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Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour


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

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The Creator And What's Making Us Happy

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

Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense

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


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

Dumb Money

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

Sex Education And What's Making Us Happy

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


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

Three Great 90s Thrillers

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

The Other Black Girl

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

Fall Guide And What's Making Us Happy

Today we offer up a guide to some of the most exciting movies, TV, and music you can check out this fall.
15/09/23·28m 9s

Olivia Rodrigo's GUTS

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

Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour

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

Jimmy Fallon And Strike Force Five

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

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

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

Are We Witnessing The Death Of Movie Stars?

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

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour

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

TV Guest Stars

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

Suits And What's Making Us Happy

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


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

Two Great Scammer Documentaries

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


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

Bottoms And What's Making Us Happy

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

Blue Beetle

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

Books We Love: Book Club Ideas

We know you read on your own. But we also know you read together. Today we're recommending some great books for your next book club.
23/08/23·9m 26s


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

The Afterparty And What's Making Us Happy

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

The World Cup

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

Harley Quinn

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

The Hip-Hop Verse That Changed My Life

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

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

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


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

Kokomo City

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


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

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles And What's Making Us Happy

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


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

This Fool

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

Good Omens

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

Haunted Mansion And What's Making Us Happy

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

They Cloned Tyrone

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

Barbie: Spoiler Episode

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


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

Barbie And What's Making Us Happy

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

A Barbie v. Oppenheimer Game

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

Survival of the Thickest

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

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

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

Theater Camp And What's Making Us Happy

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

So Bad It's Good

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

2023 Emmy Nominations

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

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

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

Joy Ride and What's Making Us Happy

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


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


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

Trans Representation In TV And Film

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

Indiana Jones And What's Making Us Happy

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

Books We Love: Mysteries And Thrillers

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

I'm A Virgo

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

No Hard Feelings

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

Asteroid City and What's Making Us Happy

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

Black Mirror

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


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

The Bear

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

The Flash and What's Making us Happy

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

The Blackening

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

Vanderpump Rules

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

Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts

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

Never Have I Ever And What's Making Us Happy

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

Three Great Songs For Your Next Road Trip

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

Past Lives

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

Books We Love: Love Stories

Love stories are close to many of our hearts. We want to swoon, maybe laugh and cry, we want that romance. Today we're recommending great books for people who love love stories.
06/06/23·7m 49s

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

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

You Hurt My Feelings

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


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

Tears Of The Kingdom

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


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

The Little Mermaid and What's Making Us Happy

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

Tina Turner

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

American Born Chinese

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

XO, Kitty

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

Fast X And What's Making Us Happy

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


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

The Fast & Furious Franchise

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

Book Club: The Next Chapter

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

Summer Guide And What's Making Us Happy

Today we offer up a guide to some of the most exciting movies, TV, and music you can check out this summer.Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at
12/05/23·28m 41s

Books We Love: Tales From Around The World

Books can take you anywhere. Across oceans, across borders, to places you may have never seen. And those books are some of the ones that we treasure the most. Today we're recommending great books that take you around the world.
11/05/23·7m 0s

Best TV Series Finales

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Barry, and Succession will conclude this month, and it's not easy to end a TV series. So we decided to debate: what is the greatest TV finale of all time?Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at
10/05/23·24m 58s

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

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

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

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

Mrs. Davis

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

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

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

John Mulaney's Baby J

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

Polite Society And What's Making Us Happy

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

Beau Is Afraid

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

Harry Belafonte

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

Evil Dead Rise

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

The Diplomat And What's Making Us Happy

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

Judy Blume

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


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

Showing Up

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

Renfield And What's Making Us Happy

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


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


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


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

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

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

Top Chef

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

The Big Door Prize

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

Rye Lane

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

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

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

Top 10 Muppets

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

Our Favorite Muppets

Today we are tackling two of the most important questions of our time: who are our favorite Muppets? And which Muppets do we most identify with? As they always say, the Muppets are the window to the soul.
29/03/23·22m 34s

