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. 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

Episodes

February 7, 2023 19 min
The very entertaining Poker Face is an offbeat case-of-the-week mystery show starring Natasha Lyonne as a dryly witty, down-to-earth oddball who has an uncanny ability that helps her solves murders. The Peacock series comes from Rian Johnson (Glass Onion), and it features an impressive array of guest stars including Adrien Brody, Lil Rel Howery, Hong Chau, Judith Light and more.

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Beyoncé broke a major record at this year's Grammys and has now won more awards than any other artist. But she was shut out of the major categories and lost to Harry Styles, Lizzo and Bonnie Raitt. We break down the awards and telecast, including our favorite performances.
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In the horror film Knock at the Cabin, a gay couple and their young daughter are vacationing at a remote cabin when four strangers arrive and take them hostage. They are told the only thing that will prevent the apocalypse is if one of the family members willingly sacrifices his or her life. The film is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, with a cast that includes Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, and more.
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February 2, 2023 13 min
The very funny Hulu comedy Extraordinary is about a smart but directionless young woman named Jen who lives in London and doesn't feel great about herself. She hurls herself into a lot of hilariously bad choices and that's a familiar comedy premise. But there's more to Extraordinary because in the world of the series, Jen is the only one she knows who does not possess superpowers.

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February 1, 2023 29 min
It was a game changer when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the royal family. Since then, they've given interviews, secured lucrative multimedia deals, and launched several personal projects — Harry recently published the highly anticipated memoir Spare. And they've done it all while bringing long-overdue conversations about race and the royal family's legacy to the forefront. So how, exa...
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January 31, 2023 16 min
Over 100 feature films played at this year's Sundance Film Festival. There were deeply personal stories told by emerging filmmakers, buzzy narratives ripped from the headlines, and so much more. And we've picked a few favorites we think are worth keeping on your radar in the coming year.
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January 30, 2023 22 min
Beyoncé's Renaissance is a joyful, sonic immersion made for dance floors of all kinds. The album earned nine Grammy nominations, and during this Sunday's telecast, Beyoncé could win her first-ever, much overdue award for album of the year.
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The Amazon Prime action comedy Shotgun Wedding delivers on its title in the sense that it's got a wedding, and it's got lots of guns. The film stars Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel as a couple whose wedding day at a beautiful resort is interrupted by pirates who take their guests hostage. Will they save the guests? Will they save themselves? Will they ever actually get married? And just how great will J.Lo look the entire t...
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January 26, 2023 23 min
Everything Everywhere All At Once is a zany and profound sci-fi action comedy set in multiple dimensions. It stars Michelle Yeoh as a businesswoman whose world is turned upside down the day her family attempts to file their taxes. The film earned 11 Oscar nominations, including best picture, director, and a lead actress for nomination Yeoh. So we thought this would be the perfect time to revisit our conversation about one of our fa...
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January 24, 2023 14 min
Nominations for this year's Oscars dropped today, and it's a big year for Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Banshees Of Inisherin, and All Quiet On The Western Front. We run down the nominees in the major categories, plus talk about some surprises and snubs.

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January 24, 2023 25 min
Cheers is one of the most celebrated TV sitcoms of all time. Set in a Boston bar, the show won major awards and turned stars like Ted Danson, Shelley Long, and Rhea Perlman into household names. Cheers ended its run 30 years ago this spring, so we thought this would be a good time to revisit the series and answer your questions.
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January 23, 2023 16 min
The adult animated series Velma chronicles the origin story of the bespectacled brains of the original Scooby Gang. We meet Velma, Fred, Daphne and Shaggy in high school, as Velma struggles with mean girls, a neglectful father, a missing mother, patriarchal beauty standards, same-sex attraction and a serial killer. Velma is voiced by Mindy Kaling, and the rest of the show's voice cast includes Sam Richardson, Constance Wu, and ...
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January 20, 2023 21 min
The new movie Missing is about our connected world. The social media, the surveillance cameras, the news footage, the video chats — the many, many things we can see from our screens. In this sequel to the 2018 thriller Searching, Storm Reid plays a young woman whose mother leaves on a trip with her boyfriend and seems to just vanish. Desperate to solve the mystery, Reid uses technology to figure out what's going on and save her...
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January 19, 2023 23 min
In Peacock's new reality competition series The Traitors, contestants and reality TV veterans undergo missions at a Scottish castle to earn cash for the money pot. But there are three "traitors" among them, secretly working to "murder" the other players before these "faithfuls" find them out. The series is hosted by a slyly sinister Alan Cumming.

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January 18, 2023 16 min
There are pop culture figures we love, and those we could maybe do without. And then there are the ones we're rooting for: The underdogs, the comeback kids, the stars-on-the-rise, and everything in between. Today we're talking about the pop culture people we're pulling for.
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January 17, 2023 19 min
The moving new drama Saint Omer tells the story of a young mother (Guslagie Malanda) brought to trial for the killing of her infant daughter. Meanwhile, another woman (Kayije Kagame) who has come to observe and write about the trial wrestles with her own feelings about impending motherhood. Directed by Alice Diop, the French film is shortlisted for an Oscar for best international feature.
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January 16, 2023 33 min
The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an episode from our pals at Code Switch all about Dungeons & Dragons. It's one of the most popular tabletop roleplaying games of all time. But it has also helped cement some ideas about how we create and define race in fantasy — and in the tangible world. Host Gene Demby and producer Jess Kung take a deep dive into that game, and what racial stereotypes...
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January 13, 2023 21 min
What do you need to know about the movie Plane? Well, there's a plane. Specifically, there's a plane that goes down when it's struck by lightning and ends up on the worst possible island. It's then up to a captain, played by Gerard Butler, and his passengers to survive.
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January 12, 2023 18 min
If you're looking for a charming romantic comedy, consider checking out the Netflix series Smiley. Set in Barcelona, it follows Alex and Bruno, two very different men who meet and experience an overwhelming attraction that they then, as they must, struggle with enormously. Can these two ever find happiness?
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January 11, 2023 14 min
In the new movie M3GAN, an orphaned 8-year-old girl is given a lifelike interactive doll. The doll in question was designed by roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams) and is programmed with artificial intelligence that allows her to learn, evolve and possibly commit murder. The movie is a cautionary tale about AI, a killer-doll flick, and the source of some truly creepy memes.
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