethan Coen, who co-wrote the screenplay with Tricia Cooke.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/02/24·22m 16s

Jennifer Lopez's This Is Me... Now

The wait to learn more about Jennifer Lopez's love life is finally over. The singer and actress has released a new film on Prime Video called This Is Me...Now: A Love Story, in conjunction with a new album and an upcoming documentary. It's all about her journey from Gigli to joyful, from falter to altar, with her now-husband Ben Affleck. She sings, she dances, and is cared for by the weirdest council of advisors ever assembled — including cameos from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Post Malone, Jane Fonda.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/02/24·21m 20s

Madame Web

Madame Web, the latest Spider-Man-adjacent film that stakes out its own corner of the Spider-Verse. Dakota Johnson plays a New York paramedic who sees glimpses of the future. She bonds with three young women who are being hunted by a mysterious and remorseless supervillian. It has gotten pilloried by critics and has been ruthlessly mocked by a series of memes. But is it as bad as all that?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/02/24·16m 42s

True Detective: Night Country

HBO/Max's True Detective: Night Country is the fourth season of the murder mystery anthology series. It's a bit of a welcome departure, with new showrunner Issa López at the helm. Set in a remote Alaskan mining town, this season's victims are a team of scientists, and the mismatched pair of cops investigating the murders are two women, played by Jodie Foster and Kali Reis.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/02/24·21m 36s

Feud And What's Making Us Happy

Feud: Capote Vs. the Swans is the latest reimagining of historical events produced by Ryan Murphy. The series follows famed author Truman Capote (played by Tom Hollander), who hobnobs with a close-knit circle of New York socialites known as the Swans. But then he embarrasses them by airing their dirty laundry — and things get nasty. The Swans are deliciously played by actors like Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, and Chloë Sevigny.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/02/24·25m 58s

Platonic Love In Pop Culture

There have been countless romantic movies and TV shows — and a virtually infinite number of ways to watch people fall in love. But we're here to celebrate pop culture that revolves around friendship — where people love and care about each other deeply, even though they'll never kiss. Today we're recommending things to watch that get platonic love right.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/02/24·16m 11s

Abbott Elementary

The fantastic ABC series Abbott Elementary is a workplace sitcom set at a severely underfunded Philadelphia public school. It's a giant hit, and it's become an Emmys darling, including two wins for its creator and star Quinta Brunson. Abbott Elementary just returned for its long-awaited third season, so in this encore episode, we are revisiting our conversation about the show's first season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/02/24·16m 7s

2024 Super Bowl, Plus Beyoncé's New Singles

This year's Super Bowl featured an exciting game in which the Kansas City Chiefs beat San Francisco 49ers. It also featured an attention-grabbing halftime show from Usher, many Taylor Swift sightings, and a big announcement during the commercials: Beyoncé is releasing a new album in March, and she just dropped two new singles.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/02/24·17m 6s

Lisa Frankenstein And What's Making Us Happy

In the new '80s horror comedy Lisa Frankenstein, an introverted teen (Kathryn Newton) finds comfort in visiting the grave of a young Victorian bachelor (Cole Sprouse). When his corpse comes to life, he becomes her confidante as they embark on a murderous spree. Written by Diablo Cody (Jennifer's Body) and directed by Zelda Williams, the movie is an over-the-top mix of romance, jealousy, self-realization, horniness and murder.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/02/24·24m 1s

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

On Prime Video's fun new spy show Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Donald Glover and Maya Erskine play spies going undercover as a married couple. The show is part tense thriller and part romantic comedy. But it's also a character study, of two people who have made their way into the spy life and aren't sure how they feel about being in it together.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/02/24·24m 4s

Expats

The new Prime Video series Expats fits quite neatly into the recent work done by its star, Nicole Kidman. She plays a rich woman who is one of three American so-called expats living in 2014 Hong Kong whose stories intersect. The series was created by Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and looks at the lives of these three women, who are all affected by one catastrophic event and its aftermath. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/02/24·20m 14s

2024 Grammys Recap

Every night is a big night for Taylor Swift. But this year's Grammy night proved especially big: Swift won album of the year for Midnights and announced her next album, titled The Tortured Poets Department. It may be time to pose the question: Have we reached peak Taylor Swift? Other major winners included Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish and SZA. In fact, women swept all nine categories presented during Sunday night's telecast.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/02/24·28m 35s

Argylle And What's Making Us Happy

In the comedic spy thriller Argylle, a reclusive author (Bryce Dallas Howard) gets sucked into a web of danger and intrigue when her books mirror the inner workings of a rogue spy agency. Argylle is full of globe-trotting action, with more twists than you can count. It's directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, the Kingsman movies) with a cast that includes Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, and Dua Lipa.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/02/24·23m 54s

The Pop Culture Hill I'll Die On

Maybe you think you shouldn't read a book before seeing the movie adaptation, or you're convinced season two is the best season of The Wire. We've all got that one argument we're always making: that non-negotiable stance, that immutable truth we're sticking to no matter what. Today, we're talking about the pop culture hills we'll die on.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/02/24·24m 55s

Marvel's Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur

Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is an all-ages animated series that's got style and energy – and original songs – for days. It's the story of a 13-year-old Black girl genius who accidentally transports a T-Rex from the prehistoric past to present day. She then launches into a side-hustle fighting crime. The Disney+ show is about to return for a second season, so today we are revisiting our conversation about the series.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/01/24·15m 32s

2024 Sundance: Best Movies

Over 75 feature films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, including a deeply personal coming-of-age story, a film starring Saoirse Ronan, and Steven Soderbergh's highly immersive ghost tale. It was impossible to catch them all, but today, we're highlighting some of the standouts we think are worth keeping on your radar.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/01/24·21m 44s

Vanderpump Rules

For more than a decade, Vanderpump Rules has been a hit reality show on the Bravo network. The show reached new heights of tabloid infamy last season due to a much-discussed affair between two members of its cast. The whole thing was nicknamed "Scandoval" and led to record-breaking ratings and countless memes. Vanderpump Rules is about to return for its 11th season, and if you want to catch up on all the drama from last year, we've got you covered.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/01/24·27m 20s

Jacqueline Novak's Get On Your Knees And What's Making Us Happy

In her smart and funny comedy special Get On Your Knees, performer Jacqueline Novak delivers a kind of Ted Talk on the subject of oral sex. It's also a passionate and thoughtful coming-of-age tale delivered in language that's been finely honed to accomplish its very funny purpose. Directed by Natasha Lyonne, the Netflix special began as an off-Broadway show.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/01/24·26m 20s

Barbie

Barbie was the biggest movie of last year. We saw the memes, we heard the songs, and it was 2023's highest grossing movie. It recently racked up eight Oscar nominations, including best picture. Today in this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about Barbie.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/01/24·40m 53s

2024 Oscar Nominations

This year's Oscar nominations were announced today and Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer leads the field with 13 nominations. Other leading nominees include Poor Things, Killers Of The Flower Moon, and Barbie. We run down the nominees in the major categories and talk about some of the surprising snubs.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/01/24·19m 39s

The Zone Of Interest

In The Zone of Interest, a German couple and their family live a bucolic life, but over the garden wall lies the Auschwitz concentration camp. The father is one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, and over the course of the film, he and his wife attempt to preserve their compartmentalized lives. But the horrors taking place outside refuse to be held at bay. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the film is favored to pick up a best picture nomination at the Oscars.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/01/24·19m 45s

Origin And What's Making Us Happy

Origin is the story of a writer who faces personal loss at the same time she works on a book based on her unified theory about systems of oppression. Written and directed by Ava DuVernay, the film is adapted from Isabel Wilkerson's best-selling book, Caste: The Origins Of Our Discontents, and dramatizes the book's ideas and the way it comes together. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor stars as Wilkerson, and also features Jon Bernthal and Niecy Nash-Betts.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/01/24·22m 7s

Echo

The new Marvel series Echo spotlights Maya Lopez (played by Alaqua Cox), whom we first met as the stoic badass enforcer for the criminal Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio). She's now on the run, fleeing to her tiny Oklahoma hometown determined to nurse her wounds and make plans to take over Fisk's criminal empire. But her friends and family – including generations of her Choctaw ancestors – may have other plans. It's streaming on Disney + and Hulu.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/01/24·19m 14s

Bluey

The TV cartoon Bluey is a hit with young children. But it's also found a devoted following among their parents, who've embraced the show's emotional depth – as well as its messages about creativity, collaboration, and learning through play. Bluey just returned with a batch of new episodes on Disney+, so today we're revisiting our conversation about the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/01/24·21m 15s

Our Emmys Recap

The 75th annual Emmy Awards are over, and it was a big night for The Bear, Beef, and Succession. Plus Elton John earned his EGOT, and Jennifer Coolidge and Niecy Nash Betts gave memorable speeches.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/01/24·19m 30s

Lift

In the new Netflix action-comedy-heist movie Lift, Kevin Hart plays an experienced thief and con man whose crew is backed into a corner and forced to work for the government. Their next theft will be their greatest, and it's all to avert an enormous disaster. They'll have to fly planes, use disguises, sneak around, beat the bad guys, and look great doing it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/01/24·15m 47s

Mean Girls And What's Making Us Happy

Mean Girls is a film adaptation of the Broadway adaptation of the beloved Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey comedy. The songs are there, the dances are there, and the nasty, nasty high school drama is there. But does the retelling capture the energy, the style, and the jokes of the original? The new cast includes Reneé Rapp, Auliʻi Cravalho, and Angourie Rice.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/01/24·24m 46s

Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 was the most acclaimed video game of last year and recently won Game of the Year at The Game Awards. It maps the experience of Dungeons and Dragons onto the mechanics of videogames. You and your companions embark on an epic quest, going through dark dungeons and dangerous wilderness — all while being confronted with choices that change the game in ways big and small. But what makes it so beloved?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/01/24·18m 23s

Night Swim

In the new horror film Night Swim, Wyatt Russell plays a former baseball player who's been forced into retirement due to the early stages of MS. He and his wife, played by Kerry Condon, decide to buy an old house and refurbish its dilapidated swimming pool. But there is a catch: the pool is haunted.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/01/24·14m 15s

All Of Us Strangers

The movie All of Us Strangers is a wistful fantasy drama that tells two intersecting stories about different kinds of love: One between a son and his long-deceased parents; the other of two lonely men and neighbors who long for connection. Directed by Andrew Haigh, the film stars Andrew Scott as Adam, a TV writer living a lonely existence in London, and Paul Mescal as his neighbor Harry. Adam's parents are played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/01/24·16m 11s

The Brothers Sun And What's Making Us Happy

The new Netflix series The Brothers Sun is a fun genre mashup of action, comedy, and family drama. Michelle Yeoh plays Eileen Sun, who married into a powerful Taiwanese crime family, and then secretly raised her youngest son (Sam Song Li) in the U.S. to protect them both from being targeted by rival gangs, while her oldest son (Justin Chien) was left in Taiwan and is now a remorseless killer. But when danger threatens the family, they must band together by any means necessary.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/01/24·21m 45s

Books We Love: No Biz Like Showbiz

NPR's Books We Love is a roundup of favorite books of the year, sorted and tagged to help you find exactly what you're looking for. Today, we're highlighting books about show business, including a memoir, a history of the Oscars, and a biography about two iconic film critics.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/01/24·13m 47s

Percy Jackson And The Olympians

The delightful new Disney+ series Percy Jackson and The Olympians is a new adaptation of a beloved series of books by Rick Riordan. The series tells the story of how Percy (Walker Scobell) finds out the startling truth that his father is a Greek god. Percy soon discovers what that means, with the help of some faithful friends. The series also features Jason Mantzoukas and Megan Mullally.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/01/24·16m 41s

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Library

Your local library is a great source for books. But it can also be a great resource for helping you with your new year's resolution. Perhaps you want to learn a new language, take a cooking class, or research your family's genealogy. Or maybe you just want to save a ton of money. Today, we're presenting an episode of the podcast Life Kit all about the ways to get the most out of your library.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/01/24·16m 17s

2024 Pop Culture Resolutions

Do you make resolutions in January? We do. Today, we make pop culture resolutions for 2024, and we check in on what we resolved to do this last year, and whether we are inclined to bask in our victories or fret about our defeats.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/01/24·22m 36s

2024 Pop Culture Predictions

What do we do at the end of every year? We hope, we fear, and we make wild guesses. Today, we're checking-in on how we did making predictions for 2023, and then we boldly make new ones for 2024.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour, or donate to your local NPR station at donate.npr.org/happyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/12/23·30m 39s

Great 2023 Movies You May Have Missed

We cover a lot of new movies around here, and some even become our new faves of the moment. Yet at the end of the year, we always have a list of gems we didn't get to talk about, and now's our chance to show them some love. Today, we're making recommendations for great movies we missed in 2023.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/12/23·20m 56s

Ferrari

The new film Ferrari tells one chapter in the life of a man who wanted everything to go as fast as possible. Starring Adam Driver, the film is a portrayal of Enzo Ferrari's complex personal life, defined by relationships with his wife (Penelope Cruz) and his mistress (Shailene Woodley). Ferrari is the latest film from director Michael Mann, but how does it stack up to his previous work such as Heat and Collateral?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/12/23·15m 53s

