Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour

By NPR

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

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

Episodes

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.
27/09/2223m 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.
26/09/2220m 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.
23/09/2225m 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.
22/09/2212m 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.
21/09/2216m 5s

Reboot

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.
20/09/2216m 42s

Archer

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.
19/09/2216m 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.
16/09/2219m 56s

2022 Fall Guide

Today, we're telling you what new shows, movies and albums we're excited about this fall.
15/09/2216m 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.
14/09/2222m 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.
13/09/2217m 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.
12/09/2230m 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.
09/09/2219m 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.
08/09/2218m 25s

Mo

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.
08/09/2219m 11s

Bluey

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.
07/09/2221m 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.
06/09/2219m 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.
05/09/2242m 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.
02/09/2225m 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.
01/09/2224m 0s

Industry

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.
31/08/2217m 59s

Three Great Karaoke Songs

What makes a good karaoke song? Today, we're suggesting three great songs to sing at karaoke night.
30/08/229m 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.
29/08/2215m 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.
26/08/2219m 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.
25/08/2226m 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.
24/08/2216m 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.
23/08/2214m 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.
22/08/2221m 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.
19/08/2224m 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.
18/08/2217m 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.
17/08/2220m 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.
16/08/2225m 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.
15/08/2218m 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.
12/08/2220m 31s

Prey

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.
11/08/2213m 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.
10/08/2225m 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.
09/08/2222m 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.
08/08/2226m 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).
05/08/2220m 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?
04/08/2222m 45s

Uncoupled

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.
03/08/2213m 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.
02/08/2211m 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.
01/08/2216m 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.
29/07/2220m 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.
28/07/2220m 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.
27/07/2218m 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.
26/07/2216m 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.
25/07/2224m 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.
22/07/2226m 7s

Persuasion

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."
21/07/2225m 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.
20/07/2217m 29s

Movie Soundtracks

We debate: what is the greatest movie soundtrack of all time?
19/07/2227m 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.
18/07/2217m 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.
15/07/2223m 3s

BTS

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.
14/07/2222m 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.
13/07/2223m 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.
12/07/2220m 59s

RRR

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.
11/07/2218m 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.
08/07/2222m 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.
07/07/2215m 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.
06/07/2223m 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.
05/07/2218m 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.
04/07/2214m 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.
01/07/2226m 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.
30/06/229m 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.
29/06/2217m 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.
27/06/2221m 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.
27/06/2213m 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.
24/06/2225m 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.
23/06/2220m 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+.
22/06/2211m 56s

P-Valley

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.
21/06/2214m 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)
17/06/2223m 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.
16/06/2219m 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.
15/06/2228m 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.
13/06/2223m 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)
13/06/2220m 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)
10/06/2223m 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.
09/06/2216m 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.
08/06/2215m 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)
07/06/2227m 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.
06/06/2215m 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.
03/06/2226m 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.
02/06/2229m 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.
01/06/2218m 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.
31/05/2224m 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.
30/05/2221m 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.
27/05/2227m 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.
26/05/2217m 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.
25/05/2216m 6s

Men

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.
24/05/2225m 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.
23/05/229m 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.
20/05/2217m 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.
19/05/2222m 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.
18/05/2218m 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.
17/05/2215m 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.
16/05/2214m 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.
13/05/2225m 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.
12/05/2216m 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?
11/05/2223m 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.
10/05/228m 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.
09/05/2217m 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.
06/05/2226m 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.
05/05/2218m 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.
04/05/2221m 46s

Ozark

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?
03/05/2222m 19s

Titanic

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
02/05/2227m 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
29/04/2223m 45s

X

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
28/04/2219m 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
27/04/2218m 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
26/04/2216m 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
25/04/2212m 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
22/04/2220m 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.
21/04/2213m 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.
20/04/2225m 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+.
19/04/2221m 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.
18/04/2212m 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.
15/04/2227m 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.
14/04/2224m 9s

Julia

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.
13/04/2217m 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.
12/04/2221m 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.
11/04/2210m 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.
08/04/2221m 46s

Morbius

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.
07/04/2212m 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.
06/04/2220m 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.
05/04/2213m 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.
04/04/2224m 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.
01/04/2228m 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.
31/03/2215m 24s

Bridgerton

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?
30/03/2222m 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.
29/03/2213m 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.
28/03/2219m 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.
25/03/2245m 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.
24/03/2219m 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.
23/03/2223m 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.
22/03/2240m 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.
21/03/228m 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.
18/03/2225m 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.
17/03/2212m 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.
16/03/2220m 34s

Severance

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.
15/03/2219m 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.
14/03/2216m 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+.
11/03/2226m 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.
10/03/2215m 16s

Bel-Air

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.
09/03/2221m 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.
08/03/2224m 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.
07/03/2235m 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.
04/03/2219m 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.
03/03/2229m 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.
02/03/2215m 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.
01/03/229m 16s

Belfast

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".
28/02/2216m 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.
25/02/2221m 38s

Kimi

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.
24/02/2217m 18s

Euphoria

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.
23/02/2219m 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.
22/02/2214m 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.
21/02/2216m 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.
18/02/2222m 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.
17/02/2227m 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)
16/02/2219m 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)
15/02/2215m 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)
14/02/2215m 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
11/02/2218m 59s

Peacemaker

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.
10/02/2212m 15s

2022 Oscar Nominations

This year's Oscar nominations were announced today, and it's a big year for The Power of the Dog, Dune, West Side Story, Drive My Car, and more. We've got an overview of the nominees in the major categories, plus some surprises and snubs. Vote for the BEST best picture Oscar winners at npr.org/bestpicture
08/02/2211m 31s

Mogul Mowgli

In the film Mogul Mowgli, Riz Ahmed stars as Zed, an on-the-rise rapper whose biggest gig yet is threatened by the sudden onset of an illness. He's also forced to confront his own insecurities about his family and British-Pakistani identity. Ahmed co-wrote the movie along with the director Bassam Tariq, and the result is a compelling and surprising story that dances between fiction and autobiography, realism and fantasy.
08/02/2219m 41s

Drive My Car

The moody, introspective film Drive My Car is one of the best-reviewed films of the last year. It's about a widowed theater director who grows closer to the young woman hired to drive him to and from rehearsals. Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, the film has already racked up a number of critics awards, and it's Japan's entry for this year's best international feature Oscar.
07/02/2216m 49s

First Pop Culture Crushes And What's Making Us Happy

If you've ever posted a celebrity's picture inside a locker, used a photo of them as your lock screen, or followed every moment of someone's career, you know all about pop culture crushes. There are the ones you're proud of, the ones you're less proud of, and the ones that never quite go away. Today, we're sharing some of our earliest crushes and how they informed our later adorations along the way.
04/02/2224m 34s

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson. is a four-part TV documentary from Lifetime and A&E that shows how the pop star became one of the biggest and most influential artists of the last four decades. With new interviews and never-before-seen footage, the series also documents many of her personal struggles and controversies, including the infamous wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl.
03/02/2218m 32s

Hustlers

One of our favorite movies of the last few years is now streaming on Hulu. Hustlers is based on the true story of a group of women who danced at a strip club together and later drugged and scammed some of their wealthy Wall Street customers. Directed by Lorene Scafaria, the film stars Jennifer Lopez as their ringleader Ramona, Constance Wu as her protégé Destiny — and also features Cardi B and Lizzo. In this encore episode, we're revisiting our conversation about Hustlers.
02/02/2217m 33s

The Golden Girls

The sitcom The Golden Girls followed the adventures of four women who were living together in Miami. The women were Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Sophia (Estelle Getty), Rose (Betty White), and Blanche (Rue McClanahan). Betty White's death in December marked the passing of the last of the four actresses who made up this cast, each of whom won an Emmy for her work on the show. It's a fine time to take a look at what is, for a lot of us, an old favorite.
01/02/2218m 56s

2022 Sundance: Best Movies

When it comes to the Sundance Film Festival, you never really know what you're going to get. Each year brings a chance to stumble upon surprises and delights from filmmakers both well-known and emerging. Today, we've picked a few films, touching on everything from misogyny to arrested development to racism, that we think are worth keeping on your radar in the coming year.
31/01/2217m 59s

Wordle And What's Making Us Happy

The daily online word game Wordle has absolutely exploded in popularity in recent weeks. It's a game that gives you six chances to guess a five-letter word, giving you clues along the way about which letters are right and whether they're in the right places. It's addictive, but it can drive you mad.
28/01/2225m 15s

Peloton

What do Dancing With The Stars, the Sex and the City spinoff, and one of the most viral ads of 2019 have in common? They represent some of the many pop culture touchpoints of the ubiquitous fitness brand Peloton. We talk about the Peloton universe, including it's star-making stable of instructors complicated relationship with the wellness industry.
27/01/2231m 30s

A Hero

A Hero is the latest film from Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman). In this story, Amir Jadidi plays Rahim, a man who comes into possession of a lost handbag and some coins. But nothing goes as expected, and he becomes everything from a local celebrity to a suspected criminal. A Hero is on the short list for this year's international feature film Oscar, and is streaming on Amazon Prime.
26/01/2216m 25s

The Book Of Boba Fett

In the new Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett, Temuera Morrison brings new layers to the mysterious bounty hunter from the original Star Wars films. The story vacillates between flashbacks to how he escaped his presumed death in Return of the Jedi, and the present day as he and his lieutenant Fennec Shand (played by Ming-Na Wen) take over Jabba the Hutt's criminal empire on Tatooine.
25/01/2218m 5s

2021 Best Books For Music Lovers

If you're looking to discover a new book, NPR has a marvelous mechanism to help you out: It's called Books We Love, and it's a sortable guide to hundreds of great books from 2021, as handpicked and recommended by the NPR staff. Today we're talking about some of the music-related books we loved in 2021.
24/01/2211m 2s

Abbott Elementary And What's Making Us Happy

The fantastic new ABC series Abbott Elementary is a sitcom set at a severely underfunded Philadelphia public school. Quinta Brunson is the creator and very funny star of the mockumentary-style comedy, which follows a cast of teachers who are dedicated, but burnt out as they make do with limited resources and a hilariously incompetent principal.
21/01/2223m 10s

And Just Like That...

