Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour

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.

Episodes

April 19, 2021 20 min
Corruption, loneliness, family, activism, and the adventures that take place in the ocean. The Oscar-nominated documentary features are about all these things, but not just these things. These films are shot in black and white and vivid underwater colors. Some trace long histories and some closely examine particular inflection points in time. And you can stream all the films on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.
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This year's Oscar nominees for best international feature film tackle a variety of issues, from school bullying to mass slaughter, from government corruption to alcohol abuse — one nominee even grapples with the nature and purpose of art itself. But even though these films reveal some darker truths about the human condition, they each manage to do so with a vivid sense of style and a deep sense of empathy that's as enliveni...
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Twenty years ago, Legally Blonde opened in theaters, and now it's available on Netflix. Reese Witherspoon plays a first-year law student named Elle Woods. She heads to Harvard Law School to win back Warner, who broke up with her for not being serious enough. But she learned that she was cut out for the courtroom, and she changed what it means to be a "serious" woman.
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April 14, 2021 12 min
The HBO Max series Made For Love follows Hazel (played by Cristin Milioti), whose husband wants to get inside her head — literally. He's a tech genius who's already made both of them recluses, but he's now working on a chip that, once implanted in her brain, will allow him to know and see everything she does.
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NPR Music has song recommendations for every occasion, from major life events to moments when all you want to do is stare blankly into the middle distance. Right now, so many of us feel stuck in a holding pattern, as we wait for our lives to resume. Maybe we're passing time until our vaccinations kick in, or maybe we're daydreaming about the possibility of safe summer travel. Today, we're recommending three songs to hel...
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April 12, 2021 14 min
Queen Sugar is a sprawling melodrama following the Bordelons, a tight-knit, multi-generational black family in rural Louisiana. Created by Ava DuVernay, the series has been politically topical from the beginning, and its fifth season is timelier than ever, dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd.
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April 11, 2021 19 min
Viola Davis' name is rarely far from awards season chatter, and this year is no different — the highly decorated performer received her fourth Oscar nomination for her role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and could become the first Black woman to nab two acting Oscars. As awards season kicks off, Pop Culture Happy Hour revisits great performers and a few of their essential performances. Today, we're spotlighting Viola Davi...
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The Great Pottery Throw Down is one of the gentlest, kindest and warmest competitive reality shows you will ever see (even when things literally explode). The UK series is now streaming on HBO Max. The dishes, the bowls, the handles, the crying — it's all right there to help you relax at the end of even the longest day. Plus, we take a moment to remember rapper DMX, who died today at 50.
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April 7, 2021 12 min
In the Netflix movie Bad Trip, Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery play best friends who take a road trip from Florida to New York City. The twist in Bad Trip is that each scene is also an elaborate prank, blending fiction and reality - with the mayhem taking place as real unsuspecting strangers look on.
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April 6, 2021 16 min
Over the course of her long, varied and distinguished career, actor Frances McDormand has won two Oscars - and her performance in Nomadland this year could win her a third. Pop Culture Happy Hour explores some of the great work she's done.
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April 5, 2021 19 min
Chadwick Boseman is nominated for an Oscar this year for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. It's his final onscreen role — he died of colon cancer in August. Before that, Boseman played historical figures including Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and James Brown. And of course, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Black Panther. And today we're talking about some of those essential performances.
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April 4, 2021 17 min
In The Father, Anthony Hopkins plays a character whose fierce independence is complicated by his worsening dementia. Olivia Colman plays his daughter Anne, who keeps trying to hire carers to help look after him. But the structure of the film is more complicated than that, as director Florian Zeller finds ways to keep viewers guessing. The Father is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and ...
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When we asked our listeners to tell us which Muppets were their favorites, we knew you'd all come through. More than 6,000 people cast over 18,000 votes, and those votes have been tallied. This is the PCHH audience's definitive ranking of the best Muppets.
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March 31, 2021 23 min
When The Muppet Show arrived on Disney Plus in February, it got us talking: who are our favorite Muppets? And which Muppet do we most identify with? Today, we're discussing all things Muppets and finding out where we fit in Jim Henson's felt universe.
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March 30, 2021 15 min
Godzilla Vs. Kong is a collision of two classic film franchises. As the sequel to 2017's Kong: Skull Island and 2019's Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, the film's excessive plot largely serves as window dressing for a heightened epic battle. However, its action-packed story also neglects to properly acknowledge the complicated layers of these two cinematic monsters.
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March 29, 2021 13 min
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its march across Disney Plus, it needs a buddy show, specifically The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. Both old allies of Captain America, the two find themselves up against villains, a therapist and sometimes each other.
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March 28, 2021 21 min
There's no wrong time to talk about an influential Hollywood classic. So that's why we are talking about Die Hard. We will never get tired of Hans Gruber versus John McClane — Alan Rickman versus Bruce Willis — the real clash of the titans. So that's why we are bringing you this encore episode.
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March 27, 2021 14 min
Legendary children's author Beverly Cleary died last week at the age of 104. Cleary wrote more than 40 books over about 50 years. Her characters, like Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, entertained kids for decades. So we decided to talk about some of Cleary's essential books.
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Sound Of Metal tells the story of a heavy-metal drummer, played by Riz Ahmed, who experiences sudden hearing loss that changes every facet of his life. The film is nominated for six Academy Awards - including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
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March 24, 2021 17 min
If you're looking for the next show to binge, we've got a great suggestion for you. The animated sitcom King Of The Hill ran on FOX from 1997 to 2010, and all 13 seasons are now streaming on Hulu. The show, created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels pokes gentle fun at its characters without mocking them.
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