It's the first of three (!!!) straight episodes of Pop Culture Happy Hour without our beloved host, the divine Ms. Linda Holmes, so were forced to improvise. Need a panelist? Bring in the also-divine Ms. Barrie Hardymon of Talk of the Nation! Need a topic ripped directly from the headlines? It appears to be the time of year when it gets hot outside — how about that?
So there you go. The aforementioned heat — which just happened to break in time for our taping, only to return to Washington, D.C., before this episode could publish — inspired us to debate and discuss the merits of the blessedly air-conditioned multiplex. Naturally, "The Holmes Index" came into play: Exactly how hot would it have to be outside before you'd see, say, The Smurfs just for the air-conditioning? From there, we basked in the reflected chilliness of cold-themed movies, and even dreamed up a few pop-cultural cold showers, in several of the ways that the term could be interpreted.
And, before getting to the usual round of What's Making Us Happy — come to the NPR Music tent at the Newport Folk Festival this weekend and say hi to me and our esteemed producer Mike Katzif! — we undertook a brief round of rants, raves and recommendations about board games. Does Monopoly tear families asunder? Are you a Boggle person or a Scrabble person? (Glen Weldon's opinion of you hangs in the balance.) How long can you play Celebrity or Pictionary before you inevitably shout at a loved one in exasperation? And does the Game of Life reveal, as I posit, the tragic dark side of the American Dream?
As always, find us on Twitter: Linda, Trey, me, Glen, and Mike. Or, of course, find us on Facebook — where people who say they wish their conversations with friends were like ours can go to discover that thousands of like-minded souls are right there for you to embrace on the Internet, having conversations like ours.