And Just Like That... the ladies of Sex and the City are back. (Well, most of them anyway.) The HBO Max series finds Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon reprising their roles as Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda. The new cast features several non-binary characters and performers of color including Nicole Ari Parker, Sara Ramirez, Karen Pittman, and Sarita Choudhury. But do these updates make the nostalgia trip worth it?
20/01/2224m 42s

Great 2021 Music Documentaries

Today we're recommending some of the great music documentaries we missed in 2021: The Velvet Underground, Framing Britney Spears, Controlling Britney Spears, and Tina.
19/01/2214m 44s

Sort Of

The slyly innovative HBO Max series Sort Of follows Sabi, a gender fluid millennial in Toronto trying to figure their life out. Sabi, played by co-creator Bilal Baig, nannies for a family whose matriarch winds up in a coma, placing Sabi in a tough spot between living their life and caring for others first. It's a show with good word of mouth that makes for a great Saturday afternoon binge.
18/01/2219m 38s

The Tragedy Of Macbeth And What's Making Us Happy

The Tragedy of Macbeth adapts Shakespeare's familiar tale of blood and betrayal, dreamlike daggers and stubborn stains. But its stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are significantly older than the leads usually are, which makes the whole thing hit differently. Directed by Joel Coen, the film fuses black-and-white cinematography with a clean, minimalist production design that underscores the story's theatrical roots. It's now streaming on Apple TV+.
14/01/2225m 26s

The Weeknd's Dawn FM

The Weeknd's album After Hours was one of the biggest hits of 2020, and now the elusive artist is back. He's had a decade of massive highlights from "Blinding Lights" to last year's Super Bowl Halftime Show. His new album is Dawn FM, and it's a set of sleek synth-pop songs with assists from Oneohtrix Point Never and comedian Jim Carrey.
13/01/2215m 32s

Station Eleven

The HBO Max miniseries Station Eleven begins with a highly contagious and deadly virus wiping out 99 percent of humanity. That might not sound like comfort viewing, but hear us out. The show follows many characters as their individual stories intersect — both in the 100 days after the virus hits, and 20 years later, as civilization attempts to rebuild. Based on Emily St. John Mandel's novel, the series stars Himesh Patel, Mackenzie Davis, Gael García Bernal, Danielle Deadwyler, and Lori Petty.
12/01/2219m 0s

C'mon C'mon

In the movie C'mon C'mon, Joaquin Phoenix plays an audio journalist who, after visiting his sister (played by Gaby Hoffmann), takes his young nephew (played by Woody Norman) on the road as he interviews kids about the world. Along the way, the two learn a lot about each other. Directed by Mike Mills, it's a film about family, loss, and joy — and it's about radio.
11/01/2217m 2s

Remembering Sidney Poitier

Hollywood legend Sidney Poitier died last week at age of 94. He was a man of many firsts, including the first Black performer to win the best actor Oscar for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field. He was also a humanitarian who was active during the civil rights movement, and also someone who was quite obviously dedicated to his craft. And today we remember Poitier's work, including In The Heat Of The Night and To Sir With Love.
10/01/2221m 7s

Great 2021 Movies You May Have Missed And What's Making Us Happy

We cover a lot of movies here on Pop Culture Happy Hour, but we can't come close to hitting every great film. Today, we're inviting some of our favorite film critics to share the movies they loved from 2021 — the ones that got past us the first time, but should definitely get added to your queue.
07/01/2212m 53s

Yellowjackets

The Showtime drama Yellowjackets is a series in two halves: In the first part, a plane crashes in 1996, and a high school girls' soccer team is stranded in the Canadian wilderness. The other part follows some of the girls more than 20 years later, as they realize the full ramifications of what they did during the time before they were rescued. Part horror and part suspense, Yellowjackets boasts a killer cast and a tangle of dark mysteries at its heart.
06/01/2223m 48s

The Lost Daughter

In the Netflix film The Lost Daughter, Olivia Coleman plays Leda, a professor on a working holiday in Greece who becomes fascinated by a young mother played by Dakota Johnson. This leads Leda to think about her own past, and to flashbacks in which the young Leda is played by Jessie Buckley. Adapted from the 2006 Elena Ferrante novel of the same name, The Lost Daughter marks the directorial debut of Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film also stars Peter Sarsgaard, Ed Harris, and Paul Mescal.
05/01/2213m 50s

Three Favorite Video Game Recommendations

This winter, we've been at home, playing games. And we've been exploring games for the Nintendo Switch. We've been trying adventure games and puzzle games, beautiful games and silly games. And in this encore episode, we have a few to recommend.
04/01/2213m 49s

Remembering Betty White

Actress and icon Betty White died Friday at the age of 99. Her career as a comic actress – on TV, on radio, in movies, and more – lasted more than 80 years. She was probably best known for her work on The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But White was a trailblazer, a record-setter, and one of the most venerated figures in the history of television.
03/01/2214m 59s

Our 2022 Pop Culture Resolutions And What's Making Us Happy

It's the end of 2021, and the cusp of a new year — which means we're looking back, and we're looking ahead. It's time to see how we did sticking to our pop culture resolutions we made a year ago. And it's time to make some new ones for 2022.
30/12/2125m 22s

Our 2022 Pop Culture Predictions

If there's one thing we can tell you about 2021, it's that we didn't see it coming. And we might not see 2022 coming either, but we're going to try — by making some pop culture predictions for next year. And on top of that, we'll look at last year's predictions and see how things turned out.
29/12/2121m 53s

Don't Look Up

The new Netflix film Don't Look Up has a crazy Academy Awards pedigree. Writer-director Adam McKay won an Oscar for The Big Short and the Oscar-studded cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as scientists who discover that a massive comet is hurtling toward Earth. The only problem: They can't get the media's attention (represented here by Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry) or get the president (played by Meryl Streep) to care. But with all these stars in the mix, did Don't Look Up miss the mark?
28/12/2115m 3s

Insecure

When Insecure premiered on HBO in 2016, Issa Dee (played by the show's co-creator Issa Rae), her bestie Molly (played by Yvonne Orji) and the rest of their cohort were a bunch of millennials who were stuck in unhappy relationships and jobs, and didn't have a clue how to make better choices for themselves. After five seasons, we're bidding farewell to Insecure — only now, these characters have finally seen some growth.
27/12/2121m 14s

Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza is a freewheeling slice of life story about an odd friendship/flirtation set in the San Fernando Valley. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film stars Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim (who play 15- and 25-year-olds, respectively) as they deliver waterbeds and embark on meandering adventures during the gas crisis of the 1970s.
23/12/2116m 32s

The Matrix Resurrections And What's Making Us Happy

When The Matrix opened in 1999, it thrilled audiences with its strangely cerebral mix of stylized violence, existential crisis, and tight, black leather. The new movie The Matrix: Resurrections continues the story. Directed by Lana Wachowski, the film takes us back inside the simulation that the machines are using to keep humanity docile as they harvest our energy. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss return as Neo and Trinity, who, alongside an array of new characters, attempt to, once again, lead an uprising to let us all live authentic lives.
22/12/2126m 14s

Being the Ricardos

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were the TV power couple. In the new film Being the Ricardos, we spend an eventful week with Lucy (played by Nicole Kidman) and Desi (played by Javier Bardem) as they try to get a show on the air. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the film showcases the complicated relationship and creative process of America's favorite couple.
21/12/2115m 38s

Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley is a stylish neo-noir that's as seedy as its title sounds. The film is directed by Guillermo del Toro and is inspired by the book and 1947 movie adaptation of the same name. It stars Bradley Cooper as Stan, an ambitious 1940s drifter who joins a traveling carnival and learns to develop his own mentalist act. An encounter with a mysterious psychologist, played by Cate Blanchett, leads to a fateful and destructive turn of events.
20/12/2116m 32s

Spider-Man: No Way Home And What's Making Us Happy

In Spider-Man: No Way Home, we spend time with some familiar characters. The film stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker and Zendaya as MJ, and, this time, also brings in Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), plus an array of villains who'll already be familiar to fans of the franchise. But the film is more complicated than that, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe delves deeper into the mysteries of the Multiverse.
17/12/2123m 58s

2021 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 that thrilled us, moved us and kept us company in our best and worst moments.
16/12/2131m 46s

Spotify Wrapped

Spotify Wrapped has become both an annual end-of-year event, and a viral sensation. In 2019 the service starting pairing its year-end listening data with eye-catching and extremely shareable graphics. But, when the algorithm curates so much of our listening experience... are we just creating a perpetual feedback loop?
15/12/2122m 37s

Hawkeye

Marvel's latest TV entry is the series Hawkeye. Jeremy Renner reprises his role as the arrow-slinging Avenger, and the show gives us a glimpse of what the guy gets up to when he's not busy saving the universe. Here, he's just trying to enjoy New York at Christmastime with his kids, but he's forced to team up with Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop — a young, wealthy and headstrong Hawkeye superfan who runs afoul of some Russian gangsters.
14/12/2117m 29s

It's A Wonderful Life

For many, It's A Wonderful Life is the quintessential Christmas movie. George Bailey's story is filled with life lessons, the importance of community, and a little kid playing carols on the piano. While it wasn't a box office hit when it first debuted 75 years ago, It's A Wonderful Life has somehow persisted and become a staple of holiday viewing.
13/12/2121m 29s

West Side Story And What's Making Us Happy

The classic musical West Side Story has now been remounted and rethought in a new film directed by Steven Spielberg with a screenplay from Tony Kushner. The new film stars Rachel Zegler as Maria, Ansel Elgort as Tony, and Ariana DeBose as Anita. Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the 1961 film, returns in a new role.
10/12/2129m 43s

The Beatles: Get Back

The Beatles: Get Back captures the tumultuous process of writing and recording some of their best-known songs. Directed by Peter Jackson, the mammoth three-part docuseries shows the day-to-day boredom and grind and thrill of life in the studio — plus, lots of goofing around and never-before-seen footage of The Beatles. If you didn't have opinions about Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, you surely will after watching The Beatles: Get Back, which is now streaming on Disney Plus.
09/12/2127m 16s

Succession

Season 3 of HBO's Succession had us all — yet again — asking ourselves that perennial question: Why do we love watching this show about terrible, horrible, no-good, and very bad people? We may still not know the answer, but it's been a wild ride with the Roy dynasty nonetheless. The empire has been threatened and is sputtering, while these megalomaniacs continue to do what they do best: look out for themselves.
08/12/2120m 4s

The Wheel of Time

Amazon Prime's The Wheel of Time series is an adaptation of Robert Jordan's best-selling 14-volume fantasy epic of the same name. It's set in a high-fantasy world of magic and mystery, and it stars Rosamund Pike as Moiraine, a member of the Aes Sedai an elite organization of female mages who are seeking someone called the Dragon Reborn. The twist? There are several possible candidates for the Dragon Reborn title.
07/12/2115m 17s

2021 Best Books

NPR's Books We Love is back! Previously known as the Book Concierge, we have a whole new crop of great reads and today, we're highlighting a few NPR staff picks. Whether you want sci-fi or romances, books about politics or literary fiction, you can find exactly what you're looking for, just in time for a chilly winter night.
06/12/2111m 44s

The Power Of The Dog And What's Making Us Happy

The new Netflix film The Power of the Dog stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons as a pair of brothers who run a cattle ranch in Montana in the 1920s. When one brother marries, and brings his new bride (Kirsten Dunst) and her teenage son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) back to live with him at the ranch, the other brother gets jealous and sets out to destroy their happiness. The film is the latest from writer and director Jane Campion, and it's bound to be a big contender come Oscar time.
03/12/2124m 41s

Tick Tick Boom

The Netflix movie tick, tick...BOOM! is the story of composer Jonathan Larson and the musical he wrote a few years before he wrote Rent. The film marks the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, and stars Andrew Garfield as Jonathan. It's set in 1990 and takes place over a few days leading up to Jonathan's 30th birthday.
02/12/2119m 23s

Adele's 30

Adele is one of the most successful artists of her generation. Her last two records combined sold more than 25 million copies and both won Album Of The Year at the Grammys. Now, the U.K. pop star has put out her fourth studio album 30, which finds Adele reflecting on her divorce with songs that don't shy away from emotional vulnerability or deep melancholy.
01/12/2118m 19s

