Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour


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.

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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.
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.
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.
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/happyhour
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.
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.
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.
23/03/23·28m 36s


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/happyhour
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.
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.
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.
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.
16/03/23·20m 42s


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.
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+.
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.
13/03/23·23m 6s

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.
10/03/23·56m 11s

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/happyhour
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/happyhour
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.
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.
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.
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/happyhour
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
16/02/23·21m 24s


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/happyhour
15/02/23·17m 42s


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.
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.
13/02/23·21m 45s

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.
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/happyhour
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.
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/happyhour
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.
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.
03/02/23·22m 18s


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.org
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?
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.
31/01/23·16m 38s

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.
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?
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.
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/happyhour
24/01/23·14m 9s


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.
24/01/23·25m 59s


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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
13/01/23·21m 25s


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?
12/01/23·18m 55s


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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
22/12/22·21m 2s


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.
21/12/22·19m 1s


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.
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.
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.
16/12/22·22m 5s


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.
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.
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.
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.
12/12/22·16m 3s

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.
09/12/22·22m 47s

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.
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.
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.
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.
05/12/22·19m 49s

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.
02/12/22·30m 6s

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.
01/12/22·14m 53s


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.
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/happyhour
29/11/22·15m 47s


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 episodes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
18/11/22·29m 54s


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.
17/11/22·24m 15s


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?
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.
15/11/22·20m 25s


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.
14/11/22·16m 8s

Screening Ourselves: Basic Instinct

In the second chapter of our special documentary series, Screening Ourselves, host Aisha Harris revisits the politics and legacy of Basic Instinct. Paul Verhoeven's 1992 thriller is a sexy and violent cult classic. But the film was also a problematic mainstream portrayal of queer women at a time of great political crisis for LGBTQ politics and representation.
13/11/22·45m 7s

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever And What's Making Us Happy

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the sequel to 2018's Black Panther, which starred the late Chadwick Boseman. This film begins with T'Challa's death and allows its characters time to grieve him, including his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and his mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett). But a new threat rises out of the waters in the form of Prince Namor (Tenoch Huerta). The film is directed by Ryan Coogler.
11/11/22·25m 21s

Love Is Blind

The reality dating show Love Is Blind is built around a simple premise: Couples date without meeting face to face, fall in love with each other's personalities, and don't meet in person until after they've gotten engaged. Viewers are bound to have strong opinions on the couples. The Netflix show just wrapped its third season, and we're going to unpack what happened.
10/11/22·19m 3s


The new Disney Plus series Andor tells the story of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), the rebel captain who stole the plans for the Death Star in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This series takes place years before that, and traces Andor's evolution from an apolitical scoundrel to a rebel hero dedicated to the cause of freedom. The series was created by Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter behind Rogue One.
09/11/22·20m 51s

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman was a gifted actor who was probably best known for his role as T'Challa in Black Panther and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We'll be talking about the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever later this week, but today we're revisiting our episode looking back at some of Chadwick Boseman's essential performances.
08/11/22·18m 16s

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

You should expect to learn nothing about the life of "Weird Al" Yankovic from the new film Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. That's because in keeping with his history of parody and comedy and sendups, the film, starring Daniel Radcliffe, is itself a sendup of biopics. From unsupportive parents who hate the accordion to a scandalous affair with Madonna, the movie is an avalanche of fictions mixed with the occasional dash of truth.
07/11/22·16m 19s

Screening Ourselves: The Godfather

Today we debut Screening Ourselves, a new documentary series hosted by Aisha Harris. The Godfather is considered an American film classic with an enduring legacy that still shows up in TV, hip hop, and even Muppet culture. But the film also sparked a complicated relationship with the real-life Italian-American community about how they were seen and screened. In this episode, Aisha looks into the politics and the legacy of representation in Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather saga.
06/11/22·43m 30s

The Banshees Of Inisherin And What's Making Us Happy

In The Banshees Of Inisherin, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play two longtime drinking buddies who face a crisis when one of them decides he really doesn't want to be friends anymore. Set on a fictional island off the coast of Ireland, the film was written and directed by Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and is in theaters now.
04/11/22·19m 40s

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

The Netflix anthology Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities looks at horror storytelling from many angles. Its eight installments come from different directors, and it includes both new stories and adaptations of tales from writers like H.P. Lovecraft. The mix of the tragic, the comic, the just plain scary, and the gross will serve a lot of different horror appetites.
03/11/22·20m 23s

Interview with the Vampire

If you're familiar with Interview with the Vampire — because you read the Anne Rice novel or you saw the 1994 movie — the new AMC series has some surprises in store. The story still revolves around a young man named Louis, his handsome vampire lover Lestat and Claudia, the creepy vampire child they adopt. But it's funnier, sexier and queerer than you remember. Most importantly, this Louis isn't a white plantation owner — he's an ambitious and closeted Black man.
02/11/22·15m 55s


When 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by two white men in 1955, his mother Mamie Till-Mobley became a voice of the civil rights movement. And now, the events surrounding his death have been dramatized in the new movie Till. Danielle Deadwyler's performance as Mamie is the focal point and standout, as she taps into the depths of a mother's grief.
01/11/22·17m 16s

Movies For Scaredy Cats

It's Halloween, and maybe you're into the idea of horror movies, but you aren't looking to be grossed out by gore or freaked out by jump scares. If that's the case then this is the episode for you. In this encore episode, we're revisiting a conversation about three great horror movies for scaredy cats.
31/10/22·9m 46s

Wendell & Wild And What's Making Us Happy

Director and animator Henry Selick, best-known for films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, has teamed up with co-writer Jordan Peele for Wendell & Wild, a new stop-motion animated movie from Netflix. Peele also stars in the film, reuniting with Keegan-Michael Key as a pair of demon brothers who escape the underworld with the help of Kat, a teenager with a tragic past.
28/10/22·26m 5s

Ticket to Paradise

In the film Ticket to Paradise, George Clooney and Julia Roberts play divorced parents determined to stop the wedding of their adult daughter. It's part romantic comedy, part wacky adventure, and part gorgeous travel movie. Clooney and Roberts star alongside Kaitlyn Dever, Maxime Bouttier and Billie Lourd.
27/10/22·20m 53s

Taylor's Swift's Midnights

Taylor Swift's tenth studio album, Midnights, once again reshapes her music in unexpected ways. Along with producer and co-writer Jack Antonoff, she's working with a palette of buzzy electro-pop. Midnights showcases love songs, confessions, and anthems — and all of them are rendered in the singer's distinct songwriting voice.
26/10/22·17m 32s

Carly Rae Jepsen's The Loneliest Time

Carly Rae Jepsen is back with a new album called The Loneliest Time. The Canadian singer first broke through with the inescapable banger "Call Me Maybe." But in these last few years Jepsen has become a full-blown pop star, thanks to well-received albums like Emotion and Dedicated. Her new album mixes hard-driving pop jams with breezy ballads.
25/10/22·21m 8s

Decision to Leave

In Decision to Leave, a man is found dead and the prime suspect is his widow. Things become complicated when the detective assigned to the case becomes enamored with her. This is the latest movie from South Korean director Park Chan-wook, who made Oldboy and The Handmaiden.
24/10/22·10m 51s

Black Adam And What's Making Us Happy

It's hard to believe Dwayne Johnson hasn't played a superhero before, but he's finally filling this gap in his resume with Black Adam, in which he joins the DC Universe. Brought out of a tomb after thousands of years, the character Black Adam has a mostly dour demeanor which doesn't exactly play to the wisecracking side Johnson has showed in other films. Black Adam also stars Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, and Sarah Shahi.
21/10/22·23m 6s

House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon returns us to the world of George R.R. Martin's Seven Kingdoms, almost 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. When the Targaryen family dynasty is threatened by a rift between the king's second wife and his oldest daughter, the fate of the Iron Throne – and of this whole brutally violent, morally gray world – hangs in the balance.
20/10/22·22m 38s

Halloween Ends

The lucrative horror franchise Halloween has spanned more than four decades and includes 13 films. And in that time it's amassed countless bloody deaths at the hands of the killer Michael Myers. The series has seemingly reached its conclusion with Halloween Ends, which brings Jamie Lee Curtis back for one last showdown.
19/10/22·15m 15s


The Korean pop band BTS will complete mandatory military service under South Korean law, meaning they will reconvene as a group around 2025. This break presses pause on a career that includes mega hits like "Dynamite" and "Butter." But their discography is farther-reaching than casual fans might think. So we're revisiting our episode from earlier this year that showcases some discoveries in the BTS catalog.
18/10/22·22m 19s

Spooky Season Songs

Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are creeping up on us, which means it's peak spooky music season. In this episode the hosts of NPR Music's Alt.Latino podcast share some of their favorite seasonal songs.
17/10/22·12m 24s