The Night Agent

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

Books We Love: No Biz Like Show Biz

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

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

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

Jonathan Majors

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


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

Grand Crew

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

Shadow And Bone

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

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

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

Scream 6

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


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

Marvel's Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur

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

2023 Oscars Recap

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

2023 Oscars Preview And What's Making Us Happy

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

2023 Oscars Guide: International Feature

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

2023 Oscars Guide: Animated Feature

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

2023 Oscars Guide: Documentary Feature

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

2023 Oscars Guide: Original Song

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

Creed III And What's Making Us Happy

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

Return To Seoul

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

The Consultant

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

The Forty-Year-Old Version

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

The New Black Film Canon

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

Cocaine Bear And What's Making Us Happy

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

The Last Of Us

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

Dear Edward

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

Books We Love: Nonfiction

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

Top Gun: Maverick

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

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

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

How To Be A Better Movie Watcher

Our pal and Culture Desk reporter Andrew Limbong teamed up with NPR's Life Kit to get advice on how to be a better movie watcher – how to pick a film, get outside your comfort zone, and deepen your enjoyment of a movie.
16/02/23·21m 24s


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


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

2023 Super Bowl

We recap this year's Super Bowl, including Rihanna's halftime show, the Kansas City Chiefs' win against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the most memorable commercials.
13/02/23·21m 17s

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

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

80 for Brady

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

Infinity Pool

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

Poker Face

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

2023 Grammys Recap

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

Knock At The Cabin And What's Making Us Happy

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


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

Harry and Meghan

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

2023 Sundance: Best Movies

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

Beyoncé's Renaissance

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

Shotgun Wedding And What's Making Us Happy

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

Everything Everywhere All At Once

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

2023 Oscar Nominations

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


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


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

Missing And What's Making Us Happy

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

The Traitors

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

People We're Pulling For

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

Saint Omer

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

Dungeons & Dragons

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

Plane And What's Making Us Happy

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


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


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

Ginny And Georgia

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

Books We Love: Realistic Fiction

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

Women Talking And What's Making Us Happy

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

Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical

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

Great 2022 Movies You May Have Missed

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

South Side

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

Comedian Josh Gondelman

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

2023 Pop Culture Resolutions And What's Making Us Happy

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

2023 Pop Culture Predictions

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

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody

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

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery: Spoiler Episode

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

The Kardashians, Plus Celebrity Skincare

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

Babylon And What's Making Us Happy

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

The Best Man: The Final Chapters

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


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


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

Hanukkah In Pop Culture

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

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

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


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

2022 Pop Culture Favorites

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

The Whale

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

Welcome to Chippendales

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

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

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

Violent Night

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

Fleishman Is In Trouble

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

2022 Books We Love: Staff Picks

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

Sort Of

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

The Fabelmans and What's Making Us Happy

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

Strange World

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


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

Bones and All

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


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

Ricki Lake

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

Latinos in Hollywood

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

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

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

2022 Christmas Movie Guide

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

Songs For Cleaning The Bathroom

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

Screening Ourselves: The Color Purple

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

She Said and What's Making Us Happy

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


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


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

The Crown

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


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

Screening Ourselves: Basic Instinct

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

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

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

Love Is Blind

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


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

Chadwick Boseman

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

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

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

Screening Ourselves: The Godfather

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

The Banshees Of Inisherin And What's Making Us Happy

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

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

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

Interview with the Vampire

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


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

Movies For Scaredy Cats

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

Wendell & Wild And What's Making Us Happy

Director and animator Henry Selick, best-known for films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, has teamed up with co-writer Jordan Peele for Wendell & Wild, a new stop-motion animated movie from Netflix. Peele also stars in the film, reuniting with Keegan-Michael Key as a pair of demon brothers who escape the underworld with the help of Kat, a teenager with a tragic past.
28/10/22·25m 37s