Encanto

Encanto is the latest animated Disney musical that tells the story of the Madrigal family, whose members are tucked away in the mountains of Colombia. The film is stuffed with characters who wield magical powers and perform lavish musical numbers written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. But for all its magical realism, it's also a fairly simple story about a family whose bonds need healing.
30/11/2118m 6s

Remembering Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim, the most influential composer in modern Broadway history, died on Friday at the age of 91. He wrote music and lyrics for Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, Sunday In The Park With George, Company, and more. Sondheim won eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And along the way, he made work so beloved that it's been produced again and again around the world, and influenced other Broadway composers like Lin Manuel-Miranda and Jonathan Larson.
29/11/2120m 58s

Introducing NPR's Book of the Day

In this episode of NPR's Book of the Day podcast, we're spotlighting two thrillers. First, astronaut Chris Hadfield talked with former NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro about his novel The Apollo Murders, which is set in the 70's around, you guessed it, the Apollo missions. Then, a 2015 interview with NPR's Robert Siegel and author Anthony Horowitz about his James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, and what it's like giving a classic a 21st century twist.
26/11/2117m 49s

House Of Gucci And What's Making Us Happy

Ridley Scott's House of Gucci is a whole lot of movie. Adam Driver plays the wealthy Mauritzio Gucci, and Lady Gaga plays his wife Patrizia. Al Pacino and Jared Leto play Mauritzio's uncle and cousin, who eventually battle Mauritzio for control of the Gucci empire. It's got fashion, it's got tragedy, and it's got terrible accents.
24/11/2125m 45s

King Richard

King Richard is a sports movie about the early days of superstar tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. But, as its title suggests, the film focuses on their demanding and ambitious father, Richard Williams. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the movie stars Will Smith as a man who'll do anything to get his daughters from Compton to Wimbledon.
23/11/2121m 15s

Cowboy Bebop

The new Netflix series Cowboy Bebop is a live-action remake of the wildly popular Japanese anime about bounty hunters in a neo-noir future. Stylish and satirical, violent and cynical, the show is a bold mashup of genres – western, crime, science-fiction, buddy comedy, melodrama, thriller, and martial arts. It stars John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda as bounty hunters with dark pasts. But does the series hold up to the original?
22/11/2120m 25s

Ghostbusters: Afterlife And What's Making Us Happy

Ghostbusters: Afterlife reconnects with the original timeline of the Ghostbusters films from the 80s while introducing a bunch of new characters. Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace, and Finn Wolfhard play a family who teams up with Paul Rudd to fight a new supernatural threat. The movie is directed by Jason Reitman — son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two Ghostbuster films.
19/11/2125m 23s

Remembering Petra Mayer

There's no good way to share terrible news. Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist and NPR Books editor Petra Mayer died suddenly on Saturday of what is believed to be a pulmonary embolism. We take some time to remember our friend and colleague, and revisit some of our favorite episodes featuring Petra.
17/11/2126m 40s

Silk Sonic

Silk Sonic is a new musical showcase for two familiar faces: Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. Their soulful collaborations started trickling out this past March, when the duo released the single "Leave The Door Open." Now they've dropped the album An Evening With Silk Sonic, which features classic funk and soul updated for the present day.
17/11/2118m 29s

Below Deck

If you've always wondered what it would be like to see the world while making espresso martinis for the super-rich, you might already be watching the Below Deck franchise. For the past eight years, the Bravo reality series and its many spinoffs have been showing viewers the world of deckhands and chefs, housekeeping and party planning, as young hot people work on luxury yachts chartered by people who have too much money.
16/11/2126m 13s

ABBA

Earlier this month, ABBA released a new album called Voyage. It's the Swedish pop sensation's first set of new material in 40 years. Voyage gives us a perfect excuse to talk about all things ABBA: the massive sales, the jukebox musical Mamma Mia!, the endless hiatus, and — of course — those classic songs.
15/11/2119m 58s

Red Notice And What's Making Us Happy

What has a wisecracking Ryan Reynolds, a glamorous Gal Gadot, a muscled Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and a very convoluted story about priceless eggs? It's the new Netflix action comedy Red Notice, which combines cars, boats and secret safes with ballroom dancing and a jailbreak — all in the same frame as three big-budget action leads.
12/11/2123m 40s

Project Runway

When Project Runway launched in 2004, competitive reality shows were in their infancy. Now, they're in their mature pantsuit years, as Project Runway airs its 19th season. Longtime mentor Tim Gunn has been replaced by former winner Christian Siriano, but the sewing machines continue to buzz, and it's still hard to make a dress in a day. In this encore episode we're revisiting our conversation about Project Runway.
11/11/2115m 28s

Passing

In the Netflix melodrama Passing, Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga play childhood friends who are reunited years later in 1920s Harlem. Both women are Black and fair-skinned, but only one of them has chosen to "pass" — to completely abandon their ties to the Black community and identify as white. The movie premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and marks the directorial debut of actress Rebecca Hall. And it's already gaining some awards season heat.
10/11/2124m 0s

The Harder They Fall

Netflix's The Harder They Fall is the latest modern take on the movie western, with nods to real-life Black cowboys and cowgirls. In it, an outlaw and his gang seek revenge for a horrific crime committed many years ago. Gunfights and showdowns ensue, of course. The film boasts an impressive cast, including Jonathan Majors, Regina King, Idris Elba, and LaKeith Stanfield. Does this revisionist tale live up to the incredible talent involved?
09/11/2123m 14s

Spencer

What if the story of Princess Diana wasn't a fairy tale, but instead a psychological horror movie? That's the premise of Pablo Larraín's intriguing new film Spencer, in which Kristen Stewart plays Diana. Here, Diana is trapped, frightened and sometimes uncertain of reality. It's a different perspective on the figure, but unlike other art about the royals, it has a clear point of view and a reason to revisit this tale.
08/11/2118m 54s

Eternals And What's Making Us Happy

Eternals, the latest film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is a sweeping saga about ten immortal aliens with super-powers. The cast includes Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Brian Tyree Henry, and Richard Madden. The film is directed by Chloé Zhao, the indie director behind small, intimate films like the Oscar-winning Nomadland. Eternals is unlike anything she's done before, but it's also unlike anything Marvel's done before.
05/11/2127m 13s

Army Of Thieves

So do you have a slow Saturday afternoon, and need something to watch while folding laundry? Perhaps check out Netflix's heist movie Army of Thieves. It's also a prequel to Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead, and it stars that film's squirrelly German safecracker, Ludwig Dieter, played by Matthias Schweighöfer, who also directed the film. Dieter joins a rag-tag crew of bank robbers that includes Game of Thrones' Nathalie Emmanuel.
04/11/2115m 17s

Colin in Black & White

Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick has been a prominent activist and a Rorschach test in the culture wars — and he's been widely reconsidered in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests. But he hasn't really gotten to tell his own story until now. He stars in the Netflix series Colin In Black & White, which he co-created with director Ava DuVernay. It's a dramatization of his life as the biracial son of white adoptive parents.
03/11/2117m 34s

Judge Judy

Judy Sheindlin has been one of the highest-paid people in TV for years, churning out episode after episode of Judge Judy. But after years of syndication, Sheindlin has shut down the CBS show and moved over to streaming service IMDB TV to make the almost identical new show, Judy Justice. Despite the new platform, the cases still revolve around dog bites, landlord-tenant conflicts, and people who fail to learn the most important lesson: never put anybody else on your cell phone plan.
02/11/2117m 52s

Film Noir: A Guide

Your calendar might say it's November, but among movie buffs, this month is also known as Noirvember. It's a time to settle in and enjoy an old movie that features a washed up detective, a sultry femme fatale, or hardened criminals. And whether you're familiar with the genre or looking for great places to start, we're here to help by recommending a few great noirs.
01/11/2117m 12s

Last Night In Soho And What's Making Us Happy

Last Night in Soho is a psychological horror film about a young, naïve fashion student in London named Eloise, played by Thomasin McKenzie. Eloise is so obsessed with the Swinging London of the 1960s that she begins dream of and (sort of) inhabit the body of a glamorous aspiring singer played by Anya Taylor-Joy. The more this happens, the more the wall separating her dreams and her waking life begins to crumble. The film is directed and co-written by Edgar Wright and features the late Diana Rigg in her final film role.
29/10/2121m 30s

The Morning Show

If you like secret relationships, morning television melodrama, men singing Neil Diamond unexpectedly and a rom-com set against the backdrop of COVID, you're going to love the kooky, uneven and profoundly strange second season of the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show. Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup still lead the show, whose first season examined the aftermath of a sexual harassment scandal. Now, it's another wild ride, where hair color, allegiances and the year 2020 can all change in the blink of an eye.
28/10/2122m 59s

Foundation

Foundation is set in the far future, when humanity has expanded into a vast galactic empire. A mathematician comes forward to announce that he's crunched the numbers — and found that the empire is on the verge of collapse, and humanity is about to enter a 30,000 year dark age. The Apple TV+ series is based on a series of books by Isaac Asimov that was once awarded a Hugo Award for best science-fiction series of all time.
27/10/2113m 56s

The French Dispatch

Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch is a love letter to classic French cinema and The New Yorker magazine. Like all of his films, it's highly stylized — this one adopts the format of a magazine. It's an anthology of sorts, featuring three different main stories. The film's actors Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Benicio del Toro, Timothée Chalamet, and Jeffrey Wright.
26/10/2115m 55s

The Things That Scared Us As Kids

A lot of us are about to have the experience of opening our front doors to find witches, goblins, ghosts, and those guards from Squid Game standing on our porches. Why? Because it's almost Halloween. We decided this would be a good time to talk about what kinds of entertainment scared us when we were kids, and maybe even whether they still scare us now.
25/10/2121m 57s

Dune And What's Making Us Happy

Dune is a sweeping epic set way into the future, where various groups are vying for control of a planet's highly coveted substance. Timothée Chalamet plays a duke's son who comes of age and exhibits messianic tendencies. The cast also includes Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, and Jason Momoa. Sci-fi fans have been waiting years for director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel to arrive, and it's finally arrived in theaters and on HBO Max. But was it worth the wait?
22/10/2125m 59s

Three Songs For Cleaning Your Bathroom

NPR Music has song recommendations for every occasion, from major life events to tidying up the house. As we enter the fall season, it doesn't hurt to spruce up and start afresh with a new playlist. Today, we're recommending three songs to play while dance-cleaning the bathroom.
21/10/216m 15s

Auteurs And Film Franchises

This fall, a number of auteurs are directing major blockbusters: Cary Joji Fukunaga took on the James Bond movie No Time To Die; Chloe Zhao joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Eternals; and Denis Villeneuve hopes to launch a film franchise with Dune. So we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation about how auteur directors shape genre films. In this encore episode recorded on stage in Los Angeles, we're talking about auteurs and film franchises — and dream up some great artists taking on unexpected genres.
20/10/2123m 1s

Impeachment: American Crime Story

FX's Impeachment: American Crime Story is less about President Bill Clinton's 1998 impeachment and more about three women who played central roles in the saga, including Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky was a consultant on the series, which examines how a young intern not only began a sexual relationship with the president, but also became the subject of ridicule and even the threat of prosecution. The series stars Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, and Clive Owen as President Clinton.
19/10/2124m 35s

