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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_Downton Abbey_ is back again. Three years after the 2019 movie that extended the popular TV series, the Crawleys are once again dealing with the clash of the old ways and the new ways. This time, the interloper is early Hollywood. While a director, a crew, and a bunch of …
It's been five years since Kendrick Lamar released his last album, _DAMN_. Since then, he's won a Pulitzer Prize, been nominated for an Oscar, and become a parent. His new double-length album, _Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers_, is anything but a breezy victory lap. Lamar examines generational trauma, sexual …
Irish writer Sally Rooney's book _Normal People_ was adapted into a Hulu series in 2020. Now, her first novel _Conversations with Friends_ gets its own Hulu adaptation. It tells the story of two college friends and exes (Alison Oliver and Sasha Lane) who meet a married couple (Joe Alwyn and …
The Flight Attendant May 17, 2022
A woman wakes up after a night of partying and realizes something is very, very wrong. That's the premise of the HBO Max series _The Flight Attendant_. It's a taut, darkly funny thriller starring Kaley Cuoco of _The Big Bang Theory_ as a woman in search of some answers about …
Eurovision 2022 May 16, 2022
The 66th Eurovision Song Contest took place in Italy over the weekend. Every year, dozens of countries face off in a competition full of pageantry, strobe lights, and sparkles. But Eurovision isn't just a talent search. It's also a lavish spectacle that attempts to unify the world in song. This …
The Netflix series _Heartstopper_ is a new romcom for soft hearts everywhere. Based on Alice Oseman's graphic novels, the show follows Charlie and Nick, who are young and navigating the hallways of high school. When the two meet, they instantly take a shine to each other and go from rugby …
Bad Bunny is one of the world's biggest pop stars and a multimedia superstar. Now, the Puerto Rican singer is back with a new record called _Un Verano Sin Ti_ , or _A Summer Without You._ It's a 23-song, double-length album that sprawls across many genres, including pop, trap, reggaeton …
We Own This City May 11, 2022
HBO's _We Own This City_ zeroes in on rampant corruption and abuse within Baltimore's criminal justice system. It features drug dealers, civilians and the police officers who recklessly target them both. There's also politicians and federal agents with competing interests and egos. If this sounds like _The Wire_ , they …
NPR's annual Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of books that scratch whatever your reading itch might be. Today, we're going to talk about some of the nonfiction we loved.
American Song Contest May 9, 2022
Hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, NBC's _American Song Contest_ is a singing competition that tries to duplicate the Eurovision formula by having each entry represent their home state or territory.
In Marvel's _Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness,_ Benedict Cumberbatch returns as a powerful sorcerer who must protect Earth from mystical menaces. The new film finds Doctor Strange battling an unexpected nemesis as he comes to the aid of America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez, who has the power …
Russian Doll May 5, 2022
In the first season of the Netflix show _Russian Doll_ , we meet Natasha Lyonne's Nadia, a woman who gets stuck in a seemingly endless loop of death scenarios, and is forced to confront her personal demons in the process. Now season two has arrived, and Nadia's next phase of …
Grace And Frankie May 4, 2022
The delightfully cheesy Netflix comedy _Grace and Frankie_ stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as frenemies-turned-co-dependent besties after their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) come out as gay and marry each other. As the final episodes of the final season are out now, the series is attuned …
Ozark May 3, 2022
The Netflix series _Ozark_ recently dropped its final episodes. After a lot of Emmy recognition and four seasons of the increasingly criminal Byrde family seen through moody blue filters, it's over. Did Wendy and Marty Byrde (Laura Linney and Jason Bateman) make it? Did young Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) manage …
Titanic May 2, 2022
When _Titanic_ pulled into theaters 25 years ago, it quickly became an inescapable cultural juggernaut. Everything about it was huge: Its budget, runtime, box office, and accolades. And it catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into a whole new stratosphere of fame. Now that we've got some distance from Leo …
It's about to be summer. While that means sunshine and maybe even a chance to relax, it also means summer entertainment. Whether you're ready to venture out into theaters or you're still enjoying the comforts of your couch, we are here to talk about some of the best TV, film …
X April 28, 2022
In the terrific horror thriller _X_ , a ragtag film crew sets up shop in a creepy rural farmhouse, where they plan to shoot a porno movie without attracting the attention of their elderly hosts. But it's only a matter of time before things get stabby. Starring Mia Goth and …
A Very British Scandal April 27, 2022
_A Very British Scandal_ focuses on the tumultuous marriage and bitter divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. The Amazon Prime miniseries chronicles the couple's courtship, marriage, and their eventual split. Paul Bettany plays the drunken, abusive Duke, and Claire Foy plays Margaret, a woman determined to hold onto …
The Northman April 26, 2022
In _The Northman_ , Alexander Skarsgård plays a Viking prince who flees his island kingdom when his uncle kills his father and marries his mother. It's based on a very old but familiar story that predates Shakespeare's _Hamlet_ by a few centuries. Directed by Robert Eggers, _The Northman_ is a …
Slow Horses April 25, 2022
In _Slow Horses_ , Gary Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, the slovenly, burnt-out head of Slough House — a rundown, disregarded division of MI5, and serves as a dumping ground for British spies who've made huge mistakes. This team of misfits is the laughing stock of the British intelligence community, led …