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Pop Culture Happy Hour

NPR

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.

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.

Location:

Washington, DC

Networks:

NPR

Description:

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.

Twitter:

@NPR

Language:

English

Contact:

635 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20001 (202) 513-3232


Episodes

2021 Best Books

12/6/2021
NPR's Books We Love is back! Previously known as the Book Concierge, we have a whole new crop of great reads and today, we're highlighting a few NPR staff picks. Whether you want sci-fi or romances, books about politics or literary fiction, you can find exactly what you're looking for, just in time for a chilly winter night.

Duration:00:12:38

The Power Of The Dog And What's Making Us Happy

12/3/2021
The new Netflix film The Power of the Dog stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons as a pair of brothers who run a cattle ranch in Montana in the 1920s. When one brother marries, and brings his new bride (Kirsten Dunst) and her teenage son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) back to live with him at the ranch, the other brother gets jealous and sets out to destroy their happiness. The film is the latest from writer and director Jane Campion, and it's bound to be a big contender come Oscar time.

Duration:00:25:51

Tick Tick Boom

12/2/2021
The Netflix movie tick, tick...BOOM! is the story of composer Jonathan Larson and the musical he wrote a few years before he wrote Rent. The film marks the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, and stars Andrew Garfield as Jonathan. It's set in 1990 and takes place over a few days leading up to Jonathan's 30th birthday.

Duration:00:20:29

Adele's 30

12/1/2021
Adele is one of the most successful artists of her generation. Her last two records combined sold more than 25 million copies and both won Album Of The Year at the Grammys. Now, the U.K. pop star has put out her fourth studio album 30, which finds Adele reflecting on her divorce with songs that don't shy away from emotional vulnerability or deep melancholy.

Duration:00:19:09

Encanto

11/30/2021
Encanto is the latest animated Disney musical that tells the story of the Madrigal family, whose members are tucked away in the mountains of Colombia. The film is stuffed with characters who wield magical powers and perform lavish musical numbers written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. But for all its magical realism, it's also a fairly simple story about a family whose bonds need healing.

Duration:00:19:01

Remembering Stephen Sondheim

11/29/2021
Stephen Sondheim, the most influential composer in modern Broadway history, died on Friday at the age of 91. He wrote music and lyrics for Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, Sunday In The Park With George, Company, and more. Sondheim won eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And along the way, he made work so beloved that it's been produced again and again around the world, and influenced other Broadway composers like Lin...

Duration:00:21:51

Introducing NPR's Book of the Day

11/26/2021
In this episode of NPR's Book of the Day podcast, we're spotlighting two thrillers. First, astronaut Chris Hadfield talked with former NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro about his novel The Apollo Murders, which is set in the 70's around, you guessed it, the Apollo missions. Then, a 2015 interview with NPR's Robert Siegel and author Anthony Horowitz about his James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, and what it's like giving a classic a 21st century twist.

Duration:00:19:09

House Of Gucci And What's Making Us Happy

11/24/2021
Ridley Scott's House of Gucci is a whole lot of movie. Adam Driver plays the wealthy Mauritzio Gucci, and Lady Gaga plays his wife Patrizia. Al Pacino and Jared Leto play Mauritzio's uncle and cousin, who eventually battle Mauritzio for control of the Gucci empire. It's got fashion, it's got tragedy, and it's got terrible accents.

Duration:00:26:34

King Richard

11/23/2021
King Richard is a sports movie about the early days of superstar tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. But, as its title suggests, the film focuses on their demanding and ambitious father, Richard Williams. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the movie stars Will Smith as a man who'll do anything to get his daughters from Compton to Wimbledon.

Duration:00:22:20

Cowboy Bebop

11/22/2021
The new Netflix series Cowboy Bebop is a live-action remake of the wildly popular Japanese anime about bounty hunters in a neo-noir future. Stylish and satirical, violent and cynical, the show is a bold mashup of genres – western, crime, science-fiction, buddy comedy, melodrama, thriller, and martial arts. It stars John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda as bounty hunters with dark pasts. But does the series hold up to the original?

