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Pop Culture Happy Hour

Author: NPR

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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.

Make your happy hour even happier with Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus! Your subscription supports the podcast and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/happyhour
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Madame Web

Madame Web

2024-02-2019:391

Madame Web, the latest Spider-Man-adjacent film that stakes out its own corner of the Spider-Verse. Dakota Johnson plays a New York paramedic who sees glimpses of the future. She bonds with three young women who are being hunted by a mysterious and remorseless supervillian. It has gotten pilloried by critics and has been ruthlessly mocked by a series of memes. But is it as bad as all that?Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
HBO/Max's True Detective: Night Country is the fourth season of the murder mystery anthology series. It's a bit of a welcome departure, with new showrunner Issa López at the helm. Set in a remote Alaskan mining town, this season's victims are a team of scientists, and the mismatched pair of cops investigating the murders are two women, played by Jodie Foster and Kali Reis.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Feud: Capote Vs. the Swans is the latest reimagining of historical events produced by Ryan Murphy. The series follows famed author Truman Capote (played by Tom Hollander), who hobnobs with a close-knit circle of New York socialites known as the Swans. But then he embarrasses them by airing their dirty laundry — and things get nasty. The Swans are deliciously played by actors like Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, and Chloë Sevigny.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
There have been countless romantic movies and TV shows — and a virtually infinite number of ways to watch people fall in love. But we're here to celebrate pop culture that revolves around friendship — where people love and care about each other deeply, even though they'll never kiss. Today we're recommending things to watch that get platonic love right.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary

2024-02-1318:40

The fantastic ABC series Abbott Elementary is a workplace sitcom set at a severely underfunded Philadelphia public school. It's a giant hit, and it's become an Emmys darling, including two wins for its creator and star Quinta Brunson. Abbott Elementary just returned for its long-awaited third season, so in this encore episode, we are revisiting our conversation about the show's first season.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
This year's Super Bowl featured an exciting game in which the Kansas City Chiefs beat San Francisco 49ers. It also featured an attention-grabbing halftime show from Usher, many Taylor Swift sightings, and a big announcement during the commercials: Beyoncé is releasing a new album in March, and she just dropped two new singles.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In the new '80s horror comedy Lisa Frankenstein, an introverted teen (Kathryn Newton) finds comfort in visiting the grave of a young Victorian bachelor (Cole Sprouse). When his corpse comes to life, he becomes her confidante as they embark on a murderous spree. Written by Diablo Cody (Jennifer's Body) and directed by Zelda Williams, the movie is an over-the-top mix of romance, jealousy, self-realization, horniness and murder.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

2024-02-0727:031

On Prime Video's fun new spy show Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Donald Glover and Maya Erskine play spies going undercover as a married couple. The show is part tense thriller and part romantic comedy. But it's also a character study, of two people who have made their way into the spy life and aren't sure how they feel about being in it together.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Expats

Expats

2024-02-0623:13

The new Prime Video series Expats fits quite neatly into the recent work done by its star, Nicole Kidman. She plays a rich woman who is one of three American so-called expats living in 2014 Hong Kong whose stories intersect. The series was created by Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and looks at the lives of these three women, who are all affected by one catastrophic event and its aftermath. Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
2024 Grammys Recap

2024 Grammys Recap

2024-02-0531:202

Every night is a big night for Taylor Swift. But this year's Grammy night proved especially big: Swift won album of the year for Midnights and announced her next album, titled The Tortured Poets Department. It may be time to pose the question: Have we reached peak Taylor Swift? Other major winners included Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish and SZA. In fact, women swept all nine categories presented during Sunday night's telecast.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In the comedic spy thriller Argylle, a reclusive author (Bryce Dallas Howard) gets sucked into a web of danger and intrigue when her books mirror the inner workings of a rogue spy agency. Argylle is full of globe-trotting action, with more twists than you can count. It's directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, the Kingsman movies) with a cast that includes Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, and Dua Lipa.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Maybe you think you shouldn't read a book before seeing the movie adaptation, or you're convinced season two is the best season of The Wire. We've all got that one argument we're always making: that non-negotiable stance, that immutable truth we're sticking to no matter what. Today, we're talking about the pop culture hills we'll die on.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is an all-ages animated series that's got style and energy – and original songs – for days. It's the story of a 13-year-old Black girl genius who accidentally transports a T-Rex from the prehistoric past to present day. She then launches into a side-hustle fighting crime. The Disney+ show is about to return for a second season, so today we are revisiting our conversation about the series.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Over 75 feature films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, including a deeply personal coming-of-age story, a film starring Saoirse Ronan, and Steven Soderbergh's highly immersive ghost tale. It was impossible to catch them all, but today, we're highlighting some of the standouts we think are worth keeping on your radar.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Vanderpump Rules

Vanderpump Rules

2024-01-2930:211

For more than a decade, Vanderpump Rules has been a hit reality show on the Bravo network. The show reached new heights of tabloid infamy last season due to a much-discussed affair between two members of its cast. The whole thing was nicknamed "Scandoval" and led to record-breaking ratings and countless memes. Vanderpump Rules is about to return for its 11th season, and if you want to catch up on all the drama from last year, we've got you covered.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In her smart and funny comedy special Get On Your Knees, performer Jacqueline Novak delivers a kind of Ted Talk on the subject of oral sex. It's also a passionate and thoughtful coming-of-age tale delivered in language that's been finely honed to accomplish its very funny purpose. Directed by Natasha Lyonne, the Netflix special began as an off-Broadway show.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Barbie

Barbie

2024-01-2443:441

Barbie was the biggest movie of last year. We saw the memes, we heard the songs, and it was 2023's highest grossing movie. It recently racked up eight Oscar nominations, including best picture. Today in this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about Barbie.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
2024 Oscar Nominations

2024 Oscar Nominations

2024-01-2322:285

This year's Oscar nominations were announced today and Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer leads the field with 13 nominations. Other leading nominees include Poor Things, Killers Of The Flower Moon, and Barbie. We run down the nominees in the major categories and talk about some of the surprising snubs.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
The Zone Of Interest

The Zone Of Interest

2024-01-2222:511

In The Zone of Interest, a German couple and their family live a bucolic life, but over the garden wall lies the Auschwitz concentration camp. The father is one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, and over the course of the film, he and his wife attempt to preserve their compartmentalized lives. But the horrors taking place outside refuse to be held at bay. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the film is favored to pick up a best picture nomination at the Oscars.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Origin is the story of a writer who faces personal loss at the same time she works on a book based on her unified theory about systems of oppression. Written and directed by Ava DuVernay, the film is adapted from Isabel Wilkerson's best-selling book, Caste: The Origins Of Our Discontents, and dramatizes the book's ideas and the way it comes together. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor stars as Wilkerson, and also features Jon Bernthal and Niecy Nash-Betts.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
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I find it strange that they think this was Nolan's most emotional film. Interstellar is.

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Jun 22nd
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Karen Wiltshire

Please stop letting Aisha Harris co-host. She's worse than Glen Welden, and that's saying something.

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Feb 13th
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Jason Lamb

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