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.
2021 Best Books
NPR's Books We Love is back! Previously known as the Book Concierge, we have a whole new crop of great reads and today, we're highlighting a few NPR staff picks. Whether you want sci-fi or romances, books about politics or literary fiction, you can find exactly what you're looking for, just in time for a chilly winter night.
The Power Of The Dog And What's Making Us Happy
The new Netflix film The Power of the Dog stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons as a pair of brothers who run a cattle ranch in Montana in the 1920s. When one brother marries, and brings his new bride (Kirsten Dunst) and her teenage son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) back to live with him at the ranch, the other brother gets jealous and sets out to destroy their happiness. The film is the latest from writer and director Jane Campion, and it's bound to be a big contender come Oscar time.
Tick Tick Boom
The Netflix movie tick, tick...BOOM! is the story of composer Jonathan Larson and the musical he wrote a few years before he wrote Rent. The film marks the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, and stars Andrew Garfield as Jonathan. It's set in 1990 and takes place over a few days leading up to Jonathan's 30th birthday.
Adele is one of the most successful artists of her generation. Her last two records combined sold more than 25 million copies and both won Album Of The Year at the Grammys. Now, the U.K. pop star has put out her fourth studio album 30, which finds Adele reflecting on her divorce with songs that don't shy away from emotional vulnerability or deep melancholy.
Encanto is the latest animated Disney musical that tells the story of the Madrigal family, whose members are tucked away in the mountains of Colombia. The film is stuffed with characters who wield magical powers and perform lavish musical numbers written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. But for all its magical realism, it's also a fairly simple story about a family whose bonds need healing.
Remembering Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim, the most influential composer in modern Broadway history, died on Friday at the age of 91. He wrote music and lyrics for Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, Sunday In The Park With George, Company, and more. Sondheim won eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And along the way, he made work so beloved that it's been produced again and again around the world, and influenced other Broadway composers like Lin Manuel-Miranda and Jonathan Larson.
Love the show. Can you do an episode about Dave Chapelle’s new Netflix special? Would be interested for hear what you think.
Great cheat sheet
The hosts bounce off each other really well and they know their stuff! Always an enjoyable listen, and it gives me so many movies to check out, songs to listen to.
Very poor critique of All Creatures Great and Small
Such an underwhelming review