You

When the Netflix thriller series You premiered three 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, played by Penn Badgley, and it followed his obsession with and stalking of a young woman. Now in its third season, Joe hasn't changed much as a person, even though his circumstances have. He has a wife now, and a baby, although he's hardly living the typical suburban dad life.
18/10/2122m 5s

The Last Duel And What's Making Us Happy

It's been more than 20 years since Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote their Oscar-winning screenplay Good Will Hunting, but that changes with Ridley Scott's bloody epic The Last Duel. Co-written by Oscar nominee Nicole Holofcener, the film features performances by Damon, Affleck, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer. Together, they play out a tale of anger, vengeance and the fine points of 14th century property ownership.
15/10/2126m 12s

Squid Game

The Korean drama Squid Game is a worldwide sensation. According to Netflix, it's topped their rankings in more than 90 countries. Written and directed by the filmmaker Hwang Dong-Hyuk, it's a violent and artful horror miniseries, a survival drama, and a commentary on debt and capitalism. With a plot that's both simple and ambitious, the series is fast-paced but character-driven, and unbelievably addictive to watch.
14/10/2130m 26s

Maid

Based on Stephanie Land's memoir, the Netflix series Maid stars Margaret Qualley as a single mom who must learn to survive on public assistance. While the series takes a hard look at the logistics of poverty, it's also a riveting personal story that will keep you guessing until the very end of its tenth episode.
13/10/2118m 39s

Y: The Last Man

The FX on Hulu drama Y: The Last Man is the latest in a long line of post-apocalyptic narratives of TV, but this one comes with a novel twist: A mysterious event wipes out every mammal on Earth with a Y chromosome, except for two: an aimless would-be escape artist named Yorick, and his companion monkey, Ampersand. In a world overrun by militias and fueled by paranoid conspiracy theories, a beleaguered government attempts to rebuild — and keep certain secrets from getting out.
12/10/2121m 34s

Soul Train

When Soul Train was first nationally syndicated in October of 1971, there was nothing else like it on TV. It became an iconic Black music and dance show — a party every weekend that anyone could join from their living room. In this episode of It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders, we break down the lasting influence of Soul Train on our culture, with Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America.
11/10/2134m 15s

No Time To Die And What's Making Us Happy

No Time To Die is Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond. This time, he's dealing with the skeletons of his past while trying to build himself a future. That future may or may not include Léa Seydoux, who returns as Madeleine Swann — she's nursing a secret involving Rami Malek's Safin, who's a kind of classic Bond villain, factory-installed with a master plan, a secret headquarters and access to a terrible bioweapon. The film is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, and add newcomers Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas to join in on the action.
08/10/2123m 58s

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is not your standard superhero action flick. With more human-on-goo romance and symbiote-on-symbiote violence, the sequel to 2018's Venom already posted the biggest box-office opening weekend of the pandemic. Tom Hardy returns as reporter Eddie Brock and voices Venom, and he's joined by Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Naomie Harris and Reid Scott in a film that makes up for lack of plot with plenty of action, passion and utter chaos.
07/10/2114m 15s

The Guilty

Director Antoine Fuqua is no stranger to compromised cops — he famously put Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke through their paces in Training Day. Now, he's back with The Guilty, a Netflix thriller that stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a suspended police officer temporarily assigned to 911 dispatch. A call comes in from a woman in terrible trouble, and for the rest of the film, we follow his efforts to rescue her without leaving his desk.
06/10/2114m 11s

Beyoncé's Homecoming

Two years ago, Beyoncé unleashed two major projects called Homecoming. On Netflix, a documentary captured the process of putting on headlining appearances at the Coachella Music Festival. She also surprise-released a double-length live album containing just some of the highlights from Beyoncé's Coachella performances. In this encore episode we're revisiting our conversation about Beyoncé's Homecoming.
05/10/2121m 53s

Star Wars: Visions

Star Wars: Visions is a new animated anthology series on Disney+ that brings together seven anime studios to tell nine stand-alone Star Wars stories. There's some recurring elements — Padawans and Masters, Lightsaber duels — but the choice to view the Star Wars universe through an anime lens isn't merely cosmetic. There's a wholly different sensibility at work in the animation, the imagery, and especially, the storytelling.
04/10/2117m 24s

The Many Saints Of Newark And What's Making Us Happy

If you've been waiting for more of Tony Sopranos's universe, you're in luck. The Many Saints Of Newark isn't a sequel but a prequel to the influential HBO series The Sopranos. Co-written by Sopranos creator David Chase, the film examines how the man we knew on television as mafia boss Tony Soprano was made from the kid and then the teenager we see here, portrayed by the late James Gandolfini's son, Michael.
01/10/2125m 13s

The Sopranos

The Sopranos changed television. The HBO series was centered on mobster Tony Soprano — a deeply flawed male antihero played by James Gandolfini. But the thing that really set The Sopranos apart was the fact that Tony was in therapy, a genius touch that granted viewers special access to his inner conflicts. Today, we're taking your questions about the influential series — and delving into how it ended.
30/09/2125m 46s

Scenes From A Marriage

The original Scenes From A Marriage was an influential 1973 Swedish miniseries written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Updated for a modern audience, HBO's remake is written and directed by Hagai Levi, who takes many elements from the original, while making some important shifts. In this version, the five-part limited series stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in an intimate story about a dissolving relationship with a constantly shifting dynamic.
29/09/2118m 7s

2021 Tony Awards Recap

The Tony Awards came back last night, after being gone for over two years. It was an unusual ceremony — a mix of performances and award presentations that aired on two different platforms. It was all a coordinated, tuneful effort to lure audiences back to Broadway. And, it was a big night for Moulin Rouge! and The Inheritance.
27/09/2118m 44s

Isabel Allende and Sandra Cisneros

Isabel Allende and Sandra Cisneros loom large over the literary landscape. In fact, their respective careers have a lot of parallels. They both published their first novels around the same time: Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits was published in 1982, and Sandra Cisneros published The House on Mango Street in 1983. Today, we're teaming up with our pals at the fantastic Alt.Latino podcast to bring you interviews with both writers.
27/09/2128m 46s

Dear Evan Hansen And What's Making Us Happy

The stage musical Dear Evan Hansen debuted on Broadway five years ago. It won six Tony Awards, including one for its star, Ben Platt. It's now a movie, and Platt, who's now 27, is back to play Evan, a deeply troubled high school student who tangles himself in a lie. There's still singing, there's still dancing, and there are still a lot of questions to struggle with in this story. Plus, we remember the work of filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles.
24/09/2126m 47s

Lil Nas X's Montero

In just two short years, Lil Nas X has proven he's much more than "Old Town Road." He's taken a successful novelty song and parlayed it into a budding and influential music career. He's come out as gay and arguably become pop's biggest out star. He's a master of performance art and marketing, and his eponymous debut studio album Montero easily became one of the year's most anticipated projects.
23/09/2126m 4s

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a coming-out story with some familiar contours, but it doesn't have your typical splashy musical pedigree. Adapted from a successful West End production, the Amazon Prime film follows Jamie, a teenage boy in England, who's determined to become a drag queen. Max Harwood stars as Jamie, and he's met with barriers and supporters along the way, including Sharon Horgan to the great Richard E. Grant.
22/09/2114m 20s

Three Great Fiction Audiobooks

Curling up with a good book is a pleasure with which we're all familiar. But when you find just the right narrator to bring characters to life, a novel can be even better. The right voice, or the right cast of voices, has pleasures all its own, beyond the printed page. Today, we're bringing you three favorite fiction audiobook recommendations worth a listen.
21/09/218m 11s

2021 Emmys Recap

It was a really good night for three very popular TV shows, and a groundbreaking night for Netflix. Yes, it was time again for the Emmys, which saw Ted Lasso, Mare of Easttown, and The Crown win big. There were also a few real surprises, genuinely touching moments, and memorable speeches — some memorable for perhaps all the wrong reasons.
20/09/2117m 51s

TIFF Film Guide And What's Making Us Happy

The Toronto International Film Festival traditionally helps launch awards season. This year has been a little different, with pandemic restrictions leading to a hybrid remote and in-person festival. After watching a batch of entries from home, we've seen some things you'll want to know about — some of which you might be hearing about for the first time.
17/09/2119m 35s

What We Do In The Shadows

The comedy series What We Do In The Shadows imagines what a slacker reality show might look like if all the roommates were vampires. The show is based on a 2014 film of the same name, which was co-directed and co-written Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. A new cast of vampires inhabits the FX series, which is now in its third season. On this encore episode we revisit our conversation about the series' first season.
16/09/2115m 6s

Kacey Musgraves' Star-Crossed

Kacey Musgraves's 2018 album Golden Hour was a huge breakthrough. It's a soft but spangly celebration full of love songs that helped cement Musgraves as both a country star and a pop star. Now, she's released her follow-up. Star-Crossed is a breakup record, written in the aftermath of the singer's divorce. Plus we remember the work of comedian Norm Macdonald, who died at 61.
15/09/2122m 13s

Ted Lasso

A strong first season and a huge haul of Emmy nominations gave Ted Lasso all kinds of momentum going into its second run this summer. It's the story of American football coach, Ted Lasso, who gets a job coaching AFC Richmond, an English soccer team. Or, you know, football team. And today we're going all the way to London to catch up with some fresh perspectives on the series.
14/09/2118m 33s

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This week, the police comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine will end its eight-season run. Starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher, among many other gifted comic actors, the show has enjoyed a devoted following and strong reviews. It's also survived shaky ratings and a change in networks, and its last season is airing against a backdrop of more intense conversations around real-life police violence that can't be laughed off or swept aside.
13/09/2119m 13s

Fall Guide And What's Making Us Happy

We're here to bring you some of the things we're most interested to check out and talk about this fall. Whether you read it, watch it, or listen to it, we want to make sure you know about it.
10/09/2126m 13s

Q-Force

In the Netflix animated action-comedy series Q-Force, a rag-tag team of queer spies who've been relegated to working out of a West Hollywood garage finally get their shot at the big leagues. Starring Sean Hayes, Wanda Sykes, Patti Harrison, Laurie Metcalf and many more, Q-Force tackles international terrorism, smuggling, brainwashing and homophobia. There's action, intrigue, suspense, sex, plenty of queer inside jokes and pop-culture references and, yes, stereotypes.
09/09/2117m 29s

Only Murders In The Building

Hulu's fun mystery-comedy series Only Murders in the Building 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. When a mysterious death occurs in their building, they band together to make a true-crime podcast about it. And as their amateur murder investigation goes on, long-buried secrets come to light, the plot gets twistier and and the stakes get higher. Plus, we remember the many iconic roles of actor Michael K. Williams.
08/09/2120m 6s

Drake's Certified Lover Boy

On Friday, Drake dropped his long-awaited sixth album: Certified Lover Boy. The album contains 21 songs in 86 minutes, and it's generated conversation around everything from its many guest stars (including Jay-Z, Travis Scott, Future, and Lil Wayne) to its cover art, which features a diverse array of... emoji pregnancies.
07/09/2116m 3s

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings And What's Making Us Happy

The Marvel Cinematic Universe opens a new chapter with the release of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the movie is ambitiously packed with dizzyingly choreographed battle scenes and complex family dynamics. It's also a compelling origin story for a hero, who is played by Simu Liu. He must battle his superpowered father, played by Tony Leung, to prevent the release of an apocalyptic evil force.
03/09/2126m 7s

High School Required Reading

Heading back to school is always a stressful but exciting time of year, whether you're doing it at home or in a classroom full of people. And we are always up to talk about books. Summer reading lists, class syllabi, there's no shortage of pages turned in the average school career. We're here to talk about them in this encore episode all about high school required reading.
02/09/2115m 7s

Pig

In the film Pig, Nicolas Cage plays a once-famous Portland chef who's now a recluse, living in a cabin in the woods with his beloved truffle-hunting pig. When some nefarious types kidnap said pig, Cage comes out of seclusion to hunt down those who did it. It's at once a critique of bougie food culture, a melancholy character study, and a showcase for what Nicolas Cage can do when he's not dialed up to 11.
01/09/2115m 47s

What If...?

