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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With HBO's _The Gilded Age_ , Julian Fellowes airlifts _Downton Abbey_ 's soapy plots, its baubles and ball gowns, its sneering servants and quippy old ladies out of Yorkshire and plops them down in 1882 Manhattan. The series stars Carrie Coon, Christine Baranski, and Cynthia Nixon, plus a sprawling cast …
Kimi Feb. 24, 2022
In the HBO Max film _Kimi,_ Zoë Kravitz plays a woman with high anxiety and agoraphobia, who may or may not have observed a murder via a Siri-like voice assistant. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film is a tight, 90-minute surveillance thriller that takes its cues from some classics of …
Euphoria Feb. 23, 2022
The HBO drama _Euphoria_ depicts a world in which modern teenagers navigate a minefield of traumas. We see heavy drug use, illicit sex, destructive technology, damaged parents, physical violence, and so much more. The series stars Zendaya as Rue, whose drug addiction threatens both her life and the stability of …
Pam & Tommy Feb. 22, 2022
The Hulu miniseries _Pam & Tommy_ is about what was arguably the first viral celebrity sex tape. It depicts the stars of the tape, actor Pamela Anderson (Lily James), and musician Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) as sympathetic figures and victims. It also tells the story of Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogan), …
Love Is Blind Feb. 21, 2022
In Netflix's dating show _Love Is Blind,_ couples sit in separate cells that they call pods, where they can hear each other but not see each other. And once they've had a conversation or two, if they're getting along, they get engaged. And only then do they meet. The second …
In Netflix's _Texas Chainsaw Massacre,_ online influencers descend on the mostly abandoned town of Harlow, Texas, only to be slaughtered by the man known as Leatherface. Directed by David Blue Garcia, the film is the ninth installment in the long-running horror franchise that started in 1974. The movie stars Sarah …
The new Showtime docuseries _We Need to Talk About Cosby_ seeks to better understand Bill Cosby, a man full of contradictions and complexities. Director W. Kamau Bell traces Cosby's remarkable career and legacy and how he became one of the biggest stars of the 20th century. He _also_ traces the …
Inventing Anna Feb. 16, 2022
In our current era of headline-making scammers, Anna Delvey is one of the splashiest. A few years ago, she posed as an heiress and conned several wealthy people out of their money before ultimately spending time in prison. Now, her schemes have been dramatized in _Inventing Anna_ , a Netflix …
Somebody Somewhere Feb. 15, 2022
The funny, tender-hearted HBO series _Somebody Somewhere_ is a semi- autobiographical story starring comedian and cabaret performer Bridget Everett. She plays a woman who long ago gave up on her dream of being a singer and moved back to her hometown in Kansas to care for her beloved sister. After …
2022 Super Bowl Feb. 14, 2022
The 2022 Super Bowl resulted in Los Angeles Rams coming from behind to win over the Cincinnati Bengals. There was also the halftime show, which showcased some of the biggest stars in the history of hip-hop and R&B;: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 …
In the romantic comedy _Marry Me_ , Jennifer Lopez plays as a pop star who is set to marry a singer played Maluma. The wedding is supposed to take place on stage as part of an elaborate publicity stunt, but she learns her fiancé has been cheating on her. Devastated, …
Peacemaker Feb. 10, 2022
The HBO Max series _Peacemaker_ stars John Cena as a shiny-helmeted super soldier who loves peace so much he's willing, even eager, to slaughter folks to get it. It's a direct spinoff of the 2021 film _The_ _Suicide Squad,_ and the series shares a lot of that movie's comedic DNA. …
2022 Oscar Nominations Feb. 8, 2022
This year's Oscar nominations were announced today, and it's a big year for _The Power of the Dog, Dune, West Side Story, Drive My Car_ , and more. We've got an overview of the nominees in the major categories, plus some surprises and snubs. _Vote for the BEST best picture …
Mogul Mowgli Feb. 8, 2022
In the film _Mogul Mowgli_ , Riz Ahmed stars as Zed, an on-the-rise rapper whose biggest gig yet is threatened by the sudden onset of an illness. He's also forced to confront his own insecurities about his family and British- Pakistani identity. Ahmed co-wrote the movie along with the director …
Drive My Car Feb. 7, 2022
The moody, introspective film _Drive My Car_ is one of the best-reviewed films of the last year. It's about a widowed theater director who grows closer to the young woman hired to drive him to and from rehearsals. Directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and based on a short story by Haruki …
If you've ever posted a celebrity's picture inside a locker, used a photo of them as your lock screen, or followed every moment of someone's career, you know all about pop culture crushes. There are the ones you're proud of, the ones you're less proud of, and the ones that …
Janet Jackson Feb. 3, 2022
_Janet Jackson._ is a four-part TV documentary from Lifetime and A&E; that shows how the pop star became one of the biggest and most influential artists of the last four decades. With new interviews and never-before-seen footage, the series also documents many of her personal struggles and controversies, including the …
Hustlers Feb. 2, 2022
One of our favorite movies of the last few years is now streaming on Hulu. _Hustlers_ is based on the true story of a group of women who danced at a strip club together and later drugged and scammed some of their wealthy Wall Street customers. Directed by Lorene Scafaria, …
The Golden Girls Feb. 1, 2022
The sitcom _The Golden Girls_ followed the adventures of four women who were living together in Miami. The women were Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Sophia (Estelle Getty), Rose (Betty White), and Blanche (Rue McClanahan). Betty White's death in December marked the passing of the last of the four actresses who made …
When it comes to the Sundance Film Festival, you never really know what you're going to get. Each year brings a chance to stumble upon surprises and delights from filmmakers both well-known and emerging. Today, we've picked a few films, touching on everything from misogyny to arrested development to racism, …