The Iron Claw

The very good new film The Iron Claw tells the tragic story of the Von Erich family. They were professional wrestlers in the early 1980s, with patriarch Fritz (Holt McCallany) directing several of his sons into the sport, with disastrous consequences. Directed by Sean Durkin, and starring Zac Efron and Jeremy Allen White as two of the sons, the film considers the way their father's version of masculinity and strength echoes in their lives.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/12/23·20m 7s

All Songs Considered Holiday Extravaganza

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today. So we're bringing you a very special holiday extravaganza from NPR Music's All Songs Considered podcast. In this festive episode, All Songs' annual celebration of the season returns with a trip to a snowy cabin in the woods – as they attempt to throw a party for the ages. Eggnog will be had, plenty of delightful holiday music will be played – and some special guests might just drop by, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Robert Glasper, and Olivia Rodrigo.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/12/23·25m 46s

The Color Purple And What's Making Us Happy

The Color Purple was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, then it was a movie, and then, a Broadway musical. Now it's a movie adaptation of the musical. In the new film, Fantasia Barrino plays Celie, who survives the abuse by the men in her life and longs to be reunited with the sister who was taken from her. The film also stars Danielle Brooks and Taraji P. Henson. Directed by Blitz Bazawule, The Color Purple is in theaters on Christmas Day.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour, or donate to your local NPR station at donate.npr.org/happyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/12/23·25m 50s

American Fiction

In American Fiction, Jeffrey Wright stars as an author who finds that the books he loves to write aren't selling. What is selling is books by Black authors that he finds reductive and drowning in stereotypes. So, he sets out to write the ultimate Black novel under a pseudonym, with all the tropes and simplifications he thinks publishers expect. But his life gets very complicated when it turns out that he's right. The cast includes Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown, and Tracee Ellis Ross. It's the directorial debut of Cord Jefferson, a writer whose credits for television include Watchmen, The Good Place and Station Eleven.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/12/23·22m 30s

Maestro

The Netflix film Maestro is an Old-Hollywood style biopic about the composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. Bradley Cooper directed, co-wrote, and stars in the film as Bernstein. It examines Bernstein's life through the lens of his complicated marriage to his wife played by Carey Mulligan. And of course, there are many scenes in which we watch Cooper passionately conducting orchestras of both the work of classical composers as well as Bernstein's own music.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour, or donate to your local NPR station at donate.npr.org/happyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/12/23·20m 3s

Songs To Help You Study

Maybe you're at school and need to concentrate while hitting the books. Maybe you're trying to get work done and need some sounds to drown out distractions. When silence isn't cutting it, sometimes you need music that'll fill your head without distracting you with words. Today, we're recommending three great songs to help you study.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/12/23·6m 58s

Screening Ourselves: The Color Purple

Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple has been adapted a few times. Next week, a new version based on the Tony-winning musical hits theaters. The 1985 film is remembered as a fan-favorite centering Black women's lives, but this acclaimed adaptation was received quite differently among female viewers and male viewers. Today, we revisit our episode about the original film from our three-part documentary series Screening Ourselves, which explored films through the lens of representation – and misrepresentation – on screen.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/12/23·46m 36s

Wonka And What's Making Us Happy

The story of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory has been told and retold, both in the classic Roald Dahl children's books and in two hit films. Now, in the new movie musical Wonka, Timothée Chalamet takes on the iconic role. In this prequel, Wonka arrives in the big city with dreams of opening a chocolate shop, but his plans are complicated by a host of corrupt villains. Wonka is directed by Paul King, who also directed the Paddington films.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/12/23·25m 36s

The Boy And The Heron

The lovely new animated film The Boy and the Heron is the first film in 10 years from visionary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro). The heron in question is part-heron, part-man who serves as a guide for a boy as they navigate a realm somewhere between life and death. The English dubbed version features the voices of Robert Pattinson, Mark Hamill, and Florence Pugh.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/12/23·18m 30s

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour

Taylor Swift has had a very big year. Her career-spanning Eras Tour is on pace to become the biggest and most lucrative concert tour in history, and the subsequent concert film set box office records. She's been streamed on Spotify globally more than any other artist in 2023, and was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year. Today, in honor of her birthday, Taylor Swift is releasing The Eras Tour film digitally, so we thought it was the perfect time to revisit our conversation about what made the tour such a juggernaut.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/12/23·23m 3s

2023 Pop Culture Favorites

As we come to the end of 2023 we find ourselves in the familiar position of wrapping up the year. From the sublime to the slightly ridiculous we're talking about our favorite TV, movies, memes, and music from this year. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour, or donate to your local NPR station at donate.npr.org/happy Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/12/23·36m 33s

Diddy, Hip-Hop, and #MeToo

Last month, a civil lawsuit was filed against rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs by his ex-girlfriend and former protégé Cassie Ventura. She alleged to have suffered years of emotional and physical abuse during the course of their relationship. Diddy denied the allegations and settled the suit quickly, but other damning claims have resurfaced in its wake. His reputation seems to have been tarnished — at least for the moment. And it has us wondering: Is this a crucial turning point for a long-awaited reckoning within the music industry? Or merely a blip in the routine of business as usual?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/12/23·27m 3s

Poor Things And What's Making Us Happy

In the wild and wonderful new film Poor Things, Emma Stone plays a woman brought back to life from the brink of death. She's a clean slate, unconcerned with the bonds a repressive society tries to put on her. The film reunites Stone with director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favorite) and shares that film's darkly comedic sensibility, but it's even weirder.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour, or donate to your local NPR station at donate.npr.org/happyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/12/23·26m 26s

Leave The World Behind

What would the end of the world actually look like? That's the creeping fear behind the new Netflix movie Leave The World Behind. The movie stars Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke and Mahershala Ali, in a story about strangers who are alone together as things get eerie out in the world. The film was written and directed by Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot).Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/12/23·18m 29s

Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé

Beyoncé's album Renaissance drew on generations' worth of Black and queer dance music — and the subsequent tour packed stadiums with an epic, lavish spectacle. Now, with the new concert film and documentary Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, she's shows the work that went into putting on the tour while also providing a sense of her journey as a highly driven artist.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/12/23·23m 3s

Best Christmas Gift I Ever Received

What's the best Christmas gift you ever received? You probably didn't have to think about it; you knew it in your bones. Today, we're talking about the actual, tangible gift you found waiting for you under the tree and still think about it from time to time.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/12/23·21m 50s

Colin From Accounts

The fun new Australian series Colin From Accounts is part raunchy comedy, part romantic comedy, part friendship story, and part very cute dog. It begins with a chance encounter between two strangers (played by Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall) who meet after accidentally injuring an adorable dog. They reluctantly decide to take joint responsibility for the pup, and form a strange bond.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/12/23·16m 36s

May December And What's Making Us Happy

In the campy film May December Julianne Moore stars as a tabloid fixture who was at the center of a scandal after she sexually abused a minor she later married. Charles Melton (Riverdale) plays her husband and Natalie Portman plays the famous actress who's preparing to play her in a movie decades later. It's directed by Todd Haynes (Carol) and is streaming on Netflix.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/12/23·21m 13s

Songs For When Your Flight Is Delayed

If you travel by plane with any regularity, you've been there: stuck in an airport because your flight is delayed. So we thought it best to give your most stressful travel moments a soundtrack. Today, we're recommending three songs for when your flight is delayed.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/11/23·10m 21s

2023 Books We Love: Staff Picks

NPR's Books We Love is a roundup of favorite books of the year, sorted and tagged to help you find exactly what you're looking for. Recommendations come in from critics and contributors and today, we're highlighting picks from NPR staff.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/11/23·13m 16s

Die Hard

Since the holiday season is upon us, it's time to talk about an action classic that many consider to be a Christmas classic: Die Hard. The Bruce Willis movie turned 35 this year, so today we're bringing you this encore episode about the film that was recorded back in 2018. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour, or donate to your local NPR station at donate.npr.org/happyLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/11/23·21m 53s

Wish

It's been said that a dream is a wish your heart makes. But what happens when you entrust your dream to a charismatic but shady leader? That's the premise of Disney's latest animated movie Wish. It's a musical fantasy that stars Ariana DeBose as an idealist who goes head-to-head with Chris Pine's selfish King. There are catchy songs, cute talking animals, and a few heartfelt moments — in other words, the Disney blueprint.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/11/23·15m 14s

Peso Pluma And The Rise Of Regional Mexican Music

Regional Mexican music has taken the music industry by storm. Earlier this year, Mexican artist Peso Pluma and band Eslabon Armado made history when their song "Ella Baila Sola" topped the Billboard Global 200 chart. But this musical trend didn't come out of nowhere. In this episode of NPR's Alt. Latino, hosts Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras head to Peso Pluma's performance in Nashville and try to understand the root of the phenomenon.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/11/23·33m 53s

Rethinking Killers Of The Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon is everything an Oscar contender might be: long, epic, morally complicated and expensive. While many movie-goers left theaters moved, others called the film a problematic disaster. Today, we're bringing you an episode of NPR's It's Been A Minute, where host Brittany Luse and guests talk about what Killers of the Flower Moon got wrong and how it fits into a broader history of Native Americans on screen.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/11/23·20m 22s

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

The delightful Netflix animated series Scott Pilgrim Takes Off starts off in the same way as the 2010 movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and comic. Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a dim-bulb young Torontonian who falls in love and must fight to win the hand of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But in the animated series, the show's focus shifts to Ramona. The show reunites the entire cast of the film including Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, and Aubrey Plaza.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/11/23·14m 10s

Napoleon And What's Making Us Happy

In the new film Napoleon, director Ridley Scott tells the story of French leader Napoleon Bonaparte (Joaquin Phoenix). It's a lavish war epic that tracks Bonaparte's rise to power through epic military battles, and explores his tumultuous marriage to the love of his life Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby).Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/11/23·21m 53s

Saltburn

Saltburn is a provocative and fun thriller. Barry Keoghan plays Oliver, an outcast at Oxford University who befriends one of his popular and posh classmates, Felix (Jacob Elordi). When Felix invites Oliver to spend the summer at his family's lush estate, a twisty game of obsession and manipulation ensues. The film is written and directed by Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), and it seems safe to say it will leave audiences in heated debate.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/11/23·26m 12s

The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes And What's Making Us Happy

The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes is the latest adaptation in the beloved blockbuster franchise. The new prequel film follows the early life of Coriolanus (Tom Blyth), the man who would one day become the evil President Snow, and Lucy Gray Baird, (Rachel Zegler), the singer who becomes his mentee.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/11/23·24m 34s

Next Goal Wins

The underdog sports comedy Next Goal Wins is based on the true story of American Samoa's soccer team and its attempts to improve its status as a worldwide laughingstock. Directed by Taika Waititi, the film stars Michael Fassbender as the real-life coach tasked with helping the team compete in a World Cup qualifying match.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/11/23·17m 2s

The Killer

The new Netflix movie The Killer is a stylish new thriller starring Michael Fassbender as a stoic and ruthlessly efficient international hitman. When a hit goes wrong, his very detached and methodical life begins to fall apart. The film from director David Fincher and also features Tilda Swinton.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/11/23·13m 43s

Fellow Travelers

The sweeping new Showtime series Fellow Travelers chronicles a relationship between two gay men played by Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey. It spans the McCarthy Era of the 1950s through the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. One is perfectly content to stay in the closet and live a lie, and the other wants more out of their relationship. As the years pass the two men keep coming back together only to find the power dynamic between them shifting back and forth.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/11/23·14m 38s

The Marvels And What's Making Us Happy

The new movie The Marvels is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's breezier outings, full of energy and jokes and zappy light powers. Brie Larson returns as Captain Marvel, and sees her teaming up with newer characters, Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani). They must team up when their powers become entangled and cause them to switch places whenever they try to use them.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/11/23·24m 48s

Dream Scenario

In the trippy new A24 absurdist comedy Dream Scenario, Nicolas Cage plays a schlubby, unremarkable biology professor. Suddenly and inexplicably, he starts appearing in the dreams of people around the world. This phenomenon brings him a weird and difficult-to-manage kind of fame for a while–until the dreams turn into nightmares.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/11/23·15m 28s

Quiz Lady

The movie Quiz Lady is a fun new take on the classic comedic trope of polar opposites: Awkwafina plays Anne, an uptight, lonely trivia nerd. Her sister Jenny, played by Sandra Oh, is the outgoing, perpetual screw up. Together, they must set aside their differences to try and win a TV game show and save Anne's kidnapped dog.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/11/23·22m 18s

Rap Sh!t

The Max series Rap Sh!t feels like a comedy for The Moment. Created by Issa Rae, the show focuses on Shawna and Mia (played by Aida Osman and KaMillion), two aspiring rappers from Miami, and documents the challenges they face as young women trying to break into the music industry. The show is about to return for a second season, so today we're revisiting our conversation about the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/11/23·20m 37s

