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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. 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

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

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. 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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@NPR

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English

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


Episodes

The Dinosaurs of Jurassic World: Dominion

7/4/2022
There are new, (mostly) more accurate dinosaurs to squeal over in Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth and reportedly final film of the Jurassic film franchise. In this episode from our friends at NPR's Short Wave, get to know them a little more with help from Riley Black, a paleontologist and author of the book The Last Days of the Dinosaurs.

Duration:00:14:45

Minions: The Rise Of Gru And What's Making Us Happy

7/1/2022
Minions: The Rise Of Gru is the fifth film in the animated Despicable Me series. Set in the late 1970s, the new movie chronicles the early days of the supervillain Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell) and his relationship with the silly yellow babbling banana-loving henchmen who do his bidding.

Duration:00:26:43

Three Songs To Help You Fall Asleep

6/30/2022
There are songs you want to groove to, and songs you want to pump up to. But sometimes, you just want something for the come down at the end of a long day. If you're having trouble sleeping in silence, or are just looking for some new songs to throw into your bedtime rotation, we've got you covered.

Duration:00:10:03

The Black Phone

6/29/2022
In the supernatural horror film The Black Phone, Ethan Hawke plays the Grabber, a sinister masked figure who abducts a series of teenage boys in a Colorado suburb. When 13-year-old Finney (Mason Thames) gets grabbed, he's locked in a dank basement, waiting to be murdered, when suddenly a disconnected telephone on the wall starts to ring.

Duration:00:18:09

2022 BET Awards

6/27/2022
Sunday's BET Awards were a four-hour celebration of Black culture, with a heavy emphasis on music. The night was packed with live performances from Latto and Jack Harlow, and surprise guests Mariah Carey and Brandy, and featured a lavish tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Duration:00:22:21

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

6/27/2022
The new film Marcel The Shell With Shoes On tells the story of a tiny shell who searches for his long-lost family. He's voiced by Jenny Slate and rendered using stop-motion animation. Based on a series of viral YouTube shorts, the feature-length movie is directed by Dean Fleischer Camp, who also appears on-screen as a filmmaker who discovers and interviews Marcel while living in an Airbnb.

Duration:00:14:41

Elvis And What's Making Us Happy

6/24/2022
The legacy of Elvis Presley is often reduced to gaudy iconography and tales of excess: the white jumpsuit, Las Vegas, drugs. So what happens when director Baz Luhrmann takes on the man, the myth, the legend? You get the dizzying biopic Elvis. Austin Butler stars as "the King of Rock and Roll," and Tom Hanks plays Elvis' shady longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Duration:00:27:44

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

6/23/2022
In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, USS Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck) and their diverse crew boldly go exploring the galaxy. The Paramount+ series takes place a few years before the original series from the '60s, and new show's tone and narrative certainly feel like a return to old-school Star Trek.

Duration:00:20:42

Cha Cha Real Smooth

6/22/2022
In Cha Cha Real Smooth, Andrew (Cooper Raiff), an aimless 22-year-old, finds a new direction when he becomes a party motivator at bar and bat mitzvahs in his hometown. He develops a bond with Domino (Dakota Johnson), who's at her own crossroads in life. The film was a breakout hit at Sundance earlier this year and is now streaming on Apple TV+.

Duration:00:12:49

P-Valley

6/21/2022
The Starz drama P-Valley is set in a Black strip club in the Mississippi Delta. The dancers are acrobatic, artistic and independent. The show is about their labor, but also about a wide variety of stories about power, money, and a community's identity. It recently returned for a second season, so in this encore episode, we revisit our discussion about the show's first season.

Duration:00:15:37

Lightyear And What's Making Us Happy

6/17/2022
If you've seen any of the Toy Story movies, you know about Buzz Lightyear, the heroic space ranger immortalized in a line of action figures. Now, the character is getting a Disney and Pixar prequel — an origin story starring Chris Evans as the space ranger who started it all. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)

Duration:00:24:54

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

6/16/2022
In Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Emma Thompson plays a widow yearning to fulfill a desire that's somehow eluded her her entire life: an orgasm. She sets about achieving her goal by hiring a much younger, highly attractive sex worker (Daryl McCormack). But their time spent together turns out to be much more than transactional. Good Luck To You, Leo Grande will stream on Hulu starting June 17th.

Duration:00:20:13

Watergate In Pop Culture

6/15/2022
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Watergate not only had profound impacts on how Americans see the government and the press, but it has influenced decades of film and TV, books and podcasts.

Duration:00:30:31

2022 Tony Awards

6/13/2022
The big winners of the 75th Tony Awards included the play The Lehman Trilogy, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop. The evening was hosted by the charming and completely committed Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, and filled with musical performances, emotional acceptance speeches, and a tribute to Stephen Sondheim.

Duration:00:23:58

Obi-Wan Kenobi

6/13/2022
In the Star Wars Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor returns as one of the last remaining Jedi Knights as he's hiding out on Tatooine. When young Princess Leia is kidnapped, Obi-Wan is convinced to come out of retirement and pull "one last job" to rescue her — even if that means crossing lightsabers with his former apprentice, the evil Darth Vader, played by Hayden Christensen. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)

Duration:00:21:33

Jurassic World Dominion And What's Making Us Happy

6/10/2022
Jurassic World Dominion is the sixth and reportedly final film in the Jurassic film franchise, in which genetically engineered dinosaurs run dependably amok in the modern world. This film brings together Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard with Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern, the three leads of the film that started it all — 1993's Jurassic Park. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)

Duration:00:24:38

Crimes of the Future

6/9/2022
Crimes of the Future marks director David Cronenberg's return to the body horror genre. The film is set in a dystopian future where humans no longer feel pain, as they are evolving to adapt to a world riddled with synthetic chemicals. Viggo Mortensen stars as a man who spontaneously grows new organs. Together with his partner, played by Léa Seydoux, he turns the tattooing, surgical removal and display of these organs into performance art.

Duration:00:17:07

This Is Going To Hurt

6/8/2022
This is Going to Hurt is by turns a caustically funny and gut-wrenching series about a young doctor of gynecology and obstetrics struggling to keep his mind, body, and soul intact. Ben Whishaw stars in the British series, which is based on the bestselling memoir of a doctor in Britain's National Health Service. It's streaming on AMC+ and Sundance Now.

Duration:00:16:22

Judy Garland

6/7/2022
This Friday would have been Judy Garland's 100th birthday. Everyone of course knows her iconic portrayal of Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz, but Garland delivered a variety of unforgettable performances over her variously triumphant, troubled and ultimately tragic life. If you're not familiar with her non-Oz-related work, here is a guide that speaks to her unique and enduring appeal. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)

Duration:00:28:26

Floor Is Lava

6/6/2022
The Netflix game show Floor Is Lava is so silly, so stupid, so low-stakes that we can't stop watching it. Teams of three try to cross a course made of furniture and obstacles without touching the ground. Floor Is Lava recently returned for a new season, so in this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about the series.

Duration:00:16:48