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Sep 18, 2020
Antebellum And What's Making Us HappySeptember 18, 2020
In the new horror film Antebellum, Janelle Monáe plays an enslaved woman on a plantation run by Confederate soldiers. She's desperate to escape. But Monáe also plays a successful contemporary author and speaker with a beautiful family, living a life of success and wealth. But does the film successfully tie the story together? Note: This conversation discuss specific spoiler-y plot points to explore how those roles fit together, and break down what's really going on, and whether or not the...
Sep 16, 2020
Predictions Of How COVID-19 Will Impact Pop CultureSeptember 16, 2020
It's hard to predict how the current pandemic will affect the work of artists in television and film and theater, but that doesn't mean we can't try. What will change? What won't change? How might creators react? Today, we're stepping back to make some guesses about the future of pop culture and think about what's to come.
Sep 14, 2020
Billy Porter On Pose, Kinky Boots And MoreSeptember 14, 2020
A special bonus feed drop from the NPR podcast It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders. Billy Porter is a force to be reckoned with. A Tony Award-winning Broadway performer. A fashion icon with unforgettable red carpet looks. An Emmy Award-winning actor (with another nomination under his belt this year). Currently, Porter stars in the acclaimed FX show Pose, all about New York's underground ball culture in the 80s and 90s. It's also takes place during the height of the HIV-AIDS...
Sep 11, 2020
I'm Thinking Of Ending Things And What's Making Us HappySeptember 11, 2020
In the Netflix film, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, the plot is easy to follow. A young couple played by Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons drives through a snowstorm to the farmhouse where Plemons' character grew up. They have dinner with his parents, played by Toni Collette and David Thewlis, then they drive home. That's it. That's the movie. Simple, right? Wrong! This is a Charlie Kaufman movie, and that means things are trippy and dreamlike and just plain weird from the jump....
Sep 09, 2020
Avatar: The Last AirbenderSeptember 09, 2020
The fantasy adventure Avatar: The Last Airbender aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. But this year, as the pandemic struck, the animated series became one of the biggest streaming hits on Netflix. In the world of Avatar, some people are essentially equipped with superpowers: They can bend fire, water, earth, or air. Only the Avatar — in this case a 12-year-old boy named Aang — can develop the power to bend all four elements and keep the world in balance.
Sep 04, 2020
Mulan And What's Making Us HappySeptember 04, 2020
The biggest movie so far to be bumped from theaters to home viewing during the pandemic is Disney's Mulan. The live-action reimagining of the 1998 animated musical doesn't have songs or a cartoon dragon. But the story still finds young Mulan disguising herself as a man so she can fight in her father's place.
Aug 31, 2020
2020 MTV VMAsAugust 31, 2020
The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards took place Sunday night. The telecast was in the shadow of a pandemic, in the midst of major civil unrest, and in the aftermath of actor Chadwick Boseman's death. The VMAs couldn't have live audiences, so we got a lot of pre-taped performances in front of green screens from artists like BTS. Plus, it was a big night for masked Lady Gaga.
Aug 28, 2020
Bill And Ted Face The Music And What's Making Us HappyAugust 28, 2020
Back in 1989, we met Bill S. Preston and Ted "Theodore" Logan in the movie Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. They returned in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey in 1991. And now, almost 30 years later, they're back. In Bill and Ted Face the Music, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves return as... well, Bill and Ted, respectively. And this time, they'll need not just their triumphant band to save the world, but also their daughters.
Aug 27, 2020
Some Exciting NewsAugust 27, 2020
In October, Pop Culture Happy Hour will publish episodes five days a week. Also, Aisha Harris will join us as a fourth permanent host.
Aug 26, 2020
Lovecraft CountryAugust 26, 2020
The best horror is the horror that feels true. That's one of the reasons the new HBO series Lovecraft Country works. Set in the 1950s, it follows a young Black man who sets off with his childhood friend and his uncle to search for his missing father. A series of connected stories follows these characters around and through the very real dangers of being Black in America, and not just in the Jim Crow South. But it also throws in some beasts and ghosts and bloody battles because after...