Priscilla And What's Making Us Happy

The new film Priscilla tells the story of Elvis Presley's wife, but it's not a by-the-book biopic. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, the movie shows how Priscilla (Cailee Spaeny) and Elvis (Jacob Elordi) first meet, fall in love, get married, and eventually split in the early '70s. But it's also a moodier look at the way Priscilla is walled off, isolated from family, and kept at a distance from his life of superstardom.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/11/23·26m 28s

The Golden Bachelor

The Golden Bachelor is the latest show in ABC's long-running Bachelor franchise, in which the bachelor is a 72-year-old widower named Gerry Turner. Gerry's potential matches are also significantly older than the usual crop, so the priorities are a little different. But the weird dates, the awkward conversations, and the fixations on who has kissed remain.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/11/23·23m 18s

Five Nights At Freddy's

In the new movie Five Nights At Freddy's, Josh Hutcherson plays Mike, a down-on-his-luck security guard who winds up getting hired to keep an eye on a family-friendly theme restaurant that's gone out of business. It also happens to be haunted by murderous animatronic mascots. The film is based on the hugely successful video game series, and now it's a box-office sensation.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/11/23·14m 34s

Britney Spears' Memoir The Woman in Me

Britney Spears just released one of the most hotly anticipated celebrity memoirs of the year. The Woman In Me details her meteoric rise to fame, her family history, and her 13-year-long conservatorship. Today we're bringing you a special episode of It's Been a Minute, where host Brittany Luse and her guests discuss all the juicy, strange, and sad highlights from the new book.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/10/23·21m 58s

The Holdovers

In the funny, melancholic and weirdly moving new film, The Holdovers, Paul Giamatti plays a widely disliked teacher at a prestigious New England boarding school in 1970. He's forced to look after the boys who can't go home for the Christmas break, including one kid (Dominic Sessa) who's a particular pain in the butt. The film is directed by Alexander Payne, and also stars Da'Vine Joy Randolph as the school cook, who's spending the first Christmas without her son.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/10/23·21m 29s

Naked Attraction And What's Making Us Happy

It's weird, it's funny, and it's very, very naked. The title of the dating show Naked Attraction tells you everything you need to know. A single person is presented with six entirely naked strangers and whittles them down to one person they want to go on a date with. The long-running U.K. dating show has recently found success in the U.S after streaming on Max. There's some controversy and consternation, but do a bunch of naked bodies really merit all this chatter?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/10/23·26m 13s

The Gilded Age

With HBO's The Gilded Age, creator Julian Fellowes basically airlifts Downton Abbey's soapy plots, ball gowns, sneering servants and quippy old ladies out of Yorkshire and plops them down in the Manhattan of 1882. The series stars Christine Baranski, and Cynthia Nixon, plus a sprawling cast of socialites, servants, and members of the working class. The Gilded Age is about to return for a second season, so today we're revisiting our conversation about the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/10/23·16m 1s

Bodies

The bingeable new Netflix series Bodies has a great hook: The same murdered corpse turns up in the same London location in four different periods. The four detectives assigned to the cases are played by Kyle Soller, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Amaka Okafor and Shira Haas. What each of them doesn't know is that their investigations are inextricably linked to the same dark secret that can change the world forever.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/10/23·13m 43s

Frasier

Kelsey Grammer is back as Frasier Crane. After nine seasons on Cheers and 11 more on the spin-off Frasier, the snobby psychiatrist joins the long list of characters rebooted for the streaming age. In the new Frasier series on Paramount+, Dr. Crane returns to Boston with a new supporting cast and a new set of challenges. But what made the original series so watchable, and how does the new show stack up?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/10/23·25m 9s

Killers Of The Flower Moon And What's Making Us Happy

The compelling new film Killers of the Flower Moon is a sweeping three-and-half-hour-long crime saga, romance and Western. Directed by Martin Scorsese, it's told through the lens of a marriage in 1920s Oklahoma. It stars Lily Gladstone as an Osage woman and Leonardo DiCaprio as the low-level white thug who professes to love her. But he continues to do the bidding of his uncle (Robert De Niro), who's stealing from and murdering her people.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/10/23·25m 39s

Bad Bunny's Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va A Pasar Mañana

Bad Bunny is one of the biggest stars in music. His previous album Un Verano Sin Tí topped the Billboard charts, won a Grammy, and helped him become most streamed artist on Spotify for a third straight year. Now he's back with a supersized new album, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va A Pasar Mañana. The record finds him wrangling with the trappings of fame amid the sounds of trap and electronic music, and the reggaeton sounds that helped make him an icon.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/10/23·22m 4s

Anatomy Of A Fall

In the complex and compelling French film Anatomy of a Fall, a husband is dead and his wife is the chief suspect. The investigation and trial expose the many rifts in their marriage, as the couple's young son yearns to understand what happened and why. Directed by Justine Triet and starring Sandra Hüller, the film won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/10/23·16m 31s

Three Great Movies Over Three Hours

Sometimes there's a time and place for a long movie — whether it's because you've got an afternoon off, or you just aren't in the mood to flip from one entertainment to another. Martin Scorsese's latest movie Killers of the Flower Moon clocks in at over three hours, so today we're recommending other great movies over three hours long.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/10/23·13m 0s

Fair Play And What's Making Us Happy

The Netflix movie Fair Play stars Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich as a couple that's young, in love, and hot for one another. At least until one gets a promotion over the other at the hedge fund where they both work, and things get tense at home and in the office. Can their relationship withstand the pull of cutthroat ambition and male ego, or is their stock doomed for a free fall?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/10/23·25m 35s

The Fall Of The House Of Usher

The new Netflix horror miniseries The Fall of the House of Usher makes for a terrifically spooky October binge. It cleverly reimagines and remixes several works by Edgar Allan Poe in a modern setting. Created by Mike Flanagan, the series follows doomed siblings Roderick (Bruce Greenwood) and Madeline Usher (Mary McDonnell), and the dark secrets that even their unimaginable wealth and privilege can't manage to keep buried.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/10/23·19m 13s

Dicks: The Musical

The frantic, absurdist new movie Dicks: The Musical is about a pair of misogynistic narcissists (played by Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson) who discover they're long-lost twins. Also starring Megan Mullally, Nathan Lane, and Megan Thee Stallion, the movie's got cheeky song and dance numbers — plus crude humor and a distinctly queer sensibility.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/10/23·18m 41s

The Scariest Movie I've Ever Seen

Do you like scary movies? It's spooky season, after all, so what better way to get into the Halloween spirit than plopping down in front of a film engineered to scare your pants off. Today we're talking about the scariest movie we've ever seen. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/10/23·26m 36s

The Exorcist: Believer And What's Making Us Happy

The Exorcist came out 50 years ago, and it's still widely considered one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Now, The Exorcist: Believer serves as both a reboot and a sequel. Directed by David Gordon Green, the film stars a mostly new cast, including Leslie Odom, Jr., Lidya Jewett and Olivia O'Neill, but also brings back Ellen Burstyn, who reprises her iconic role from the original film.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/10/23·18m 22s

The Changeling

The Changeling is an ambitious new series spanning generations and continents to tell an epic tale of a family torn apart by spirits and fairies. The Apple TV+ series stars LaKeith Stanfield as Apollo, a new dad whose dreams of fatherhood morph into nightmares following the birth of his son. Apollo's rude awakening sets him on a horrifying journey to confront his demons, past and present.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/10/23·21m 35s

Our Flag Means Death

The hilarious comedy series Our Flag Means Death follows the misadventures of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), a posh aristocrat who decides to give up his pampered life and become a swashbuckling pirate on the high seas. But when he meets the fearsome Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), the two men find they have much to teach one another about pirating – and about accepting who they are. The second season is about to return to Max, so today we're revisiting our conversation about the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/10/23·13m 2s

Star Wars: Ahsoka

Ahsoka is the latest Star Wars TV series on Disney+. This one's about a character who's beloved by fans of the franchise's animated series – but if you only know the Star Wars movies, you're likely meeting her for the very first time. Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) was once a Jedi who rejected the Order's stuffy, bureaucratic ways and is harboring a great sense of guilt over her mentor becoming Darth Vader. She's back with a new Jedi mentee of her own (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) as they try to stop a new threat to the galaxy. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/10/23·19m 3s

The Creator And What's Making Us Happy

In the new movie The Creator, humanity is at war with artificial intelligence. It stars John David Washington as a former soldier who's been recruited to find and kill the creator of a powerful AI weapon. Directed by Gareth Edwards, the film's big themes involve the role of AI, the brutality of war, and the building blocks of life and society.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/09/23·22m 9s

Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense

Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense has been called the greatest concert film of all time. Directed by Jonathan Demme, the iconic 1984 film takes the audience onstage with the band and captures them at the height of their power. Now, a restored version of the film is back in theaters, featuring propulsive performances of early hits like "Psycho Killer," along with deeper and funkier cuts, too.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/09/23·19m 24s

Cassandro

In the new film Cassandro, Gael García Bernal plays the real-life Mexican-American wrestler who came to international stardom by adopting the persona of the flamboyant Cassandro, the Liberace of Lucha Libre. It's the story of a queer man who challenges a macho and homophobic system through sheer showmanship – and earns the respect of his fellow wrestlers and audiences.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/09/23·20m 20s

Dumb Money

The snappy "eat the rich" comedy Dumb Money is about a sly bunch of Reddit users who made some Wall Street billionaires sweat, in an infamous stock market incident known as the Game Stop short squeeze. With a star-studded ensemble including Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Pete Davidson, the movie has got class warfare and needle drops galore. But will it inspire you to fight the power or just go out and buy some stocks?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/09/23·21m 39s

Sex Education And What's Making Us Happy

Netflix's hit series Sex Education is a refreshing and frank coming-of-age story about modern teens learning about their bodies and themselves in awkward, relatable ways. In the final season, amateur sex therapist Otis (Asa Butterfield), his best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), and their friends juggle academic life and young adulthood.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/09/23·26m 34s

Starfield

Starfield is one of the biggest and most anticipated video game releases of the year. It's a massive open world game set in humanity's future, when we've settled on star systems throughout the galaxy. There's over 1000 planets to explore, multiple factions to join, spaceships to pilot and quests to go on. But does Starfield live up to the hype? Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/09/23·22m 54s

Three Great 90s Thrillers

When you're talking about the movies of the 1990s, you have to mention the decade's huge assortment of thrillers. From courtroom standoffs and frantic chases to wild twists and A-list stars, today, we are recommending three of our favorite 90s thrillers.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/09/23·9m 13s

The Other Black Girl

Part blistering workplace satire, part creepy thriller, Hulu's The Other Black Girl packs a lot of punches. Nella (Sinclair Daniel) is a young editorial assistant who forms a fast-friendship with her new-coworker, Hazel (Ashleigh Murray) as they both navigate working in a mostly white publishing company. Hazel is confident, a bit mysterious, and full of secrets. The Other Black Girl is based on the novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/09/23·24m 46s

Fall Guide And What's Making Us Happy

Today we offer up a guide to some of the most exciting movies, TV, and music you can check out this fall.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/09/23·28m 9s

Olivia Rodrigo's GUTS

Olivia Rodrigo's debut album, Sour, was one of the biggest hits of 2021. Now, she's back with a new record called GUTS, which has already spawned two hits with "vampire" and "bad idea right?" The album sharpens a sound inspired by pop, punk and singer-songwriters.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/09/23·18m 51s

Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour

This summer, millions of us got cozy with Beyoncé during the Renaissance World Tour. With stunning visuals, an array of costume changes, and the occasional Blue Ivy cameo, this is reportedly Beyonce's highest-grossing tour yet. Renaissance has been unlike any other Beyoncé experience, a truly communal and social media-hyped dance party. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/09/23·22m 32s

Jimmy Fallon And Strike Force Five

Recently, late night talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Jimmy Kimmel started the chat podcast Strike Force Five to raise money and support their staff during the actors and writers strikes. Shortly after it launched, an investigation in Rolling Stone outlined allegations of erratic and aggressive behavior by Jimmy Fallon and a generally terrible working environment at The Tonight Show. So now, this unusual project finds itself in an awkward position.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/09/23·19m 58s

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 And What's Making Us Happy

The family comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a very big hit back in 2002. So it was inevitable that the movie spawned a couple of sequels – thus, we now have My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. Writer and director Nia Vardalos is back as Toula, John Corbett is back as her husband, and this time, they're headed to Greece for a family reunion.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/09/23·26m 29s

Are We Witnessing The Death Of Movie Stars?