Tár And What's Making Us Happy

Writer-director Todd Field's fantastic new film Tár stars Cate Blanchett as a world-famous composer and conductor. Intelligent, charismatic and supremely confident, she's been able to orchestrate her own life, and those of the people around her. But a reckoning is coming.
14/10/22·22m 7s

The Midnight Club

The Netflix series The Midnight Club is set in a mysterious seaside hospice where teens with terminal conditions spend their final days gathering in the library every midnight to tell each other scary stories. The result is both a straight ahead horror show and a stealth anthology series. The show was created by Leah Fong and Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass).
13/10/22·14m 37s

Catherine Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy is a novel beloved by many who grew up in the '90s. One millennial in particular who remembers the book fondly is writer and director Lena Dunham. She's translated the novel into a wry coming-of-age movie starring Bella Ramsey as Catherine, a smart and spirited teen living in medieval England. When her parents set out to match her with a suitor, she finds increasingly clever ways to resist any such arrangement.
12/10/22·16m 31s


The film Amsterdam is a screwball comedy very loosely based on a real historical event from the 1930s. Christian Bale, John David Washington, and Margot Robbie play friends who get caught up in a political conspiracy. Written and directed by David O. Russell, the movie's sprawling ensemble also includes Robert De Niro, Rami Malek, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Zoe Saldana.
11/10/22·13m 0s

How Rosalía Found Her Confidence

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an episode from our pals at NPR Music's Alt. Latino podcast. In each episode, hosts Felix Contreras and Anamaria Sayre talk with a different living legend or rising star to discuss Latinx culture, heritage, and the shared borders of our experiences. In this episode, Anamaria talks with Spanish pop superstar Rosalía, who released the album Motomami earlier this year, and recently earned eight Latin Grammy nominations. Anamaria talks with Rosalía about her musical inspirations, divine sensuality and constant pull to transform.
10/10/22·29m 31s

Hocus Pocus 2 And What's Making Us Happy

The witchy Disney comedy Hocus Pocus wasn't a huge hit when it came out in 1993. But it found a devoted following and became a Halloween staple over time, so much so that it's finally got a sequel 29 years later. Hocus Pocus 2 brings back the Sanderson sisters, played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, as they sing songs, get into mischief and contend with a new world of confusing technology. But does it live up the original?
07/10/22·20m 41s

The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power

The Amazon Prime Video series The Rings of Power is a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and traces the early history of Middle-earth, thousands of years before Bilbo and Frodo's adventures. The story takes place in various locales all around Tolkien's world – places both familiar and unfamiliar – and the show introduces a cast of both new characters and some friendly faces.
06/10/22·19m 12s


In the Netflix movie Blonde, Ana de Armas steps into the billowing white dress of one of the most iconic figures of the 21st century: Marilyn Monroe. It was written and directed by Andrew Dominik and is an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' novel of the same name, which took extensive creative liberties with Monroe's life.
05/10/22·20m 17s

Los Espookys

Los Espookys is very odd and very good comedy series about a group of horror-loving friends who start up a business that provides scary experiences for their clients. It's co-written by two of its stars, comedians Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega. The second season is currently airing on HBO so we thought it would be a good time to encore our episode about the first season.
04/10/22·16m 27s

The Patient

The Hulu series The Patient is a terrifying thriller with a simple premise. A therapist (Steve Carell) is imprisoned in the basement of a serial killer (Domhall Gleeson) who wants to stop killing and thinks therapy can help. The show unfolds over 10 intense episodes and comes from Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, who last worked together on the The Americans.
03/10/22·16m 50s

Bros And What's Making Us Happy

In the grand tradition of the modern rom-com, stories about queer couples are still few and far between. Which is part of what makes the new movie Bros so special: Billy Eichner stars as a lanky intellectual who boasts a proud aversion to romance until he has a meet-cute with his polar opposite, a hyper-masculine gym rat played by Luke Macfarlane. Eichner co-wrote the movie, and Judd Apatow is a producer, so unsurprisingly, the jokes can be broad and raunchy. But there's plenty of heart here, too.
30/09/22·23m 41s

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

In the Disney Plus series She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, Tatiana Maslany plays Jennifer Walters, an ambitious, eager lawyer. She's also the Hulk's cousin, and accidentally acquires some of his powers after an accident. So now she has to juggle her career as a lawyer with the fact that she sometimes turns into a super-strong green giant.
29/09/22·15m 51s


For more than three decades, Maury has been a platform for flamboyant guests seeking paternity and lie detector tests for significant others. They've yelled, bawled and kicked over chairs. Now, the show's host Maury Povich is retiring and it's the end of an era for a particular brand of uber-trashy daytime TV.
28/09/22·18m 41s

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey's landmark album Butterfly recently turned 25. The album is certified five-times platinum, and includes singles like "Honey" and "My All." The singer-songwriter and pop star seems as omnipresent and ever, thanks to a perennial holiday hit and her devoted and social media-savvy fanbase. In this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about Mariah Carey.
27/09/22·23m 40s

Don't Worry Darling: Spoiler Episode

In the new film Don't Worry Darling Florence Pugh plays Alice, a woman living in an idyllic planned community with her husband Jack, played by Harry Styles. But strange things begin to happen that make her suspect that all is not well in the community run by Jack's mysterious employer (Chris Pine). The film is directed by Olivia Wilde and in this spoiler-packed episode, we try to chase some answers down.
26/09/22·20m 30s

Don't Worry Darling And What's Making Us Happy

In the new movie Don't Worry Darling, Florence Pugh plays a woman living with her husband (Harry Styles) in an idyllic planned community that looks like it came out of about 1955. But soon, strange things begin to happen that make her suspect that all is not well. Directed by Olivia Wilde, the film is now in theaters after some behind-the-scenes tensions that put it in the public conversation.
23/09/22·25m 38s

See How They Run

The new comedy See How They Run is a whodunit for people who really like a whodunit. Set behind the scenes at a 1950s production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, the film is a murder mystery with a big cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, David Oyelowo, Ruth Wilson, and Adrien Brody. And it's an entertaining send-up that takes some very meta swings at the very idea of a murder mystery.
22/09/22·12m 44s

Do Revenge

The new Netflix film Do Revenge takes its cues from a lot of other films. Some are comedies about the psychology of high school, like Clueless and Heathers. Some are more traditional tales of dark plotting, like Strangers on a Train. Directed and co-written by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, the film stars Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke as two teenagers committed to getting back at each other's enemies.
21/09/22·16m 5s


The new Hulu show Reboot follows a fictional behind-the-scenes attempt to create a gritty update of a TGIF-style family sitcom. The effort is led by Hannah (Rachel Bloom) who is constantly clashing with the show's original showrunner Gordon (Paul Reiser). The reunited cast is played by Judy Greer, Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville, and Calum Worthy. Reboot was created by Modern Family alum Steven Levitan.
20/09/22·16m 42s


The animated comedy Archer explores the exploits of Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), the world's most dangerous spy. Now in its 13th season, it's a workplace comedy full of guns, sex, and the occasional mad scientist. Created by Adam Reed, the series airs on FXX and streams on Hulu.
19/09/22·16m 27s

The Woman King And What's Making Us Happy

The new movie The Woman King tells the story of the Agojie, a real-life group of women warriors who protected a West African kingdom in the 1820s. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film stars Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega – and it mixes bloody battle scenes with discussions of leadership and chosen family.
16/09/22·19m 56s

2022 Fall Guide

Today, we're telling you what new shows, movies and albums we're excited about this fall.
15/09/22·16m 19s

Serena Williams

Serena Williams recently played what might be her final professional tennis match. She's had a singular, remarkable career, including 23 singles Grand Slam titles. Along the way, she's had an enormous impact on culture inside and outside sports, and even she's started more conversations about the tennis itself and the way athletes' public lives change as they get older.
14/09/22·22m 39s

2022 Emmys Recap

At last night's Emmy Awards, The White Lotus, Ted Lasso, and Succession all picked up major awards. But there were also unexpected wins for Abbott Elementary and Squid Game. And several of those wins came with wildly charismatic acceptance speeches.
13/09/22·17m 16s

Emmy Nominee Squid Game

Netflix's Korean drama Squid Game was a worldwide sensation. It's a violent and artful horror series, a survival drama, and a commentary on debt and capitalism. The show earned 14 Emmy nominations, and could make history as the first-ever non-English series to win in the outstanding drama category. In this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about the first season.
12/09/22·30m 32s

Disney's Pinocchio And What's Making Us Happy

The new Disney Plus movie Pinocchio is a mostly live-action remake of the 1940 Disney animated classic about a wooden boy who longs to become real, but must first undergo a series of trials and temptations in order to do so. You may already know the story, but director and co-writer Robert Zemeckis has corralled stars like Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Keegan-Michael Key to give it new life.
09/09/22·19m 15s

