Pop Culture Happy Hour
Pop Culture Happy Hour
Om 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
In previous <em>John Wick </em>films, Keanu Reeves played a retired hitman out of revenge. In the latest entry, <em>John Wick: Chapter 4</em>, his reasons are a little more simple — he just wants to be left alone. Wick's quest for freedom takes him all across the world, as encounters would-be assassins, busy traffic, and a sadistic French aristocrat.
Actor Jonathan Majors is having a moment right now: he recently starred in <em>Creed III</em> and A<em>nt-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania</em>. Friend of the show and host of NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday Ayesha Rascoe recently sat down with Majors for a fun and wide-ranging conversation about his path to acting, how he picks his roles, and how he defines masculinity.
In the new Amazon Prime series Swarm, Dominique Fishback plays Dre, a socially awkward young woman who is obsessed with the mega pop star Ni'Jah, a thinly veiled analog for Beyoncé. When a life-changing event occurs, Dre's obsession with Ni'Jah takes on a more sinister tone. Donald Glover co-created the show with Janine Nabers, and it definitely shares an off-kilter vibe with his previous hit Atlanta. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour
The very funny, bingeable NBC sitcom <em>Grand Crew </em>has a dependable sitcom setup: Six friends hang out together to decompress and commiserate about their careers and their love lives. They're Black, their hangout is a Silver Lake wine bar, and the show – like the vino they're always guzzling – has gotten better with age.
<em>Shadow and Bone</em> is a fantasy series based on a successful set of novels. There's a lot to take in — at least six main characters, people who can wield wind and shadow and light, and a Chosen One. That all sounds familiar, but there's enough here to make this series worth your consideration. <em>Shadow and Bone</em> recently returned for a second season, so we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation recorded back in 2021 about its first season, featuring panelists Mallory Yu and Petra Mayer. Petra died unexpectedly later that year, and we always loved having her on the show. Even though we will always miss her terribly, we hope you'll agree how great it is to hear her voice, and her passion, in your podcast feed once again.
Four years ago, <em>Shazam!</em> was a surprise hit and a lighthearted entry in the DC Extended Universe. It follows teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who's bestowed with magical powers and turns in an adult superhero, played by Zachary Levi. In the new sequel <em>Shazam! Fury Of The Gods, </em>Levi returns with a big cast that includes newcomers Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler.
The Ghostface killer is taking yet another stab at the box office as <em>Scream 6 </em>has arrived in theatres. It's a sequel to last year's reboot – or requel – of everyone's favorite deeply meta slasher franchise. Starring Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barerra, <em>Scream 6 </em>takes the characters who managed to survive the last Scream movie out of bucolic Woodsboro and into the urban jungle of New York City.
When the thriller series <em>You</em> premiered five years ago, it started a lot of conversations. The show was told largely from the point of view of a charismatic serial killer named Joe (Penn Badgley), and he hasn't changed much as a person, even though his circumstances have. The Netflix series recently returned for a fourth season, so we thought it would be a good time to revisit our conversation about the third season.
Marvel's <em>Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur </em>is an all-ages animated series that's got style and energy – and original songs – for days. It's the story Black girl genius Lunella (voiced by Diamond White) who accidentally transports a T-Rex with the personality of a golden retriever from the prehistoric past to present day. She then launches into a side hustle fighting crime. The show is now streaming on Disney+.
At this year's Oscars, <em>Everything Everywhere All At Once</em> won seven awards, including best picture and best director. The film's actors Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, and Michelle Yeoh also won Oscars. Yeoh's win was historic — she's the first Asian woman to win a lead actress Oscar. Brendan Fraser and <em>All Quiet On The Western Front</em> also won awards.
If you're entering an Oscar pool, or if you're just figuring out which Oscar-nominated movies are worth your time, we're here to help. Today we're offering up a guide to this year's nominations with some predictions about who will win in the major categories.
The five films nominated for international feature at this year's Oscars wrangle with some tough ideas and issues. There's the brutality of war, the human cost of fascism, animal cruelty, neglectful parenting and the prison of masculinity. Yet all of these films find room to offer glimmers of hope — some more than others. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour
This year's Oscar nominees for best animated feature don't have a lot in common besides animation. You've got a dark vision of Pinocchio, a red panda from Pixar, a swashbuckling sea adventure, the latest entry in the Shrek franchise, and a tiny shell. Today, we run through what we think <em>will </em>win and what <em>should </em>win.
This year's Oscar nominees for documentary feature include films about two brothers who rescue birds, a man who takes on Vladimir Putin, and a couple that chases volcanoes. From Ukraine to India, Russia to New York City, these films will take you places you couldn't go otherwise. And you can stream them from home.
The Oscar nominees for best original song can be anything from soaring ballads over the credits to toe-tappers that ground musical numbers. This year, they include entries from big artists like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and frequent Oscar nominee Diane Warren. Today, we get into what we think <em>will </em>win, what <em>should </em>win, and what makes a great original song.
In <em>Creed III</em>, Michael B. Jordan is back as Adonis "Donnie" Creed, the scrappy underdog-turned-world champion boxer from the <em>Rocky </em>franchise. Adonis has decided to retire on top and focus on family. But his plans are blown up when an old friend, played by Jonathan Majors, suddenly reappears. The film is also Jordan's directorial debut.
In the moving film <em>Return To Seoul</em>, a young woman named Freddie visits South Korea for the first time since her birth, when she was adopted by a French couple. Freddie's attempt to contact her biological parents sets her on an uneasy path toward self-discovery and reconciliation. Written and directed by Davy Chou, the film spans several years and many emotions, and features a vivid lead performance by newcomer Park Ji-Min.
In the darkly satiric, highly bingeable Amazon Prime series The Consultant, Christoph Waltz plays a mysterious businessman who takes over a videogame company upon the violent death of its founder and CEO. When two of the company's employees attempt to investigate Waltz's shady past, they get drawn into his sinister circle and realize that their jobs (and their lives) are on the line. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour
In the wonderful film <em>The Forty-Year-Old Version</em>, playwright Radha Blank plays a variation on herself. Frustrated by a stall in her theater career, Radha finds a new passion: she becomes a rapper. The film is so good that we recently added it to <a href="https://slate.com/culture/2023/02/best-black-movies-directors-streaming.html">the New Black Film Canon</a> – a list of the best films by Black directors that we updated in partnership with Slate. And you can watch it on Netflix.
NPR has teamed up with Slate to expand the Black Film Canon, a collection of the best films directed by Black filmmakers. The intent is to challenge both gatekeepers and makers of best of lists to consider the breadth of artistry black creators have demonstrated on screen–despite the odds being historically stacked against them. In this episode, we're picking a few of our favorite additions, <a href="http://slate.com/blackfilm">and you can check out the full list of 75 movies here</a>.
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