Movie stars are larger than life, and usually have some sort of mystique or mystery. And they defined the movies for generations, from Charlie Chaplin to Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. But in an age of Disney and Marvel, the movie star seems to have been eclipsed by the franchises in which they appear. So are we witnessing the death of the movie star? Today we present an episode of NPR's Consider This podcast about the history of movie stars, and their place in Hollywood today.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/09/23·12m 0s

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour is on pace to become the biggest and most lucrative concert tour in history. Each night's show offers up a career-spanning three-hour epic, with a sprawling setlist that includes a nightly assortment of surprises. But what made the tour such a juggernaut this summer?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/09/23·22m 56s

TV Guest Stars

New seasons of FX's The Bear and Hulu's Only Murders in the Building are bringing in big talent like Jamie Lee Curtis, Olivia Coleman and Meryl Streep. So we decided to discuss: What makes a great TV guest star? And who are some of the best guest stars of all time?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/09/23·25m 54s

Suits And What's Making Us Happy

The long-running lawyer show Suits is this summer's streaming sensation, and riding high on Netflix's top ten. Starring Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams, the series originally ran on the USA Network and ended its run four years ago. So why is it now so popular? Is it nostalgia for a different kind of television? Is it Meghan Markle? And how good is this show?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/09/23·25m 53s

NewJeans

In a little more than a year, NewJeans has become huge in the world of K-pop, with a reputation for upending industry conventions. They've become the fastest K-Pop act ever to reach one billion streams on Spotify, and their new EP, Get Up, just hit number one on the Billboard charts. Plus, their single "OMG" went viral on TikTok, spawning dance challenges and memes. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/08/23·16m 49s

Two Great Scammer Documentaries

HBO has two great new documentary projects about two very different scams. BS High is about a high school football team that came from what turned out to be a nonexistent high school. Telemarketers is about telemarketing scams, and how hard it is to stop them. Both stories are about not just the very colorful nitty-gritty details of a successful scam, but also the conditions and the systems that make scams possible.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/08/23·26m 56s

Archer

The FX animated comedy Archer explores the raunchy exploits of Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), who is known from Berlin to Bangkok as the world's most dangerous spy. The show is violent, smutty, and packed with profanity, wordplay, and callbacks. The final season is about to premiere, so we thought now would be the perfect time to revisit our conversation about the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/08/23·16m 22s

Bottoms And What's Making Us Happy

Hollywood loves a movie about horny teens desperate to lose their virginity, and the smart new comedy Bottoms is a welcome addition to the canon. Ayo Edebiri and Rachel Sennott star as unpopular best friends who start a fight club in hopes of seducing the cheerleaders of their dreams. Bottoms was co-written by Sennott and Emma Seligman, who also directs. They previously collaborated on the movie Shiva Baby.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/08/23·24m 5s

Blue Beetle

In the great new DC superhero film Blue Beetle, Xolo Maridueña plays Jaime Reyes, a young Mexican-American man who stumbles across a creepy bug-like alien artifact that bonds to him and gives him superpowers. It may seem like just another story about a reluctant hero, but in execution, centering the film on a Latino family changes the familiar formula in ways big and small.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/08/23·17m 29s

Books We Love: Book Club Ideas

We know you read on your own. But we also know you read together. Today we're recommending some great books for your next book club.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/08/23·9m 26s

Strays

In the raunchy new comedy Strays, four talking dogs embark on an incredible journey. Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) doesn't realize his owner Doug (Will Forte) is desperate to abandon him on the streets. But when Doug's intentions become clear, Reggie's motivation shifts from a reunion to revenge. Strays' voice cast also features Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher and Randall Park. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/08/23·15m 40s

The Afterparty And What's Making Us Happy

The Apple TV+ murder mystery comedy series The Afterparty looks at the events around a murder and its investigation from a different character's point of view in each episode. Starring Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Tiffany Haddish, and many others, each installment is made in a different film style — like an erotic thriller, a midcentury melodrama, or a Wes Anderson sendup.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/08/23·19m 59s

The World Cup

On Sunday morning, England and Spain will face off in the Women's World Cup Final. Both countries are playing in the women's final for the first time. And whether you'll be watching for the first time or a diehard soccer fan, we've got you've covered. Plus, we'll talk about why the U.S. was knocked out in the round of 16, and the impact of the American team on the sport.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/08/23·20m 17s

Harley Quinn

The fantastic Max animated series Harley Quinn is set in its own separate version of the DC Universe where the violence is frequent and the raunchy jokes come at you fast. In the show, Harley (Kaley Cuoco) has ditched the Joker and started making her own brand of mayhem alongside her best friend and romantic partner Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). Harley Quinn recently returned for a new season, so we decided to revisit our conversation about the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/08/23·17m 9s

The Hip-Hop Verse That Changed My Life

What makes for an unshakable rap verse — the kind that shifts your world view and sticks around years after the first time you encountered it? This month marks 50 years since the birth of hip-hop, so we reached out to some NPR colleagues and a few hip-hop luminaries and asked them what hip-hop verse changed their lives. You can hear all the tracks discussed in this episode in our Spotify playlist.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/08/23·32m 28s

Red, White And Royal Blue And What's Making Us Happy

The new film Red White & Royal Blue is a classic enemies-to-lovers rom-com, though in this case the rom is queer, and the com arises out of the fact that there are huge geopolitical stakes involved. That's because the two lovers in question are Alex (Taylor Zakhar Perez), the son of the American president and Henry (Nicholas Galitzine), the prince of England. Directed by Matthew López, the movie is based on Casey McQuiston's wildly successful and much-loved novel.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/08/23·25m 27s

Shortcomings

The tart comedy Shortcomings is about a cynical cinephile with a lot of hang-ups. Ben (Justin H. Min) hates his job and is emotionally checked out of his relationship with his longtime girlfriend (Ally Maki). When the couple goes on a hiatus, he's forced to confront unresolved insecurities tied to his Asian-American identity. Directed by Randall Park, the film has a lot to say about interracial dating and intraracial conflict. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/08/23·21m 31s

Kokomo City

Kokomo City is a remarkable documentary depicting the lives of Black trans sex workers. The women speak candidly about facing transphobia, misogynoir, and economic instability on a daily basis. Directed by D. Smith, the movie is definitely a conversation starter about finding strength in sisterhood and speaking truth to power.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/08/23·23m 5s

Heartstopper

They're young, they're in love, and they're navigating the hallways of high school. The Netflix series Heartstopper is a romcom for soft hearts everywhere. The two teenage boys at the center of the story go from rugby teammates to good friends to, you guessed it, something more. The series just returned for a second season, so we decided to revisit our conversation about the first season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/08/23·19m 29s

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles And What's Making Us Happy

The fun new animated movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem reboots the iconic series. It's directed by Jeff Rowe (The Mitchells vs. the Machines), who co-wrote the script with Seth Rogen and others. The formula is familiar — an ooze turns four baby turtles into ninja-fighting warriors who must save humanity and find acceptance along the way. The film is bolstered by its funny pop-culture references and a strong voice cast, including Jackie Chan, Ice Cube and Ayo Edebiri.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/08/23·27m 43s

Hijack

Idris Elba is in full action hero mode in the Apple TV+ series Hijack. He stars as a corporate business negotiator onboard an airplane that is taken hostage by an eclectic bunch of assailants with mysterious motives. The series is very fun and very silly.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/08/23·16m 52s

This Fool

The Hulu comedy series This Fool is set in South Central Los Angeles and follow an odd couple of cousins named Julio and Luis. They bicker, help each other out and try to figure out what's next for themselves. Star and co-creator Chris Estrada, who plays Julio, based a lot of the show on his standup.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/08/23·20m 57s

Good Omens

The second season of Prime Video's Good Omens re-teams Michael Sheen and David Tennant as the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley. In season one they worked together to prevent the apocalypse. Now, they're stuck hiding an amnesiac archangel (Jon Hamm) while Heaven and Hell maneuver to take advantage of his absence. The series is based on characters in a best-selling novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/08/23·14m 36s

Haunted Mansion And What's Making Us Happy

In Disney's Haunted Mansion, a rag-tag group of paranormal experts attempt to get rid of ghosts that haunt a crumbling New Orleans mansion. Based on the beloved theme park experience, the film stars Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito and Tiffany Haddish — who band together to confront the dangers of the unseen world. But despite its star power, does the movie live up to its supernatural premise?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/07/23·20m 52s

They Cloned Tyrone

The Netflix movie They Cloned Tyrone is a thrilling, quirky sci-fi comedy about a drug dealer, a sex worker, and a pimp who uncover a vast government conspiracy against their community. It's got a great cast: starring John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and a very flamboyant Jamie Foxx.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/07/23·17m 29s

Barbie: Spoiler Episode

In Barbie, Margot Robbie plays the most stereotypically blonde-and-perky Barbie, who finds herself facing an existential crisis. But there are many more twists along the way. Today in this spoiler-packed episode, we discuss Barbie's weirder plot elements and gags that stood out, one perfectly selected song, and what the heck is going on with Ken (Ryan Gosling).Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/07/23·22m 51s

Oppenheimer

The new film Oppenheimer tells the story of the brilliant physicist who oversaw the construction of the first atomic bomb. Cillian Murphy plays J. Robert Oppenheimer at various stages in his career, and the film's strong supporting cast features Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, and Emily Blunt. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer is in theaters now.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/07/23·25m 33s

Barbie And What's Making Us Happy

After many months of buildup and memes, the Barbie movie is finally here. Margot Robbie plays the stereotypically blonde-and-perky Barbie, who finds herself facing an existential crisis. Joined by Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, she heads off on a journey from Barbie Land to Los Angeles. The movie is directed by Greta Gerwig.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/07/23·27m 15s

A Barbie v. Oppenheimer Game

In honor of the upcoming clash between the same-day releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer, we asked our listeners to weigh in on some of pop culture's most contentious matchups. And boy, did you deliver. We've got NSYNC versus Backstreet Boys. Superman versus Batman. And most importantly, who is the best Chris?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/07/23·30m 1s

Survival of the Thickest

The delightful Netflix series Survival of the Thickest is about an up-and-coming stylist whose professional and personal ambitions go sideways when she finds herself newly single. It stars comedian Michelle Buteau as Mavis who leans on her best friends Marley (Tasha Smith) and Khalil (Tone Bell) for emotional support and sound advice. Buteau co-created the series with Danielle Sanchez-Witzel (New Girl, My Name Is Earl).Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/07/23·17m 8s

The Actors And Writers Strikes: What We Know And What's Next

Actors and writers are on strike, and it looks like it could last a while. Production of TV and film has largely stopped, and there are deep divides in Hollywood over issues including how creative people should be compensated in the streaming era, how work is structured, and how artificial intelligence will be used. Today, we unpack everything you need to know and expect about the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/07/23·22m 52s

Theater Camp And What's Making Us Happy

In the funny new mockumentary Theater Camp, a summer camp for musical theater kids falls on hard times when its founder slips into a coma. The movie stars Ben Platt and Molly Gordon as two codependent instructors staging an original musical, and Jimmy Tatro as the business influencer son of the camp's founder, who reluctantly takes over the camp. Directed by Gordon and Nick Lieberman, the film both skewers and glorifies the love of theater.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/07/23·20m 54s

So Bad It's Good

Can something bad really be good? Or are we just using "bad" to mean "silly"? Where does a classic like Rocky Horror Picture Show fit into this scheme? And how do you know whether your appearance in a Sharknado movie bodes well or ill for your acting career? In this encore episode from 2014, we explore the idea of questionable pleasures.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/07/23·16m 7s

2023 Emmy Nominations

The nominations for this year's Primetime Emmy Awards were just announced. There were many familiar series in the mix like Succession and Ted Lasso, exciting first-time nominees like Andor and Jury Duty, plus plenty of satisfying surprises. We're gonna help you unpack the notable nominees and galling snubs.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/07/23·22m 23s

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

In the new film Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Tom Cruise is back as superspy Ethan Hunt. This time he has to defeat an all-powerful AI known as "The Entity." With many familiar faces and new ones like Hayley Atwell, the movie has chases, peril, and explosions. And yes, Cruise still does a lot of his own stunts. Take our Barbie v. Oppenheimer survey. We're throwing out a few other pop-cultural either-ors, to see if we can't settle a few age-old disputes once and for all. We'll talk about some of the results in an upcoming episode of the show. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/07/23·21m 46s

Joy Ride and What's Making Us Happy

The new film Joy Ride follows four friends (Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Sabrina Wu, and Stephanie Hsu) embarking on a trip to China. The film is in step with The Hangover and Girls Trip. Sex, drugs, and musical interludes ensue, but the friends also deal with issues of identity and family. It's directed by Adele Lim, who co-wrote the screenplay for Crazy Rich Asians. Take our Barbie v. Oppenheimer survey. We're throwing out a few other pop-cultural either-ors, to see if we can't settle a few age-old disputes once and for all. We'll talk about some of the results in an upcoming episode of the show. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/07/23·25m 51s

Platonic

In the breezy comedy series Platonic, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play former best friends who reconnect years after a falling out. The show follows their misadventures as they try to navigate their respective midlife crises and become friends again. Created by Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller, the series is streaming now on Apple TV+.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/07/23·17m 54s

Nimona

The great new Netflix animated film Nimona is the tale of a mysterious shapeshifting teenage girl. Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz) declares herself the sidekick to a knight (Riz Ahmed) who's been accused of a murder he didn't commit. He just wants to clear his name, but she encourages him to become the villain she needs him to be.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/07/23·19m 27s

Trans Representation In TV And Film

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an episode of NPR's It's Been A Minute. Host and our pal Brittany Luse recently spoke with our other pal Tre'vell Anderson. They recently published a book called We See Each Other. It's about the complicated history of trans representation in TV and film.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/07/23·21m 40s

