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Pop Culture Happy Hour

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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.
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If you dig into the archives of any streaming service, you're gonna find loads of documentaries — tales of true crime, plucky dreamers, obsessive eccentrics, or just about any other subject you could name. We figured this would be a good time to recommend a few of our favorites from the last few years that we think you'll love.
The United States v. Billie Holiday is the latest dramatization of the singer's tumultuous personal life. Directed by Lee Daniels and starring Andra Day, it focuses on the government surveillance Billie Holiday endured for her drug addiction and her song "Strange Fruit."
2021 Golden Globes Recap

2021 Golden Globes Recap

2021-03-0119:404

This year's Golden Globes ceremony took place under a cloud, following fresh reporting on accusations that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is too small, too secretive, and not remotely diverse enough. Still, even during the pandemic, a hybrid part-live, part-remote telecast went on. It honored actors like Chadwick Boseman, Jason Sudeikis and Catherine O'Hara, films including Nomadland and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and television projects like The Crown and The Queen's Gambit. And it even managed a couple of genuinely memorable moments.
Written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung, Minari follows a Korean-American family who moves to Arkansas in the 1980s to follow their father's dream of becoming a farmer. The grind of trying to make the farm a success strains the parents' marriage and often confounds the kids, but it's a story about the choices families make and the ways they stay together.
Cinderella

Cinderella

2021-02-2517:542

There are many versions of Cinderella, but few are as beloved as Disney's production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, starring Brandy as the titular character and Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother.
I Care A Lot

I Care A Lot

2021-02-2415:394

In the new Netflix comedy-thriller I Care A Lot, Rosamund Pike plays a slick grifter named Marla who tricks her way into becoming the legal guardian of elderly people, then drains their bank accounts. It's a well-oiled scheme, until she chooses a woman with a dangerous background as her new target.
Every year, NPR brings together some of the best books of the year in a searchable, explorable guide called the Book Concierge. Today, we're talking about some of the best nonfiction picks that show up in this year's guide.
It's A Sin

It's A Sin

2021-02-2218:341

It's A Sin chronicles the AIDS epidemic as experienced by a group of friends in London in the early 1980s. They come from different backgrounds, and deal with the dawning realization that a virus is ravaging their community in different ways. None of them will get through it unchanged, and some of them won't get through it at all.
The new film Nomadland is about a woman named Fern who's lost her husband, her home and her entire community: a company town that collapsed when the company did. She's played by Frances McDormand, and in Chloé Zhao's film, she falls into a new community of people who live on the road, out of vans and RVs.
In 2018, To All The Boys I've Loved Before was a breakout hit for Netflix. Based on Jenny Han's novel, it followed Lara Jean Covey through the adventure of falling in love with one Peter Kavinsky. A sequel followed in 2020 and now, it's time for the finale, which finds Lara Jean and Peter dealing with the complication of graduating and heading off to college.
Shark Tank

Shark Tank

2021-02-1723:17

On Shark Tank, a group of wealthy investors like Mark Cuban and "Queen of QVC" Lori Greiner listen to pitches from people who have invented something. Might be an app, might be a toy, might be a belt that can hold a beer can. Then the investors decide whether to invest in the business, and they negotiate with the entrepreneur — sometimes competing with each other to get the deal. In this encore episode, we revisit our conversation about the hit ABC show.
Supernova

Supernova

2021-02-1612:01

In Supernova, Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci play a gay couple coming to terms with the fact that Tucci's character is experiencing early onset dementia. They take one last trip together around the British Lake District and try to enjoy these moments together, even though their shared knowledge of what's to come exposes their fears and secrets.
A special bonus episode from NPR's It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders. Desus Nice and The Kid Mero went from calling up "anyone in their phone book" in the early days of their podcast Bodega Boys, to booking big names in politics like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Barack Obama on Desus & Mero, their late-night show airing on Showtime.
Fred Hampton, the charismatic chairman of the Black Panther Party's Illinois chapter, was just 21 years old when he was killed during a police raid in 1969. In Judas And The Black Messiah, he's given the cinematic treatment via a stirring performance by Daniel Kaluuya. The new film directed by Shaka King focuses on Hampton's activism and how it made him the target of the federal government. The Judas in this story is the FBI informant who played a crucial role in Hampton's death: William O'Neal, portrayed deftly by LaKeith Stanfield.
Every year, NPR brings together some of the best books in a searchable, explorable guide called the Book Concierge. It can help you find exactly the read you're looking for. Today we're talking about some of the best books for music lovers that show up in this year's guide.
Superstore

