Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Divergent,' Getting Personal, And Jesse Thorn

A drawing of two clinking martini glasses.
NPR

There's no one better to — as Stephen terms it — put the Y in YA than our youngest regular contributor, Code Switch's Kat Chow. So Kat sits in for our discussion this week of Divergent, which is not at all The Hunger Games, but ... sort of is. We spend a little time on the world of Tris Prior and her family, chat about the things that we didn't understand about this particular divided dystopia, and hear from Kat about how it changes your perspective if you (gasp!) read the book on which the film is based.

We then tackle a listener question (thanks, Lauren!) about when we take our pop culture especially personally. Kat brings a helpful cooking metaphor, Stephen feels responsible, and I desperately sob, "Stop yelling at me!" (Really.)

Our big fun this week, though, came in the form of a visit from Jesse Thorn, the man behind the Maximum Fun network (and thus oodles of great podcasts we've talked about before) and the host of the NPR interview show Bullseye. (If you do nothing else for yourself this week, please, please listen to the Bullseye with RuPaul and Terry Crews, because it is just as good as Jesse says it is.) Jesse talks about why he thinks the Judge John Hodgman podcast works as well as it does, and he explains the great case of the Bat Brothers. If you're curious about the Faberge tie case or the "meeting Eugene Mirman" case, those are great as well. And finally, if you're thinking, "I'd like to know more about that dog corpse Jesse visited," we've got you covered!

As always, we close with what's making us happy this week. Jesse is happy about a show he calls comforting rather than scarring. Stephen is happy about an old, debauched friend coming back to him this summer, and also about your waning opportunity to download songs he picked out just for you. Trey is happy about a performance that teaches the most important lesson of all: every great and gorgeous bird shall rise and fly again, no matter how temporarily burnt. And Kat is happy about a comic she loves and a video that makes us all break into giggles. And I am happy about the weird humor I get from ... well, something not humorous. You'll see.

You can find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: Stephen, Glen, Trey, me, Jesse, producer Jessica, also-producers Lauren and Nick, and our lifelong pal and music director Mike Katzif.

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