Indiana Jones And What's Making Us Happy

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the fifth and apparently final film starring Harrison Ford as everyone's favorite globe-trotting, whip-cracking, Nazi-punching archeologist. The movie finds Indy on the cusp of retirement, when he's forced to chase an ancient artifact around the world to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Directed by James Mangold, and also starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen, it's in theaters now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/06/23·19m 41s

Books We Love: Mysteries And Thrillers

There's nothing as exciting as a great mystery or a thriller. The unreal and the all too real combine to give a good scare, with often something to say about the world. Today we're recommending some great mysteries and thrillers.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/06/23·7m 49s

I'm A Virgo

I'm A Virgo follows Cootie (Jharrel Jerome), a 13-foot tall young Black man who's grown up completely isolated and makes his first clumsy steps out into the world. Created by filmmaker Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You), the Amazon Prime series delves into systemic racism and social injustice that forces Cootie to question his naïve faith in the law, and in those who enforce it.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/06/23·17m 55s

No Hard Feelings

Jennifer Lawrence has starred in The Hunger Games, played a member of the X-Men, and won an Oscar — but she hasn't done a ton of broad comedy until now. She makes a left turn in the movie No Hard Feelings, in which rich helicopter parents hire a woman to seduce their teenage son, in the hopes that he'll come out of his shell in time for college.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/06/23·16m 47s

Asteroid City and What's Making Us Happy

Writer/director Wes Anderson's latest film Asteroid City is about a tiny town in the middle of the American desert where several young scientific prodigies gather to receive a distinguished award. Also, there's an alien. If you know Anderson's work, the themes are familiar – teenage awkwardness, grief, wistful alienation, strained familial bonds. The ensemble includes Jason Schwartzman, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, and Tom Hanks.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/06/23·18m 50s

Black Mirror

It's been four years since the Netflix anthology series Black Mirror made new episodes of terrifying speculative fiction. The series is now back with a new season that dives into questions of identity, celebrity, apocalyptic demons, and the true crime explosion. This season's cast includes Annie Murphy, Aaron Paul, Zazie Beetz, Salma Hayek Pinault, Kate Mara, and more.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/06/23·24m 6s

Elemental

Disney and Pixar's latest film Elemental is a family story and a love story. And yes, it's about fire and water and how they come together. Full of the studio's usual imaginative visuals, it also dives into the experience of a family of immigrants who sometimes find it tough to be who they are when they're shut out of parts of their own community.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/06/23·21m 28s

The Bear

The FX on Hulu series The Bear understands how intense working in a restaurant can be. The dramedy stars Jeremy Allen White as Carmy, a fine dining chef who takes over his family's beloved but troubled Italian beef sandwich shop following the death of his brother. The second season premieres later this week so we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation about the first season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/06/23·20m 55s

The Flash and What's Making us Happy

The new superhero movie The Flash has had a rocky trip to theaters. It's faced rewrites, studio turnover, and COVID delays. Plus it's star Ezra Miller is surrounded by controversy and legal troubles. The film was always intended as a hard reset of the DC cinematic universe, which has had a rough past few years. In that context, what are audiences to make of The Flash? We talk about the film's troubled production, then get review the film itself.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/06/23·22m 18s

The Blackening

In the fantastic new film The Blackening, a group of college friends reunite at a house in the woods to celebrate a Juneteenth holiday weekend. For decades it's been a cliché to kill off the sole black character first in horror movies. But The Blackening turns that hackneyed trope on its head by asking: What happens when all the main characters are Black? It's silly, smart, and even a little bit deep.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/06/23·16m 14s

Vanderpump Rules

Bravo's hit reality show Vanderpump Rules has become infamous due to a much-discussed affair between two members of its cast. The whole thing has been nicknamed "Scandoval" and has led to record-breaking ratings, countless memes, and even a joke at the White House Correspondents Dinner. In a world were reality television is synonymous with secret affairs and drama, why is "Scandoval" such a big deal?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/06/23·27m 12s

Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts

In Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, good space-robots and evil space-robots battle for the fate of the universe. Led by Optimus Prime, the Autobots return to do battle with the forces of the villainous Unicron, and our heroes enlist new helpers along the way. Directed by Steven Caple Jr., the movie stars Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Pete Davidson, Michelle Yeoh and more.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/06/23·13m 14s

Never Have I Ever And What's Making Us Happy

In the Netflix comedy series Never Have I Ever, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays Devi, an overachieving high schooler, who will go to extreme lengths to climb the social ladder. In the show's final season, Devi's dealing with raging hormones and doing whatever she can to get into her dream college, stumbling a lot along the way.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/06/23·24m 57s

Three Great Songs For Your Next Road Trip

It's summer, and if you've maybe thought about taking a road trip, you're gonna need road-trip music. You might need a pick-me-up, a sing-along, or something for when you need a break from podcasts. Today we're recommending three songs to blast on your next road trip.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/06/23·7m 8s

Past Lives

The new film Past Lives follows Nora (Greta Lee), a writer who lives in New York with her husband, and meets up again with a man she knew long ago as a girl in South Korea. Written and directed by Celine Song, the movie is an emotional study of how Nora tries to understand both the path she took and the many paths she didn't.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/06/23·23m 10s

Books We Love: Love Stories

Love stories are close to many of our hearts. We want to swoon, maybe laugh and cry, we want that romance. Today we're recommending great books for people who love love stories.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/06/23·7m 49s

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse And What's Making Us Happy

The new animated film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the sequel to the Oscar-winning Into The Spider-Verse. It continues the story of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), as he battles a new villain, The Spot (Jason Schwartzman). The stakes grow as Miles and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) face greater conflicts as they traverse the multiverse.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/06/23·28m 21s

You Hurt My Feelings

You Hurt My Feelings is the latest film from the writer and director Nicole Holofcener. It stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a writer who discovers that her husband (Tobias Menzies) doesn't like her new book. She's rattled so hard that it threatens her marriage. The supporting cast also includes Michaela Watkins, Arian Moayed, and Owen Teague.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/06/23·14m 37s

Barry

The HBO series Barry ended on Sunday. Throughout its run, the dark comedy brought a delicate tonal balance to Bill Hader's hitman-turned-actor. Its sharp take on Hollywood was funny, but it never let us forget that Barry was a violent sociopath. Barry's final season made choices so surprising and emotionally brutal that everything that came before it looked almost light and frothy.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/05/23·21m 15s

Tears Of The Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the latest, and fastest-selling game in Nintendo's beloved franchise. Many critics and gamers are declaring it not only the best game of the year, but maybe the best game, period.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/05/23·20m 55s

Succession

The series finale of HBO's Succession was truly a meal fit for a king. Backs were stabbed, alliances were realigned, and a new CEO of the media conglomerate Waystar Royco was crowned. How did the squabbling Roy siblings shake out in the fight to control their family's dynasty?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/05/23·25m 25s

The Little Mermaid and What's Making Us Happy

The Little Mermaid is Disney's latest property to receive the live-action remake treatment. While some scenes match the original film, there are changes. Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote several new songs for the film. And it stars Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. The film is directed by Rob Marshall and is in theaters now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/05/23·21m 31s

Tina Turner

The word "icon" is thrown around a lot these days, but Tina Turner was the epitome of that and more. The legendary pop star died today at the age of 83, leaving behind an indelible legacy that spanned decades across the music world, the stage, and the screen. We talk about her life and career, including her hits "River Deep, Mountain High," "Proud Mary," and "What's Love Got To Do With It."Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/05/23·20m 45s

American Born Chinese

In the Disney+ show American Born Chinese, Jin is an insecure Chinese-American kid just trying to get through high school when he befriends the new kid in town, Wei-Chen. Wei-Chen is actually a god on a divine quest, and he drags Jin along with him. And the two come to realize they're more alike than they ever imagined.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/05/23·25m 22s

XO, Kitty

The Netflix series XO, Kitty is a spinoff of the hit YA book and movie franchise, To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Anna Cathcart returns as Kitty Song Covey, a teenager with a penchant for matchmaking. The show is a mash-up of genres, including rom-coms, Korean dramas, and coming-of-age tales.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/05/23·16m 50s

Fast X And What's Making Us Happy

More than 20 years into the Fast & Furious franchise, the saga keeps roaring on with the latest installment, Fast X. With a star-studded cast including Vin Diesel and Jason Momoa and many more, the film has plenty of absurd action sequences and logic-defying stunts that have become a trademark. But after all this time, does the magic of fast cars, backyard BBQs and family persist?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/05/23·27m 16s

Primo

In the charming Amazon Freevee sitcom Primo, Rafa is a typical 16-year-old kid navigating life with the help of his enterprising mom and five very colorful uncles. The show was created by journalist and podcaster Shea Serrano and is executive produced by Mike Schur (The Good Place, Parks & Recreation). So unsurprisingly, there's no shortage of pop culture references, silly situations, and a heartfelt moment or two.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/05/23·20m 27s

The Fast & Furious Franchise

The Fast & The Furious debuted as a scruffy car-culture movie, and it was a hit. The franchise, fronted by Vin Diesel, has become a blockbuster machine. In anticipation of Fast X, we're encoring our episode about the legacy of the Fast & Furious franchise.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/05/23·21m 14s

Book Club: The Next Chapter

Book Club: The Next Chapter is a sequel that reunites four legendary actresses: Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. In this iteration, the ladies jet-set to Italy. It's a light-hearted, very silly romp with a meet-cute, an old paramour, lost luggage, and multiple jokes about meatballs.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/05/23·13m 54s

Summer Guide And What's Making Us Happy

Today we offer up a guide to some of the most exciting movies, TV, and music you can check out this summer.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/05/23·28m 41s

Books We Love: Tales From Around The World

Books can take you anywhere. Across oceans, across borders, to places you may have never seen. And those books are some of the ones that we treasure the most. Today we're recommending great books that take you around the world.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/05/23·7m 0s

Best TV Series Finales

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Barry, and Succession will conclude this month, and it's not easy to end a TV series. So we decided to debate: what is the greatest TV finale of all time?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/05/23·24m 58s

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

After two seasons of Bridgerton, Netflix is ready for a spin-off. The new series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story dives into the past as it explores the monarch's long marriage to King George III, the way her racial identity affects her experience and her country, and her early relationship with her dear friend Lady Agatha Danbury. It both is and is not like the Bridgerton we know.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/05/23·24m 11s

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 And What's Making Us Happy

In Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, our heroes are attacked by a new mysterious villain, and must embark on a dangerous mission to save the life of Rocket Raccoon. Written and directed by James Gunn, the movie brings back Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel as our ever-expanding Guardians team. It's in theaters now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/05/23·22m 31s

Mrs. Davis

A nun, an all-knowing AI, the Holy Grail, a secret society of women, and a falafel shop. These are just some of the many elements that collide in the messy, delightful, joyfully silly Mrs. Davis. Starring Betty Gilpin, and co-created by talent from Lost, The Leftovers, and The Big Bang Theory, the Peacock series lives up to all the chaotic promise of that lineup.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/05/23·19m 5s

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Judy Blume's 1970 novel Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. was a staple of countless childhoods. But until now, it's never been adapted into a film. Like the book, the movie tells the story of a preteen girl who moves to New Jersey, makes new friends, and waits for the arrival of her period.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/05/23·20m 16s

John Mulaney's Baby J

John Mulaney wants to talk about drugs. In his latest Netflix comedy special, Baby J, he recounts the intervention in late 2020 that sent him to rehab. He talks about his resistance to giving up cocaine, his schemes to avoid sobriety, and how it feels to have your star-studded friends tell you how worried they are over Zoom.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/05/23·21m 29s

Polite Society And What's Making Us Happy

In the fun, genre-mashing action comedy Polite Society, Priya Kansara plays Ria, a spunky teen who aspires to be a movie stuntwoman. When her older sister Lena (Ritu Arya) suddenly gets engaged, Ria becomes determined to sabotage the wedding. The movie is the feature debut of Nida Manzoor, who created the acclaimed series We Are Lady Parts. And it's a sharp, yet loving exploration of sisterhood — though with a bit more fighting and stunts.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/04/23·26m 2s

Beau Is Afraid

In the extremely divisive film Beau Is Afraid, Joaquin Phoenix stars as a schlubby, anxiety-ridden man whose existence is an extended nightmare of guilt, shame, dread and paranoia. Written and directed by Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar), the film follows Beau as he attempts to visit his mother. But he gets repeatedly frustrated by a series of deeply disturbing obstacles that may be real, or may be entirely of his own making.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/04/23·24m 34s

Harry Belafonte

The iconic singer, humanitarian, and actor Harry Belafonte died today at the age of 96. His career spanned many decades, giving award-winning performances, where he dazzled regardless of the genre. We're remembering Belafonte's life and legacy – and talking about some of his great performances.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/04/23·13m 51s

Evil Dead Rise

Sam Raimi's 1981 horror movie The Evil Dead became a cult classic, spawning two sequels, a TV series, and a 2013 film that "reimagined" the franchise. Now, the series gets another reset with Evil Dead Rise – complete with a new writer and director (Lee Cronin), a new cast (including Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland), and a truly extraordinary amount of blood.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/04/23·16m 4s