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II died today at the age of 96. She was the longest-serving British monarch, and she was undeniably a major figure in pop culture. Her image on television shows like The Crown, and in movies like The Queen, never seemed to quite capture who she was, and yet people kept trying and trying. We try to wrap our heads around the pop culture understanding of the queen, and how her legacy played out on television and in movies.
08/09/22·18m 25s


The excellent new Netflix series Mo is about a man who figures out how to get by: how to find work as someone who can't work legally, how to navigate the asylum process as a Palestinian refugee in Texas, and how to care for the people he loves. The show's star and co-creator is the standup Mo Amer, whose story dives into immigration, identity, and a family as they work to map out a secure future.
08/09/22·19m 11s


The children's TV cartoon Bluey centers on a family of four anthropomorphic dogs. Each episode balances gentle humor with some kind of lesson about emotional intelligence. Bluey is an Australian series that first premiered in 2018, and is streaming in the United States on Disney Plus.
07/09/22·21m 33s

Mississippi Masala

The 1991 film Mississippi Masala stars Sarita Choudhury and Denzel Washington as two very beautiful people who meet and unexpectedly find they're just right for each other. Directed by Mira Nair, it's also about family and displacement, knowing your history, and making your own way in the world. And after being hard to track down for many years, the film is newly available again on the Criterion Channel.
06/09/22·19m 59s

Auditioning For RuPaul's Drag Race

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we are bringing you an episode the podcast Snooze. It's a show about things people put off, how they conquer them, but most importantly, how they conquer themselves. In each episode, host Megan Tan, the Snooze Squad and guest celebrities strategizes an action plan for people like you and me to face our fears. In this episode, RuPaul's Drag Race helped Gerardo come out of the closet and eventually find his love for drag. But is he ready to finally apply to be a contestant on the show? He starts applications, but never finishes them. Gerardo will decide whether this year is the year he hits submit on his application.
05/09/22·42m 58s

Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. And What's Making Us Happy

In the movie Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul., a Southern Baptist megachurch has been rocked by a lurid scandal. The always delightful Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown star as the first lady and pastor of the church, who must reopen their doors and woo back their former congregants. The satire is framed as a mockumentary that dives into Black Christian culture, a marriage on the rocks and the politics of faith.
02/09/22·25m 50s

Manti Te'o And The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist

Manti Te'o was a decorated college football player at Notre Dame with a heartbreaking story. Early in his senior year, he had learned on the same day of the deaths of his grandmother and his girlfriend. But a few months later, the story broke that there was no indication that the girlfriend had ever existed, and Te'o was catfished. Now a new Netflix documentary, Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist, explores what really happened.
01/09/22·24m 0s


The HBO series Industry is a workplace drama about a cutthroat investment bank in London, where employees cater to wealthy client egos and undermine one another. Bosses are bad, drugs are plentiful, business jargon is everywhere. But even if you care little about the world of finance, the show still manages to be riveting.
31/08/22·17m 59s

Three Great Karaoke Songs

What makes a good karaoke song? Today, we're suggesting three great songs to sing at karaoke night.
30/08/22·9m 58s

Physical Media We Still Treasure

The vinyl record, the CD, the DVD, the VHS tape — even the paper book has been the subject of debate and concern over its future. But we haven't given up our collections just yet. Today we're talking about the physical media we still treasure.
29/08/22·15m 35s

Three Thousand Years Of Longing And What's Making Us Happy

In the new George Miller-directed film Three Thousand Years of Longing, Tilda Swinton plays an academic who buys a glass bottle and soon discovers it contains an ancient djinn, played by Idris Elba. He says he will grant her three wishes, but as a scholar of stories about wish-granting, she's going to need some time to think this through. Meanwhile, he tells her the story of his immortal life, and the many times he's found himself literally imprisoned by love.
26/08/22·19m 13s

The Rehearsal

On HBO's reality series The Rehearsal, Nathan Fielder hires actors and production crews to create spaces to help real people practice for real moments in their real lives. Then he puts them through every possible permutation, attempting to account for every variable. Soon, his role as host and director becomes that of eager participant... and the boundaries between reality and reality TV come crashing down.
25/08/22·26m 13s

King Of The Hill

This year marks the 25th anniversary of King Of The Hill the animated sitcom King Of The Hill. Created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, the series ran for 13 seasons on FOX from 1997 to 2010, and is now streaming on Hulu. The show is in fictional Arlen, Texas and focuses on the Hill family - Hank, a propane salesman, his wife Peggy, a substitute teacher, their son Bobby, and Peggy's niece, Luanne. In this encore episode we revisit our conversation about the series.
24/08/22·16m 32s

Best Video Games Of 2022, So Far

This summer, NPR asked its staff and contributors: What are the best video games of 2022, so far? Join The Game, NPR's column on games and gaming culture, has the results in a sortable guide of recommendations. Today, we round up a few of those picks, from epic blockbusters to indie favorites that might just win your heart.
23/08/22·14m 4s

Rap Sh!t

The HBO 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. And for these women on the cusp of Millennial and Gen Z, life exists largely on social media, through the lens of a camera phone.
22/08/22·21m 47s

Better Call Saul And What's Making Us Happy

The sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman was meant to appear in only a handful of episodes of Breaking Bad. Instead, Saul (played by Bob Odenkirk) became an integral part of the series and eventually earned his own acclaimed spin-off, Better Call Saul. Now, after six seasons, the AMC drama has come to an end. In this tense and meticulously-paced origin story, we've witnessed his complete transformation from struggling public defender to overconfident fraudster.
19/08/22·24m 43s

Harley Quinn

The HBO Max animated series Harley Quinn is filled with characters from a version of the DC Universe where the violence is frequent, the language is explicitly salty, and the 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 Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). And slowly, over the course of three seasons, she's found true, queer love.
18/08/22·17m 17s

A League Of Their Own (1992)

The 1992 film A League Of Their Own is a beloved sports movie classic – thanks to a memorable all-star cast led by Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, and repeat showings on cable TV. It's a fictionalized account of The Rockford Peaches, the real-life professional women's baseball team that was formed during World War II. With a new TV series adaptation on Amazon, now seems like the perfect time to revisit the original and reflect on its enduring legacy.
17/08/22·20m 56s

A League Of Their Own (2022)

The professional women's baseball team the Rockford Peaches were immortalized in the 1992 box office hit A League Of Their Own. Thirty years later, they're back in a new Amazon Prime series of the same name. Co-created by and starring Broad City alum Abbi Jacobson, the series showcases a new set of fictionalized characters, played by Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, and more. While exploring queer themes and racial segregation, the show is a fresh take that both pays homage and stands on its own.
16/08/22·25m 30s

Checking In With Indian Matchmaking

There's marriage, and then there's love marriage. That's the philosophy of Sima, the matchmaker at the center of the Netflix reality series Indian Matchmaking. The show has gotten a lot of attention, but also some critiques. It recently returned for a second season, so in this encore episode, we thought we'd revisit our conversation about the show's first season.
15/08/22·18m 20s

Bodies Bodies Bodies And What's Making Us Happy

Bodies Bodies Bodies starts with a fairly standard horror-movie premise: A group of wealthy and attractive pleasure-seekers gather at a mansion to party and ride out an oncoming hurricane. But things get quickly messy when one of them turns up dead. With a cast that includes Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Chase Sui Wonders, Myha'la Herrold, Rachel Sennott, Pete Davidson, and Lee Pace, the movie mixes horror, comedy, Gen-Z satire, and a whodunit-style mystery that will keep you guessing.
12/08/22·20m 31s


The new film Prey isn't just another installment of the Predator franchise. For one thing, it's a prequel to the original 1987 movie — set more than 300 years ago. More important is who's telling the story this time: Amber Midthunder plays Naru, a tough, smart, young Comanche woman determined to prove herself, as well as to protect her people — and her dog — from a seemingly undefeatable enemy.
11/08/22·13m 2s

Desus and Mero

For nearly a decade, Desus and Mero cultivated a unique space in media. With popular podcasts and late night talk shows, the comedy duo earned a devoted fanbase and became the destination for any celebrity looking to earn some cultural cache. But, alas, the brand is gone. Recently the pair announced they've parted ways. Today, we offer five favorite Desus and Mero moments, and look back on their legacy and influence.
10/08/22·25m 44s

The Sandman

The new Netflix series The Sandman is based on Neil Gaiman's much-beloved comic book series about an immortal and powerful being known as the Master of Dreams. The series introduces us to a world of fantastic adventure where dreams and nightmares come to life. But beneath all its imaginative trappings is a story of a man who loses everything, and has to fight to get it all back, even if that means facing down Hell itself.
09/08/22·22m 28s

The Wire

This year marks the 20th anniversary of HBO's crime drama The Wire. Creators David Simon and Ed Burns spent five seasons dissecting various institutions in Baltimore, producing what is now considered one of the best television series of all time. The large cast included many then-unknown actors who've gone on to become stars, like Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, Dominic West and the late Michael K. Williams.
08/08/22·26m 9s