The Disney+ animated series What If...? mixes and matches major and minor characters and events from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to explore what might have happened if things shook out differently than they did in the films. Many of those films' actors return to voice their animated, alternate universe selves, and there's cameos, Easter eggs and sly references galore. But who's this series for?
31/08/2116m 50s

Happy Endings

The early-2010s sitcom Happy Endings was a show about six best friends in Chicago. Created by David Caspe, the series was sharp, hijinks-filled and altogether fun. The show aired on ABC for three seasons before its cancellation, but it's now available to stream on Hulu, Netflix and HBO Max. Today, we're taking your questions and talking about the glory days of Happy Endings.
30/08/2128m 10s

Candyman And What's Making Us Happy

Legend has it that if you say "Candyman" in front of a mirror five times, you'll summon the spirit of a terrifying killer with a hook for a hand, who's constantly surrounded by a swarm of bees. That's the premise of the 1992 horror movie Candyman, about a white Chicago grad student who becomes obsessed with an urban myth haunting Black residents of the notorious Cabrini-Green housing projects. Now there's a sequel, directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written with Jordan Peele, that brings back the villain for a modern audience, and it stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris as a couple living in a now-gentrified Cabrini-Green.
27/08/2126m 19s

Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books: A Guide

The worlds of science fiction and fantasy can be almost anything — a distant planet, an alternate timeline, a land of magic and mystery, or our own familiar world, just tweaked a bit. Whether you're a longtime science fiction/fantasy reader, just getting your feet wet — or maybe you've stepped away, only to realize how much these genres are changing, in recent years — we've got you covered with some basic background, some things to look for, and some solid recommendations from experts.
26/08/2119m 26s

Aaliyah: Essentials

It's been 20 years since the untimely passing of Aaliyah in a plane crash when she was just 22. In that time, her influence has been felt everywhere in music and pop culture, even though the bulk of her catalog has been notably inaccessible to fans — until now. Aaliyah's second studio album One In A Million finally became available on Spotify for the first time, and more of her discography will be released in the coming weeks. And today, we're looking back at some of Aaliyah's essential tracks.
25/08/2120m 26s

The Chair

In the Netflix show The Chair, Ji-Yoon Kim (played by Sandra Oh) has just become the first woman to chair the English department at the fictional Pembroke University. Ji-Yoon is determined to usher in a new era, but is immediately saddled with unexpected challenges, most notably the tensions between an older, whiter faculty and a younger, multicultural student body.
24/08/2123m 14s

Reservation Dogs

The new series Reservation Dogs follows four Indigenous teenagers who live in Oklahoma, but are scheming and saving to get to California. It's a loose and dry-witted comedy that has notes of countless teenager hangout stories. And it's made by an entirely Indigenous group of writers, directors, and actors, who bring a level of detail and specificity to these kids and their experience that American television has practically never had.
23/08/2123m 5s

Lorde And What's Making Us Happy

Lorde became a pop superstar at 16 with her hit single "Royals" — winning two Grammy Awards and following up with her second album, Melodrama. The New Zealand singer's third album Solar Power finds the artist reflecting on stardom, boredom and the aftermath of a youth filled with debauchery. Reunited with Melodrama producer Jack Antonoff, Lorde brings a more subdued sound, positioning her as a worldly 24-year-old who's found peace with herself, while wondering what's next.
20/08/2122m 30s

Brand New Cherry Flavor

The new Netflix series Brand New Cherry Flavor is weird. It starts off pretty straightforward: A student filmmaker played by Rosa Salazar heads to Hollywood, hoping to direct her first feature, and gets screwed over by a sleazy producer. But when she enlists a witch played by the fabulous Catherine Keener to place a curse on that producer, things get creepy. And slimy. And bloody. And trippy. And kinda funny. It's not for everyone — but is it for you?
19/08/2115m 14s

Beckett

In the Netflix film Beckett, John David Washington plays an American tourist who gets in way over his head in an action thriller that skips over the mountains and through the streets of Greece.
18/08/2114m 53s

Cover Songs

Great songs often come around more than once. They're re-interpreted, reimagined, reconsidered. In fact, sometimes cover versions bring out new qualities even in songs we think we know well. Today we bring you an encore episode all about cover songs.
17/08/2116m 45s

CODA

The family film CODA tells the story of Ruby, a high school senior who wants to leave home to study music, but doesn't know how to separate herself from her family. Her parents and her brother are deaf, and she's spent years as their interpreter and a key employee on the family fishing boat. CODA cleaned up at the Sundance Film Festival in January, winning the Grand Jury Prize as well as the Audience Award, and it was bought by Apple in a record-breaking deal.
16/08/2117m 41s

Respect And What's Making Us Happy

There has never been anybody like Aretha Franklin. A legendary singer, an activist, a pianist, Franklin is the subject of the new film Respect. She's played by Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect is focused on Franklin's childhood and the first 10 years or so of her career. It spends much of its energy on her relationships with men, especially her father, played by Forest Whitaker, and her first husband, played by Marlon Wayans.
13/08/2126m 17s

Schmigadoon!

The Apple TV+ musical comedy series Schmigadoon! stars Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong as a couple that stumbles on a small village. But it's not just any village — it's a village out of 1940s musicals. The people sing and dance, and the original music sounds very reminiscent of everything from Oklahoma to The Music Man to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. And how can this couple escape? By finding true love, of course.
12/08/2118m 46s

Three Great Nonfiction Audiobooks

Sometimes you want someone to tell you a story. Sometimes, you want it to be a true story. Today, we're bringing you three nonfiction audiobook recommendations, from memoirs to deep histories of special places.
11/08/2110m 14s

Annette

When the ambitious musical Annette opened the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer, all anyone seemed to be talking about was a certain scene involving its stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, singing a ballad during an intimate moment. But there's a whole lot more than that going on in Annette, which is directed by Leos Carax. It's a contemporary rock opera! About a famous comedian and his famous opera singer wife! And their daughter is played by a puppet!
10/08/2115m 26s

The White Lotus

A resort should be relaxing. But the HBO series The White Lotus, which takes place at a resort of the same name, is instead uncomfortable, even painful. Boasting a cast that includes Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, and Natasha Rothwell, the show is about the way self-involved rich guests interact with a staff that has no choice but to tolerate them.
09/08/2121m 40s

The Suicide Squad And What's Making Us Happy

The Suicide Squad is about a team of super-villains do black-ops missions for the government in exchange for lighter sentences. It brings back several characters, including Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, and adds a slew more, played by people like John Cena and Idris Elba. The tone is a lot jokier, the violence more visceral — literally — and the stakes are higher, thanks to a giant alien starfish bent on world domination.
06/08/2126m 52s

The Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are taking place in a swirl of controversies, some chronic and some acute. COVID, mental health, support for athletes with disabilities, racism, doping, and sexual violence have all become intertwined with this year's games. At the same time, the competition has, as always, provided moments to be excited for athletes, impressed by the skills they've spent so much time building, and thrilled for their successes.
05/08/2120m 42s

Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever

Billie Eilish's first album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, was a sensation in 2019 — it swept the major categories at the Grammys and established the singer as a huge pop star. Eilish is back with a follow-up called Happier Than Ever. It's a quieter, subtler collection that examines the singer's relationships, reputation, and place in the world.
04/08/2121m 13s

What's Making Us Happy: 1971 Edition

Back in 1971, Richard Nixon was president, the Beatles were newly broken up. But also, a new network called National Public Radio broadcast for the first time. In honor of the anniversary of NPR's first broadcast, this special edition of What's Making Us Happy This Week offers recommendations from 50 years ago.
03/08/2123m 8s

The Green Knight

The Green Knight is a lushly epic fantasy film full of striking visuals and strangely moody adventures. Directed and written by David Lowery, the film stars Dev Patel as King Arthur's nephew Gawain, who sets off on a quest to earn a knighthood. Along the way, he attempts to resist giving into various temptations, including the temptation to turn back and live out a comfortable life.
02/08/2114m 21s

Jungle Cruise And What's Making Us Happy

What do you get when you take one part The African Queen, one part Raiders of the Lost Ark, two parts Pirates of the Caribbean, a pinch of the Fast and Furious series, and every Disney movie trope ever? You've got Jungle Cruise. Emily Blunt and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson team up to play a researcher and a riverboat skipper on a quest to track down a highly coveted object in the Amazon. But of course, they must face some adversaries along the way, including a scenery-chewing villain played by Jesse Plemons.
30/07/2123m 46s

Shrek

Shrek is many things: a pop culture canvas, an Academy Award winner and a recent entry into the National Film Registry. And it all started with the story of a crabby green ogre who just wants a bunch of fairy tale characters to stay out of his swamp. Today, Shrek has spawned a multibillion-dollar franchise, become a cultural milestone and above all, remained relevant — even 20 years later.
29/07/2120m 54s

Young Adult Books: A Guide

The young adult genre features protagonists who are often still figuring things out about the world and themselves. Today, we're teaming up with Life Kit to bring you recommendations and criteria to look for as you wade into the inviting, but turbulent waters of young adult fiction.
28/07/2124m 23s

Wellington Paranormal

The very funny mockumentary series Wellington Paranormal follows a pair of New Zealand police officers as they investigate strange occurrences in and around that nation's capital city. It's technically a spinoff of the 2014 film What We Do In The Shadows from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. It shares the film's bone-dry, deadpan mix of horror and humor. But what sets Wellington Paranormal apart is how seamlessly it channels that sensibility into the very familiar format of the TV show COPS.
27/07/2113m 12s

Our Summer Stories

We're having a summer of carefully and safely going out into the world again. And what happens when you go out into the world is that more things tend to happen to you. The good and the bad, the amazing and the mortifying. In this encore episode, we share some of our favorite — and most embarrassing — summer stories.
26/07/2118m 39s

Old And What's Making Us Happy

The psychological horror thriller Old comes with the kind of twist we've come to expect from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. That twist is right there in the title: A bunch of tourists find themselves trapped on a secluded beach where they all age at an alarming rate.
23/07/2121m 19s

Sexy Beasts

On Netflix's new dating competition show Sexy Beasts, contestants go on blind dates where everyone involved is wearing Oscar-worthy prosthetic makeup. It begs the question: are people so desperate to find a mate that they would do so on TV, and without knowing whether their date is hot or not? According to Sexy Beasts, the answer is a resounding yes.
22/07/2115m 15s

