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.
The Underground Railroad
The new Amazon series The Underground Railroad is the latest project from Barry Jenkins, who directed Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. It's the story of Cora, a runaway slave in the antebellum South, who escapes a vicious Georgia plantation and sets off on a journey toward freedom aboard the mysterious and entirely literal underground railroad. It's many contradictory things at once: lyrical yet brutal, luminous yet horrifying.
Those Who Wish Me Dead And What's Making Us Happy
The new movie Those Who Wish Me Dead is a lot of things at once. It's the story of a smokejumper, played by Angelina Jolie, who battles terrifying forest fires. It's the story of a young kid chased by killers. And it's the story of a pregnant woman forced to defend herself. The film is directed by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote 2016's Hell Or High Water, and is now streaming on HBO Max.
In the grand tradition of movies like This is Spinal Tap and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, the new Peacock series Girls5eva is a silly parody of the music industry. In it, four down-on-their-luck members of a fictional late-90s girl group reunite to stage a comeback 20 years later, and find that the music industry has changed a lot since then. The show features a stacked cast of musical and comedic talent, including Sara Bareilles, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, and Paula Pell. And the music's pretty catchy, too. Take our survey at NPR.org/SpringSurvey
Three Favorite Nintendo Switch Games
Sometimes, we dive deep into a new piece of pop culture to grapple with its themes, its relevance and its meaning. But sometimes, you just want us to recommend stuff to watch, read or play. Today, we're recommending three great video games you can pick up and play on the Nintendo Switch and other consoles.
Fran Fine was working at a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens, and now she's on HBO Max. The Nanny, starring Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, nanny to the wealthy Sheffield family, originally ran from 1993 to 1999. More than 20 years after it ended, the show has made it to a major streaming service: HBO Max. And what that means is that a comedy that spent years a little under the radar has roared back into the public conversation.
Selena: The Series
Selena Quintanilla was known as the "Queen Of Tejano Music," a major Latin star who was crossing over into the mainstream U.S. pop world when she was shot and killed in 1995. She was 23 years old. Her story spawned a 1997 movie starring Jennifer Lopez, as well as an 18-episode series streaming now on Netflix called Selena: The Series. Maria Garcia, the host and creator of the Anything For Selena podcast, joins us to talk about the legacy of Selena, who would have turned 50 years old this year.
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