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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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2023 Oscar Nominations

Nominations for this year's Oscars dropped today, and it's a big year for Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Banshees Of Inisherin, and All Quiet On The Western Front. We run down the nominees in the major categories, plus talk about some surprises and snubs. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus at plus.npr.org/happyhour

14mins

24 Jan 2023

Rank #1

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Cheers

Cheers is one of the most celebrated TV sitcoms of all time. Set in a Boston bar, the show won major awards and turned stars like Ted Danson, Shelley Long, and Rhea Perlman into household names. Cheers ended its run 30 years ago this spring, so we thought this would be a good time to revisit the series and answer your questions.

25mins

24 Jan 2023

Rank #2

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Velma

The adult animated series Velma chronicles the origin story of the bespectacled brains of the original Scooby Gang. We meet Velma, Fred, Daphne and Shaggy in high school, as Velma struggles with mean girls, a neglectful father, a missing mother, patriarchal beauty standards, same-sex attraction and a serial killer. Velma is voiced by Mindy Kaling, and the rest of the show's voice cast includes Sam Richardson, Constance Wu, and Glenn Howerton.

16mins

23 Jan 2023

Rank #3

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Missing And What's Making Us Happy

The new movie Missing is about our connected world. The social media, the surveillance cameras, the news footage, the video chats — the many, many things we can see from our screens. In this sequel to the 2018 thriller Searching, Storm Reid plays a young woman whose mother leaves on a trip with her boyfriend and seems to just vanish. Desperate to solve the mystery, Reid uses technology to figure out what's going on and save her mother's life.

21mins

20 Jan 2023

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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The Traitors

In Peacock's new reality competition series The Traitors, contestants and reality TV veterans undergo missions at a Scottish castle to earn cash for the money pot. But there are three "traitors" among them, secretly working to "murder" the other players before these "faithfuls" find them out. The series is hosted by a slyly sinister Alan Cumming. Subscribe to Pop Culture Happy Hour at plus.npr.org.

23mins

19 Jan 2023

Rank #5

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People We're Pulling For

There are pop culture figures we love, and those we could maybe do without. And then there are the ones we're rooting for: The underdogs, the comeback kids, the stars-on-the-rise, and everything in between. Today we're talking about the pop culture people we're pulling for.

16mins

18 Jan 2023

Rank #6

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Saint Omer

The moving new drama Saint Omer tells the story of a young mother (Guslagie Malanda) brought to trial for the killing of her infant daughter. Meanwhile, another woman (Kayije Kagame) who has come to observe and write about the trial wrestles with her own feelings about impending motherhood. Directed by Alice Diop, the French film is shortlisted for an Oscar for best international feature.

19mins

17 Jan 2023

Rank #7

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Dungeons & Dragons

The Pop Culture Happy Hour team is off today, so we're bringing you an episode from our pals at Code Switch all about Dungeons & Dragons. It's one of the most popular tabletop roleplaying games of all time. But it has also helped cement some ideas about how we create and define race in fantasy — and in the tangible world. Host Gene Demby and producer Jess Kung take a deep dive into that game, and what racial stereotypes and colonialist supremacy it's illuminating.

33mins

16 Jan 2023

Rank #8

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Plane And What's Making Us Happy

What do you need to know about the movie Plane? Well, there's a plane. Specifically, there's a plane that goes down when it's struck by lightning and ends up on the worst possible island. It's then up to a captain, played by Gerard Butler, and his passengers to survive.

21mins

13 Jan 2023

Rank #9

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Smiley

If you're looking for a charming romantic comedy, consider checking out the Netflix series Smiley. Set in Barcelona, it follows Alex and Bruno, two very different men who meet and experience an overwhelming attraction that they then, as they must, struggle with enormously. Can these two ever find happiness?

18mins

12 Jan 2023

Rank #10