Duration:00:21:31

Ghostbusters: Afterlife And What's Making Us Happy

11/19/2021
Ghostbusters: Afterlife reconnects with the original timeline of the Ghostbusters films from the 80s while introducing a bunch of new characters. Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace, and Finn Wolfhard play a family who teams up with Paul Rudd to fight a new supernatural threat. The movie is directed by Jason Reitman — son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two Ghostbuster films.

Duration:00:26:09

Remembering Petra Mayer

11/17/2021
There's no good way to share terrible news. Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist and NPR Books editor Petra Mayer died suddenly on Saturday of what is believed to be a pulmonary embolism. We take some time to remember our friend and colleague, and revisit some of our favorite episodes featuring Petra.

Duration:00:26:56

Silk Sonic

11/17/2021
Silk Sonic is a new musical showcase for two familiar faces: Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. Their soulful collaborations started trickling out this past March, when the duo released the single "Leave The Door Open." Now they've dropped the album An Evening With Silk Sonic, which features classic funk and soul updated for the present day.

Duration:00:19:22

Below Deck

11/16/2021
If you've always wondered what it would be like to see the world while making espresso martinis for the super-rich, you might already be watching the Below Deck franchise. For the past eight years, the Bravo reality series and its many spinoffs have been showing viewers the world of deckhands and chefs, housekeeping and party planning, as young hot people work on luxury yachts chartered by people who have too much money.

Duration:00:27:02

ABBA

11/15/2021
Earlier this month, ABBA released a new album called Voyage. It's the Swedish pop sensation's first set of new material in 40 years. Voyage gives us a perfect excuse to talk about all things ABBA: the massive sales, the jukebox musical Mamma Mia!, the endless hiatus, and — of course — those classic songs.

Duration:00:20:54

Red Notice And What's Making Us Happy

11/12/2021
What has a wisecracking Ryan Reynolds, a glamorous Gal Gadot, a muscled Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and a very convoluted story about priceless eggs? It's the new Netflix action comedy Red Notice, which combines cars, boats and secret safes with ballroom dancing and a jailbreak — all in the same frame as three big-budget action leads.

Duration:00:24:52

Project Runway

11/11/2021
When Project Runway launched in 2004, competitive reality shows were in their infancy. Now, they're in their mature pantsuit years, as Project Runway airs its 19th season. Longtime mentor Tim Gunn has been replaced by former winner Christian Siriano, but the sewing machines continue to buzz, and it's still hard to make a dress in a day. In this encore episode we're revisiting our conversation about Project Runway.

Duration:00:16:16

Passing

11/10/2021
In the Netflix melodrama Passing, Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga play childhood friends who are reunited years later in 1920s Harlem. Both women are Black and fair-skinned, but only one of them has chosen to "pass" — to completely abandon their ties to the Black community and identify as white. The movie premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and marks the directorial debut of actress Rebecca Hall. And it's already gaining some awards season heat.

Duration:00:24:48

The Harder They Fall

11/9/2021
Netflix's The Harder They Fall is the latest modern take on the movie western, with nods to real-life Black cowboys and cowgirls. In it, an outlaw and his gang seek revenge for a horrific crime committed many years ago. Gunfights and showdowns ensue, of course. The film boasts an impressive cast, including Jonathan Majors, Regina King, Idris Elba, and LaKeith Stanfield. Does this revisionist tale live up to the incredible talent involved?

Duration:00:23:41

Spencer

11/8/2021
What if the story of Princess Diana wasn't a fairy tale, but instead a psychological horror movie? That's the premise of Pablo Larraín's intriguing new film Spencer, in which Kristen Stewart plays Diana. Here, Diana is trapped, frightened and sometimes uncertain of reality. It's a different perspective on the figure, but unlike other art about the royals, it has a clear point of view and a reason to revisit this tale.

Duration:00:19:27