Kevin Can F**k Himself

What would life as a sitcom wife really be like? That's the premise of the AMC series Kevin Can F**k Himself. Annie Murphy plays a woman who exists in a sitcom when she's with her husband, but lives in a moody drama whenever he's not around.
21/07/2115m 32s

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka is one of the best tennis players in the world. She's a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, and she's about to represent Japan in the Olympics. And in a new Netflix documentary series, directed by Garrett Bradley, it's clear that these pressures and others have taken a toll on the 23-year-old. What you see in these three episodes also sheds light on her recent decision to withdraw from Wimbledon to prioritize her mental health.
20/07/2121m 19s

Boy Bands: A Guide

Boy bands have been a staple of pop music for generations. They've won over millions of fans and provided gateways to fandom and pop-cultural obsession. From New Edition and New Kids On The Block in the '80s to BTS today — with a whole lot of acts like *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys in the middle — there've been countless boy bands to choose from. Today we're offering up a brief modern history of boy bands.
19/07/2123m 27s

Space Jam: A New Legacy And What's Making Us Happy

Twenty-five years ago, the movie Space Jam paired Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan. Now, Space Jam: A New Legacy brings together Bugs Bunny and LeBron James. It's now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
16/07/2123m 28s

Blindspotting

In 2018, Blindspotting was one of the buzziest movies to come out of the Sundance Film Festival. Now, it's has been spun off into a series on Starz, offering a fresh and more expansive take on the movie's themes around incarceration and race. Jasmine Cephas Jones plays Ashely. She had a supporting role in the film, but now she is story's central focus. And there's a colorful cast of new characters and musical set-pieces to boot.
15/07/2122m 3s

Britney Spears' Conservatorship: What We Know, And What's Next

For more than 13 years, Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship. Her assets and career have been kept under the control of her father, Jamie Spears, as well as an attorney. A movement called #FreeBritney has pushed for that conservatorship to be lifted — and Spears herself recently gave a speech in court asking for autonomy over her own life. Today, another court hearing will help determine where she stands. So we're breaking down everything you need to know about Britney Spears' conservatorship.
14/07/2120m 3s

The Emmy Nominations

Today's episode will arrive a little late: This morning, the Television Academy will announce this year's Primetime Emmy nominations. Later today, we'll break down the major nominations and snubs.
13/07/2123s

2021 Emmy Nominations

This year's Emmy Award nominations brought some expected triumphs (Ted Lasso, The Queen's Gambit) and welcomed surprises (WandaVision, Pose). The Crown and The Mandalorian tied for the most nominations for a drama, and Saturday Night Live earned the most nominations for a comedy. HBO and HBO Max came away with the most nominations for a network. We recap this year's nominations: the highlights, the shockers, the snubs and the headscratchers.
13/07/2124m 24s

I Think You Should Leave

Two years ago, the first season of the Netflix sketch comedy series I Think You Should Leave introduced viewers to Tim Robinson's distinctive comic voice: It's male, it's often loud, and it varies in tone from belligerent to outraged to defensive to performatively wounded. But because Robinson and his fellow comedians are so good at exposing the deep wells of insecurity and vulnerability beneath that bluff, masculine, angry-doofus surface, the show is also hilarious. Now it's back for a second season.
12/07/2112m 15s

Black Widow and What's Making Us Happy

When Scarlett Johansson started playing Natasha Romanoff, she was the only female Avenger. And despite multiple appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow never got her own movie. That changes with the release of Black Widow, which looks back on a previously unexplored part of the character's history.
09/07/2122m 47s

2021 Songs Of Summer

Every summer gets its own unique soundtrack — a fresh batch of hit songs, all vying for an unofficial title: Song Of The Summer. Often these songs are on the wind, everywhere, dominating not just the airwaves, but also the cultural conversation. And sometimes, a song of the summer is just a great new music discovery. So we gathered together a bunch of NPR Music contributors and asked them to name their Song Of The Summer.
08/07/2115m 5s

Starstruck

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. Over six episodes, the romantic comedy series is complicated, funny and charming — treating fame as the isolating pain in the neck it often can be.
07/07/2113m 58s

Betty

The immersive HBO series Betty follows an eclectic bunch of young women skateboarders navigating adulthood while fostering community within a bro-dominated environment. Based on Crystal Moselle's 2018 film Skate Kitchen, the show returned for a second season, and we think it's worth a look if you haven't checked it out.
06/07/2115m 20s

A Dose Of Great New Music

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we thought you might like to check out the latest episode of New Music Friday from the All Songs Considered podcast. It highlights the biggest album releases of the week, across many genres, and it's full of music by big stars and new discoveries. Hosted by Robin Hilton, it's a great way to get caught up on the week in music — and maybe even find your new favorite band.
05/07/2124m 34s

Summer Of Soul And What's Making Us Happy

In the summer of 1969, hundreds of thousands of fans flooded Harlem's Mount Morris Park to attend the Harlem Cultural Festival, which hosted the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson, and Sly And The Family Stone. Now, some of that footage is unearthed in a new documentary, directed by Questlove from The Roots, titled Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
02/07/2125m 55s

Our Amusement Park Memories

It's summer time after a long stretch indoors, and many of us are returning to the world outside, including amusement parks. We thought it was a good time to bring you an encore episode about our favorite amusement park experiences: the rides, the attractions, the deep-fried snacks and the rigged games of chance.
01/07/2117m 24s

Zola

Over the years, Hollywood has built movie narratives out of unusual source material, but the dark comedy Zola is one of the first to originate via Twitter. The Sundance hit was inspired by A'Ziah 'Zola' King's series of viral tweets in 2015, detailing her first-person account of a truly bizarre road trip involving exotic dancers, a pimp and a hapless boyfriend. Director Janicza Bravo and her co-writer Jeremy O. Harris have inventively translated much of that thread onto the screen, and it features crackling performances from Taylour Paige, Riley Keough and Colman Domingo.
30/06/2121m 40s

Loki

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Hiddleston's Loki has faced off against Thor and the other Avengers. And now in the new series Loki on Disney+, he gets roped into working with the MCU's time cops, the Time Variance Authority. Alongside TVA agent Mobius, played by Owen Wilson, Loki hunts down another Loki variant (played by Sophia di Martino) seeking to overthrow the TVA. Along the way, it's developing into something the superhero genre usually doesn't have time for — an honest-to-the-gods character study.
29/06/2116m 57s

The Fast & Furious Franchise

In 2001, The Fast and the Furious debuted as a scruffy car-culture movie, and it was a hit. it was followed by two sequels that didn't quite satisfy, so they regrouped. Since then, it's become the blockbuster machine some love, some hate, some love to hate, and some hate to love. When you do this much business for this many years, it's hard not to have an impact.
28/06/2121m 55s

F9: The Fast Saga And What's Making Us Happy

What better way to kick off a summer of movies than with F9, the ninth installment of the main Fast & Furious franchise. Directed by Justin Lin, and starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and the rest of the beloved Fast family, the movie's got cars, it's got bad guys, and it's even got John Cena. And in case you're wondering whether there's anywhere to boldly go where no one has gone before, there sure is. Join our very own Glen Weldon for a virtual launch party to discuss the new book NPR's Podcast Startup Guide on Tuesday, June 29th at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT. RSVP now at podstartup.nprpresents.org.
25/06/2123m 14s

Physical

In the new Apple TV+ series Physical, Rose Byrne plays a woman whose early '80s journey from miserable wife to powerhouse businesswoman goes directly through the fitness industry. Created by Annie Weisman, who used to write for Desperate Housewives, the show centers around Sheila Rubin, who despite being very beautiful, has a profoundly miserable relationship with her body, from bulimic behavior to an unrelentingly abusive interior monologue.
24/06/2114m 31s

Romance Books: A Starter Guide

You have to love a love story: the meeting, the flirting, the falling, the struggling, and ultimately, the happily ever after. Maybe you're an experienced romance reader, or maybe you're just getting your feet wet. Either way, it's always good to get some recommendations, some basic background, and a few things to look for when you choose love stories for yourself.
23/06/2123m 45s

We Are Lady Parts

The Peacock series We Are Lady Parts is a bold, bracing and very funny comedy series about an up-and-coming London punk band called Lady Parts, and the young, awkward and extremely anxious microbiology PhD student who reluctantly becomes their lead guitarist. The members of Lady Parts, and its manager, are all young Muslim women, from various racial and ethnic backgrounds.
22/06/2113m 34s

Tuca and Bertie

The animated series Tuca & Bertie stars two best friends in the classic odd couple tradition: Tiffany Haddish voices free-spirited Tuca and Ali Wong plays anxious Bertie. That setup may sound familiar, but the setting isn't: Tuca and Bertie are birds, and they live in a surreal world pulsing with color, drugs and plant-people. When it debuted back in 2019, Tuca & Bertie developed a rabid fanbase, but Netflix canceled it after one season. Now, it's found a new home on Adult Swim.
21/06/2121m 31s

Luca And What's Making Us Happy

Luca, the latest movie from Disney and Pixar, whisks us across the globe and into a fictional coastal Italian town in the 1950s. There, the titular young hero and his new friend Alberto get into adventures and dream of buying their very own Vespa. But, there's a catch: In a quite literal take on the fish-out-of-water story, Luca and Alberto are humans on land and — unbeknownst to the rest of the townspeople — sea monsters when wet. Hijinks ensue as they attempt to keep their identities a secret from their new friends and foes.
18/06/2122m 46s

Top 10 'Friends' Supporting Characters, Ranked

It's good to be a star. In the world of the comedy Friends, that meant being Rachel or Ross, Monica or Chandler, Phoebe or Joey. But it takes more than just stars to make a hit.
17/06/2124m 48s

'Friends' Main Characters, Ranked

The recent Friends reunion on HBO Max set off a new wave of nostalgia. So we put the most important question to you: Who's the best friend? Who's the worst friend? Thousands of you voted, and the results are in.
16/06/2116m 46s

Three Great Songs For Your Next Road Trip

If you're thinking about taking a road trip, you're gonna need road-trip music. You might need a pick-me-up, or a distraction, or something for when you need a break from podcasts. So if you're headed out on the road soon, we're here to help.
15/06/218m 29s

Sweet Tooth

The Netflix series Sweet Tooth is a strange mix. It's a dystopian tale of societal collapse in the wake of a deadly virus and the rise of human-animal hybrids. It's also a warm, humane, lushly shot fable of hope and humanity. Which is to say, it is itself a kind of strange hybrid — think The Road meets Paddington 2; The Walking Dead meets Pushing Daisies.
14/06/2116m 1s

In The Heights And What's Making Us Happy

Before Hamilton made him a household name, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for the musical In The Heights. The Broadway production won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The film adaptation, directed by Jon M. Chu, stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi. He hopes to return to the Dominican Republic, where he can live out the dream of his late parents. In fact, just about everyone in this story has big dreams and mountains to climb.
11/06/2122m 42s

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

The 2013 horror film The Conjuring made more than $300 million and spawned a blockbuster cinematic universe. The main Conjuring movies center on the heavily fictionalized accounts of two real-life demon-hunters, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who solve paranormal mysteries. In the new, third film in the series, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, our heroes try to figure out what compelled a young man to brutally kill his landlord.
10/06/2115m 14s

