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.

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
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NPR

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

Jack Harlow and Brandy perform onstage during the 2022 BET Awards. Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET hide caption

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Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET

We recap the 2022 BET Awards

Sunday's BET Awards were a four-hour celebration of Black culture, with a heavy emphasis on music. The night was packed with live performances from Latto and Jack Harlow, and surprise guests Mariah Carey and Brandy, and featured a lavish tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sean "Diddy" Combs.

We recap the 2022 BET Awards

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Jenny Slate voices Marcel in the new film Marcel The Shell With Shoes On. A24 hide caption

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A24

Let's get small with 'Marcel The Shell With Shoes On'

The new film Marcel The Shell With Shoes On tells the story of a tiny shell who searches for his long-lost family. He's voiced by Jenny Slate and rendered using stop-motion animation. Based on a series of viral YouTube shorts, the feature-length movie is directed by Dean Fleischer Camp, who also appears on-screen as a filmmaker who discovers and interviews Marcel while living in an Airbnb.

Let's get small with 'Marcel The Shell With Shoes On'

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Austin Butler stars as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

'Elvis' is a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' excess

The legacy of Elvis Presley is often reduced to gaudy iconography and tales of excess: the white jumpsuit, Las Vegas, drugs. So what happens when director Baz Luhrmann takes on the man, the myth, the legend? You get the dizzying biopic Elvis. Austin Butler stars as "the King of Rock and Roll," and Tom Hanks plays Elvis' shady longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker.

'Elvis' is a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' excess

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Anson Mount and Ethan Peck star on the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Marni Grossman/Paramount+ hide caption

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Marni Grossman/Paramount+

Does 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' attain warp speed?

In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, USS Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Spock (Ethan Peck) and their diverse crew boldly go exploring the galaxy. The Paramount+ series takes place a few years before the original series from the '60s, and new show's tone and narrative certainly feel like a return to old-school Star Trek.

Does 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' attain warp speed?

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Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson star in Cha Cha Real Smooth. Apple TV+ hide caption

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Apple TV+

In 'Cha Cha Real Smooth,' coming of age takes a little while

In Cha Cha Real Smooth, Andrew (Cooper Raiff), an aimless 22-year-old, finds a new direction when he becomes a party motivator at bar and bat mitzvahs in his hometown. He develops a bond with Domino (Dakota Johnson), who's at her own crossroads in life. The film was a breakout hit at Sundance earlier this year and is now streaming on Apple TV+.

In 'Cha Cha Real Smooth,' coming of age takes a little while

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The Starz drama P-Valley recently returned for a second season. Erika Doss/Starz hide caption

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Erika Doss/Starz

'P-Valley' shines a spotlight on strip club culture

The Starz drama P-Valley is set in a Black strip club in the Mississippi Delta. The dancers are acrobatic, artistic and independent. The show is about their labor, but also about a wide variety of stories about power, money, and a community's identity. It recently returned for a second season, so in this encore episode, we revisit our discussion about the show's first season.

'P-Valley' shines a spotlight on strip club culture

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Sox (voiced by Pete Sohn) and Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans) star in the film Lightyear. Pixar hide caption

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Pixar

In the Pixar prequel 'Lightyear,' Buzz gets his own swashbuckling space epic

If you've seen any of the Toy Story movies, you know about Buzz Lightyear, the heroic space ranger immortalized in a line of action figures. Now, the character is getting a Disney and Pixar prequel — an origin story starring Chris Evans as the space ranger who started it all. (Take our annual survey at npr.org/podcastsurvey)

In the Pixar prequel 'Lightyear,' Buzz gets his own swashbuckling space epic

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Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson star in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande. Nick Wall/Searchlight Pictures hide caption

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Nick Wall/Searchlight Pictures

Emma Thompson finds herself, and pleasure, in 'Good Luck To You, Leo Grande'

In Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Emma Thompson plays a widow yearning to fulfill a desire that's somehow eluded her her entire life: an orgasm. She sets about achieving her goal by hiring a much younger, highly attractive sex worker (Daryl McCormack). But their time spent together turns out to be much more than transactional. Good Luck To You, Leo Grande will stream on Hulu starting June 17th.

Emma Thompson finds herself, and pleasure, in 'Good Luck To You, Leo Grande'

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Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in 1976's All The President's Men. Snap/Shutterstock hide caption

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Snap/Shutterstock

50 years of Watergate in pop culture

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Watergate not only had profound impacts on how Americans see the government and the press, but it has influenced decades of film and TV, books and podcasts.

50 years of Watergate in pop culture

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Ariana DeBose performs onstage at the 75th Annual Tony Awards. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro hide caption

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro

Our 2022 Tony Awards Recap

The big winners of the 75th Tony Awards included the play The Lehman Trilogy, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop. The evening was hosted by the charming and completely committed Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, and filled with musical performances, emotional acceptance speeches, and a tribute to Stephen Sondheim.

Our 2022 Tony Awards Recap

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