299 episodes

Pop Culture Happy Hour is a fun and freewheeling chat about the latest movies, television, books, and music.

Pop Culture Happy Hour NPR

    • Film Reviews

Pop Culture Happy Hour is a fun and freewheeling chat about the latest movies, television, books, and music.

    Antebellum And What's Making Us Happy

    Antebellum And What's Making Us Happy

    In the new horror film Antebellum, Janelle Monáe plays an enslaved woman on a plantation run by Confederate soldiers. She's desperate to escape. But Monáe also plays a successful contemporary author and speaker with a beautiful family, living a life of success and wealth. But does the film successfully tie the story together? Note: This conversation discusses specific spoiler-y plot points to explore how those roles fit together, break down what's really going on, and whether or not the movie is successful.

    • 22 min
    Predictions Of How COVID-19 Will Impact Pop Culture

    Predictions Of How COVID-19 Will Impact Pop Culture

    It's hard to predict how the current pandemic will affect the work of artists in television and film and theater, but that doesn't mean we can't try. What will change? What won't change? How might creators react? Today, we're stepping back to make some guesses about the future of pop culture and think about what's to come.

    • 13 min
    Billy Porter On Pose, Kinky Boots And More

    Billy Porter On Pose, Kinky Boots And More

    A special bonus feed drop from the NPR podcast It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders. Billy Porter is a force to be reckoned with. A Tony Award-winning Broadway performer. A fashion icon with unforgettable red carpet looks. An Emmy Award-winning actor (with another nomination under his belt this year). Currently, Porter stars in the acclaimed FX show Pose, all about New York's underground ball culture in the 80s and 90s. It's also takes place during the height of the HIV-AIDS crisis. Sam talks to Porter about the parallels between that crisis and the one we're living in today, about growing up in the church, and why — despite everything that's happened this year — love will always win.

    • 28 min
    I'm Thinking Of Ending Things And What's Making Us Happy

    I'm Thinking Of Ending Things And What's Making Us Happy

    In the Netflix film, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, the plot is easy to follow. A young couple played by Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons drives through a snowstorm to the farmhouse where Plemons' character grew up. They have dinner with his parents, played by Toni Collette and David Thewlis, then they drive home. That's it. That's the movie. Simple, right? Wrong! This is a Charlie Kaufman movie, and that means things are trippy and dreamlike and just plain weird from the jump. Note: This conversation delves into spoilers that discuss specific plot points and theories to try to unpack just what this movie is actually about!

    • 22 min
    Avatar: The Last Airbender

    Avatar: The Last Airbender

    The fantasy adventure Avatar: The Last Airbender aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. But this year, as the pandemic struck, the animated series became one of the biggest streaming hits on Netflix. In the world of Avatar, some people are essentially equipped with superpowers: They can bend fire, water, earth, or air. Only the Avatar — in this case a 12-year-old boy named Aang — can develop the power to bend all four elements and keep the world in balance.

    • 21 min
    Mulan And What's Making Us Happy

    Mulan And What's Making Us Happy

    The biggest movie so far to be bumped from theaters to home viewing during the pandemic is Disney's Mulan. The live-action reimagining of the 1998 animated musical doesn't have songs or a cartoon dragon. But the story still finds young Mulan disguising herself as a man so she can fight in her father's place.

    • 23 min

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