Keeping Up With The Kardashians

After 20 seasons, multiple marriages, babies and scandals, Keeping Up With the Kardashians is finally coming to a close. The E! reality series is leaving behind quite a legacy (or wreckage) in its wake. It's the end of a reality-TV era, but whatever your tolerance for the brand, the Kardashians won't be disappearing from American culture any time soon.
09/06/2136m 6s

Plan B

The new Hulu movie Plan B is about best friends Sunny and Lupe (played by Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles), who go on an emergency road trip. They're not on the run from criminals or some terrible misunderstanding. They're trying to get to a Planned Parenthood office to get a morning-after pill for Sunny. The girls have a long night of crazy adventures and heartfelt conversations. Directed by Natalie Morales, the film is a really good mix of silly and honest and unexpected.
08/06/2114m 37s

Bo Burnham: Inside

Bo Burnham's new Netflix special Inside is not stand-up comedy. It's one-man isolation theater, shot in one enclosed space and bursting with musical performances and video sendups of genres from sad-dude acoustic guitar songs to '80s synth pop. Filmed over more than a year of pandemic disruption, it's whimsical, biting, empathetic and full of earworms.
07/06/2115m 11s

Summer Guide And What's Making Us Happy

Movie theaters are opening, and new TV shows and music are on the horizon. We've got you covered on what's coming this summer to entertain you.
04/06/2125m 50s

Hacks

On the HBO Max series Hacks, the great Jean Smart plays a legendary stand-up comic whose longtime Las Vegas residency is threatened by a casino owner looking for some fresh blood. Hannah Einbinder plays a promising young comedy writer who's fallen on hard times. Grudgingly, the two women start working together, arguing incessantly. But somewhere in among the barbs they're always trading, something like mutual respect begins to emerge.
03/06/2115m 28s

Pose

When Pose burst onto the scene in 2018, there had never been anything quite like it before: Here was a scripted TV series on a major network centering trans and queer black and brown people, and the New York City ballroom culture they cultivated in the 1980s and '90s. Now, after three seasons, it's time to say goodbye to the beloved Pose family.
02/06/2125m 21s

A Quiet Place Part II

A Quiet Place told the story of a world overrun by monsters who kill anything that makes a sound. Starring Emily Blunt and the film's director John Krasinski, it was a blockbuster in 2018. Now, after a long delay, A Quiet Place Part II is finally hitting theaters, and picking up where the last movie left off.
01/06/2113m 56s

Comedian Patti Harrison

Patti Harrison is known for bringing her absurd, caustic, yet charming comedy to supporting roles on shows like Search Party, Broad City and Shrill. But now she's in a starring role in the romantic comedy Together Together. In it, Harrison plays a young single woman who agrees to be a gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s, played by Ed Helms. It's Been A Minute host Sam Sanders talks to Patti about what it was like to play a role different from everything she's done before, why Together Together is even billed as a rom-com, and the quandary of representation as a trans woman.
31/05/2128m 37s

Cruella And What's Making Us Happy

One of the biggest, baddest and certainly most stylish of Disney villains is getting an origin story. In the new film Cruella, Emma Stone plays young Estella, an orphan on the streets of London in the 1970s. She's a thief with an eye for fashion, whose life fatefully intertwines with imperious fashion designer the Baroness, played with icy hauteur by Emma Thompson.
28/05/2122m 10s

BTS And More: A Guide To K-Pop

Last year, the South Korean pop group BTS topped the U.S. charts with the blockbuster earworm "Dynamite." Now, they've got a new hit, called "Butter." But the story of K-pop extends well beyond BTS. And it goes back decades with a huge array of styles and sounds.
27/05/2122m 44s

SNL Musical Performances: Best And Worst

For the last four years over at NPR Music, Stephen Thompson has compiled a ranking of the best and worst musical guests from the latest season of Saturday Night Live. Season 46 just wrapped up with Lil Nas X, who joins the ranks of this season's best performances, which includes Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, Bruce Springsteen, Miley Cyrus and many others.
26/05/2113m 11s

Master Of None

The Netflix show Master Of None has finally returned following a four-year hiatus. This time around the focus is on Lena Waithe's character Denise and her partner (played by Naomi Ackie) as they wrestle with their relationship and trying to conceive. Noticeably absent on screen for most of the season is Aziz Ansari's Dev, the central character of the first two seasons. The result is an installment that feels less like a narrative continuation of the series and more like a spin-off. But is this standalone season worth your time?
25/05/2115m 42s

Olivia Rodrigo

When this year began, Olivia Rodrigo hadn't even released a single as a recording artist. But by mid-January, she was setting streaming records and sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100. "Drivers License" was an instant sensation and one of this year's biggest songs. And now, Olivia Rodrigo has her first full-length album, called Sour.
24/05/2117m 42s

Army Of The Dead And What's Making Us Happy

Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead is a zombie heist film that follows a team of mercenaries led by Dave Bautista. This rag-tag bunch faces wave after wave of zombies in an abandoned, cordoned-off Las Vegas as they attempt to steal millions of dollars from a casino swarming with the undead.
21/05/2123m 51s

Mare Of Easttown

In the HBO series Mare of Easttown, Kate Winslet plays a detective in a small town just outside of Philadelphia. Her character Mare is conducting a murder investigation, and there's a missing girl who may or may not be connected to that case. Meanwhile, Mare's family is falling apart on the heels of a recent tragedy. Plus, there's the accents — we'll talk about the accents.
20/05/2118m 6s

Top Chef

Eighteen seasons of Top Chef, and we still get a thrill every time we hear "hands up, utensils down." The show has traveled to classic food cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, but this season, Top Chef filmed within a COVID-19 bubble in Portland, Oregon. Controversial winners, heartbreaking losses, food that looks good enough to eat and the foolishness of even attempting risotto — they've all been backbones of the Top Chef franchise over its many, many years.
19/05/2121m 14s

The Woman In The Window

In Netflix's adaptation of The Woman In The Window, Amy Adams plays a psychologist named Anna, who is agoraphobic and entirely confined to her house. A family moves in across the street and she meets a couple of them, but then she sees something potentially dreadful. The police are skeptical, and even Anna isn't confident of her grasp on reality. Originally scheduled to be released in 2019, the long-awaited, claustrophobic film has remnants of past female-led thrillers such as Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train.
18/05/2114m 7s

The Underground Railroad

The new Amazon series The Underground Railroad is the latest project from Barry Jenkins, who directed Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. It's the story of Cora, a runaway slave in the antebellum South, who escapes a vicious Georgia plantation and sets off on a journey toward freedom aboard the mysterious and entirely literal underground railroad. It's many contradictory things at once: lyrical yet brutal, luminous yet horrifying.
17/05/2119m 13s

Those Who Wish Me Dead And What's Making Us Happy

The new movie Those Who Wish Me Dead is a lot of things at once. It's the story of a smokejumper, played by Angelina Jolie, who battles terrifying forest fires. It's the story of a young kid chased by killers. And it's the story of a pregnant woman forced to defend herself. The film is directed by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote 2016's Hell Or High Water, and is now streaming on HBO Max.
14/05/2121m 24s

Girls5Eva

In the grand tradition of movies like This is Spinal Tap and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, the new Peacock series Girls5eva is a silly parody of the music industry. In it, four down-on-their-luck members of a fictional late-90s girl group reunite to stage a comeback 20 years later, and find that the music industry has changed a lot since then. The show features a stacked cast of musical and comedic talent, including Sara Bareilles, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, and Paula Pell. And the music's pretty catchy, too. Take our survey at NPR.org/SpringSurvey
13/05/2116m 27s

Three Favorite Nintendo Switch Games

Sometimes, we dive deep into a new piece of pop culture to grapple with its themes, its relevance and its meaning. But sometimes, you just want us to recommend stuff to watch, read or play. Today, we're recommending three great video games you can pick up and play on the Nintendo Switch and other consoles.
12/05/219m 24s

The Nanny

Fran Fine was working at a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens, and now she's on HBO Max. The Nanny, starring Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, nanny to the wealthy Sheffield family, originally ran from 1993 to 1999. More than 20 years after it ended, the show has made it to a major streaming service: HBO Max. And what that means is that a comedy that spent years a little under the radar has roared back into the public conversation.
11/05/2121m 52s

Selena: The Series

Selena Quintanilla was known as the "Queen Of Tejano Music," a major Latin star who was crossing over into the mainstream U.S. pop world when she was shot and killed in 1995. She was 23 years old. Her story spawned a 1997 movie starring Jennifer Lopez, as well as an 18-episode series streaming now on Netflix called Selena: The Series. Maria Garcia, the host and creator of the Anything For Selena podcast, joins us to talk about the legacy of Selena, who would have turned 50 years old this year.
10/05/2121m 40s

The Mitchells Vs. The Machines And What's Making Us Happy

In the new animated film The Mitchells Vs. The Machines, a family road trip turns into a wild adventure and a battle against an actual robot uprising. And while some of the themes are familiar, the inventive execution and the high energy make it one of the summer's first real crowd-pleasers.
07/05/2126m 24s

Rutherford Falls

The Peacock sitcom Rutherford Falls, which follows a conflict over a historical statue in a small town, is notable for a few reasons, besides its timely topic. It's the latest project from Mike Schur and it marks Ed Helms' return to TV. But it also centers several Native American characters (played by Jana Schmieding and Michael Greyeyes), boasts what NBCUniversal claims is "one of the largest Indigenous writer's rooms on television," and is led by co-creator Sierra Teller Ornelas, who is the first Native American showrunner of a television comedy.
06/05/2124m 59s

TCM On HBO Max Guide

The 2021 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival is taking place in your local living room. Beginning this Thursday, a special lineup of curated programming will be airing on TCM and streaming on HBO Max. Today, we highlight some of the films and extras you should be sure to check out.
05/05/2118m 12s

Star Wars And Other Merchandise

Today is May the 4th, also known as Star Wars Day. The first Star Wars film spawned many sequels, TV series, videogames and a multi-billion dollar merchandise industry. So we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation about movie merchandise. In this encore episode, we talk about everything from Jar Jar Binks lollipops and E.T. dolls to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cereal, and more.
04/05/2118m 33s

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone is the latest Netflix 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, a Chosen One who is prophesied to defeat a great wall of darkness, and charming rogues who are out for themselves. That may sound familiar, but there's enough here that's novel to make this series worth your consideration.
03/05/2117m 54s

Without Remorse, Michael B. Jordan, And What's Making Us Happy

Michael B. Jordan has played a range of characters, from sympathetic figures like Wallace on The Wire, to an underdog in Creed and a swaggering antagonist in Black Panther. But Without Remorse marks a new era for Jordan as an action star. Based on Tom Clancy's best-selling 1993 novel of the same name, Without Remorse serves as the origin story for John Clark, an ex-Navy SEAL turned CIA operative.
30/04/2124m 52s

Law And Order: Organized Crime

If you want an example of the TV cop whose supposed integrity is maintained in spite of procedural, ethical, and moral lapses, consider Elliot Stabler. For 12 seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Elliot raged and threatened and caught bad guys, and he still got to be drawn as the good guy. In Law & Order: Organized Crime, Stabler is battling a wealthy shadowy criminal, and also recovering from a personal tragedy that's left him more angry than ever.
29/04/2117m 55s

