It's that time again. And everybody's around the table!
Fans of the Regrettable Television [*pop*] Pop Quiz will be glad to know that it roars back this week, as we add scripted television to the mix for the first time, which leads to a discussion of the toys the Grinch should have stolen. We also cover what we don't like about hour-long press releases and what we do kind of like about what Glen Weldon calls "Cops if there were no stakes."
We also take a few minutes to talk about the 30 Rock live episode and what its problems and achievements say about the rhythms of comedy and the texture of 30 Rock in particular.
And finally, as usual, we run down some of the things making us happy this week, from hooky '80s guitar pop to a terrific book or two and a cheese allergy that one man hopes might give him back his life.
So join me, Glen, Stephen Thompson, Trey Graham, and our silent but essential producer and music source Mike Katzif (seriously, if you knew how much Mike does every week to take out the parts where we sound dumb or lost, you'd know he's our MVP) for another Pop Culture Happy Hour.
If you enjoy this level of high-minded discussion of whether or not certain words are funny and how shocking it is that some families don't want to go to Hooters (hey, it's a wide-ranging chat), please subscribe to Culturetopia for this and other NPR arts-related deliciousness.
Some of you have asked for links to some of the things we talk about on the show, but I've always been afraid to give away everything, so I'm going to conceal some of these links so that you can get them if you want, but it won't entirely tell you ahead of time what all the topics are if you want to let it unfold.
You can catch the live 30 Rock — the East coast version, the West coast version, or both — here on Hulu.
Regrettable Television Pop Quiz answers will lead you here. Also here. And here. And, not to be forgotten, here. It's also pretty clear that we owe a debt of gratitude to The Soup, which you can find here.
Things making us happy this week: This is making Glen happy. This is making Stephen happy, as is this. And this is making me very happy.