Ticket to Paradise

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

Taylor's Swift's Midnights

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

Carly Rae Jepsen's The Loneliest Time

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

Decision to Leave

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

Black Adam And What's Making Us Happy

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

House of the Dragon

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

Halloween Ends

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


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

Spooky Season Songs

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

Tár And What's Making Us Happy

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

The Midnight Club

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

Catherine Called Birdy

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


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

How Rosalía Found Her Confidence

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

Hocus Pocus 2 And What's Making Us Happy

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

The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power

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


In the Netflix movie Blonde, Ana de Armas steps into the billowing white dress of one of the most iconic figures of the 21st century: Marilyn Monroe. It was written and directed by Andrew Dominik and is an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' novel of the same name, which took extensive creative liberties with Monroe's life.
05/10/22·19m 48s

Los Espookys

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

The Patient

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

Bros And What's Making Us Happy

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

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

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


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

Mariah Carey

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

Don't Worry Darling: Spoiler Episode

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

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

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

See How They Run

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

Do Revenge

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


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


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

The Woman King And What's Making Us Happy

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

2022 Fall Guide

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

Serena Williams

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

2022 Emmys Recap

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

Emmy Nominee Squid Game

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

Disney's Pinocchio And What's Making Us Happy

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

Queen Elizabeth II

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


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


The children's TV cartoon Bluey centers on a family of four anthropomorphic dogs. Each episode balances gentle humor with some kind of lesson about emotional intelligence. Bluey is an Australian series that first premiered in 2018, and is streaming in the United States on Disney Plus.
07/09/22·21m 6s

Mississippi Masala

The 1991 film Mississippi Masala stars Sarita Choudhury and Denzel Washington as two very beautiful people who meet and unexpectedly find they're just right for each other. Directed by Mira Nair, it's also about family and displacement, knowing your history, and making your own way in the world. And after being hard to track down for many years, the film is newly available again on the Criterion Channel.
06/09/22·19m 32s

Auditioning For RuPaul's Drag Race

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

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

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

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

Manti Te'o was a decorated college football player at Notre Dame with a heartbreaking story. Early in his senior year, he had learned on the same day of the deaths of his grandmother and his girlfriend. But a few months later, the story broke that there was no indication that the girlfriend had ever existed, and Te'o was catfished. Now a new Netflix documentary, Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist, explores what really happened.
01/09/22·23m 30s


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

Three Great Karaoke Songs

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

Physical Media We Still Treasure

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

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

In the new George Miller-directed film Three Thousand Years of Longing, Tilda Swinton plays an academic who buys a glass bottle and soon discovers it contains an ancient djinn, played by Idris Elba. He says he will grant her three wishes, but as a scholar of stories about wish-granting, she's going to need some time to think this through. Meanwhile, he tells her the story of his immortal life, and the many times he's found himself literally imprisoned by love.
26/08/22·18m 44s

The Rehearsal

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

King Of The Hill

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

Best Video Games Of 2022, So Far

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

Rap Sh!t

The HBO Max series Rap Sh!t feels like a comedy for The Moment. Created by Issa Rae, the show focuses on Shawna and Mia (played by Aida Osman and KaMillion), two aspiring rappers from Miami, and documents the challenges they face as young women trying to break into the music industry. And for these women on the cusp of Millennial and Gen Z, life exists largely on social media, through the lens of a camera phone.
22/08/22·21m 47s

Better Call Saul And What's Making Us Happy

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

Harley Quinn

The HBO Max animated series Harley Quinn is filled with characters from a version of the DC Universe where the violence is frequent, the language is explicitly salty, and the jokes come at you fast. In the show, Harley (Kaley Cuoco) has ditched the Joker and started making her own brand of mayhem alongside her best friend Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). And slowly, over the course of three seasons, she's found true, queer love.
18/08/22·17m 17s

A League Of Their Own (1992)

The 1992 film A League Of Their Own is a beloved sports movie classic – thanks to a memorable all-star cast led by Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, and repeat showings on cable TV. It's a fictionalized account of The Rockford Peaches, the real-life professional women's baseball team that was formed during World War II. With a new TV series adaptation on Amazon, now seems like the perfect time to revisit the original and reflect on its enduring legacy.
17/08/22·20m 31s