Bullet Train and What's Making Us Happy

In the new film Bullet Train, Brad Pitt plays an assassin hired to steal a briefcase from a pair of rival assassins played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry. Also in the mix are Andrew Koji, Joey King, Bad Bunny, and Hiroyuki Sanada. It's directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw).
05/08/22·20m 16s

Beyoncé's Renaissance

On Beyoncé's new album Renaissance, the superstar channels a rich history of Black and queer music. There's disco, dancehall, bounce, house, gospel, freestyle and funk — all served up in a confident, sexy and thotty gumbo. Now that we've had some time to sit with (and get down to) the album, how are we feeling? Was it worth the wait?
04/08/22·22m 45s


The new Netflix comedy series Uncoupled stars Neil Patrick Harris as a man whose partner leaves him after 17 years together. The show comes from Darren Star, the prolific producer behind Sex and the City, and Jeffrey Richman, who worked on Modern Family and Frasier. They bring that experience to this new story about being gay and middle-aged and suddenly single.
03/08/22·13m 2s

3 Great Movies Under 90 Minutes

What do you do when you need a good movie, but you don't have much time? The answer is that you find a short one. We recommend three films that deliver a lot of punch without taking up your whole day.
02/08/22·11m 7s

$#@*! Profanity in Pop Culture

We've got dirty words on the brain. In this encore episode from 2013, we chat about the use and functions of profanity in entertainment. We cover everything from Anchorman to South Park to Shakespeare.
01/08/22·16m 34s

Vengeance and What's Making Us Happy

B.J. Novak (The Office) wrote, directed, and stars in the new indie comedy Vengeance. He plays Ben, a New York City journalist who decides to turn the mysterious death of his former hookup into fodder for a podcast. The film features Issa Rae as his podcast editor and Ashton Kutcher as a record producer.
29/07/22·20m 43s

The Gray Man

The Netflix movie The Gray Man stars Ryan Gosling as an inmate who becomes an assassin for the CIA in exchange for his freedom. When a mission goes awry, he has to contend with a sociopathic ex-agent played by Chris Evans. It's directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, who made the Captain America and Avengers movies for Marvel.
28/07/22·20m 7s

Summer TV We Missed

Today there's more TV than ever before. And in such a crowded landscape, we can't get around to everything. That's why we wanted to highlight some of the recent shows that we didn't get around to, but we still think you might wanna check out. We recommend: The Summer I Turned Pretty, Dark Winds, Loot, Flowers In The Attic: The Origin, Chloe, and Trixie Motel.
27/07/22·18m 30s

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward had one of the most legendary partnerships in Hollywood. They were married over 50 years, and made 16 films together. Now they are the subject of a compelling new HBO Max docuseries called The Last Movie Stars. Directed by Ethan Hawke, it's a tale of Hollywood and love, but also of how heroes are made and sometimes robbed of their complexities.
26/07/22·16m 49s

Nope: Spoiler Episode

The film Nope stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as siblings and horse wranglers living in a small California town where things get weird, people disappear, and a threat must be stopped. Jordan Peele wrote and directed the film, so there are bound to be some surprises. So we're hitching a ride on horseback into spoiler territory.
25/07/22·24m 26s

Nope And What's Making Us Happy

Jordan Peele's third film Nope comes with some hefty expectations: eclectic thrills, unexpected twists, and standout performances. Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as siblings who get caught up in some weird occurrences in a small California town, the film is giving Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan vibes. And it's sure to stir up a lot of debate.
22/07/22·26m 7s


The novel Persuasion is the story of a woman who gives up a great love, then finds him again. Written by Jane Austen, it's now the subject of a Netflix adaptation starring Dakota Johnson. The film tries to be of its own time and contemporary, with Austen characters talking about self-care and being "single and thriving."
21/07/22·25m 54s

Lizzo's Special

Grammy-winning artist Lizzo enjoyed a major breakthrough in 2019 with her album Cuz I Love You. Now she's back with Special, which features one of the summer's most inescapable songs "About Damn Time." The album features songs about love, affirmation, friendship, empowerment, and confidence.
20/07/22·17m 29s

Movie Soundtracks

We debate: what is the greatest movie soundtrack of all time?
19/07/22·27m 24s

Emmy Nominee Only Murders In The Building

The fun mystery-comedy Only Murders in the Building series stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez as a trio of true-crime podcast fans who live in the same ritzy building on New York's Upper West Side. The Hulu series recently racked up 17 Emmy nominations, and its second season is airing right now. So we thought it would be a good time to encore our conversation about the first season.
18/07/22·17m 44s

Where the Crawdads Sing And What's Making Us Happy

The new film Where The Crawdads Sing stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya, a girl who was abandoned in the marshes of North Carolina as a child and raised herself into adulthood. It's part mystery, part courtroom drama, part love triangle, and part nature film. The film is based on Delia Owens' bestselling novel, and features a new Taylor Swift song.
15/07/22·23m 3s


The Korean pop sensation BTS recently announced that its members are taking a break to pursue solo projects. The band has had massive success in the U.S. with songs like "Dynamite" and "Butter", but their discography is farther-reaching than casual fans might think. So we thought now would be a good time to showcase some of the best deep cuts in the BTS catalog.
14/07/22·22m 39s

2022 Emmy Nominations

The Emmy nominations have arrived, and Succession leads the pack in most nods, followed closely by Ted Lasso and The White Lotus. This was also a good year for the folks behind Only Murders In the Building, Hacks, Squid Game, and Abbott Elementary, which each picked up their fair share of recognition from voters. We're going to get into the snubs, surprises, and everything in between.
13/07/22·23m 49s

The Bear

If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you likely understand how intense it can be — it's fast-paced and you're constantly in close proximity with your colleagues. The excellent new FX on Hulu series The Bear understands this environment well. 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.
12/07/22·20m 59s


RRR is one of the most expensive and highest grossing Indian films ever made, and also the most-watched non-English language film on Netflix. It's a sweeping and bloody sort-of-historical epic about an unlikely friendship between a villager fighting against India's British colonizers (N.T. Rama Rao Jr.) and a soldier working with them (Ram Charan). Directed by S.S. Rajamouli, RRR has breathtaking stunts and stirring songs that's made it an international phenomenon.
11/07/22·18m 10s

Thor: Love And Thunder And What's Making Us Happy

Marvel's Thor: Love And Thunder follows in the footsteps of the much-loved Thor: Ragnarok. Both are directed by Taika Waititi, and both offer a lighthearted take on the godlike superhero, played again by Chris Hemsworth. The new film introduces Christian Bale as a villain named Gorr, The God Butcher, and brings back Natalie Portman as Jane Foster — who now wields Thor's hammer.
08/07/22·22m 42s

Stranger Things

The fourth season of Stranger Things was split up into two chunks, with its nearly 2.5-hour-long season finale airing on Friday. This time around, those kids on bikes we met in season one are scattered to the four winds. We got some major revelations about the origin of the Upside Down, we met the Big Bad of the series and we got teed up for the show's fifth and final season.
07/07/22·15m 56s

Rutherford Falls Is Your Next Summer Binge Watch

The Peacock comedy Rutherford Falls is now back for its second season, and makes for a great summer binge watch. Co-created by Mike Schur, and starring Ed Helms (also a co-creator), the series follows a conflict over a historical statue in a small town. But what really sets it apart is that it centers several Native American characters, and its third co-creator, Sierra Teller Ornelas, is TV's first Native American showrunner. In this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about the first season.
06/07/22·23m 44s

Ms. Marvel

The Disney+ series Ms. Marvel introduces Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager from Jersey City who loves superheroes. When she discovers an artifact linked to her family's history that imbues her with superpowers, she's delighted — at first. But she's dealing with family, friends, school and faith, all of which tend to get in the way of saving the day.
05/07/22·18m 10s

The Dinosaurs of Jurassic World: Dominion

There are new, (mostly) more accurate dinosaurs to squeal over in Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth and reportedly final film of the Jurassic film franchise. In this episode from our friends at NPR's Short Wave, get to know them a little more with help from Riley Black, a paleontologist and author of the book The Last Days of the Dinosaurs.
04/07/22·14m 25s

Minions: The Rise Of Gru And What's Making Us Happy

Minions: The Rise Of Gru is the fifth film in the animated Despicable Me series. Set in the late 1970s, the new movie chronicles the early days of the supervillain Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell) and his relationship with the silly yellow babbling banana-loving henchmen who do his bidding.
01/07/22·26m 22s

Three Songs To Help You Fall Asleep

There are songs you want to groove to, and songs you want to pump up to. But sometimes, you just want something for the come down at the end of a long day. If you're having trouble sleeping in silence, or are just looking for some new songs to throw into your bedtime rotation, we've got you covered.
30/06/22·9m 27s

