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

Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis in a scene from And Just Like That.... HBO Max hide caption

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HBO Max

'And Just Like That...', all we can do is cringe

And Just Like That... the ladies of Sex and the City are back. (Well, most of them anyway.) The HBO Max series finds Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon reprising their roles as Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda. The new cast features several non-binary characters and performers of color including Nicole Ari Parker, Sara Ramirez, Karen Pittman, and Sarita Choudhury. But do these updates make the nostalgia trip worth it?

'And Just Like That...', all we can do is cringe

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Tina Turner performs with the Ikettes in 1973 in the HBO documentary Tina. HBO Max hide caption

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HBO Max

Great 2021 Music Documentaries We Missed

Today we're recommending some of the great music documentaries we missed in 2021: The Velvet Underground, Framing Britney Spears, Controlling Britney Spears, and Tina.

Great 2021 Music Documentaries We Missed

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Bilal Baig plays Sabi in the new HBO Max comedy Sort Of. Courtesy of HBO Max hide caption

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Courtesy of HBO Max

'Sort Of' is definitely your next binge

The slyly innovative HBO Max series Sort Of follows Sabi, a gender fluid millennial in Toronto trying to figure their life out. Sabi, played by co-creator Bilal Baig, nannies for a family whose matriarch winds up in a coma, placing Sabi in a tough spot between living their life and caring for others first. It's a show with good word of mouth that makes for a great Saturday afternoon binge.

'Sort Of' is definitely your next binge

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Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in The Tragedy of Macbeth, directed by Joel Coen. A24/Apple TV+ hide caption

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A24/Apple TV+

Something wicked-good this way comes: 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'

The Tragedy of Macbeth adapts Shakespeare's familiar tale of blood and betrayal, dreamlike daggers and stubborn stains. But its stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are significantly older than the leads usually are, which makes the whole thing hit differently. Directed by Joel Coen, the film fuses black-and-white cinematography with a clean, minimalist production design that underscores the story's theatrical roots. It's now streaming on Apple TV+.

Something wicked-good this way comes: 'The Tragedy of Macbeth'

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The Weeknd returns with his fifth studio album Dawn FM. Courtesy of Republic Records hide caption

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Courtesy of Republic Records

On 'Dawn FM,' The Weeknd crafts a synth-pop epic

The Weeknd's album After Hours was one of the biggest hits of 2020, and now the elusive artist is back. He's had a decade of massive highlights from "Blinding Lights" to last year's Super Bowl Halftime Show. His new album is Dawn FM, and it's a set of sleek synth-pop songs with assists from Oneohtrix Point Never and comedian Jim Carrey.

On 'Dawn FM,' The Weeknd crafts a synth-pop epic

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Mackenzie Davis in a scene from Station Eleven. HBO Max hide caption

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HBO Max

'Station Eleven' offers a home at the end of the world

The HBO Max miniseries Station Eleven begins with a highly contagious and deadly virus wiping out 99 percent of humanity. That might not sound like comfort viewing, but hear us out. The show follows many characters as their individual stories intersect — both in the 100 days after the virus hits, and 20 years later, as civilization attempts to rebuild. Based on Emily St. John Mandel's novel, the series stars Himesh Patel, Mackenzie Davis, Gael García Bernal, Danielle Deadwyler, and Lori Petty.

'Station Eleven' offers a home at the end of the world

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Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman in Mike Mills' film C'mon C'mon. A24 hide caption

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A24

'C'mon C'mon shows the pleasure and pangs of parenting

In the movie C'mon C'mon, Joaquin Phoenix plays an audio journalist who, after visiting his sister (played by Gaby Hoffmann), takes his young nephew (played by Woody Norman) on the road as he interviews kids about the world. Along the way, the two learn a lot about each other. Directed by Mike Mills, it's a film about family, loss, and joy — and it's about radio.

'C'mon C'mon shows the pleasure and pangs of parenting

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Sidney Poitier while filming In the Heat of the Night Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

Remembering Sidney Poitier

Hollywood legend Sidney Poitier died last week at age of 94. He was a man of many firsts, including the first Black performer to win the best actor Oscar for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field. He was also a humanitarian who was active during the civil rights movement, and also someone who was quite obviously dedicated to his craft. And today we remember Poitier's work, including In The Heat Of The Night and To Sir With Love.

Remembering Sidney Poitier

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Nine Days, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, is writer-director Edson Oda's debut feature film. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Great 2021 Movies You May Have Missed

We cover a lot of movies here on Pop Culture Happy Hour, but we can't come close to hitting every great film. Today, we're inviting some of our favorite film critics to share the movies they loved from 2021 — the ones that got past us the first time, but should definitely get added to your queue.

Great 2021 Movies You May Have Missed

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The Showtime series Yellowjackets boasts an impressive cast actresses set in both 1996 and 2021. Showtime hide caption

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Showtime

Crashing into the mysteries and fun of 'Yellowjackets'

The Showtime drama Yellowjackets is a series in two halves: In the first part, a plane crashes in 1996, and a high school girls' soccer team is stranded in the Canadian wilderness. The other part follows some of the girls more than 20 years later, as they realize the full ramifications of what they did during the time before they were rescued. Part horror and part suspense, Yellowjackets boasts a killer cast and a tangle of dark mysteries at its heart.

Crashing into the mysteries and fun of 'Yellowjackets'

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