A League Of Their Own (2022)

The professional women's baseball team the Rockford Peaches were immortalized in the 1992 box office hit A League Of Their Own. Thirty years later, they're back in a new Amazon Prime series of the same name. Co-created by and starring Broad City alum Abbi Jacobson, the series showcases a new set of fictionalized characters, played by Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, and more. While exploring queer themes and racial segregation, the show is a fresh take that both pays homage and stands on its own.
16/08/22·25m 5s

Checking In With Indian Matchmaking

There's marriage, and then there's love marriage. That's the philosophy of Sima, the matchmaker at the center of the Netflix reality series Indian Matchmaking. The show has gotten a lot of attention, but also some critiques. It recently returned for a second season, so in this encore episode, we thought we'd revisit our conversation about the show's first season.
15/08/22·17m 55s

Bodies Bodies Bodies And What's Making Us Happy

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


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

Desus and Mero

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

The Sandman

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

The Wire

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

Bullet Train and What's Making Us Happy

In the new film Bullet Train, Brad Pitt plays an assassin hired to steal a briefcase from a pair of rival assassins played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry. Also in the mix are Andrew Koji, Joey King, Bad Bunny, and Hiroyuki Sanada. It's directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw).
05/08/22·19m 45s

Beyoncé's Renaissance

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


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

3 Great Movies Under 90 Minutes

What do you do when you need a good movie, but you don't have much time? The answer is that you find a short one. We recommend three films that deliver a lot of punch without taking up your whole day.
02/08/22·10m 37s

$#@*! Profanity in Pop Culture

We've got dirty words on the brain. In this encore episode from 2013, we chat about the use and functions of profanity in entertainment. We cover everything from Anchorman to South Park to Shakespeare.
01/08/22·16m 8s

Vengeance and What's Making Us Happy

B.J. Novak (The Office) wrote, directed, and stars in the new indie comedy Vengeance. He plays Ben, a New York City journalist who decides to turn the mysterious death of his former hookup into fodder for a podcast. The film features Issa Rae as his podcast editor and Ashton Kutcher as a record producer.
29/07/22·20m 18s

The Gray Man

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

Summer TV We Missed

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

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

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

Nope: Spoiler Episode

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

Nope And What's Making Us Happy

Jordan Peele's third film Nope comes with some hefty expectations: eclectic thrills, unexpected twists, and standout performances. Starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as siblings who get caught up in some weird occurrences in a small California town, the film is giving Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan vibes. And it's sure to stir up a lot of debate.
22/07/22·25m 42s


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

Lizzo's Special

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

Movie Soundtracks

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

Emmy Nominee Only Murders In The Building

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

Where the Crawdads Sing And What's Making Us Happy

The new film Where The Crawdads Sing stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya, a girl who was abandoned in the marshes of North Carolina as a child and raised herself into adulthood. It's part mystery, part courtroom drama, part love triangle, and part nature film. The film is based on Delia Owens' bestselling novel, and features a new Taylor Swift song.
15/07/22·22m 33s


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

2022 Emmy Nominations

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

The Bear

If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you likely understand how intense it can be — it's fast-paced and you're constantly in close proximity with your colleagues. The excellent new FX on Hulu series The Bear understands this environment well. The dramedy stars Jeremy Allen White as Carmy, a fine dining chef who takes over his family's beloved, but troubled Italian beef sandwich shop following the death of his brother.
12/07/22·20m 59s


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

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

Marvel's Thor: Love And Thunder follows in the footsteps of the much-loved Thor: Ragnarok. Both are directed by Taika Waititi, and both offer a lighthearted take on the godlike superhero, played again by Chris Hemsworth. The new film introduces Christian Bale as a villain named Gorr, The God Butcher, and brings back Natalie Portman as Jane Foster — who now wields Thor's hammer.
08/07/22·22m 12s
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