The Black Phone

In the supernatural horror film The Black Phone, Ethan Hawke plays the Grabber, a sinister masked figure who abducts a series of teenage boys in a Colorado suburb. When 13-year-old Finney (Mason Thames) gets grabbed, he's locked in a dank basement, waiting to be murdered, when suddenly a disconnected telephone on the wall starts to ring.
29/06/22·17m 3s

2022 BET Awards

Sunday's BET Awards were a four-hour celebration of Black culture, with a heavy emphasis on music. The night was packed with live performances from Latto and Jack Harlow, and surprise guests Mariah Carey and Brandy, and featured a lavish tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sean "Diddy" Combs.
27/06/22·21m 2s

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

The new film Marcel The Shell With Shoes On tells the story of a tiny shell who searches for his long-lost family. He's voiced by Jenny Slate and rendered using stop-motion animation. Based on a series of viral YouTube shorts, the feature-length movie is directed by Dean Fleischer Camp, who also appears on-screen as a filmmaker who discovers and interviews Marcel while living in an Airbnb.
27/06/22·13m 36s

Elvis And What's Making Us Happy

The legacy of Elvis Presley is often reduced to gaudy iconography and tales of excess: the white jumpsuit, Las Vegas, drugs. So what happens when director Baz Luhrmann takes on the man, the myth, the legend? You get the dizzying biopic Elvis. Austin Butler stars as "the King of Rock and Roll," and Tom Hanks plays Elvis' shady longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker.
24/06/22·25m 53s

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, USS Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck) and their diverse crew boldly go exploring the galaxy. The Paramount+ series takes place a few years before the original series from the '60s, and new show's tone and narrative certainly feel like a return to old-school Star Trek.
23/06/22·20m 5s

Cha Cha Real Smooth

In Cha Cha Real Smooth, Andrew (Cooper Raiff), an aimless 22-year-old, finds a new direction when he becomes a party motivator at bar and bat mitzvahs in his hometown. He develops a bond with Domino (Dakota Johnson), who's at her own crossroads in life. The film was a breakout hit at Sundance earlier this year and is now streaming on Apple TV+.
22/06/22·11m 56s


The Starz drama P-Valley is set in a Black strip club in the Mississippi Delta. The dancers are acrobatic, artistic and independent. The show is about their labor, but also about a wide variety of stories about power, money, and a community's identity. It recently returned for a second season, so in this encore episode, we revisit our discussion about the show's first season.
21/06/22·14m 46s

Lightyear And What's Making Us Happy

If you've seen any of the Toy Story movies, you know about Buzz Lightyear, the heroic space ranger immortalized in a line of action figures. Now, the character is getting a Disney and Pixar prequel — an origin story starring Chris Evans as the space ranger who started it all. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)
17/06/22·23m 30s

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

In Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Emma Thompson plays a widow yearning to fulfill a desire that's somehow eluded her her entire life: an orgasm. She sets about achieving her goal by hiring a much younger, highly attractive sex worker (Daryl McCormack). But their time spent together turns out to be much more than transactional. Good Luck To You, Leo Grande will stream on Hulu starting June 17th.
16/06/22·19m 19s

Watergate In Pop Culture

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Watergate not only had profound impacts on how Americans see the government and the press, but it has influenced decades of film and TV, books and podcasts.
15/06/22·28m 49s

2022 Tony Awards

The big winners of the 75th Tony Awards included the play The Lehman Trilogy, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop. The evening was hosted by the charming and completely committed Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, and filled with musical performances, emotional acceptance speeches, and a tribute to Stephen Sondheim.
13/06/22·23m 42s

Obi-Wan Kenobi

In the Star Wars Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor returns as one of the last remaining Jedi Knights as he's hiding out on Tatooine. When young Princess Leia is kidnapped, Obi-Wan is convinced to come out of retirement and pull "one last job" to rescue her — even if that means crossing lightsabers with his former apprentice, the evil Darth Vader, played by Hayden Christensen. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)
13/06/22·20m 29s

Jurassic World Dominion And What's Making Us Happy

Jurassic World Dominion is the sixth and reportedly final film in the Jurassic film franchise, in which genetically engineered dinosaurs run dependably amok in the modern world. This film brings together Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern, the three leads of the film that started it all — 1993's Jurassic Park. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)
10/06/22·23m 42s

Crimes of the Future

Crimes of the Future marks director David Cronenberg's return to the body horror genre. The film is set in a dystopian future where humans no longer feel pain, as they are evolving to adapt to a world riddled with synthetic chemicals. Viggo Mortensen stars as a man who spontaneously grows new organs. Together with his partner, played by Léa Seydoux, he turns the tattooing, surgical removal and display of these organs into performance art.
09/06/22·16m 0s

This Is Going To Hurt

This is Going to Hurt is by turns a caustically funny and gut-wrenching series about a young doctor of gynecology and obstetrics struggling to keep his mind, body, and soul intact. Ben Whishaw stars in the British series, which is based on the bestselling memoir of a doctor in Britain's National Health Service. It's streaming on AMC+ and Sundance Now.
08/06/22·15m 48s

Judy Garland

This Friday would have been Judy Garland's 100th birthday. Everyone of course knows her iconic portrayal of Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz, but Garland delivered a variety of unforgettable performances over her variously triumphant, troubled and ultimately tragic life. If you're not familiar with her non-Oz-related work, here is a guide that speaks to her unique and enduring appeal. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)
07/06/22·27m 14s

Floor Is Lava

The Netflix game show Floor Is Lava is so silly, so stupid, so low-stakes that we can't stop watching it. Teams of three try to cross a course made of furniture and obstacles without touching the ground. Floor Is Lava recently returned for a new season, so in this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about the series.
06/06/22·15m 39s

Fire Island And What's Making Us Happy

The new rom-com Fire Island puts a queer spin on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Written by and starring Joel Kim Booster, the film centers around a group of queer friends who decamp to Fire Island every summer. Booster and his best friend (Bowen Yang) are outsiders among the cliquish community of white wealthy gay privilege, and when love comes along, it places their friendship in jeopardy. Fire Island is directed by Andrew Ahn and is streaming on Hulu.
03/06/22·26m 31s

American Idol Contestants, Ranked

It's been 20 years since the beginning of American Idol. It has inspired imitators and parodies, and it's also a show that actually made people stars. So we asked you to vote for the best American Idol contestants of all time.
02/06/22·29m 45s

The Bob's Burgers Movie

The Emmy-winning animated series Bob's Burgers is making the hop to the big screen. The Bob's Burgers Movie captures the show's distinct look and feel, but introduces a new sense of urgency. Perpetually worried fry-cook Bob Belcher, his wife Linda, and their three oddball kids need to pay off the bank right away or lose their restaurant.
01/06/22·18m 5s

Graduation In Pop Culture

This is the time of year when so many students graduate from so many schools in so many caps and gowns. Whether it's graduation episodes of our favorite TV series, high school songs, or movies about the last wild night of high school, we're here to commence a show about commencement.
31/05/22·24m 23s

Introducing: Everyone & Their Mom

Our pals at NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me have a new show called "Everyone & Their Mom." In this episode, host Emma Choi and comedian Emmy Blotnick discover long lost love letters and learn how to use bookmarks properly. They also interview director Domee Shi about her Pixar movie Turning Red.
30/05/22·21m 58s

Top Gun: Maverick And What's Making Us Happy

Top Gun first hit theaters in 1986, starring Tom Cruise as a cocky fighter pilot who trains in an elite military program. Now, there's finally a sequel called Top Gun: Maverick, in which Cruise returns to train a new generation of pilots.
27/05/22·27m 3s

Harry Styles' Harry's House

Harry Styles has just released his third solo album, called Harry's House. The new record finds the former One Direction singer presiding over a bunch of breezy, unfailingly pleasant love songs. The new album has already spawned a No. 1 single with the song "As It Was" and comes after 2019's Fine Line, which won Styles his first Grammy.
26/05/22·17m 21s

The Kids In The Hall

The hugely influential Canadian sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall is back in a new Amazon show that marks their first return to writing and performing original sketches on television. These 8 episodes look and feel like another season of their first show, though of course the kids aren't kids anymore – something the new series has some fun with.
25/05/22·16m 6s


In Men, Jessie Buckley plays Harper, whose estranged husband (Paapa Essiedu) has recently died in a horrific manner. To decompress, she rents out a quiet stately home in the English countryside from Geoffrey (Rory Kinnear). It doesn't take long before her trip is disturbed by increasingly strange and invasive occurrences. The film was written and directed by Alex Garland, whose previous features include Ex Machina and Annihilation.
24/05/22·25m 9s

Books We Love: Identity And Culture

The latest edition of NPR's Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of book recommendations from critics, writers and NPR journalists to try to give you just the read you're looking for. Today, we're giving recommendations for our favorite books about identity and culture.
23/05/22·9m 12s

