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.
PCHH 2021
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.

Most Recent Episodes

Some of us feel like we're in a waiting period of sorts, so we have three songs to keep you company while you wistfully look out a window. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Angela Hsieh/NPR

Three Songs For Staring Out The Window

NPR Music has song recommendations for every occasion, from major life events to moments when all you want to do is stare blankly into the middle distance. Right now, so many of us feel stuck in a holding pattern, as we wait for our lives to resume. Maybe we're passing time until our vaccinations kick in, or maybe we're daydreaming about the possibility of safe summer travel. Today, we're recommending three songs to help cope with pent-up, restless boredom.

Three Songs For Staring Out The Window

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Queen Sugar focuses on the Bordelon siblings - Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), Nova (Rutina Wesley) and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) - a black family in rural Louisiana. Skip Bolen/Courtesy of OWN hide caption

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Skip Bolen/Courtesy of OWN

'Queen Sugar' Is Tender and Timely

Queen Sugar is a sprawling melodrama following the Bordelons, a tight-knit, multi-generational black family in rural Louisiana. Created by Ava DuVernay, the series has been politically topical from the beginning, and its fifth season is timelier than ever, dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd.

'Queen Sugar' Is Tender and Timely

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Viola Davis wins best supporting actress at the 89th Annual Academy Awards in 2017. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images hide caption

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Viola Davis' Essential Performances

Viola Davis' name is rarely far from awards season chatter, and this year is no different — the highly decorated performer received her fourth Oscar nomination for her role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and could become the first Black woman to nab two acting Oscars. As awards season kicks off, Pop Culture Happy Hour revisits great performers and a few of their essential performances. Today, we're spotlighting Viola Davis, from her first Oscar-nominated role in Doubt to her standing as a powerful force of nature in Hollywood.

Viola Davis' Essential Performances

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Judges Rich Miller and Keith Brymer Jones with contestant Jodie Neale in the fourth season of The Great Pottery Thrown Down. Love Productions/HBO Max hide caption

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Love Productions/HBO Max

Is 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' The Most Relaxing Show On TV?

The Great Pottery Throw Down is one of the gentlest, kindest and warmest competitive reality shows you will ever see (even when things literally explode). The UK series is now streaming on HBO Max. The dishes, the bowls, the handles, the crying — it's all right there to help you relax at the end of even the longest day. Plus, we take a moment to remember rapper DMX, who died today at 50.

Is 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' The Most Relaxing Show On TV?

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Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery go on an outrageous adventure in the Netflix movie Bad Trip. NETFLIX hide caption

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NETFLIX

'Bad Trip'? More Like Awesome Trip!

In the Netflix movie Bad Trip, Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery play best friends who take a road trip from Florida to New York City. The twist in Bad Trip is that each scene is also an elaborate prank, blending fiction and reality - with the mayhem taking place as real unsuspecting strangers look on.

'Bad Trip'? More Like Awesome Trip!

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Frances McDormand smiles on the red carpet at Rome Film Fest 2019. Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images hide caption

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Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Frances McDormand's Essential Performances

Over the course of her long, varied and distinguished career, actor Frances McDormand has won two Oscars - and her performance in Nomadland this year could win her a third. Pop Culture Happy Hour explores some of the great work she's done.

Frances McDormand's Essential Performances

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Chadwick Boseman attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards in 2018. VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Chadwick Boseman's Essential Performances

Chadwick Boseman is nominated for an Oscar this year for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. It's his final onscreen role — he died of colon cancer in August. Before that, Boseman played historical figures including Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and James Brown. And of course, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Black Panther. And today we're talking about some of those essential performances.

Chadwick Boseman's Essential Performances

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Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins star in The Father. Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics

In 'The Father,' Anthony Hopkins' Mind Is A Prison

In The Father, Anthony Hopkins plays a character whose fierce independence is complicated by his worsening dementia. Olivia Colman plays his daughter Anne, who keeps trying to hire carers to help look after him. But the structure of the film is more complicated than that, as director Florian Zeller finds ways to keep viewers guessing. The Father is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Picture.

In 'The Father,' Anthony Hopkins' Mind Is A Prison

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Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy arrive in style at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for the 2014 premiere of Disney's Muppets Most Wanted. Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

Top 10 Muppets, As Voted By Listeners

When we asked our listeners to tell us which Muppets were their favorites, we knew you'd all come through. More than 6,000 people cast over 18,000 votes, and those votes have been tallied. This is the PCHH audience's definitive ranking of the best Muppets.

Top 10 Muppets, As Voted By Listeners

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Miss Piggy stars in Muppets Now on Disney Plus. Courtesy of Disney Plus hide caption

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Courtesy of Disney Plus

Our Favorite Muppets

When The Muppet Show arrived on Disney Plus in February, it got us talking: who are our favorite Muppets? And which Muppet do we most identify with? Today, we're discussing all things Muppets and finding out where we fit in Jim Henson's felt universe.

Our Favorite Muppets

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