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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The 2022 Oscars are finally upon us. There are always two big questions as we approach the Oscars: Who will win, and who should win. Today, we're offering up a guide to this year's nominations to try to help you win your Oscar pool and see some terrific movies at …
Deep Water March 24, 2022
The new Hulu thriller _Deep Water_ is about unhappily married couple Vic and Melinda, played by Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. Melinda is involved with other men, and when those other men start to run into some bad luck, suspicion falls on Vic. Directed by erotic thriller king Adrian …
History and music, economics and journalism, freedom and family are all prominent in this year's impressive crop of Oscar nominees for documentary feature. They tackle issues including mass incarceration, the plight of refugees, and what parts of the past we celebrate most. Plus, most of the films are available to …
In honor of this year's Oscars, we polled listeners to ask a simple question: What's the _best b_ est picture winner of all time? Today, we run through our listeners' ranking of the Top 10, and give our picks for the best winner of all time.
The latest edition of NPR's Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of book recommendations from critics, writers and NPR journalists to try to give you just the read you're looking for. Today, we're talking about the love story.
The new film _Master_ is a thriller set at a predominantly white liberal arts college, where a history of systemic racism still haunts the campus in the present day. The film stars Regina Hall as a professor who steps into a new role as the school's first Black house master. …
The Adam Project March 17, 2022
In Netflix's _The Adam Project_ , Ryan Reynolds is a pilot from the future who goes back in time to the present day, where he enlists the aid of his 12-year- old self (Walker Scobell) to save the timeline. Toss in small roles for Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo as …
Films from Italy, Norway, Denmark, Japan, and – for the first time in Oscars history – Bhutan are vying for this year's Academy Award for international feature. While they share several common themes – finding yourself and your purpose, coming to terms with your past – they're five films that …
Severance March 15, 2022
In the excellent new Apple TV+ series _Severance,_ a group of office workers are experiencing work-life balance on a whole other level. Adam Scott, John Turturro, and others play employees that have undergone brain surgery that completely separates their memories of work from their memories of their regular lives. _Severance_ …
The Dropout March 14, 2022
Hulu's _The Dropout_ moves the needle on the Theranos story. The series stars Amanda Seyfried as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, and shows how the tech wunderkind and her company went from darlings to defendants. The cast also includes Naveen Andrews, William H. Macy, Sam Waterston, Stephen Fry, Alan Ruck and …
Pixar is back with another movie aiming to hit you in all the feels: _Turning Red_. It's about a charismatic 13-year-old girl named Meilin (Rosalie Chiang) who discovers that whenever she gets too excited about anything, she now turns into a giant red panda. Directed by Domee Shi, the film …
After Yang March 10, 2022
In the new sci-fi film _After Yang_ , a family suffers a loss when their human-like android Yang (Justin H. Min) suddenly breaks down. It stars Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith as the parents of an adopted child who are faced with deep existential conundrums. The film was written and …
Bel-Air March 9, 2022
What if you took _The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,_ but made it a gritty, modern drama where Will is sent to Bel-Air to avoid facing an illegal gun possession charge? That's the basic premise of _Bel-Air —_ the reboot of the classic 90s sitcom that made Will Smith a TV …
Few shows had quite the same reach and impact in the 1990s as _The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air_. The NBC series catapulted Will Smith into movie stardom, and it remains infinitely memeable — from the Carlton Dance to its instantly recognizable theme song. And while it was a goofy fish-out-of-water …
Kanye West March 7, 2022
Kanye West is a successful rapper and producer who has won 22 Grammys. But West has also been a public lightning rod for his outbursts at awards shows, his outspoken support of Donald Trump, his acrimonious divorce proceedings with Kim Kardashian, and much more. Netflix recently released a documentary called …
The new film _The Batman_ slaps both a definite article, and an emo haircut, on the Caped Crusader. This time, it's Robert Pattinson who is cleaning up the streets of Gotham. He's facing off against Paul Dano's Riddler, and – under a lot of padding and prosthetics – Colin Farrell's …
A Madea Homecoming March 3, 2022
Tyler Perry's character Madea has occupied a unique and polarizing space within Black American culture for more than two decades. A gun-toting elderly lady who curses and often finds herself at odds with the law, Madea has been criticized for playing into harmful stereotypes by some and beloved by others. …
This year's Academy Award nominees for original song are a mix of old and new. Songs by Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Lin-Manuel Miranda are squaring off against tunes by boomer mainstays Van Morrison and Diane Warren. They're all emotional songs, which is no surprise, though some are more anthemic than …
The latest edition of NPR's Books We Love project rounded up hundreds of books to try to give you just the read you're looking for. Today, we're going to talk about some of the books we loved in 2021 about the lives of women.
Belfast Feb. 28, 2022
_Belfast_ is nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture and best director for Kenneth Branagh. The film is loosely based on Branagh's own childhood as he came of age during The Troubles in 1969 and 1970. Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds are up for best supporting actress and best supporting …