Downton Abbey: A New Era And What's Making Us Happy

Downton Abbey is back again. Three years after the 2019 movie that extended the popular TV series, the Crawleys are once again dealing with the clash of the old ways and the new ways. This time, the interloper is early Hollywood. While a director, a crew, and a bunch of actors descend upon the estate for filming, the story also travels to the south of France for a story that might reveal secrets from the Dowager Countess' past.
20/05/22·17m 56s

Kendrick Lamar's Mr. Morale And The Big Steppers

It's been five years since Kendrick Lamar released his last album, DAMN. Since then, he's won a Pulitzer Prize, been nominated for an Oscar, and become a parent. His new double-length album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, is anything but a breezy victory lap. Lamar examines generational trauma, sexual politics, and his own attempts to grow amid high expectations and heavy introspection.
19/05/22·22m 16s

Conversations with Friends

Irish writer Sally Rooney's book Normal People was adapted into a Hulu series in 2020. Now, her first novel Conversations with Friends gets its own Hulu adaptation. It tells the story of two college friends and exes (Alison Oliver and Sasha Lane) who meet a married couple (Joe Alwyn and Jemima Kirke) and get very deeply entangled with them, which makes everything very complicated.
18/05/22·18m 44s

The Flight Attendant

A woman wakes up after a night of partying and realizes something is very, very wrong. That's the premise of the HBO Max series The Flight Attendant. It's a taut, darkly funny thriller starring Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory as a woman in search of some answers about the present that also might shed light on the past. In this encore episode, we're revisiting our conversation about The Flight Attendant, which recently returned for a second season.
17/05/22·15m 23s

Eurovision 2022

The 66th Eurovision Song Contest took place in Italy over the weekend. Every year, dozens of countries face off in a competition full of pageantry, strobe lights, and sparkles. But Eurovision isn't just a talent search. It's also a lavish spectacle that attempts to unify the world in song. This year's winner was Kalush Orchestra, from Ukraine.
16/05/22·14m 14s

Heartstopper And What's Making Us Happy

The Netflix series Heartstopper is a new romcom for soft hearts everywhere. Based on Alice Oseman's graphic novels, the show follows Charlie and Nick, who are young and navigating the hallways of high school. When the two meet, they instantly take a shine to each other and go from rugby teammates to good friends to something more.
13/05/22·25m 9s

Bad Bunny's Un Verano Sin Ti

Bad Bunny is one of the world's biggest pop stars and a multimedia superstar. Now, the Puerto Rican singer is back with a new record called Un Verano Sin Ti, or A Summer Without You. It's a 23-song, double-length album that sprawls across many genres, including pop, trap, reggaeton and much more — and features musical guests galore.
12/05/22·16m 52s

We Own This City

HBO's We Own This City zeroes in on rampant corruption and abuse within Baltimore's criminal justice system. It features drug dealers, civilians and the police officers who recklessly target them both. There's also politicians and federal agents with competing interests and egos. If this sounds like The Wire, they do share some DNA: David Simon and George Pelecanos are its creators. And while a few Wire-verse alumni appear, is this series more than just a rewiring of Baltimore politics?
11/05/22·23m 2s

Books We Love: Nonfiction

NPR's annual Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of books that scratch whatever your reading itch might be. Today, we're going to talk about some of the nonfiction we loved.
10/05/22·8m 30s

American Song Contest

Hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, NBC's American Song Contest is a singing competition that tries to duplicate the Eurovision formula by having each entry represent their home state or territory.
09/05/22·17m 42s

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness And What's Making Us Happy

In Marvel's Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, Benedict Cumberbatch returns as a powerful sorcerer who must protect Earth from mystical menaces. The new film finds Doctor Strange battling an unexpected nemesis as he comes to the aid of America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez, who has the power to travel across alternate universes. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, and Rachel McAdams.
06/05/22·26m 20s

Russian Doll

In the first season of the Netflix show Russian Doll, we meet Natasha Lyonne's Nadia, a woman who gets stuck in a seemingly endless loop of death scenarios, and is forced to confront her personal demons in the process. Now season two has arrived, and Nadia's next phase of self-discovery manifests itself in a completely different way: time travel.
05/05/22·18m 32s

Grace And Frankie

The delightfully cheesy Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as frenemies-turned-co-dependent besties after their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) come out as gay and marry each other. As the final episodes of the final season are out now, the series is attuned to the realities of aging, as well as the importance of bonds both familial and romantic.
04/05/22·21m 46s


The Netflix series Ozark recently dropped its final episodes. After a lot of Emmy recognition and four seasons of the increasingly criminal Byrde family seen through moody blue filters, it's over. Did Wendy and Marty Byrde (Laura Linney and Jason Bateman) make it? Did young Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) manage to get away from the life Marty and Wendy dragged her deeper and deeper into?
03/05/22·22m 19s


When Titanic pulled into theaters 25 years ago, it quickly became an inescapable cultural juggernaut. Everything about it was huge: Its budget, runtime, box office, and accolades. And it catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into a whole new stratosphere of fame. Now that we've got some distance from Leo Mania and "king of the world" jokes, how does James Cameron's epic hold up all these years later? Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol
02/05/22·27m 40s

Summer 2022 Preview And What's Making Us Happy

It's about to be summer. While that means sunshine and maybe even a chance to relax, it also means summer entertainment. Whether you're ready to venture out into theaters or you're still enjoying the comforts of your couch, we are here to talk about some of the best TV, film and music that's coming straight to you. Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol
29/04/22·23m 45s


In the terrific horror thriller X, a ragtag film crew sets up shop in a creepy rural farmhouse, where they plan to shoot a porno movie without attracting the attention of their elderly hosts. But it's only a matter of time before things get stabby. Starring Mia Goth and Brittany Snow, and directed by Ti West, X has an arty, stylish feel – as well as larger points to make about filmmaking, aging, exploitation, and sex. Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol
28/04/22·19m 2s

A Very British Scandal

A Very British Scandal focuses on the tumultuous marriage and bitter divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. The Amazon Prime miniseries chronicles the couple's courtship, marriage, and their eventual split. Paul Bettany plays the drunken, abusive Duke, and Claire Foy plays Margaret, a woman determined to hold onto her station in life, even as she gets pilloried by a misogynistic British press and legal system. Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol
27/04/22·18m 6s

The Northman

In The Northman, Alexander Skarsgård plays a Viking prince who flees his island kingdom when his uncle kills his father and marries his mother. It's based on a very old but familiar story that predates Shakespeare's Hamlet by a few centuries. Directed by Robert Eggers, The Northman is a tale of bloody revenge with painstakingly researched historical accuracy surrounding the gods and monsters of Viking culture. Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol
26/04/22·16m 1s

Slow Horses

In Slow Horses, Gary Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, the slovenly, burnt-out head of Slough House — a rundown, disregarded division of MI5, and serves as a dumping ground for British spies who've made huge mistakes. This team of misfits is the laughing stock of the British intelligence community, led by Diana Taverner (Kristin Scott Thomas). Based on a series of spy novels by Mick Herron, series is streaming on Apple TV+. Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol
25/04/22·12m 4s

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent And What's Making Us Happy

In the action comedy The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage plays a fictionalized Nicolas Cage. This down-on-his-luck version of the actor must get out of a jam after he is offered a million dollars to attend the birthday party of a potentially deadly superfan, played by Pedro Pascal. Also starring Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz and Sharon Horgan, the movie gets meta as it draws heavily on the Cage's career and long history of eccentric performances. Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol
22/04/22·20m 34s

Our Flag Means Death

The hilarious HBO Max comedy series Our Flag Means Death follows the misadventures of Stede Bonnet, a posh aristocrat who decides to give up his pampered life and become a swashbuckling pirate on the high seas. It soon becomes clear that he lacks the ruthlessness necessary to be any good at the job, but when he meets the fearsome pirate Blackbeard (played by Taika Waititi) the two men find they have much to teach one another about pirating and self-acceptance.
21/04/22·13m 37s

Law & Order

Law & Order and its trademark format evolved into a massive TV franchise. The original Law & Order ended in 2010, but this year, in the middle of a broader conversation about policing and the problems with police procedurals, NBC has decided to bring the original Law & Order back. The result is a strange effort to replicate an old success in a very different environment.
20/04/22·25m 33s

Moon Knight

In Marvel's Moon Knight, Oscar Isaac plays Steven, a mild-mannered Londoner who works in a museum gift shop. He also plays Marc, a mercenary who can turn into the mysterious Moon Knight. The series has psychodrama, tomb raiding, and a bad guy (Ethan Hawke) with very familiar motivations. Several episodes were directed by Mohamed Diab, the first Arab director in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the show also features strong performances from May Calamawy and F. Murray Abraham. Moon Knight is streaming on Disney+.
19/04/22·21m 10s

The Great Pottery Throw Down

The Great Pottery Throw Down is one of the gentlest, kindest, and warmest competitive reality shows you will ever see (even when things literally explode). The fifth season aired in the U.K. earlier this year, and it's now streaming on HBO Max. In this encore episode, we talk about a show that will help you relax at the end of even the longest day.
18/04/22·12m 31s

