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.

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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 …
_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, …
Prey Aug. 11, 2022
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 …
Desus and Mero Aug. 10, 2022
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 …
The Sandman Aug. 9, 2022
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 …
The Wire Aug. 8, 2022
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 …
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 …
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 …
Uncoupled Aug. 3, 2022
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
The Gray Man July 28, 2022
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 …
Summer TV We Missed July 27, 2022
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 …
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 …
Nope: Spoiler Episode July 25, 2022
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 …
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 …
Persuasion July 21, 2022
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 …
Lizzo's Special July 20, 2022
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.
Movie Soundtracks July 19, 2022
We debate: what is the greatest movie soundtrack of all time?