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Pop Culture Happy Hour

NPR

2.5K
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8.3K
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Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour

NPR

2.5K
Followers
8.3K
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

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About Us

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

Latest Episodes

Hamilton And What's Making Us Happy

Let's cut to the chase: the Hamilton film has arrived, and it's great. Four years after Lin-Manuel Miranda's show won 11 Tony Awards, you can watch an original Broadway cast performance at home. The film is now available on Disney+. It's a chance to see already legendary performances from Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., and Phillipa Soo, among others, and to see how this sweeping historical story was staged.

25 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Hamilton And What's Making Us Happy

I May Destroy You And Remembering Carl Reiner

Close watchers of smart television know Michaela Coel from Chewing Gum, the acclaimed comedy series she created and starred in. Her new show on HBO is called I May Destroy You. It's just as strong, but finds her going in an entirely new direction. Coel plays Arabella, a writer whose life changes one night while she's sexually assaulted at a nightclub. She is missing pieces of her memory, and as she tries to figure out what happened, the show fans out to consider other questions about sexual ethics and honesty. Plus, we remember comedy legend Carl Reiner, who died this week at 98.

19 MIN4 d ago
Comments
I May Destroy You And Remembering Carl Reiner

Da 5 Bloods And What's Making Us Happy

In Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, four Black war veterans return to Vietnam. They're there to retrieve the remains of a fellow soldier, who died on the battlefield. They're also after millions of dollars' worth of gold bars they'd hidden during the war. Da 5 Bloods was supposed to roll out in theaters this summer; instead, it dropped on Netflix earlier this month. But it's still a major Oscar contender — a war epic that's grand in scope, with generational scars that run deep.

24 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Da 5 Bloods And What's Making Us Happy

Giancarlo Esposito On 'Breaking Bad', 'Do The Right Thing' And Facing The Police

Giancarlo Esposito has appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies — from several of Spike Lee's early films, to his role as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. In this interview from Bullseye, Esposito talks about the complexity of his characters, his time on The Electric Company and his work on Do the Right Thing. Plus, we talk to him about a very difficult time in his life and working through the trauma of racial profiling.

42 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Giancarlo Esposito On 'Breaking Bad', 'Do The Right Thing' And Facing The Police

In 'On The Record,' Black Women's Voices Get A Needed Spotlight

In 2017, the #MeToo movement brought to light accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct against powerful people in entertainment. Most of the women whose allegations received detailed media consideration were white, and so were most of the men they accused. But late that year, a number of women, several of them black women, alleged sexual assault and other misconduct by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Simmons is the enormously powerful man behind Def Jam. The new HBO Max documentary On The Record tells the stories of some of Russell Simmons' accusers. It includes interviews with a lot of black women about specific worries and conflicted feelings that arise when black women raise allegations against black men.

25 MIN2 w ago
Comments
In 'On The Record,' Black Women's Voices Get A Needed Spotlight

The King Of Staten Island And What's Making Us Happy

In The King Of Staten Island, comedian Pete Davidson plays a wayward stoner whose life isn't going anywhere. He still lives with his mom, he doesn't have a job, and his plans for his life involve a vague — and foolish — plan to open "a tattoo restaurant." The film is directed by Judd Apatow, who also made Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Trainwreck. Apatow's movies often involve a protagonist who faces some sort of need to grow up, and The King Of Staten Island may feature the biggest reclamation project yet: Davidson's character barely functions as an adult, and through much of the film, we see a manchild with a lot of growing up to do.

19 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The King Of Staten Island And What's Making Us Happy

Central Park And What's Making Us Happy

The new Apple TV+ series Central Park is an animated musical with a lot of interesting DNA. It shares creative and performing talent with Bob's Burgers, Frozen, and Hamilton, among other projects. The show follows the manager of New York's Central Park, who tries to keep the park safe from trash overflows, a demanding public, and city politics.

20 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Central Park And What's Making Us Happy

The Limitations Of An Anti-Racist Reading List

Sales are surging for books like Ibram X. Kendi's 'How To Be Anti-Racist,' Robin DiAngelo's 'White Fragility,' and Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow.' That's in part because these titles often appear on so-called "anti-racist reading lists." But what is an anti-racist reading list for? We talk with Lauren Michele Jackson, an Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University, and the author of 'White Negroes,' about the limitations of such lists — which she wrote about in an essay called "What Is an Anti-Racist Reading List For?" for Vulture.

14 MIN3 w ago
Comments
The Limitations Of An Anti-Racist Reading List

Digging Into Slate's Black Film Canon

Right now, many of us are thinking about the ways we can start to address the shortfalls in our own knowledge that have grown out of structural racism in every part of life, entertainment very much included. And if you're looking for one place to start, we want to point you toward Slate's Black Film Canon. Four years ago, Slate published a list of 50 great films by black directors. It was put together by Dan Kois and Aisha Harris in 2016, and Aisha came on Pop Culture Happy Hour to talk about it with us. (This episode originally aired on June 7, 2016.)

12 MINJUN 7
Comments
Digging Into Slate's Black Film Canon

Ramy And What's Making Us Happy

It surprised a lot of people when Ramy Youssef won a Golden Globe in January. But it shouldn't have. His show, the half-hour comedy-drama Ramy on Hulu, is a smart, fresh take on a young man navigating family and his Muslim faith. Ramy recently released its second season, and it's added Mahershala Ali to its cast. The result is a show that's well deserving of that Globe, and more.