Pachinko And What's Making Us Happy

Pachinko is a deeply intimate, yet hugely expansive multi-generational historical saga on Apple TV+. Adapted from Min Jin Lee's 2017 novel, the series features several intersecting characters and storylines, but focuses mainly on Sunja, a Korean woman whose family suffers under Japanese imperial rule. With an impressive cast including Lee Min Ho and Oscar-winner Yuh-Jung Youn, Pachinko depicts Sunja throughout her life amid conditions of poverty, bigotry and institutionalized injustice against Koreans.
15/04/22·27m 51s

Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel

To comedy fans, Jerrod Carmichael is known as a stand-up comic with an acerbic brand of observational humor, and he's starred in his own family sitcom, The Carmichael Show. Now his recent HBO special Rothaniel has made headlines. Carmichael comes out publicly as gay for the first time and he talks about secrets that have haunted his family for multiple generations. It's a profoundly immersive experience that pushes the boundaries of stand-up and confessional art.
14/04/22·24m 9s


There's been no shortage of biographical material about Julia Child, who in the 1960s became one of the first food television personalities in the United States. HBO Max adds to the story with Julia, a scripted series about her life in the early years of public television's The French Chef, when she was uneasily navigating a transition from cookbook author to TV star.
13/04/22·17m 47s

A Cameo Quiz

Cameo is an online service where you can pay a celebrity to record a personalized video message. Maybe it's for your birthday, maybe it's for someone's anniversary — or maybe you're just bored. The videos can costs you tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. In this episode we play a game involving the Cameo prices of some extremely famous, modestly famous, and delightfully niche celebrities.
12/04/22·21m 19s

Books We Love: The States We're In

The latest edition of NPR's Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of books to try to give you just the read you're looking for. Today, we're talking about some of the books we loved in 2021 about life in the United States, present and past.
11/04/22·10m 41s

Ambulance And What's Making Us Happy

Ambulance is Michael Bay's latest action movie, and if you think you know exactly what you're going to get — you'd be correct. It's more than two hours of pure, unrelenting adrenaline featuring gun fights, explosions and dizzying camera work. The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jake Gyllenhaal as adoptive brothers who get caught up in a bank heist gone spectacularly wrong. And true to the title, it involves a high-speed ambulance chase.
08/04/22·21m 46s


In Morbius, Jared Leto stars as the mysterious and brilliant Dr. Michael Morbius, who was born with a rare and debilitating blood disorder. With the aid of vampire bats, he comes up with a treatment that gives him superpowers, but also gives him a taste for blood. The movie takes place in the Sony wing of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and serves as an origin story for this vampiric antihero.
07/04/22·12m 38s

Better Things

On the FX series Better Things, Pamela Adlon plays Sam Fox, a working actor in L.A. and a single mother to her three children. Sam and her family deal with many familiar pangs of life, like aging and puberty, in ways that are funny, profound, and sometimes cosmic. The semi-autobiographical show was co-created by Adlon, and after five seasons, it's coming to a close.
06/04/22·20m 23s

Starstruck Is Your Next Weekend Binge

It might sound like fun to date a glamorous movie star, but in reality, it would probably get very messy. That's the premise of HBO Max's Starstruck, created by and starring New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo. The romantic comedy series is complicated, funny and charming — treating fame as the isolating pain in the neck it often can be. It's a great weekend binge watch, and just returned for a second season. In this encore episode, we discuss the first season.
05/04/22·13m 9s

2022 Grammys Recap

Last night's Grammys featured wins for Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic, Jon Batiste, and more. Plus we got a lavish stage show with performances from BTS, Lady Gaga, and many others.
04/04/22·24m 31s

Everything Everywhere All At Once And What's Making Us Happy

Everything Everywhere All At Once is the kind of movie that lives up to its title. It's a zany and profound sci-fi action comedy set in multiple dimensions, bursting with ideas about the pursuit of happiness, familial duty and the meaning of life. It stars Michelle Yeoh as a businesswoman whose world is turned upside down the day her family attempts to file their taxes. Forced to confront her life choices, she clashes with her daughter, her husband and a cranky IRS inspector in the weirdest of ways.
01/04/22·28m 44s

The Lost City

In the new film The Lost City Sandra Bullock plays a romance novelist who is kidnapped by a duplicitous billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) looking for the real-life lost treasure referenced in her writing. Her cover model (Channing Tatum) embarks on a bumbling quest through the jungle and save her.
31/03/22·15m 24s


The Netflix series Bridgerton is back for a second season. And now, Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) is having his story told with the addition of a new love interest, played by Simone Ashley. Based on a series of Regency romance novels by Julia Quinn, there's still high drama, scandalous gossip and elaborate period costumes that sometimes take over entire scenes. So what's different, what's the same and how do Daphne and her duke figure into this season?
30/03/22·22m 55s

Human Resources

The Netflix animated series Human Resources is a spinoff of the filthy and funny Big Mouth. The series takes place in an office where the creatures that embody human emotions work, including Hormone Monsters voiced by co-creator Nick Kroll and Maya Rudolph. The show centers on a Love Bug voiced by Aidy Bryant. And there are plenty of other new faces, including a Logic Rock voiced by Randall Park and an Ambition Gremlin voiced by Rosie Perez. We also spend some time with Aidy Bryant's human client, a new mother named Becca, voiced by Ali Wong.
29/03/22·13m 19s

2022 Oscars Recap

The 2022 Oscars included a best picture win for CODA, plus awards for Jessica Chastain, Dune, Encanto, and Jane Campion. But the proceedings were overshadowed when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. Later in the ceremony, Smith won a best actor Oscar for his role in King Richard.
28/03/22·19m 45s

2022 Oscars Preview And What's Making Us Happy

The 2022 Oscars are finally upon us. There are always two big questions as we approach the Oscars: Who will win, and who should win. Today, we're offering up a guide to this year's nominations to try to help you win your Oscar pool and see some terrific movies at the same time.
25/03/22·45m 5s

Deep Water

The new Hulu thriller Deep Water is about unhappily married couple Vic and Melinda, played by Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. Melinda is involved with other men, and when those other men start to run into some bad luck, suspicion falls on Vic. Directed by erotic thriller king Adrian Lyne, Deep Water delves into the specifics of this particular marriage, the intersection of sex and violence, and one man's lonely devotion to his collection of snails.
24/03/22·19m 4s

2022 Oscars Guide: Documentary Feature

History and music, economics and journalism, freedom and family are all prominent in this year's impressive crop of Oscar nominees for documentary feature. They tackle issues including mass incarceration, the plight of refugees, and what parts of the past we celebrate most. Plus, most of the films are available to stream now.
23/03/22·23m 29s

Oscars Best Picture Winners, Ranked

In honor of this year's Oscars, we polled listeners to ask a simple question: What's the best best picture winner of all time? Today, we run through our listeners' ranking of the Top 10, and give our picks for the best winner of all time.
22/03/22·40m 47s

Books We Love: Love Stories

The latest edition of NPR's Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of book recommendations from critics, writers and NPR journalists to try to give you just the read you're looking for. Today, we're talking about the love story.
21/03/22·8m 18s

Master And What's Making Us Happy

The new film Master is a thriller set at a predominantly white liberal arts college, where a history of systemic racism still haunts the campus in the present day. The film stars Regina Hall as a professor who steps into a new role as the school's first Black house master. Plus, a Black incoming freshman (Zoe Renee) is facing challenges in adjusting to her surroundings. The film, directed by Mariama Diallo, is sure to get viewers talking. It's streaming on Amazon Prime.
18/03/22·25m 25s

The Adam Project

In Netflix's The Adam Project, Ryan Reynolds is a pilot from the future who goes back in time to the present day, where he enlists the aid of his 12-year-old self (Walker Scobell) to save the timeline. Toss in small roles for Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo as Adam's parents, and you've got yourself a 13 Going on 30 mini-reunion. This is Reynolds' second team-up with director Shawn Levy, who directed last year's Free Guy.
17/03/22·12m 9s

2022 Oscars Guide: International Features

Films from Italy, Norway, Denmark, Japan, and – for the first time in Oscars history – Bhutan are vying for this year's Academy Award for international feature. While they share several common themes – finding yourself and your purpose, coming to terms with your past – they're five films that vary wildly in subject, in tone, and in what they have to say. Plus, many of the films are streaming now.
16/03/22·20m 34s


In the excellent new Apple TV+ series Severance, a group of office workers are experiencing work-life balance on a whole other level. Adam Scott, John Turturro, and others play employees that have undergone brain surgery that completely separates their memories of work from their memories of their regular lives. Severance is a workplace satire, a futuristic thought experiment about identity, and a drama about the dimensions of grief.
15/03/22·19m 0s