The Diplomat And What's Making Us Happy

In the new Netflix drama, The Diplomat, Keri Russell plays an ambassador who's thrust into an international incident with massive stakes. She's also sorting through a tumultuous marriage with her husband, a hotshot veteran diplomat (Rufus Sewell). The series combines the tension of Homeland with the administrative drama of The West Wing – which makes sense, given that The Diplomat's creator worked on both shows.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/04/23·21m 7s

Judy Blume

Judy Blume has been a prominent author for more than 50 years and her books are incredibly beloved. She's written for kids and adults, and has faced controversy. Perhaps her most treasured book, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, is about to get its first film adaptation, and Blume is the subject of a new documentary. Today, we're talking about why we love Judy Blume, and recommend some of our favorite books.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/04/23·24m 23s

Picard

Jean-Luc Picard captained the starship Enterprise on the beloved series Star Trek: The Next Generation some 30 years ago. Patrick Stewart returned to that iconic role in the Paramount Plus series Picard. Now in its third and final season, Picard has brought the old Next Generation gang together for one last mission. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/04/23·16m 26s

Showing Up

In Showing Up, Michelle Williams plays a sculptor preparing to exhibit her work in a small art gallery, even as family and friends complicate her life and steal her focus. It's the latest feature from Kelly Reichardt, a director known for quiet, intimate films about isolation, alienation, and community.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/04/23·16m 50s

Renfield And What's Making Us Happy

The new horror comedy Renfield is about Count Dracula's long-suffering servant. Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) is trapped in a toxic relationship with his narcissistic boss Dracula (Nicolas Cage). So he sets out to free himself from the vampire's thrall, with the help of group therapy, inspirational posters, and friendly police officer (Awkwafina).Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/04/23·21m 40s

Mo'Nique

Oscar-winner Mo'Nique has had a storied career in entertainment. She's a successful standup comedian, and a former sitcom star turned talk show host. But she's also had a contentious relationship with the industry, and alleges she was blackballed for not playing by Hollywood's rules. In her candid new Netflix comedy special My Name is Mo'Nique, she deconstructs her own public persona with keen observations about her childhood and family. She also reveals a long-held secret and, as always, keeps it very real.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/04/23·25m 35s

Beef

In the great new Netflix series Beef, two people have a lot of beef with each other. Created by Lee Sung Jin, the series stars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun as characters whose worlds collide when they engage in a manic road rage war. Neither can help trying to one up the other in a long-running, increasingly mortifying tit-for-tat that reveals past traumas and existential dread.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/04/23·25m 40s

Air

Almost 40 years ago, a young Michael Jordan signed what was then the NBA's most lucrative sneaker deal with Nike. The new movie Air traces the origin of that deal and the creation of the culture-shifting Air Jordan. It's directed by Ben Affleck and stars Matt Damon, Viola Davis and Jason Bateman — and features a lot of talk about "greatness" and the meaning behind a shoe.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/04/23·21m 58s

The Super Mario Bros. Movie And What's Making Us Happy

In The Super Mario Bros. Movie., Chris Pratt and Charlie Day play Mario and Luigi, two New York City plumbers who get transported to another world. Soon, Mario must team-up with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) to stop Bowser (Jack Black) from destroying the Mushroom Kingdom. The animated movie is heavy on Easter eggs that draw from Nintendo's many decades of video games.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/04/23·24m 45s

Top Chef

Even after 20 seasons, we still get a thrill every time we hear "hands up utensils down" on Top Chef. Controversial winners, heartbreaking losses, food that looks good enough to eat, and the foolishness of even attempting risotto — they've all been backbones of the Top Chef franchise over its many, many years. So we thought now would be the perfect time to revisit our conversation about the Bravo series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/04/23·20m 20s

The Big Door Prize

In The Big Door Prize, a small town is forever changed when a mysterious machine pops up in the local general store. Each person who gets in the "Morpho" machine receives a card that reveals their life's potential, and it often leads them to radically change their lives, sometimes in surprising ways. Starring Chris O'Dowd and Gabrielle Dennis, the series is now streaming on Apple TV+.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/04/23·17m 55s

Rye Lane

The snappy new romantic comedy Rye Lane follows Dom and Yas, two South Londoners who meet in the restroom of an art show and wind up spending the day together. It's a day of adventures, long conversations and terrible exes. But it might just offer them a little bit of hope for the future. Directed by Raine Allen-Miller, the movie is streaming now on Hulu.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/04/23·18m 59s

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves And What's Making Us Happy

In Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Chris Pine stars as a wise-cracking and charismatic thief who leads a band of misfits with different reasons to hate a malevolent ruler played by Hugh Grant. It's a fantasy epic meets heist movie, complete with some dragons, talking corpses, relics and spells, an epic quest, and LOTS of jokes.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/03/23·24m 29s

Top 10 Muppets

When we asked our listeners to tell us which Muppets were their favorites, we knew you'd all come through. More than 6,000 of you cast more than 18,000 votes — and we have the results.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/03/23·17m 49s

Our Favorite Muppets

Today we are tackling two of the most important questions of our time: who are our favorite Muppets? And which Muppets do we most identify with? As they always say, the Muppets are the window to the soul.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/03/23·22m 34s

The Night Agent

An FBI agent working in a lonely, secret office in the White House basement gets a phone call. A woman needs help, right away. That's the beginning of The Night Agent, a Netflix spy thriller series full of action and intrigue. Created by The Shield's Shawn Ryan, the series follows Peter and Rose — the agent and the tech expert he's protecting — as they try to uncover a conspiracy that goes right to the heart of the government.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/03/23·14m 51s

Books We Love: No Biz Like Show Biz

NPR's Books We Love is full of stories. The feature rounds up fiction and nonfiction of many different kinds, and it gives you lots of ways to find what you might love, too. Today we're recommending great books for people who love show business, including a fictional take on a popular gossip Instagram account, a love story, and a memoir.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/03/23·9m 24s

John Wick: Chapter 4 And What's Making Us Happy

In previous John Wick films, Keanu Reeves played a retired hitman out of revenge. In the latest entry, John Wick: Chapter 4, his reasons are a little more simple — he just wants to be left alone. Wick's quest for freedom takes him all across the world, as encounters would-be assassins, busy traffic, and a sadistic French aristocrat.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/03/23·25m 58s

Jonathan Majors

Actor Jonathan Majors is having a moment right now: he recently starred in Creed III and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Friend of the show and host of NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday Ayesha Rascoe recently sat down with Majors for a fun and wide-ranging conversation about his path to acting, how he picks his roles, and how he defines masculinity.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/03/23·28m 36s

Swarm

In the new Amazon Prime series Swarm, Dominique Fishback plays Dre, a socially awkward young woman who is obsessed with the mega pop star Ni'Jah, a thinly veiled analog for Beyoncé. When a life-changing event occurs, Dre's obsession with Ni'Jah takes on a more sinister tone. Donald Glover co-created the show with Janine Nabers, and it definitely shares an off-kilter vibe with his previous hit Atlanta.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/03/23·25m 54s

Grand Crew

The very funny, bingeable NBC sitcom Grand Crew has a dependable sitcom setup: Six friends hang out together to decompress and commiserate about their careers and their love lives. They're Black, their hangout is a Silver Lake wine bar, and the show – like the vino they're always guzzling – has gotten better with age.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/03/23·24m 25s

Shadow And Bone

Shadow and Bone is a fantasy series based on a successful set of novels. There's a lot to take in — at least six main characters, people who can wield wind and shadow and light, and a Chosen One. That all sounds familiar, but there's enough here to make this series worth your consideration. Shadow and Bone recently returned for a second season, so we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation recorded back in 2021 about its first season, featuring panelists Mallory Yu and Petra Mayer. Petra died unexpectedly later that year, and we always loved having her on the show. Even though we will always miss her terribly, we hope you'll agree how great it is to hear her voice, and her passion, in your podcast feed once again.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/03/23·15m 5s

Shazam! Fury Of The Gods And What's Making Us Happy

Four years ago, Shazam! was a surprise hit and a lighthearted entry in the DC Extended Universe. It follows teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who's bestowed with magical powers and turns in an adult superhero, played by Zachary Levi. In the new sequel Shazam! Fury Of The Gods, Levi returns with a big cast that includes newcomers Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/03/23·15m 16s

Scream 6

The Ghostface killer is taking yet another stab at the box office as Scream 6 has arrived in theatres. It's a sequel to last year's reboot – or requel – of everyone's favorite deeply meta slasher franchise. Starring Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barerra, Scream 6 takes the characters who managed to survive the last Scream movie out of bucolic Woodsboro and into the urban jungle of New York City.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/03/23·20m 42s

You

When the thriller series You premiered five years ago, it started a lot of conversations. The show was told largely from the point of view of a charismatic serial killer named Joe (Penn Badgley), and he hasn't changed much as a person, even though his circumstances have. The Netflix series recently returned for a fourth season, so we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation about the third season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/03/23·21m 44s

Marvel's Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur

Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is an all-ages animated series that's got style and energy – and original songs – for days. It's the story Black girl genius Lunella (voiced by Diamond White) who accidentally transports a T-Rex with the personality of a golden retriever from the prehistoric past to present day. She then launches into a side hustle fighting crime. The show is now streaming on Disney+.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/03/23·15m 29s

2023 Oscars Recap

At this year's Oscars, Everything Everywhere All At Once won seven awards, including best picture and best director. The film's actors Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, and Michelle Yeoh also won Oscars. Yeoh's win was historic — she's the first Asian woman to win a lead actress Oscar. Brendan Fraser and All Quiet On The Western Front also won awards.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/03/23·22m 39s

2023 Oscars Preview And What's Making Us Happy

If you're entering an Oscar pool, or if you're just figuring out which Oscar-nominated movies are worth your time, we're here to help. Today we're offering up a guide to this year's nominations with some predictions about who will win in the major categories.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/03/23·55m 37s

2023 Oscars Guide: International Feature

The five films nominated for international feature at this year's Oscars wrangle with some tough ideas and issues. There's the brutality of war, the human cost of fascism, animal cruelty, neglectful parenting and the prison of masculinity. Yet all of these films find room to offer glimmers of hope — some more than others.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/03/23·22m 4s

2023 Oscars Guide: Animated Feature

This year's Oscar nominees for best animated feature don't have a lot in common besides animation. You've got a dark vision of Pinocchio, a red panda from Pixar, a swashbuckling sea adventure, the latest entry in the Shrek franchise, and a tiny shell. Today, we run through what we think will win and what should win.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/03/23·18m 22s

2023 Oscars Guide: Documentary Feature

This year's Oscar nominees for documentary feature include films about two brothers who rescue birds, a man who takes on Vladimir Putin, and a couple that chases volcanoes. From Ukraine to India, Russia to New York City, these films will take you places you couldn't go otherwise. And you can stream them from home.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/03/23·21m 48s

2023 Oscars Guide: Original Song

The Oscar nominees for best original song can be anything from soaring ballads over the credits to toe-tappers that ground musical numbers. This year, they include entries from big artists like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and frequent Oscar nominee Diane Warren. Today, we get into what we think will win, what should win, and what makes a great original song.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/03/23·21m 32s

Creed III And What's Making Us Happy

In Creed III, Michael B. Jordan is back as Adonis "Donnie" Creed, the scrappy underdog-turned-world champion boxer from the Rocky franchise. Adonis has decided to retire on top and focus on family. But his plans are blown up when an old friend, played by Jonathan Majors, suddenly reappears. The film is also Jordan's directorial debut.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/03/23·30m 17s

Return To Seoul

In the moving film Return To Seoul, a young woman named Freddie visits South Korea for the first time since her birth, when she was adopted by a French couple. Freddie's attempt to contact her biological parents sets her on an uneasy path toward self-discovery and reconciliation. Written and directed by Davy Chou, the film spans several years and many emotions, and features a vivid lead performance by newcomer Park Ji-Min.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/03/23·21m 1s

The Consultant

In the darkly satiric, highly bingeable Amazon Prime series The Consultant, Christoph Waltz plays a mysterious businessman who takes over a videogame company upon the violent death of its founder and CEO. When two of the company's employees attempt to investigate Waltz's shady past, they get drawn into his sinister circle and realize that their jobs (and their lives) are on the line.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/03/23·14m 12s

The Forty-Year-Old Version

In the wonderful film The Forty-Year-Old Version, playwright Radha Blank plays a variation on herself. Frustrated by a stall in her theater career, Radha finds a new passion: she becomes a rapper. The film is so good that we recently added it to the New Black Film Canon – a list of the best films by Black directors that we updated in partnership with Slate. And you can watch it on Netflix.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/02/23·15m 26s

The New Black Film Canon

NPR has teamed up with Slate to expand the Black Film Canon, a collection of the best films directed by Black filmmakers. The intent is to challenge both gatekeepers and makers of best of lists to consider the breadth of artistry black creators have demonstrated on screen–despite the odds being historically stacked against them. In this episode, we're picking a few of our favorite additions, and you can check out the full list of 75 movies here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/02/23·27m 31s

Cocaine Bear And What's Making Us Happy

A movie called Cocaine Bear needs two things: a bear, and some cocaine. Both are abundant in the new action comedy about a large quantity of cocaine that accidentally winds up deep in the Georgia forest. And who eats it? That's right: a bear. The movie was directed by Elizabeth Banks, and the cast includes Keri Russell, Ray Liotta, Margo Martindale, and O'Shea Jackson Jr.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/02/23·18m 59s

