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

Minions: The Rise of Gru is the latest movie in the Despicable Me film franchise. Universal Pictures hide caption

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Universal Pictures

Those chaotic tater tots return in 'Minions: The Rise of Gru'

Minions: The Rise Of Gru is the fifth film in the animated Despicable Me series. Set in the late 1970s, the new movie chronicles the early days of the supervillain Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell) and his relationship with the silly yellow babbling banana-loving henchmen who do his bidding.

Those chaotic tater tots return in 'Minions: The Rise of Gru'

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If you like to fall asleep to a soundtrack, we have three great recommendations to help you doze away. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Angela Hsieh/NPR

Can't sleep? Catch some zzzs with these songs

There are songs you want to groove to, and songs you want to pump up to. But sometimes, you just want something for the come down at the end of a long day. If you're having trouble sleeping in silence, or are just looking for some new songs to throw into your bedtime rotation, we've got you covered.

Can't sleep? Catch some zzzs with these songs

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Ethan Hawke stars in The Black Phone the latest film from Scott Derrickson. Universal Pictures hide caption

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Universal Pictures

Should you pick up 'The Black Phone'?

In the supernatural horror film The Black Phone, Ethan Hawke plays the Grabber, a sinister masked figure who abducts a series of teenage boys in a Colorado suburb. When 13-year-old Finney (Mason Thames) gets grabbed, he's locked in a dank basement, waiting to be murdered, when suddenly a disconnected telephone on the wall starts to ring.

Should you pick up 'The Black Phone'?

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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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