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

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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

A graduate in gown and caps and his mother celebrate their graduation. Jens Schlueter/Getty Images hide caption

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Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Our favorite graduation moments in pop culture

This is the time of year when so many students graduate. Whether it's graduation episodes of our favorite TV series, high school songs, or movies about the last wild night of high school, we're revisiting our episode about the best moments about graduation in pop culture.

Our favorite graduation moments in pop culture

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Dakota Johnson in the film Am I OK? Emily Knecht/Max hide caption

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Emily Knecht/Max

'Am I OK?' is a coming-out movie for adults

Am I OK? is a about what happens when you finally come to accept your sexuality much later in life than many do. It stars Dakota Johnson and Sonoya Mizuno as two women in their 30s who have been best friends a long time. But Johnson's character is grappling with the possibility that she's queer – and with the fact that her most treasured friendship is in trouble. Directed by Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, it's streaming on Max.

'Am I OK?' is a coming-out movie for adults

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Adria Arjona and Glen Powell in Hit Man. Netflix hide caption

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Netflix

Glen Powell's 'Hit Man' won't kill you, but he may seduce you

Netflix's entertaining dark comedy Hit Man is not about a hired killer. It's about a guy who pretends to be a hired killer. Director Richard Linklater co-wrote this film with movie star of the moment, Glen Powell. Based very loosely on a real guy, Powell plays a mild-mannered professor who also works undercover for the police as a fake hitman.

Glen Powell's 'Hit Man' won't kill you, but he may seduce you

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Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor in Doctor Who. Disney Plus hide caption

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Disney Plus

'Doctor Who' is enlivened by its new Black, openly queer star

The venerable British science fiction series Doctor Who is back with a new season. Ncuti Gatwa — who is Black and openly queer — brings a vibrant energy to the story of an alien who travels through space and time in a blue box. The series, now streaming on Disney+, also features the return of showrunner Russell T. Davies, who birthed the modern era of Doctor Who. But what does this mix of new and old mean for the sci-fi institution?

'Doctor Who' is enlivened by its new Black, openly queer star

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Laurence Fishburne as Doc Rivers in Clipped. Kelsey McNeal/FX hide caption

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Kelsey McNeal/FX

'Clipped' recreates an embarrassing NBA scandal

The new FX limited series Clipped tells the story of Donald Sterling, the then-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, who was outed as a racist. Sterling's girlfriend – who was Black and Mexican – secretly recorded their conversations. When those tapes leaked, he was embroiled in a scandal that upended the NBA – an industry that profits off the star power of its majority Black players. The series stars Ed O'Neill and Laurence Fishburne as the owner and the head coach who clashed as it all went down.

'Clipped' recreates an embarrassing NBA scandal

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James Gandolfini and Edie Falco in The Sopranos. HBO/Getty Images hide caption

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HBO/Getty Images

Looking back at 'The Sopranos,' the godfather of prestige TV

The Sopranos changed television. The HBO series was centered on mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a deeply flawed male antihero. That then- innovative approach cast a long shadow on television, but what really set The Sopranos apart was the fact that Tony was in therapy — a genius touch that granted viewers special access to his inner conflicts. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the show's premiere, so we're revisiting our conversation about the series.

Looking back at 'The Sopranos,' the godfather of prestige TV

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Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid, and Rachael Leigh Cook in Josie and the Pussycats. Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo hide caption

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Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

We debate the best fictional bands

Sometimes, our favorite musical artists are too good to be true because they're sprung from the imaginations of Hollywood screenwriters. But what makes a fake band great? Today, we are debating the best fictional bands in TV and film — including from Mamma Mia!, Josie and the Pussycats, It's Your Move, and Miami Connection.

We debate the best fictional bands

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Sarah Kameela Impey as Saira in We Are Lady Parts. Peacock hide caption

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Peacock

'We Are Lady Parts' rocks with bracing honesty and nuance

The Peacock series We Are Lady Parts is a bold and very funny comedy about an up-and-coming London punk band called Lady Parts. The members of Lady Parts, and its manager, are all young Muslim women, from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. Over the course of its first season, each member experiences triumphs and setbacks – including its lead guitarist, who strives to overcome stage fright. The show is about to return for a new season, so today, we are revisiting our conversation about it.

'We Are Lady Parts' rocks with bracing honesty and nuance

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Kiefer Sutherland in Designated Survivor. Netflix hide caption

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Netflix

Terrible but bingeable TV shows

What is it about a show that turns you into a bitter-ender, that keeps you dutifully watching every last episode, long after the train has jumped the tracks? Even when you know it's not good, but, for you anyway, it's just good enough to muddle through, all the way to the finale? Today, we're talking about terrible but bingeable TV shows.

Terrible but bingeable TV shows

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Chris Pine says he has "fantastic anxiety dreams." Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images hide caption

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Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

The lesson Chris Pine learned after his new film was 'obliterated' by critics

Today, we are bringing you an episode of a new NPR podcast hosted by our pal Rachel Martin. It's called Wild Card, and it's a new interview show where the game controls the conversation. Each week, the guest chooses questions at random — about the memories, insights, and beliefs that have shaped their lives. This episode is an interview with the actor Pop Culture Happy Hour listeners voted as their favorite Chris — Chris Pine.

The lesson Chris Pine learned after his new film was 'obliterated' by critics

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