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
    • 4.5, 7.3K Ratings

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

    A Guide To HBO Max And What's Making Us Happy

    A Guide To HBO Max And What's Making Us Happy

    You may not have needed another streaming service, but last week, one came along anyway. It's HBO Max, and it's part HBO, part Warner Brothers — and yes, it's where you can now stream all the episodes of Friends. They've put out a modest slate of original programming as well, and it's safe to say some of their new shows are better than others. Is it worth your while? Good question. We run down what's new on HBO Max and what you might find in its deep library.

    • 21 min
    The High Note And What's Making Us Happy

    The High Note And What's Making Us Happy

    There have been countless movies about real and fictional musicians. And in the new movie The High Note, Tracee Ellis Ross plays the fictional legendary singer Grace Davis. Dakota Johnson plays Maggie, an aspiring record producer and Grace's personal assistant. The two women have to figure out everything from whether Maggie has a future in the music industry to whether Grace should take a residency in Vegas.

    • 19 min
    Why You Should Stream Booksmart, Plus What's Making Us Happy

    Why You Should Stream Booksmart, Plus What's Making Us Happy

    Last year we talked about the movie Booksmart, and we really, really liked it. It's about two young women about to graduate from high school who spend one last night trying to catch up on everything they missed. Starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, it's the directing debut of actress Olivia Wilde. The comedy came out last summer — and it's currently streaming on Hulu and available to rent on demand. And because so many students are wrapping up their school year and graduating, we thought, what better time to look back at this terrific movie? (This episode originally aired on May 31, 2019.)

    • 21 min
    Great Recent Movies We Missed And What's Making Us Happy

    Great Recent Movies We Missed And What's Making Us Happy

    This is not a normal summer movie season. Theaters are closed, big projects are delayed, and we're missing the flood of new films that would usually have already started. But you don't have to go without movies. That's because even if you see a lot, you miss even more. We do too, and that's what we're talking about today: some recent films we missed that are well worth your time. Plus, we remember the lives and work of Fred Willard and Lynn Shelton.

    • 22 min
    The Great And What's Making Us Happy

    The Great And What's Making Us Happy

    Hulu's new series The Great bills itself as "An Occasionally True Story." And it's a big story: a sweeping epic about Russia in the 1700s, full of palace intrigue, sex and violence, and the rise of Catherine the Great. Elle Fanning plays Catherine, and Nicholas Hoult also stars as the sociopathic emperor Peter. The show shares a lot of thematic DNA with the 2018 film The Favourite -- it was created by one of the film's screenwriters, Tony McNamara. And it's more than willing to scramble history in the service of a good story.

    • 17 min
    The Movies Of 2000 And What's Making Us Happy

    The Movies Of 2000 And What's Making Us Happy

    Twenty years ago, Harry Potter or Marvel, the movie landscape looked really different. Take a look back at some of the movies that came out in 2000 and why we think they're still relevant today.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
7.3K Ratings

7.3K Ratings

Burtonhogg ,

Love it!

I really enjoy this podcast! Even when I don’t agree with a review, I find it interesting! And I’ve found so many ‘new things’ via What’s making us Happy! I would listen to the show just for those tidbits!!

nadi624 ,

Always a great listen

Been listening for about a couple of years now and look forward to new episodes each week. How anyone can think PCHH reviews are pretentious is odd. They provide great analysis and insights (I am a fan of them always pointing out when they have a bone to pick as it relates to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. but that’s just my lens and might not enjoy this otherwise). They get into why they landed on their opinion in a way that is fair without trashing it. They’ve had some guests who just come to the show with “I liked it” and didn’t really back it up (one that comes to mind was another NPR podcast host but not entertainment-related). I think for the purposes of this show, you want the hosts to use all the words and that they do without being snobs and inserting the pretentious language you wouldn’t want to hear in everyday convos. That said, love the crew (especially Linda and I dread the day she leaves NPR—please don’t! Love your work and this pod so much) and appreciate the range of guests they have on. It’s been great to still listen to it during these surreal times.

Oboe One Kenobi ,

Margaret H. Willison=Ralph Mouth

Annoying and unnecessary.

I’m still not sure why they keep bringing her back as a guest after 2, count em, 2 irresponsible remarks.

The first being when she said she struck a concert goer who annoyed her. The second was when she described Moana as Frozen with a tan. A remark that Linda apologized for in another podcast but Willison never did.

I love NPR and gladly donate even in these trying times but clean your house please.

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