The Dropout

Hulu's The Dropout moves the needle on the Theranos story. The series stars Amanda Seyfried as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, and shows how the tech wunderkind and her company went from darlings to defendants. The cast also includes Naveen Andrews, William H. Macy, Sam Waterston, Stephen Fry, Alan Ruck and Laurie Metcalf.
14/03/22·16m 31s

Turning Red And What's Making Us Happy

Pixar is back with another movie aiming to hit you in all the feels: Turning Red. It's about a charismatic 13-year-old girl named Meilin (Rosalie Chiang) who discovers that whenever she gets too excited about anything, she now turns into a giant red panda. Directed by Domee Shi, the film features the voice talent of Sandra Oh, as well as some fun nods to the early 2000s boy band era. The film is streaming on Disney+.
11/03/22·26m 54s

After Yang

In the new sci-fi film After Yang, a family suffers a loss when their human-like android Yang (Justin H. Min) suddenly breaks down. It stars Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith as the parents of an adopted child who are faced with deep existential conundrums. The film was written and directed by Kogonada, and is currently in theaters and streaming on Showtime.
10/03/22·15m 16s


What if you took The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but made it a gritty, modern drama where Will is sent to Bel-Air to avoid facing an illegal gun possession charge? That's the basic premise of Bel-Air — the reboot of the classic 90s sitcom that made Will Smith a TV star. Jabari Banks steps into the role of Will, who this time around is less a goofy charmer and more a cool star athlete. It's a show that barely resembles its predecessor, with each member of the Banks family getting a radically dramatic makeover, too.
09/03/22·21m 39s

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

Few shows had quite the same reach and impact in the 1990s as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The NBC series catapulted Will Smith into movie stardom, and it remains infinitely memeable — from the Carlton Dance to its instantly recognizable theme song. And while it was a goofy fish-out-of-water sitcom, the series also revealed layers and heft, with humor (and occasionally some very special drama) that frequently touched on class and race.
08/03/22·24m 35s

Kanye West

Kanye West is a successful rapper and producer who has won 22 Grammys. But West has also been a public lightning rod for his outbursts at awards shows, his outspoken support of Donald Trump, his acrimonious divorce proceedings with Kim Kardashian, and much more. Netflix recently released a documentary called jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy. So it seems like a good time to assess the artist himself.
07/03/22·35m 1s

The Batman And What's Making Us Happy

The new film The Batman slaps both a definite article, and an emo haircut, on the Caped Crusader. This time, it's Robert Pattinson who is cleaning up the streets of Gotham. He's facing off against Paul Dano's Riddler, and – under a lot of padding and prosthetics – Colin Farrell's Penguin. Bruce gets help from not-yet-Commissioner Gordon, played by Jeffrey Wright, as well as Zoë Kravitz's Catwoman.
04/03/22·19m 2s

A Madea Homecoming

Tyler Perry's character Madea has occupied a unique and polarizing space within Black American culture for more than two decades. A gun-toting elderly lady who curses and often finds herself at odds with the law, Madea has been criticized for playing into harmful stereotypes by some and beloved by others. After a brief absence, she's back in her 12th film, now streaming on Netflix: A Madea Homecoming. We talk about the film and how Tyler Perry's work straddles the line between being extremely topical and extremely old-school.
03/03/22·29m 32s

2022 Oscars Guide: Original Songs

This year's Academy Award nominees for original song are a mix of old and new. Songs by Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Lin-Manuel Miranda are squaring off against tunes by boomer mainstays Van Morrison and Diane Warren. They're all emotional songs, which is no surprise, though some are more anthemic than others. But whichever original song takes home the Academy Award this year, it stands to make some kind of Oscars history — including a possible EGOT.
02/03/22·15m 22s

Books We Love: Ladies First

The latest edition of NPR's Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of books to try to give you just the read you're looking for. Today, we're going to talk about some of the books we loved in 2021 about the lives of women.
01/03/22·9m 16s


Belfast is nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture and best director for Kenneth Branagh. The film is loosely based on Branagh's own childhood as he came of age during The Troubles in 1969 and 1970. Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds are up for best supporting actress and best supporting actor, respectively, and it's also nominated for best sound and best original song for Van Morrison's "Down To Joy".
28/02/22·16m 26s

The Gilded Age And What's Making Us Happy

With HBO's The Gilded Age, Julian Fellowes airlifts Downton Abbey's soapy plots, its baubles and ball gowns, its sneering servants and quippy old ladies out of Yorkshire and plops them down in 1882 Manhattan. The series stars Carrie Coon, Christine Baranski, and Cynthia Nixon, plus a sprawling cast of socialites, servants, and members of the working class.
25/02/22·21m 38s


In the HBO Max film Kimi, Zoë Kravitz plays a woman with high anxiety and agoraphobia, who may or may not have observed a murder via a Siri-like voice assistant. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film is a tight, 90-minute surveillance thriller that takes its cues from some classics of the genre, including Rear Window and The Conversation. Yet it feels contemporary and fresh, particularly as it plays against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
24/02/22·17m 18s


The HBO drama Euphoria depicts a world in which modern teenagers navigate a minefield of traumas. We see heavy drug use, illicit sex, destructive technology, damaged parents, physical violence, and so much more. The series stars Zendaya as Rue, whose drug addiction threatens both her life and the stability of those around her.
23/02/22·19m 52s

Pam & Tommy

The Hulu miniseries Pam & Tommy is about what was arguably the first viral celebrity sex tape. It depicts the stars of the tape, actor Pamela Anderson (Lily James), and musician Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) as sympathetic figures and victims. It also tells the story of Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogan), the man who unwittingly stole the tape from them and began selling it through the internet.
22/02/22·14m 47s

Love Is Blind

In Netflix's dating show Love Is Blind, couples sit in separate cells that they call pods, where they can hear each other but not see each other. And once they've had a conversation or two, if they're getting along, they get engaged. And only then do they meet. The second season is now airing on Netflix and in this encore episode, we're revisiting our baffling fascination with the dating show.
21/02/22·16m 25s

Texas Chainsaw Massacre And What's Making Us Happy

In Netflix's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, online influencers descend on the mostly abandoned town of Harlow, Texas, only to be slaughtered by the man known as Leatherface. Directed by David Blue Garcia, the film is the ninth installment in the long-running horror franchise that started in 1974. The movie stars Sarah Yarkin and Elsie Fisher, and it also brings back the character of Sally Hardesty (Olwen Fouéré) the lone survivor of Leatherface's first rampage.
18/02/22·22m 59s

We Need To Talk About Cosby

The new Showtime docuseries We Need to Talk About Cosby seeks to better understand Bill Cosby, a man full of contradictions and complexities. Director W. Kamau Bell traces Cosby's remarkable career and legacy and how he became one of the biggest stars of the 20th century. He also traces the comedian's downfall – over 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault.
17/02/22·27m 54s

Inventing Anna

In our current era of headline-making scammers, Anna Delvey is one of the splashiest. A few years ago, she posed as an heiress and conned several wealthy people out of their money before ultimately spending time in prison. Now, her schemes have been dramatized in Inventing Anna, a Netflix miniseries created by Shonda Rhimes. The show is inspired by a viral New York Magazine article, but is Anna's story as fascinating on screen as it was on the page? (Vote for the BEST best picture Oscar winners at npr.org/bestpicture)
16/02/22·19m 37s

Somebody Somewhere

The funny, tender-hearted HBO series Somebody Somewhere is a semi-autobiographical story starring comedian and cabaret performer Bridget Everett. She plays a woman who long ago gave up on her dream of being a singer and moved back to her hometown in Kansas to care for her beloved sister. After her sister dies, she reconnects with a high school classmate (Jeff Hiller) who urges her to sing again. (Vote for the BEST best picture Oscar winners at npr.org/bestpicture)
15/02/22·15m 10s

2022 Super Bowl

The 2022 Super Bowl resulted in Los Angeles Rams coming from behind to win over the Cincinnati Bengals. There was also the halftime show, which showcased some of the biggest stars in the history of hip-hop and R&B: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent. And, of course, there were nostalgia-packed commercials for cars and crypto. (Vote for the BEST best picture Oscar winners at npr.org/bestpicture)
14/02/22·15m 5s

Marry Me And What's Making Us Happy

In the romantic comedy Marry Me, Jennifer Lopez plays as a pop star who is set to marry a singer played Maluma. The wedding is supposed to take place on stage as part of an elaborate publicity stunt, but she learns her fiancé has been cheating on her. Devastated, she decides to marry a man in the crowd, who is played by Owen Wilson. You can find it in theaters or streaming on Peacock. Vote for the BEST best picture Oscar winners at npr.org/bestpicture
11/02/22·18m 59s


The HBO Max series Peacemaker stars John Cena as a shiny-helmeted super soldier who loves peace so much he's willing, even eager, to slaughter folks to get it. It's a direct spinoff of the 2021 film The Suicide Squad, and the series shares a lot of that movie's comedic DNA. And it, too, was written and directed by James Gunn.
10/02/22·12m 15s
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