21 MINJUN 5
Comments
Ramy And What's Making Us Happy

Latest Episodes

Hamilton And What's Making Us Happy

Let's cut to the chase: the Hamilton film has arrived, and it's great. Four years after Lin-Manuel Miranda's show won 11 Tony Awards, you can watch an original Broadway cast performance at home. The film is now available on Disney+. It's a chance to see already legendary performances from Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., and Phillipa Soo, among others, and to see how this sweeping historical story was staged.

25 MIN2 d ago
Comments
Hamilton And What's Making Us Happy

I May Destroy You And Remembering Carl Reiner

Close watchers of smart television know Michaela Coel from Chewing Gum, the acclaimed comedy series she created and starred in. Her new show on HBO is called I May Destroy You. It's just as strong, but finds her going in an entirely new direction. Coel plays Arabella, a writer whose life changes one night while she's sexually assaulted at a nightclub. She is missing pieces of her memory, and as she tries to figure out what happened, the show fans out to consider other questions about sexual ethics and honesty. Plus, we remember comedy legend Carl Reiner, who died this week at 98.

19 MIN4 d ago
Comments
I May Destroy You And Remembering Carl Reiner

Da 5 Bloods And What's Making Us Happy

In Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, four Black war veterans return to Vietnam. They're there to retrieve the remains of a fellow soldier, who died on the battlefield. They're also after millions of dollars' worth of gold bars they'd hidden during the war. Da 5 Bloods was supposed to roll out in theaters this summer; instead, it dropped on Netflix earlier this month. But it's still a major Oscar contender — a war epic that's grand in scope, with generational scars that run deep.

24 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Da 5 Bloods And What's Making Us Happy

Giancarlo Esposito On 'Breaking Bad', 'Do The Right Thing' And Facing The Police

Giancarlo Esposito has appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies — from several of Spike Lee's early films, to his role as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. In this interview from Bullseye, Esposito talks about the complexity of his characters, his time on The Electric Company and his work on Do the Right Thing. Plus, we talk to him about a very difficult time in his life and working through the trauma of racial profiling.

42 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Giancarlo Esposito On 'Breaking Bad', 'Do The Right Thing' And Facing The Police

In 'On The Record,' Black Women's Voices Get A Needed Spotlight

In 2017, the #MeToo movement brought to light accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct against powerful people in entertainment. Most of the women whose allegations received detailed media consideration were white, and so were most of the men they accused. But late that year, a number of women, several of them black women, alleged sexual assault and other misconduct by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Simmons is the enormously powerful man behind Def Jam. The new HBO Max documentary On The Record tells the stories of some of Russell Simmons' accusers. It includes interviews with a lot of black women about specific worries and conflicted feelings that arise when black women raise allegations against black men.

25 MIN2 w ago
Comments
In 'On The Record,' Black Women's Voices Get A Needed Spotlight

The King Of Staten Island And What's Making Us Happy

In The King Of Staten Island, comedian Pete Davidson plays a wayward stoner whose life isn't going anywhere. He still lives with his mom, he doesn't have a job, and his plans for his life involve a vague — and foolish — plan to open "a tattoo restaurant." The film is directed by Judd Apatow, who also made Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Trainwreck. Apatow's movies often involve a protagonist who faces some sort of need to grow up, and The King Of Staten Island may feature the biggest reclamation project yet: Davidson's character barely functions as an adult, and through much of the film, we see a manchild with a lot of growing up to do.

19 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The King Of Staten Island And What's Making Us Happy

Central Park And What's Making Us Happy

The new Apple TV+ series Central Park is an animated musical with a lot of interesting DNA. It shares creative and performing talent with Bob's Burgers, Frozen, and Hamilton, among other projects. The show follows the manager of New York's Central Park, who tries to keep the park safe from trash overflows, a demanding public, and city politics.

20 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Central Park And What's Making Us Happy

The Limitations Of An Anti-Racist Reading List

Sales are surging for books like Ibram X. Kendi's 'How To Be Anti-Racist,' Robin DiAngelo's 'White Fragility,' and Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow.' That's in part because these titles often appear on so-called "anti-racist reading lists." But what is an anti-racist reading list for? We talk with Lauren Michele Jackson, an Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University, and the author of 'White Negroes,' about the limitations of such lists — which she wrote about in an essay called "What Is an Anti-Racist Reading List For?" for Vulture.

14 MIN3 w ago
Comments
The Limitations Of An Anti-Racist Reading List

Digging Into Slate's Black Film Canon

Right now, many of us are thinking about the ways we can start to address the shortfalls in our own knowledge that have grown out of structural racism in every part of life, entertainment very much included. And if you're looking for one place to start, we want to point you toward Slate's Black Film Canon. Four years ago, Slate published a list of 50 great films by black directors. It was put together by Dan Kois and Aisha Harris in 2016, and Aisha came on Pop Culture Happy Hour to talk about it with us. (This episode originally aired on June 7, 2016.)

12 MINJUN 7
Comments
Digging Into Slate's Black Film Canon

Ramy And What's Making Us Happy

It surprised a lot of people when Ramy Youssef won a Golden Globe in January. But it shouldn't have. His show, the half-hour comedy-drama Ramy on Hulu, is a smart, fresh take on a young man navigating family and his Muslim faith. Ramy recently released its second season, and it's added Mahershala Ali to its cast. The result is a show that's well deserving of that Globe, and more.

21 MINJUN 5
Comments
Ramy And What's Making Us Happy
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