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 Netflix series Sweet Tooth is a strange mix. It's a dystopian tale of societal collapse in the wake of a deadly virus and the rise of human-animal hybrids. It's also a warm, humane, lushly shot fable of hope and humanity. Which is to say, it is itself a kind of strange hybrid — think The Road meets Paddington 2; The Walking Dead meets Pushing Daisies.
In The Heights And What's Making Us Happy
Before Hamilton made him a household name, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music and lyrics for the musical In The Heights. The Broadway production won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The film adaptation, directed by Jon M. Chu, stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi. He hopes to return to the Dominican Republic, where he can live out the dream of his late parents. In fact, just about everyone in this story has big dreams and mountains to climb.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The 2013 horror film The Conjuring made more than $300 million and spawned a blockbuster cinematic universe. The main Conjuring movies center on the heavily fictionalized accounts of two real-life demon-hunters, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who solve paranormal mysteries. In the new, third film in the series, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, our heroes try to figure out what compelled a young man to brutally kill his landlord.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
After 20 seasons, multiple marriages, babies and scandals, Keeping Up With the Kardashians is finally coming to a close. The E! reality series is leaving behind quite a legacy (or wreckage) in its wake. It's the end of a reality-TV era, but whatever your tolerance for the brand, the Kardashians won't be disappearing from American culture any time soon.
The new Hulu movie Plan B is about best friends Sunny and Lupe (played by Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles), who go on an emergency road trip. They're not on the run from criminals or some terrible misunderstanding. They're trying to get to a Planned Parenthood office to get a morning-after pill for Sunny. The girls have a long night of crazy adventures and heartfelt conversations. Directed by Natalie Morales, the film is a really good mix of silly and honest and unexpected.
Bo Burnham: Inside
Bo Burnham's new Netflix special Inside is not stand-up comedy. It's one-man isolation theater, shot in one enclosed space and bursting with musical performances and video sendups of genres from sad-dude acoustic guitar songs to '80s synth pop. Filmed over more than a year of pandemic disruption, it's whimsical, biting, empathetic and full of earworms.
Real opinions and interesting discussion
I have been listening to this so long, I don’t remember how it found me.
I am enjoying all the new voices!
One of the best podcasts
I love this series! I listen to it on the regular and I love that it has helped me discover so many different pieces of media that I might otherwise have missed. The hosts are delightful, even Glen :)
Hit or miss for me
Some episodes are great and full of insightful criticism. Some are pretty pedantic and almost laughably pretentious. Will still listen, but maybe lighten up a little?