The Last Of Us

The HBO series The Last Of Us is a huge hit and it offers a novel, fungus-based twist on a zombie apocalypse. Civilization is in ruins, and its only hope is a young girl (Bella Ramsey) who's mysteriously immune to the fungal infection – and her gruff, taciturn protector (Pedro Pascal). Together they must travel across a desolate wasteland peppered with outposts of humanity that house violent factions competing for control, or at least, survival.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/02/23·26m 8s

Dear Edward

In the Apple TV+ series Dear Edward, a plane crashes, and there is only one survivor – a 12-year-old boy named Edward, who loses his whole family. He goes to live with relatives, and the web of people grieving loved ones who died in the crash grows and connects. The show was created by Jason Katims, who has a long history making high-octane emotional ensemble shows including Friday Night Lights and Parenthood.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/02/23·16m 37s

Books We Love: Nonfiction

NPR's Books We Love is full of stories. The feature rounds up fiction and nonfiction of many different kinds, and it gives you lots of ways to find what you might love, too. Today, we're diving into the category of nonfiction and highlighting some of our favorite picks.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/02/23·13m 7s

Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick has earned six Oscar nominations, including best picture, adapted screenplay, and original song. The movie stars Tom Cruise, and you can catch up with it on Paramount+. We really like Top Gun: Maverick, so we thought this would be the perfect moment to revisit our conversation about the movie.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/02/23·20m 3s

Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania And What's Making Us Happy

In Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly return as Marvel's tiniest titans. With their extended family in tow, they get shrunk down into a subatomic universe called the Quantum Realm, and come to meet Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror. He's a time-traveling villain who we'll be seeing a lot more of as the Marvel Cinematic Universe enters its next phase.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/02/23·24m 57s

How To Be A Better Movie Watcher

Our pal and Culture Desk reporter Andrew Limbong teamed up with NPR's Life Kit to get advice on how to be a better movie watcher – how to pick a film, get outside your comfort zone, and deepen your enjoyment of a movie.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/02/23·21m 24s

Shrinking

The Apple TV comedy Shrinking boasts a lot of big names in its cast, including Harrison Ford, Jason Segel, and Jessica Williams, all of whom play therapists. The series shares some of its creators with Ted Lasso. It has a big heart and a lot of jokes, even if you absolutely, definitely would not want your therapist to take any cues from it. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/02/23·17m 42s

Titanic

Titanic was a box office juggernaut 25 years ago, and it catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into a whole new stratosphere of fame. The film recently returned to theaters, but we've got some distance from Leo Mania and "king of the world" jokes. So how does James Cameron's epic hold up all these years later? In this encore episode, we're revisiting our conversation about Titanic.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/02/23·27m 10s

2023 Super Bowl

We recap this year's Super Bowl, including Rihanna's halftime show, the Kansas City Chiefs' win against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the most memorable commercials.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/02/23·21m 17s

Magic Mike's Last Dance And What's Making Us Happy

In the new movie Magic Mike's Last Dance, Channing Tatum returns as a dancer and male entertainer from Tampa. This time, he must put on a show bankrolled by a wealthy socialite played by Salma Hayek Pinault. The film is directed by Steven Soderbergh and is in theaters now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/02/23·27m 17s

80 for Brady

In the movie 80 for Brady, four best friends (Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Sally Field) take a road trip to the 2017 Super Bowl so they can see their favorite quarterback Tom Brady play in person. The film stars four legends of stage and screen, one superstar quarterback and a boatload of cameos. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/02/23·15m 21s

Infinity Pool

In the fantastic but terrifying thriller Infinity Pool, Alexander Skarsgård plays a struggling writer in search of inspiration. While vacationing with his wife on a fancy island resort, they meet a mysterious woman played by Mia Goth. She takes them on a trippy and disturbing journey that leads them far beyond the confines of the hotel. Directed by Brandon Cronenberg, Infinity Pool is in theaters now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/02/23·22m 42s

Poker Face

The very entertaining Poker Face is an offbeat case-of-the-week mystery show starring Natasha Lyonne as a dryly witty, down-to-earth oddball who has an uncanny ability that helps her solves murders. The Peacock series comes from Rian Johnson (Glass Onion), and it features an impressive array of guest stars including Adrien Brody, Lil Rel Howery, Hong Chau, Judith Light and more.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/02/23·19m 13s

2023 Grammys Recap

Beyoncé broke a major record at this year's Grammys and has now won more awards than any other artist. But she was shut out of the major categories and lost to Harry Styles, Lizzo and Bonnie Raitt. We break down the awards and telecast, including our favorite performances.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/02/23·24m 17s

Knock At The Cabin And What's Making Us Happy

In the horror film Knock at the Cabin, a gay couple and their young daughter are vacationing at a remote cabin when four strangers arrive and take them hostage. They are told the only thing that will prevent the apocalypse is if one of the family members willingly sacrifices his or her life. The film is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, with a cast that includes Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, and more.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/02/23·22m 18s

Extraordinary

The very funny Hulu comedy Extraordinary is about a smart but directionless young woman named Jen who lives in London and doesn't feel great about herself. She hurls herself into a lot of hilariously bad choices and that's a familiar comedy premise. But there's more to Extraordinary because in the world of the series, Jen is the only one she knows who does not possess superpowers. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.orgLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/02/23·13m 49s

Harry and Meghan

It was a game changer when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the royal family. Since then, they've given interviews, secured lucrative multimedia deals, and launched several personal projects — Harry recently published the highly anticipated memoir Spare. And they've done it all while bringing long-overdue conversations about race and the royal family's legacy to the forefront. So how, exactly, do we process all of this?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/02/23·29m 44s

2023 Sundance: Best Movies

Over 100 feature films played at this year's Sundance Film Festival. There were deeply personal stories told by emerging filmmakers, buzzy narratives ripped from the headlines, and so much more. And we've picked a few favorites we think are worth keeping on your radar in the coming year.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
31/01/23·16m 10s

Beyoncé's Renaissance

Beyoncé's Renaissance is a joyful, sonic immersion made for dance floors of all kinds. The album earned nine Grammy nominations, and during this Sunday's telecast, Beyoncé could win her first-ever, much overdue award for album of the year.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/01/23·22m 36s

Shotgun Wedding And What's Making Us Happy

The Amazon Prime action comedy Shotgun Wedding delivers on its title in the sense that it's got a wedding, and it's got lots of guns. The film stars Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel as a couple whose wedding day at a beautiful resort is interrupted by pirates who take their guests hostage. Will they save the guests? Will they save themselves? Will they ever actually get married? And just how great will J.Lo look the entire time?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/01/23·21m 26s

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once is a zany and profound sci-fi action comedy set in multiple dimensions. It stars Michelle Yeoh as a businesswoman whose world is turned upside down the day her family attempts to file their taxes. The film earned 11 Oscar nominations, including best picture, director, and a lead actress for nomination Yeoh. So we thought this would be the perfect time to revisit our conversation about one of our favorite movies of the past year.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/01/23·23m 36s

2023 Oscar Nominations

Nominations for this year's Oscars dropped today, and it's a big year for Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Banshees Of Inisherin, and All Quiet On The Western Front. We run down the nominees in the major categories, plus talk about some surprises and snubs. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/01/23·14m 9s

Cheers

Cheers is one of the most celebrated TV sitcoms of all time. Set in a Boston bar, the show won major awards and turned stars like Ted Danson, Shelley Long, and Rhea Perlman into household names. Cheers ended its run 30 years ago this spring, so we thought this would be a good time to revisit the series and answer your questions.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/01/23·25m 59s

Velma

The adult animated series Velma chronicles the origin story of the bespectacled brains of the original Scooby Gang. We meet Velma, Fred, Daphne and Shaggy in high school, as Velma struggles with mean girls, a neglectful father, a missing mother, patriarchal beauty standards, same-sex attraction and a serial killer. Velma is voiced by Mindy Kaling, and the rest of the show's voice cast includes Sam Richardson, Constance Wu, and Glenn Howerton.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/01/23·16m 33s

Missing And What's Making Us Happy

The new movie Missing is about our connected world. The social media, the surveillance cameras, the news footage, the video chats — the many, many things we can see from our screens. In this sequel to the 2018 thriller Searching, Storm Reid plays a young woman whose mother leaves on a trip with her boyfriend and seems to just vanish. Desperate to solve the mystery, Reid uses technology to figure out what's going on and save her mother's life.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/01/23·21m 0s

The Traitors

In Peacock's new reality competition series The Traitors, contestants and reality TV veterans undergo missions at a Scottish castle to earn cash for the money pot. But there are three "traitors" among them, secretly working to "murder" the other players before these "faithfuls" find them out. The series is hosted by a slyly sinister Alan Cumming. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour at plus.npr.org.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/01/23·23m 51s

People We're Pulling For

There are pop culture figures we love, and those we could maybe do without. And then there are the ones we're rooting for: The underdogs, the comeback kids, the stars-on-the-rise, and everything in between. Today we're talking about the pop culture people we're pulling for.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/01/23·16m 51s

Saint Omer

The moving new drama Saint Omer tells the story of a young mother (Guslagie Malanda) brought to trial for the killing of her infant daughter. Meanwhile, another woman (Kayije Kagame) who has come to observe and write about the trial wrestles with her own feelings about impending motherhood. Directed by Alice Diop, the French film is shortlisted for an Oscar for best international feature.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/01/23·19m 30s

Dungeons & Dragons

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an episode from our pals at Code Switch all about Dungeons & Dragons. It's one of the most popular tabletop roleplaying games of all time. But it has also helped cement some ideas about how we create and define race in fantasy — and in the tangible world. Host Gene Demby and producer Jess Kung take a deep dive into that game, and what racial stereotypes and colonialist supremacy it's illuminating.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/01/23·33m 41s

Plane And What's Making Us Happy

What do you need to know about the movie Plane? Well, there's a plane. Specifically, there's a plane that goes down when it's struck by lightning and ends up on the worst possible island. It's then up to a captain, played by Gerard Butler, and his passengers to survive.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/01/23·21m 0s

Smiley

If you're looking for a charming romantic comedy, consider checking out the Netflix series Smiley. Set in Barcelona, it follows Alex and Bruno, two very different men who meet and experience an overwhelming attraction that they then, as they must, struggle with enormously. Can these two ever find happiness?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/01/23·18m 55s

M3GAN

In the new movie M3GAN, an orphaned 8-year-old girl is given a lifelike interactive doll. The doll in question was designed by roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams) and is programmed with artificial intelligence that allows her to learn, evolve and possibly commit murder. The movie is a cautionary tale about AI, a killer-doll flick, and the source of some truly creepy memes.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
11/01/23·14m 52s

Ginny And Georgia

The Netflix series Ginny & Georgia follows a young single mom, her teenage daughter, and their efforts to create a life for themselves in the suburbs of Massachusetts. It's got high school standbys like new friendships and first sexual experiences, but it's also got adult soap standbys like secret pasts and shady figures. The series recently returned for a second season, so in this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about the first season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
10/01/23·15m 44s

Books We Love: Realistic Fiction

NPR's Books We Love is full of stories. The feature rounds up fiction and nonfiction of many different kinds, and it gives you lots of ways to find what you might love, too. Today, we're diving into the category of realistic fiction – the stories that may not be literally true, but they feel true to the world that people encounter when they walk out the door.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/01/23·13m 0s

Women Talking And What's Making Us Happy

In the excellent new film Women Talking, a group of Mennonite women gather to discuss the abuse they've suffered at the hands of their men. They settle upon two possible solutions: stay and fight – or leave the only world they've ever known. Written and directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Sarah Polley, the movie has a powerhouse cast that includes Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, and Jessie Buckley.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/01/23·23m 21s

Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical

Roald Dahl's novel Matilda has been adapted many times over the years, including as a 1996 movie directed by Danny DeVito. The newest iteration is now streaming on Netflix. Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical, a feature film based on the hit Broadway show, boasts a cast of talented kids, Emma Thompson as the signature villain Miss Trunchbull, and eye-popping choreography. But does it stand on its own apart from its predecessors?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/01/23·24m 0s

Great 2022 Movies You May Have Missed

We talk about a lot of movies on Pop Culture Happy Hour, but we definitely don't talk about all of them. All kinds of films fall through the cracks for all kinds of reasons, but we're here to give them their moments to shine. Today, we're recommending three movies from 2022 that we loved and think you should see.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
04/01/23·12m 16s

South Side

On the HBO Max sitcom South Side, the everyday absurdities of living in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood make for hilarious fodder. The show follows an eclectic bunch that includes employees at a rent-to-own shop and a pair of bickering cops as they embark on adventures around the city. Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin, and Sultan Salahuddin created and co-star in the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
03/01/23·19m 45s