Superstore

2021-02-1017:321

For six seasons, the NBC comedy Superstore has told the story of a fictional big-box store in St. Louis. Until the last handful of episodes, the show starred America Ferrera, and found humor in serious topics like income inequality, health insurance, unionization, and corporate greed. Its final season is airing now, with storylines about COVID-19 and racial justice. Superstore is also a big, broad, goodhearted workplace comedy in the spirit of The Office, full of wacky oddballs and slow-burning romantic intrigue.
Television production changed practically overnight when COVID-19 began to spread in the United States in March 2020. One corner of TV that's carried on is the late-night talk show. There have been no live audiences — and in some cases, no studios in use — but projects like Showtime's Desus & Mero have carried on nonetheless. Comedian and writer/producer Josh Gondelman sits down to talk about creating a talk show remotely during a pandemic.
2021 Super Bowl

2021 Super Bowl

2021-02-0818:181

It has been a truly bizarre NFL season, as the pandemic threatened players' health and compelled teams to play in empty or near-empty stadiums all season long. But it all ended in familiar fashion: with Tom Brady winning a Super Bowl championship, this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs. We couldn't have a Super Bowl party this year, but we did gather around our TVs to watch the game, the halftime show with The Weeknd, and lots of commercials. Plus, we take a moment to remember actor Christopher Plummer.
After production of HBO's Euphoria was shut down in March 2020, creator Sam Levinson turned to the show's star Zendaya and filmed Malcolm & Marie. The sleek Netflix feature follows a couple who spends a turbulent evening dissecting every contour of their fraught relationship. John David Washington and Zendaya play the troubled pair who spiral into madness as this intense, dialogue-heavy film goes on.
One of the most anticipated moments of any year in movies is the Sundance Film Festival. This is not a year for gathering in crowds, so the Sundance Film Festival in 2021 went virtual. More than 70 feature films, including both narrative films and documentaries, were at Sundance this year. Today we round up some highlights, including two big winners, CODA and Summer Of Soul.
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Comments (58)

Presantha Pillay

what a dumb movie!

Mar 2nd
Reply

Ahmadreza165

one of the worst movies I watched this year , really felt confused and didn't get the main character at all and ending was super obvious from the beginning 😕

Mar 1st
Reply

Flic Hop

Disappointed that this is full of spoilers for the first 5 seasons without any warning

Feb 14th
Reply

Ricardo Antonio

once I was Ric... an American... then I was told I'm Hispanic... ok... then nope I'm Latino... neither of which I wanted but was placed on me... now Latinx. all I ever wanted to be was Ric, born in America(Puerto Rico). 2020 has sure taught me that I'm not seen as Ric from America. ok rant over... let me hear what "Latinx" songs everyone thinks shaped America. #notamericanenough I guess.

Oct 16th
Reply (1)

ID17983137

سلام چطور به متن میشه دسترسی پیدا کرد؟

Sep 5th
Reply

Mahsa Bolvari

its terrible

Jul 18th
Reply

Jason L

This episode is outstanding, so-oooo good!

Mar 7th
Reply

Jason Salvo

Did... did you seriously have an ad from Hulu, highlighting their reality tv programming, on an episode discussing a Netflix reality show? WTF is wrong with your marketing department?

Mar 1st
Reply (1)

Akwasi Opoku-Dakwa

if you plan to see the movie, this has spoilers.

Feb 11th
Reply

Studio 2053 Bisbee

I freaking loved it!

Feb 10th
Reply

Fati Ma

a crappy movie

Jan 29th
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Presantha Pillay

I am a mum and I was freaked out by breast milk. Most people don't fall off to sleep in each others arms ...as it is an intimate act regardless of sexual orientation...its a comedy...that's why people loved Friends...its honest. People are not perfect.

Jan 9th
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Gene Kang

it's not horror so she doesn't like it. wtf??? you're a film critic? yeah I stopped listening.

Oct 29th
Reply (1)

Darian Brown

Nope.

Oct 11th
Reply

Joshua Woods

Matt Damon in Talented Mr.Ripley was so creepy and excellent. loved his performance.

Sep 19th
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Oscar Munoz

Great Episode!

Sep 5th
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Karen Harkness

I love this show! Thanks for your review. Based on what was said I gave it a try.

May 19th
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Angela Howard-Gibbs

Octavia Spencer in MA can't wait to see female African-American lead a Horror Flick!

May 4th
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Presantha Pillay

I hated unicorn star... The character was so self absorbed and spoilt.

Apr 9th
Reply

Thomas Albert

With the entire panel serenading the show RUSSIAN DOLL, some even saying they'd re-watched episodes, I approached with enthusiasm. Alas, the best thing about it IS Natasha Lyonne who does nice things but does not really add much further dimension or surprise to a familiar character. The "Groundhog Day" conceit is there to add some spice from a "making a show" perspective, but didn't add much to me. Here is another case of fair to middling television spiced-up with cuss language and adult situations/talk. I lasted halfway thru the 2nd episode.

Mar 5th
Reply
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