Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour: How Long Is Too Long?

A drawing of two clinking martini glasses.
NPR

Half of the Pop Culture Happy Hour crew is scattered to the four winds — if, by "the four winds," you mean "an assortment of movie theaters in Toronto" — but before parting ways, the old gang met up to discuss a question that's been vexing me. What are the tipping points, I vex, that push various forms of entertainment over the line between "long enough" and "too long"? What constitutes an acceptable standard length (of an album, a movie comedy, a movie drama, a reality TV series, a play, and so on), and why?

We bounce some ideas around — a "two hour rule," thoughts on iTunes vs. CDs, The Hobbit and its appendices, varying belief systems with regard to skimming and fast-forwarding, the final season(s) of Breaking Bad, something about a four-hour adaptation of Hamlet — while also giving me the flimsiest excuse yet to bust out a halfhearted Gordon Ramsay impersonation.

Then, it's on to a characteristically strange Linda Holmes quiz, which — for me, anyway — consists mostly of an opportunity to show off the fact that I know Linda's brain well enough to anticipate the answer to any quiz question she concocts. In your face, Linda's brain!

Finally, as we do every week, it's on to a robust round of What's Making Us Happy. Glen loves the theatrical adaptation of a movie we've raved about in the past. Trey is psyched about an upcoming sitcom, and about being Toronto-bound with Linda and our pal Bob Mondello, while Linda revels in reality-television marathons, a kind letter from Germany and her mom's successful knee-replacement surgery. (Hi, Linda's mom! You are inferior to my mom, but to very few others'!) And, finally, I marinate in the joy of sport and praise a new project by a much-blathered-about personal favorite. (Incidentally, between the time when the show was recorded and today, the project has been scaled back a bit — only 10 of its 40 songs are available here.)

Oh, and for the love of goodness, please find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: me, Trey, Glen, Linda, producer Jess Gitner, and our producer emeritus and music director Mike.

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