Pop Culture Happy Hour Get obsessed with us. Five days a week, Pop Culture Happy Hour serves you recommendations and commentary on the buzziest movies, TV, music, books, videogames and more. Join arts journalists Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson, and Aisha Harris - plus a rotating cast of guest pop culture aficionados. The Happy Hour team leaves room at the table for exploring a range of reactions and opinions on every bit of the pop universe. From lowbrow to highbrow to the stuff in between, they take it all with a shot of cheer.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour

From NPR

Get obsessed with us. Five days a week, Pop Culture Happy Hour serves you recommendations and commentary on the buzziest movies, TV, music, books, videogames and more. Join arts journalists Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson, and Aisha Harris - plus a rotating cast of guest pop culture aficionados. The Happy Hour team leaves room at the table for exploring a range of reactions and opinions on every bit of the pop universe. From lowbrow to highbrow to the stuff in between, they take it all with a shot of cheer.

Make your happy hour even happier with Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus! Your subscription supports the podcast and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/happyhour

Most Recent Episodes

Kiawentiio as Katara, Gordon Cormier as Aang and Ian Ousley as Sokka. Netlfix hide caption

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Netlfix

Is 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' fire, or all wet?

The animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender is regarded as a classic. Now, it's gotten a live-action adaptation on Netflix. The series tells the story of a boy named Aang (Gordon Cormier) who must learn how to harness the power of air, water, earth, and fire — and ultimately save the world. But how does the new show hold up to the beloved original?

Is 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' fire, or all wet?

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Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal Pictures hide caption

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Melinda Sue Gordon/Universal Pictures

'Oppenheimer' looks at the building of the bomb, and its lingering fallout

Oppenheimer tells the story of the brilliant physicist (Cillian Murphy) who oversaw the construction of the first atomic bomb. It goes on to chart the dark, complicated legacy of what he made – a technology that has gone on to irrevocably change the world, and that retains the real possibility of ending it. Christopher Nolan's film was a blockbuster hit last summer, and it earned 13 Oscar nominations – including best picture and best director. Today, we are revisiting our conversation about the movie.

'Oppenheimer' looks at the building of the bomb, and its lingering fallout

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Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan in Drive Away Dolls. Working Title / Focus Features hide caption

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Working Title / Focus Features

'Drive-Away Dolls' is a zany and shaggy road trip caper

The movie Drive-Away Dolls is a shaggy comedy about a couple of lesbian friends (Margaret Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan) who take a road trip and unwittingly find themselves wrapped up in a bizarre criminal caper. There's a strange briefcase, a shady senator, and psychedelic vibes, which makes for one weird little movie. The movie directed by Ethan Coen, who co-wrote the screenplay with Tricia Cooke.

'Drive-Away Dolls' is a zany and shaggy road trip caper

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Jennifer Lopez in This Is Me...Now: A Love Story. Courtesy of Prime hide caption

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Courtesy of Prime

Can Jennifer Lopez's 'This Is Me... Now' say anything new?

The wait to learn more about Jennifer Lopez's love life is finally over. The singer and actress has released a new film on Prime Video called This Is Me...Now: A Love Story, in conjunction with a new album and an upcoming documentary. It's all about her journey from Gigli to joyful, from falter to altar, with her now-husband Ben Affleck. She sings, she dances, and is cared for by the weirdest council of advisors ever assembled — including cameos from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Post Malone, Jane Fonda.

Can Jennifer Lopez's 'This Is Me... Now' say anything new?

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Dakota Johnson in Madame Web. Columbia Pictures hide caption

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Columbia Pictures

We try to untangle 'Madame Web'

Madame Web, the latest Spider-Man-adjacent film that stakes out its own corner of the Spider-Verse. Dakota Johnson plays a New York paramedic who sees glimpses of the future. She bonds with three young women who are being hunted by a mysterious and remorseless supervillian. It has gotten pilloried by critics and has been ruthlessly mocked by a series of memes. But is it as bad as all that?

We try to untangle 'Madame Web'

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Kali Reis in True Detective: Night Country. Michele K. Short/HBO hide caption

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Michele K. Short/HBO

'True Detective: Night Country' tweaks the formula with great chemistry

HBO/Max's True Detective: Night Country is the fourth season of the murder mystery anthology series. It's a bit of a welcome departure, with new showrunner Issa López at the helm. Set in a remote Alaskan mining town, this season's victims are a team of scientists, and the mismatched pair of cops investigating the murders are two women, played by Jodie Foster and Kali Reis.

'True Detective: Night Country' tweaks the formula with great chemistry

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Tom Hollander as Truman Capote and Jessica Lange as Lillie Mae Faulk in Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans. FX hide caption

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FX

Does 'Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans' ruffle enough feathers

Feud: Capote Vs. the Swans is the latest reimagining of historical events produced by Ryan Murphy. The series follows famed author Truman Capote (played by Tom Hollander), who hobnobs with a close-knit circle of New York socialites known as the Swans. But then he embarrasses them by airing their dirty laundry — and things get nasty. The Swans are deliciously played by actors like Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, and Chloë Sevigny.

Does 'Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans' ruffle enough feathers

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Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman in Parks and Recreation. NBC / Alamy hide caption

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NBC / Alamy

Pop culture that gets platonic love right

There have been countless romantic movies and TV shows — and a virtually infinite number of ways to watch people fall in love. But we're here to celebrate pop culture that revolves around friendship — where people love and care about each other deeply, even though they'll never kiss. Today we're recommending things to watch that get platonic love right.

Pop culture that gets platonic love right

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Quinta Brunson in Abbott Elementary. Gilles Mingasson/Disney hide caption

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Gilles Mingasson/Disney

Everyone should attend 'Abbott Elementary'

The fantastic ABC series Abbott Elementary is a workplace sitcom set at a severely underfunded Philadelphia public school. It's a giant hit, and it's become an Emmys darling, including two wins for its creator and star Quinta Brunson. Abbott Elementary just returned for its long-awaited third season, so in this encore episode, we are revisiting our conversation about the show's first season.

Everyone should attend 'Abbott Elementary'

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Usher performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

We recap the 2024 Super Bowl

This year's Super Bowl featured an exciting game in which the Kansas City Chiefs beat San Francisco 49ers. It also featured an attention-grabbing halftime show from Usher, many Taylor Swift sightings, and a big announcement during the commercials: Beyoncé is releasing a new album in March, and she just dropped two new singles.

We recap the 2024 Super Bowl

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