Pop Culture Happy Hour

by NPR (podcasts@npr.org) · · · · 144 subscribers

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.

Boy Bands: A Guide July 19, 2021

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

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Older Episodes

Lebron James and Warner Bros. compete for the spotlight. But who is it all for?
Blindspotting July 15, 2021
In 2018, _Blindspotting_ was one of the buzziest movies to come out of the Sundance Film Festival. Now, it's has been spun off into a series on Starz, offering a fresh and more expansive take on the movie's themes around incarceration and race. Jasmine Cephas Jones plays Ashely. She had …
For more than 13 years, Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship. Her assets and career have been kept under the control of her father, Jamie Spears, as well as an attorney. A movement called #FreeBritney has pushed for that conservatorship to be lifted — and Spears herself recently gave …
2021 Emmy Nominations July 13, 2021
This year's Emmy Award nominations brought some expected triumphs ( _Ted Lasso, The Queen's Gambit_ ) __ and welcomed surprises ( _WandaVision, Pose_ ). _The Crown_ and _The Mandalorian_ tied for the most nominations for a drama, and _Saturday Night Live_ earned the most nominations for a comedy. HBO and …
I Think You Should Leave July 12, 2021
Two years ago, the first season of the Netflix sketch comedy series _I Think You Should Leave_ introduced viewers to Tim Robinson's distinctive comic voice: It's male, it's often loud, and it varies in tone from belligerent to outraged to defensive to performatively wounded. But because Robinson and his fellow …
Marvel's latest blockbuster delivers summer superhero action, but fails to do right by a main character who has been grossly underserved by the MCU since her introduction.
2021 Songs Of Summer July 8, 2021
Every summer gets its own unique soundtrack. So we gathered a bunch of NPR Music contributors and asked them to name their song of the summer.
Starstruck July 7, 2021
It might sound like fun to date a glamorous movie star, but in reality, it would probably get very messy. That's the premise of HBO Max's _Starstruck,_ created by and starring New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo. Over six episodes, the romantic comedy series is complicated, funny and charming — treating …
Betty July 6, 2021
The immersive HBO series _Betty_ follows an eclectic bunch of young women skateboarders navigating adulthood while fostering community within a bro- dominated environment. Based on Crystal Moselle's 2018 film _Skate Kitchen_ , the show returned for a second season, and we think it's worth a look if you haven't checked …
The _Pop Culture Happy Hour_ team is off today, so we thought you might like to check out the latest episode of New Music Friday from the _All Songs Considered_ podcast. It highlights the biggest album releases of the week, across many genres, and it's full of music by big …
In the summer of 1969, hundreds of thousands of fans flooded Harlem's Mount Morris Park to attend the Harlem Cultural Festival, which hosted the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson, and Sly And The Family Stone. Now, some of that footage is unearthed in a new documentary, directed …
It's summer time after a long stretch indoors, and many of us are returning to the world outside, including amusement parks. We thought it was a good time to bring you an encore episode about our favorite amusement park experiences: the rides, the attractions, the deep-fried snacks and the rigged …
Zola June 30, 2021
Over the years, Hollywood has built movie narratives out of unusual source material, but the dark comedy _Zola_ is one of the first to originate via Twitter. The Sundance hit was inspired by A'Ziah 'Zola' King's series of viral tweets in 2015, detailing her first-person account of a truly bizarre …
Loki June 29, 2021
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Hiddleston's Loki has faced off against Thor and the other Avengers. And now in the new series _Loki_ on Disney+, he gets roped into working with the MCU's time cops, the Time Variance Authority. Alongside TVA agent Mobius, played by Owen Wilson, Loki hunts …
In 2001, _The Fast and the Furious_ debuted as a scruffy car-culture movie, and it was a hit. it was followed by two sequels that didn't quite satisfy, so they regrouped. Since then, it's become the blockbuster machine some love, some hate, some love to hate, and some hate to …
What better way to kick off a summer of movies than with _F9_ , the ninth installment of the main _Fast & Furious_ franchise. Directed by Justin Lin, and starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and the rest of the beloved _Fast_ family, the movie's got cars, it's got bad guys, …
Physical June 24, 2021
When the new Apple TV+ series is about Rose Byrne's Sheila, it's a strong examination of hunger and desire. When it wanders off into anything else, it gets dull in a hurry.
You have to love a love story: the meeting, the flirting, the falling, the struggling, and ultimately, the happily ever after. Maybe you're an experienced romance reader, or maybe you're just getting your feet wet. Either way, it's always good to get some recommendations, some basic background, and a few …
We Are Lady Parts June 22, 2021
The Peacock series _We Are Lady Parts_ is a bold, bracing and very funny comedy series about an up-and-coming London punk band called Lady Parts, and the young, awkward and extremely anxious microbiology PhD student who reluctantly becomes their lead guitarist. The members of Lady Parts, and its manager, are …