Stowaway

Netflix's Stowaway stars Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim and Anna Kendrick as a three-person crew on a mission to Mars. When they discover a fourth person aboard, played by Shamier Anderson, his unexpected presence places them all in jeopardy. Absent of sinister aliens, there's plenty of calculus (both mathematical and moral) as the crew tries to puzzle their way out of their rapidly worsening situation.
28/04/2110m 46s

Mortal Kombat

The Mortal Kombat franchise began in 1992 with an arcade fighting game featuring grisly pixelated deaths. It spawned many sequels and spinoffs, comics, television shows and films. The latest entry, a film called Mortal Kombat, introduces Cole Young, played by Lewis Tan, who is tapped to save the Earthrealm with classic character like Liu Kang, Sonya Blade and Jax.
27/04/2111m 44s

2021 Oscars Recap

We are wrapping up this year's Oscars. It was a big night for Nomadland, which took best picture, best actress for Frances McDormand, and a historic best director win for Chloé Zhao. But there were also huge upsets, most notably in best actor, where Anthony Hopkins won over Chadwick Boseman. And the telecast took some big risks that didn't always pay off.
26/04/2119m 14s

2021 Oscars Preview And What's Making Us Happy

There are always two big questions as we approach the Oscars: Who will win, and who should win. We're diving into both, so you can win your Oscar pool and see some fine movies at the same time.
23/04/2143m 57s

2021 Oscars Guide: Original Songs

What do Will Ferrell and Leslie Odom, Jr. have in common? They both play a part in the Academy Awards' Best Original Song category. This year's five nominated songs are stacked with star power and grand themes of fighting for justice, as well as a sweeping power ballad about mountains singing "through the screams of seagulls."
22/04/2118m 59s

2021 Oscars Guide: Animated Features

Wolves, aliens and the afterlife all show up in this year's Oscar-nominated animated features. From stop-motion to hand-drawn art, these five films exhibit and celebrate different styles of animation and storytelling. Disney and Pixar appear, but the category also showcases films a little farther off the beaten path, proving that animated features are a lot more than cute cartoons.
21/04/2117m 5s

2021 Oscars Guide: Documentary Features

Corruption, loneliness, family, activism, and the adventures that take place in the ocean. The Oscar-nominated documentary features are about all these things, but not just these things. These films are shot in black and white and vivid underwater colors. Some trace long histories and some closely examine particular inflection points in time. And you can stream all the films on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.
20/04/2120m 59s

2021 Oscars Guide: Documentary Features

Corruption, loneliness, family, activism, and the adventures that take place in the ocean. The Oscar-nominated documentary features are about all these things, but not just these things. These films are shot in black and white and vivid underwater colors. Some trace long histories and some closely examine particular inflection points in time. And you can stream all the films on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.
20/04/2120m 59s

2021 Oscars Guide: International Features

This year's Oscar nominees for best international feature film tackle a variety of issues, from school bullying to mass slaughter, from government corruption to alcohol abuse — one nominee even grapples with the nature and purpose of art itself. But even though these films reveal some darker truths about the human condition, they each manage to do so with a vivid sense of style and a deep sense of empathy that's as enlivening as it is enlightening.
19/04/2115m 18s

Legally Blonde And What's Making Us Happy

Twenty years ago, Legally Blonde opened in theaters, and now it's available on Netflix. Reese Witherspoon plays a first-year law student named Elle Woods. She heads to Harvard Law School to win back Warner, who broke up with her for not being serious enough. But she learned that she was cut out for the courtroom, and she changed what it means to be a "serious" woman.
16/04/2124m 31s

Made For Love

The HBO Max series Made For Love follows Hazel (played by Cristin Milioti), whose husband wants to get inside her head — literally. He's a tech genius who's already made both of them recluses, but he's now working on a chip that, once implanted in her brain, will allow him to know and see everything she does.
15/04/2112m 36s

Three Songs For Staring Out The Window

NPR Music has song recommendations for every occasion, from major life events to moments when all you want to do is stare blankly into the middle distance. Right now, so many of us feel stuck in a holding pattern, as we wait for our lives to resume. Maybe we're passing time until our vaccinations kick in, or maybe we're daydreaming about the possibility of safe summer travel. Today, we're recommending three songs to help cope with pent-up, restless boredom.
14/04/217m 51s

Queen Sugar

Queen Sugar is a sprawling melodrama following the Bordelons, a tight-knit, multi-generational black family in rural Louisiana. Created by Ava DuVernay, the series has been politically topical from the beginning, and its fifth season is timelier than ever, dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd.
13/04/2114m 52s

Viola Davis: Essentials

Viola Davis' name is rarely far from awards season chatter, and this year is no different — the highly decorated performer received her fourth Oscar nomination for her role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and could become the first Black woman to nab two acting Oscars. As awards season kicks off, Pop Culture Happy Hour revisits great performers and a few of their essential performances. Today, we're spotlighting Viola Davis, from her first Oscar-nominated role in Doubt to her standing as a powerful force of nature in Hollywood.
12/04/2119m 45s

The Great Pottery Throw Down, What's Making Us Happy, And Remembering DMX

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 UK series is now streaming on HBO Max. The dishes, the bowls, the handles, the crying — it's all right there to help you relax at the end of even the longest day. Plus, we take a moment to remember rapper DMX, who died today at 50.
09/04/2121m 31s

Bad Trip

In the Netflix movie Bad Trip, Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery play best friends who take a road trip from Florida to New York City. The twist in Bad Trip is that each scene is also an elaborate prank, blending fiction and reality - with the mayhem taking place as real unsuspecting strangers look on.
08/04/2112m 9s

Frances McDormand: Essentials

Over the course of her long, varied and distinguished career, actor Frances McDormand has won two Oscars - and her performance in Nomadland this year could win her a third. Pop Culture Happy Hour explores some of the great work she's done.
07/04/2116m 55s

Chadwick Boseman: Essentials

Chadwick Boseman is nominated for an Oscar this year for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. It's his final onscreen role — he died of colon cancer in August. Before that, Boseman played historical figures including Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and James Brown. And of course, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Black Panther. And today we're talking about some of those essential performances.
06/04/2119m 27s

The Father

In The Father, Anthony Hopkins plays a character whose fierce independence is complicated by his worsening dementia. Olivia Colman plays his daughter Anne, who keeps trying to hire carers to help look after him. But the structure of the film is more complicated than that, as director Florian Zeller finds ways to keep viewers guessing. The Father is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Picture.
05/04/2117m 18s

Top 10 Muppets And What's Making Us Happy

When we asked our listeners to tell us which Muppets were their favorites, we knew you'd all come through. More than 6,000 people cast over 18,000 votes, and those votes have been tallied. This is the PCHH audience's definitive ranking of the best Muppets.
02/04/2125m 19s

Our Favorite Muppets

When The Muppet Show arrived on Disney Plus in February, it got us talking: who are our favorite Muppets? And which Muppet do we most identify with? Today, we're discussing all things Muppets and finding out where we fit in Jim Henson's felt universe.
01/04/2123m 24s

Godzilla Vs. Kong

Godzilla Vs. Kong is a collision of two classic film franchises. As the sequel to 2017's Kong: Skull Island and 2019's Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, the film's excessive plot largely serves as window dressing for a heightened epic battle. However, its action-packed story also neglects to properly acknowledge the complicated layers of these two cinematic monsters.
31/03/2115m 25s

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its march across Disney Plus, it needs a buddy show, specifically The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. Both old allies of Captain America, the two find themselves up against villains, a therapist and sometimes each other.
30/03/2113m 40s

Die Hard

There's no wrong time to talk about an influential Hollywood classic. So that's why we are talking about Die Hard. We will never get tired of Hans Gruber versus John McClane — Alan Rickman versus Bruce Willis — the real clash of the titans. So that's why we are bringing you this encore episode.
29/03/2121m 13s

Beverly Cleary: Essentials

Legendary children's author Beverly Cleary died last week at the age of 104. Cleary wrote more than 40 books over about 50 years. Her characters, like Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, entertained kids for decades. So we decided to talk about some of Cleary's essential books.
27/03/2114m 48s

Sound of Metal and What's Making Us Happy

Sound Of Metal tells the story of a heavy-metal drummer, played by Riz Ahmed, who experiences sudden hearing loss that changes every facet of his life. The film is nominated for six Academy Awards - including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
26/03/2127m 5s

King Of The Hill

If you're looking for the next show to binge, we've got a great suggestion for you. The animated sitcom King Of The Hill ran on FOX from 1997 to 2010, and all 13 seasons are now streaming on Hulu. The show, created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels pokes gentle fun at its characters without mocking them.
25/03/2117m 8s

Audience Questions: What Should I Watch?

For a year, many of us have found ourselves planted at home, with a lot more time on our hands for movies and television. Maybe you've already finished the umpteenth binge-watch of your favorite show, or you're just in a very different headspace than you were a few months ago. Today, we're teaming up with the hosts of the Movie Therapy podcast to help a few listeners out with some personal recommendations.
24/03/2122m 58s

2020 Best Books: Book Club Ideas

Every year, NPR brings together some of the best books of the year in a searchable, explorable guide called the Book Concierge. Today, All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro gives us his recommendations for your next book club.
23/03/2111m 43s

Favorite Concert Films

It's been more than a year since live concerts were a safe way to experience music. We miss the roar of a blissed-out crowd and experiencing art at the moment of its creation. Therefore, it feels like a good time to talk about some of our favorite concert films from Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, and Aretha Franklin.
22/03/2121m 27s

Justice League And What's Making Us Happy

The 2017 film Justice League had a famously rocky road to the big screen and premiered to polarized reactions. Following an extended online campaign by Zack Snyder's hardcore fanbase, the director has gone back and recreated his original vision for the film, now called Zack Snyder's Justice League.
19/03/2122m 5s

Raya And The Last Dragon

Raya And The Last Dragon is an animated Disney movie without musical numbers, without romantic intrigue and with a largely Asian cast. It's about the pursuit of peace, the need for trust and a young warrior who assembles a ragtag team of misfit heroes to save the world.
18/03/2112m 30s

Steven Yeun: Essentials

Steven Yeun's filmography reveals a remarkably varied career. From his breakout role as Glenn Rhee in The Walking Dead to his work with directors like Bong Joon-ho and Boots Riley, Yeun can easily jump between playing enigmatic cosmopolitan characters and endearing supportive boyfriend characters. As awards season kicks off, Pop Culture Happy Hour revisits great performers and a few of their essential performances. Today, we're spotlighting Yeun, whose role in Minari makes him the first Asian-American nominee for a lead actor Oscar.
17/03/2119m 45s

Oscar Nominations 2021

The Oscar nominations are out, and in the lead is Mank. The David Fincher-directed film about the writing of Citizen Kane picked up the most nominations with 10, while other films including Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Minari, and Judas and the Black Messiah performed well, too. We'll get into what surprised us and what disappointed us. And this year, more than ever, you can check out the eligible movies from the comfort of your own home.
15/03/2114m 43s

2021 Grammys Recap

After a six week delay due to COVID-19, we did finally have a Grammys ceremony, hosted by Trevor Noah, with loads of socially distanced performances and big wins for Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Megan Thee Stallion, and Billie Eilish.
15/03/2119m 54s
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