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

Ella Purnell stars as Lucy in Fallout. Prime Video hide caption

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Prime Video

'Fallout' is bleak but funny science fission

The new show Fallout is based on a hugely successful video game series known for its sardonic, very dark comedic sensibility, and its violence. It's set in the game's post-apocalyptic world – an America divided into factions wrestling for control of an irradiated wasteland. When the hopeful Lucy (Ella Purnell) steps out of the comfortable life she's known in an underground vault, the world she's confronted with is harsh, brutal, merciless – and kinda funny.

'Fallout' is bleak but funny science fission

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Comedian Conan O'Brien at TBS Night Out in 2016. He recently appeared on YouTube show, Hot Ones. Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for TBS hide caption

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Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for TBS

How 'Hot Ones' took wing(s)

Hot Ones is the YouTube show where famous people answer questions while eating increasingly hot chicken wings. Hosted by Sean Evans, the series is a phenomenon. And Conan O'Brien is its most recent high achiever, and possibly the best guest ever. What exactly makes a good Hot Ones guest?

How 'Hot Ones' took wing(s)

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Jean Grey and Cyclops in the new Disne series X-Men '97. Marvel Animation/Disney hide caption

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Marvel Animation/Disney

'X-Men '97' validates your nostalgia while looking to the future

For millions of kids, the popular 1990s X-Men animated series served as a gateway drug into the world of the X-Men and comics in general. Now, the new Disney+ series X-Men '97 picks up right where the original ended. But changes are also taking place: secrets get revealed, the team roster gets shuffled, and characters meet shocking fates. What hasn't changed is everything fans expect from the X-Men: big fights, big powers, and lots of mutant melodrama.

'X-Men '97' validates your nostalgia while looking to the future

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Luke Medina/NPR

Books We Love: Love And Romance

NPR's Books We Love is a roundup of favorite books of the year, sorted and tagged to help you find exactly what you're looking for. From the meet cutes to the happy endings and through all the ups and downs in between, we're recommending great books for people who love love and romance.

Books We Love: Love And Romance

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Kirsten Dunst as Lee in Civil War. A24 hide caption

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A24

'Civil War' envisions a too-near future

The new film Civil War depicts a contemporary America torn apart by a military conflict between the federal government and an alliance of secessionist states. Directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina), the film follows a small band of journalists led by Kirsten Dunst's jaded war photographer. They embark on a harrowing journey to the heart of the conflict, encountering brutality and bloodshed along the way.

'Civil War' envisions a too-near future

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Nisha Murali in the Apple TV+ documentary film Girls State. Apple TV+ hide caption

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Apple TV+

'Girls State' provides hope and disappointment for the state of our democracy

The new Apple TV+ documentary Girls State asks: how would high school girls do things if they were in charge? The film is a follow-up to 2020's Boys State, and this time, follows an annual high school program that gives hundreds of girls a chance to create a mock government, complete with elections and a Supreme Court. It was made during the 2022 session, which ended days before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and the case is very much on the minds of the girls in the program.

'Girls State' provides hope and disappointment for the state of our democracy

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Hiroyuki Sanada in FX's Shogun. Katie Yu/FX hide caption

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Katie Yu/FX

'Shōgun' is a fascinating epic about power and honor

The sweeping historical epic has roared back with Shōgun. The FX miniseries takes place beginning in 1600, in a fictionalized but historically inspired feudal Japan, where the previous ruler has died with an heir not yet old enough to be in power, and everything has become chaotic. Shōgun has war, power struggles, violence, impossible love, beautiful naked people, and thorny questions about whose story it really is.

'Shōgun' is a fascinating epic about power and honor

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Stephen King at a press conference in 2013, in Paris. Eric Feferberg/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Eric Feferberg/AFP via Getty Images

A guide to Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the most successful living writers. He's written more than 50 books that have sold hundreds of millions of copies. And his works have been adapted into a number of classic films, including The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, and It. This month marks the 50th anniversary of his first novel, Carrie, so we are revisiting our guide to Stephen King.

A guide to Stephen King

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Dev Patel in Monkey Man. Akhirwan Nurhaidi/Universal Pictures hide caption

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Akhirwan Nurhaidi/Universal Pictures

In 'Monkey Man,' Dev Patel gets revenge through gorilla warfare

The new action film Monkey Man is Dev Patel's film – he serves as star, director, and co-writer. He plays a young man whose village was destroyed and mother murdered by elite members of society. He sets out to infiltrate their corrupt, rarified existence and seek his bloody, bloody revenge. There's plenty of gunplay, knife-play, ax-play, bone-crunching, tuk-tuk chases, and gouts of blood.

In 'Monkey Man,' Dev Patel gets revenge through gorilla warfare

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Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in Ripley. Philippe Antonello/Netflix hide caption

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Philippe Antonello/Netflix

'Ripley' offers a novel take. Literally.

Tom Ripley is back — and still can't be trusted. The character — created by novelist Patricia Highsmith — was made indelible by Matt Damon in the film The Talented Mr. Ripley. Now, he's played by Andrew Scott on a Netflix series called simply Ripley. Tom once again worms his way into the life of one Dickie Greenleaf and attempts to sabotage his luxurious life in the Italian countryside.

'Ripley' offers a novel take. Literally.

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