Comedian Josh Gondelman

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an excerpt of the podcast Bullseye with Jesse Thorn. Normally, when you tune into an episode of Bullseye, you'll hear interviews with pop culture creators like David Letterman, Sudan Archives, or Weird Al. But once a year, the show breaks format. The team at Bullseye listens through every stand-up comedy album from the year past to bring you the best of the best. Here's an excerpt from 2022's Bullseye Stand-Up Comedy Spectacular, featuring Josh Gondelman.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/01/23·7m 13s

2023 Pop Culture Resolutions And What's Making Us Happy

A lot of people make resolutions in January, and we are no different. Today, we put our stakes in the ground and make our 2023 pop culture resolutions. We also check in on what we resolved to do in 2022, and whether we did it perfectly, imperfectly, or perhaps not at all.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/12/22·25m 59s

2023 Pop Culture Predictions

It's that time of year again, time for hopes and fears and accountability. What's to come in the new year? We can only guess, and guess we will! Plus, we'll look back at what we thought was coming on the pop culture front in 2022 and we'll see how things turned out.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/12/22·23m 9s

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody

The new film Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody stars Naomi Ackie, and traces the pop superstar's rise in the 1980s and 90s as she breaks records and becomes an icon. The film also follows the singer's tragic downfall as drug abuse and other setbacks take their toll on her life. Directed by Kasi Lemmons and written by Anthony McCarten, the movie is in theaters now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/12/22·21m 41s

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery: Spoiler Episode

There are many secrets at the heart of the comedy mystery Glass Onion, just as there were in its predecessor Knives Out. Who lives, who dies, whodunit, and what's the truth behind the glamorous glass onion itself? Rian Johnson's latest film to feature detective Benoit Blanc is now on Netflix, and we're ready to get into the nitty-gritty and spoil the heck out of Glass Onion.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
27/12/22·20m 17s

The Kardashians, Plus Celebrity Skincare

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an episode of NPR's It's Been A Minute. In this episode about the Kardashians, host Brittany Luse unpacks how the Kardashian family went from Hollywood D-listers to an American institution. The episode also includes a look at the celebrity skincare syndicate: what are all these people trying to sell us, and what are they buying?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
26/12/22·36m 50s

Babylon And What's Making Us Happy

The new film Babylon is all about silent-era Old Hollywood, new technology, the intoxication of being famous, and whether love can really conquer all. Babylon is the latest from writer-director Damien Chazelle, the sometimes divisive creator of La La Land. Here, he doubles down on his nostalgia for cinema with Diego Calva and Margot Robbie leading this expansive production.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/12/22·25m 40s

The Best Man: The Final Chapters

When The Best Man franchise kicked off in 1999, it tapped into a specific kind of Black Gen Xer sensibility. The two films explored the dynamics of a tight-knit group of young urban professionals, played by Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Regina Hall, and Terrence Howard, to name a few. In the new Peacock miniseries The Best Man: The Final Chapters, the crew has reunited for one last hurrah. Everyone's a little older, but, are they any wiser?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/12/22·21m 2s

Kindred

The new FX on Hulu series Kindred is the first on-screen adaptation of any work by the great science fiction writer Octavia Butler. It's the story of Dana, a young Black woman who suddenly finds herself transported onto a Maryland plantation in 1815. She has a connection to the plantation owner's son, and while getting a handle on that, she makes both bitter enemies and surprising allies in the past and present day.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/12/22·19m 1s

Nanny

The Sundance favorite Nanny is a moody thriller starring Anna Diop as Aisha, a Senegalese immigrant who cares for the young child of a rich Manhattan couple. As her tenure with the family progresses, the workplace dynamic becomes fraught and the lines between the real and the imagined are blurred. Nanny is the feature debut of writer and director Nikyatu Jusu and is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/12/22·17m 20s

Hanukkah In Pop Culture

Right now, families across the world are celebrating Hanukkah, so we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation all about the Jewish holiday. In this encore episode, we get into why Hanukkah is not Jewish Christmas, and how the minor holiday has an outsized place in pop culture.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
19/12/22·23m 55s

Avatar: The Way of Water And What's Making Us Happy

James Cameron's science-fiction epic Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time. But it took 13 years to get a sequel into theaters. Avatar: The Way of Water continues Jake Sully and Neytiri's journey: complete with their children, a new Na'vi tribe and a familiar enemy to confront.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/12/22·22m 5s

SZA's SOS

It's been five years since the artist SZA released her debut album Ctrl. Her new album SOS is home to 23 tracks that seamlessly blends pop, R&B, hip-hop, and dips into rock and pop-punk along the way. It features appearances by Travis Scott, Phoebe Bridgers, Don Toliver, and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/12/22·17m 59s

2022 Pop Culture Favorites

It's tradition here at Pop Culture Happy Hour to look back on some of our favorite things from the last 12 months of television, movies and music. Today, we're revisiting the pop culture we saw, heard and loved all year.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/12/22·36m 17s

The Whale

In the new Darren Aronofsky film The Whale, Brendan Fraser plays Charlie, a housebound 600-pound gay writing teacher whose health is failing. His hopes to spend his last days reconnecting with his estranged daughter (Sadie Sink) are complicated by her lingering resentment of him and his own feelings of guilt, shame and self-loathing.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
13/12/22·18m 42s

Welcome to Chippendales

The Hulu miniseries Welcome to Chippendales takes us back to the 80s and the rise of the famed male revue Chippendales. Kumail Nanjiani stars as the club's founder, whose obsession with money and fame ultimately lead to murder. The supporting cast includes Murray Bartlett and Juliette Lewis.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
12/12/22·15m 30s

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio And What's Making Us Happy

Director Guillermo Del Toro has brought a new take on the classic tale of Pinocchio – the little wooden boy who goes on adventures and learns valuable life-lessons about the dangers of lying, laziness and disobedience. Unlike it's Disney predecessor, this new stop-motion animated film is more faithful to its source material. It's darker, weirder, more emotionally complex – and it's gorgeous to look at.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
09/12/22·22m 14s

Violent Night

Violent Night dares to ask the question: What if Santa Claus was a jaded drunk who steals booze while leaving presents under the tree on Christmas Eve? David Harbour plays Santa as he finds himself caught in the middle of the home invasion of an insanely wealthy family. And as the movie's title suggests, violence and plenty of Christmas-themed puns ensue.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
08/12/22·16m 45s

Fleishman Is In Trouble

The smartly written Hulu series Fleishman Is In Trouble stars Jesse Eisenberg as an Upper East Side doctor who finds himself divorced at 41. When his ex-wife, played by Claire Danes, leaves him with their two kids and disappears, he loses control of the new life he's made for himself. The show is based on the best-selling novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who adapted the series herself.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
07/12/22·16m 19s

2022 Books We Love: Staff Picks

Books We Love is a yearly labor of love here at NPR. Every year, the Books We Love team solicits recommendations from NPR staff and book critics and culls through them, creating an interactive reading guide you can use to find the perfect book for you or someone you love. Today, we're talking staff picks.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
06/12/22·10m 42s

Sort Of

The HBO Max series Sort Of follows Sabi, played by Bilal Baig, a gender-fluid millennial in Toronto trying to figure their life out. They're the child of Pakistani parents, they've got a loser boyfriend, they work at a queer bookstore/bar and they're a nanny to a troubled professional couple with a couple of troubled kids. It's a slyly innovative show that makes for a great Saturday afternoon binge. The series recently returned for a second season, so we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation about the first season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
05/12/22·19m 26s

The Fabelmans and What's Making Us Happy

The Fabelmans is Steven Spielberg's semi-autobiographical and deeply personal film about a Jewish American boy who dreams of making movies. Growing up he learns to tell stories through his 8mm camera while life-altering events within his family's household significantly affect how he views the world. The cast includes Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
02/12/22·29m 33s

Strange World

In Disney's new animated adventure Strange World, a family gets lost in a mysterious land underground. It's a story about discovery and intergenerational conflict — with a cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Gabrielle Union, Jaboukie Young-White, and Dennis Quaid.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
01/12/22·14m 53s

Disenchanted

The Disney Plus movie Disenchanted brings back Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden in the continuing story of a cartoon princess making a life in the real world. A follow-up to 2007's Enchanted, it has more songs, gags and conflicts between fairytale life and reality that animated, so to speak, the original.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
30/11/22·15m 53s

Bones and All

Luca Guadagnino's weirdly beautiful romance Bones and All is a familiar road trip tale of young, angsty lovers drifting from state to state against the backdrop of breathtaking wide-open vistas. But the kicker is that the couple, played by Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, are — wait for it — cannibals. And they're on the lookout for their next feeding. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhourLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
29/11/22·15m 47s

Wednesday

The Netflix series Wednesday breaks the beloved Addams Family character Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) out of her home environment and into the gloomy, gothy Nevermore Academy. It's the alma mater of parents Gomez (Luis Guzmán) and Morticia Addams (Catherine Zeta-Jones). As Wednesday navigates her new environment she's drawn into the investigation of a series of grisly murders. The show was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) with Tim Burton directing half of the episodesLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
28/11/22·14m 38s

Ricki Lake

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an excerpt of the podcast Raised By Ricki. If you were a fan of Ricki Lake's talk show back in the '90s, this is the podcast for you. Ricki is back, and each week she's breaking down all the historic moments from her hit talk show with her co-host Kalen Allen. Part re-watch podcast, part cultural retrospective, Raised by Ricki features conversations with John Waters, Andy Cohen, Sally Jessy Raphael, and many more. In this excerpt, Ricki sits down with writer and podcast host Tracy Clayton. Tracy watched Ricki Lake every day after school, and talks about what makes the show so unforgettable, the importance of seeing Black representation on-screen, and how Ricki influenced her own career in media.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
25/11/22·33m 39s

Latinos in Hollywood

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you a story from Mandalit del Barco's radio series about Latinos in Hollywood. Latinos have been a part of Hollywood since the days of silent movies, but they continue to be underrepresented in front of and behind the camera. For example, there aren't many Latina actresses in leading movie roles-- fewer than two percent, according to USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. And those who do make it also multitask as directors, producers, and activists.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
24/11/22·8m 5s

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery And What's Making Us Happy

What has a murder mystery, a big cast of stars, some amazing fashion, and the deep blue waters of Greece? The eagerly awaited Glass Onion, the follow-up to the 2019 Oscar-nominated comedy Knives Out. Daniel Craig returns as brilliant detective Benoit Blanc and this time, he's trying to solve a murder that involves a tech billionaire and his glamorous but sketchy friends.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
23/11/22·21m 7s

2022 Christmas Movie Guide

It's that time of year again, when many cable outlets and streaming services put on their holiday best. That's right, it's holiday movie season, and we're diving in. From the splashy musical Spirited featuring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds to a big comeback for Lindsay Lohan, we're dipping a toe in some of the highest-profile movies of this season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
22/11/22·16m 30s

Songs For Cleaning The Bathroom

Maybe you've got guests coming over for the holidays. Maybe an onslaught of news has kept you glued to the couch or hiding under your covers. Either way, you need to clean the bathroom, and you need a playlist. In this encore episode, we're recommending three songs for cleaning the bathroom.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
21/11/22·5m 59s

Screening Ourselves: The Color Purple

In the final chapter of our special documentary series Screening Ourselves, host Aisha Harris recounts the debates ignited by Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple. The 1985 film is remembered as a fan-favorite centering Black women's lives, but the acclaimed adaptation of Alice Walker's novel was received quite differently among female viewers and male viewers.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
20/11/22·46m 33s

She Said and What's Making Us Happy

The film She Said is about the New York Times investigation of movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Zoe Kazan plays Jodi Kantor and Carey Mulligan plays Megan Twohey. Their reporting on Weinstein's sexual misconduct and assault allegations contributed greatly to the #MeToo movement, and helped lead to criminal charges that sent Weinstein to prison. The film was directed by Maria Schrader and written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz and is in theaters now.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
18/11/22·29m 21s

Yellowstone

Even if you don't watch the TV show Yellowstone, there's a good chance you know people who do. The very popular western is entering its fifth season, it's already got multiple spin-offs planned, and it's not slowing down. Kevin Costner plays the patriarch of the Dutton family, and their story and sprawling ranch is one of television's biggest current success stories.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
17/11/22·24m 15s

Atlanta

When the FX series Atlanta arrived six years ago, it was unlike anything else on TV. It depicted its namesake city as a surreal landscape rich with offbeat characters. And it turned its creator and star Donald Glover from a niche comedic actor and rapper into an A-list Hollywood auteur. Atlanta recently concluded its fourth and final season, and it remained dark and weird until the very end. But did it go out on top?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
16/11/22·25m 27s

The Crown

In the latest season of Netflix's The Crown, a new cast steps into the roles of Queen Elizabeth II and her family just in time for the 1990s – and a series of scandals growing out of the bitter separation and divorce of Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki). The world around the royal family undergoes sweeping changes while Elizabeth (Imelda Staunton) strives, in her own stolid way, to hold on to privacy, tradition, and duty.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
15/11/22·20m 25s

Mood

The excellent BBC America/AMC+ drama series Mood considers how one young woman, at one of her most difficult moments, finds herself making choices she assumed she never would. Its writer and star is Nicôle Lecky, and the show is about sex work, social media and the way economic reality can make following your true passions very challenging.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
14/11/22·16m 8s
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