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Pop Culture Happy Hour

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Pop Culture Happy Hour is a fun and freewheeling chat about the latest movies, television, books, and music.

Most Recent Episodes

Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian Courtesy of Disney + hide caption

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Courtesy of Disney +

Baby Yoda... That's The Episode

The Mandalorian is the highest profile and most expensive original series to debut on the Disney+ streaming service. Set in the Star Wars universe soon after the fall of the Galactic Empire, it follows a be-helmeted, be-armored bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal. He goes rogue to protect the most memeable thing to hit the Star Wars universe since Han shot first.

Baby Yoda... That's The Episode

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Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story Wilson Webb/Netflix hide caption

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Wilson Webb/Netflix

'Marriage Story': For Better Or Divorce

What's the opposite of a love story? It might be the new Noah Baumbach film Marriage Story, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson as a couple we meet when they're just starting their divorce. For the next two hours, we watch them argue and negotiate over how to separate and how to co-parent their young son. Marriage Story also stars Laura Dern and Ray Liotta as aggressive divorce lawyers and Alan Alda as a gentler hand who tries to give less combative representation. Baumbach both wrote and directed the film, which is now streaming on Netflix. And the film recently picked up six Golden Globe nominations.

'Marriage Story': For Better Or Divorce

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Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Ray Romano in The Irishman. Courtesy of NETFLIX hide caption

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Courtesy of NETFLIX

Settling The Scorsese: 'The Irishman'

The movies and the mob have made a winning combination for decades. The Godfather, Goodfellas, The Departed — and that's on top of television projects like The Sopranos. Now, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese brings you The Irishman, and he's put together quite a cast. Robert DeNiro plays a hit man, Joe Pesci is his boss, Al Pacino is Jimmy Hoffa, and that's before you even get to Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano and others. In a sign of some of the changes shaking up the industry, The Irishman comes to you via Netflix, and is available to stream now. (Donate to a local station at donate.npr.org/happy)

Settling The Scorsese: 'The Irishman'

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Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carel in The Morning Show. Courtesy of Apple TV Plus hide caption

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Courtesy of Apple TV Plus

Get Out Of Bed For 'The Morning Show'

Apple TV Plus launched a few weeks ago, and its highest profile series was unquestionably The Morning Show. Apple spent a massive amount of money on it and landed a cast that includes Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. It's the story of a morning news show that winds up in turmoil after the male anchor is fired following allegations of sexual misconduct. Aniston plays the female anchor left to pick up the pieces with a new partner, and Witherspoon is the local reporter who unexpectedly gets hired by the show after she goes on a rant while she's working at her previous job and the video goes viral.

Get Out Of Bed For 'The Morning Show'

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Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. Lacey Terrell/Sony Pictures hide caption

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Lacey Terrell/Sony Pictures

Play Your Cardigans Right And See 'A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood'

Who can possibly play Fred Rogers? That's a question that the new film A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood tries to answer with a performance from Tom Hanks as the beloved TV host. In the movie a journalist played by Matthew Rhys has a transformative experience with Rogers that reshapes his relationship with his troubled father. A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is directed by Marielle Heller, who most recently made the Melissa McCarthy film Can You Ever Forgive Me? It uses unconventional techniques to place the journalist's story within Rogers' land of make believe.

Play Your Cardigans Right And See 'A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood'

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Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera and Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out Claire Folger/Lions Gate Films hide caption

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Claire Folger/Lions Gate Films

Get A Clue, Go See 'Knives Out'

Whodunit? Was it Jamie Lee Curtis? Chris Evans? Michael Shannon? Don Johnson? Toni Collette? This is the question at the center of the marvelous new comedy Knives Out. The film is directed and written by Rian Johnson, of films like Looper and Brick as well as Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The stellar cast goes on and on to include Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, LaKeith Stanfield, and, playing the man in the whodunit to whom it was done, Christopher Plummer.

Get A Clue, Go See 'Knives Out'

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Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Sven in Frozen 2 Walt Disney Studios hide caption

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Walt Disney Studios

'Frozen 2': The Snow Must Go On

1.3 billion dollars will buy a lot of ice. That's how much Frozen made after its release in 2013. The film also gave Disney princess fans two new favorites in sisters Anna and Elsa, and it made a star of Olaf the talking snowman. Now the band is back together for Frozen 2, which finds Anna and Elsa on yet another adventure.

'Frozen 2': The Snow Must Go On

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Olivia Colman plays Queen Elizabeth in season three of The Crown. Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix hide caption

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Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix

We Try On 'The Crown' For Size

Netflix's The Crown is back for season three, and it's got a fresh polish in the form of a brand new cast playing the British royal family. This time out, the great Olivia Colman steps into Claire Foy's sensible brown shoes as Queen Elizabeth. This season follows the Royals from the mid-60s to late 70s, as we watch them contend with both external events — labor strikes, a mine disaster, a possible coup — and with internal strife — Margaret's wild ways, Charles coming-of-age, and the fact that Philip's still the same insufferable prig he always was.

We Try On 'The Crown' For Size

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Dolly Parton arrives at the 53rd annual CMA Awards Evan Agostini/Invision/AP hide caption

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Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

A New Podcast Explores 'Dolly Parton's America'

Dolly Parton might be one of the most famous women in the United States. She's one of our great country singers, she produces television including an upcoming Netflix series, and she has her own theme park. And now, inevitably, she's the subject of a podcast. The nine-episode series, Dolly Parton's America, from Jad Abumrad of Radiolab, talks about Parton's life, her music, her home, and what she means to other people.

A New Podcast Explores 'Dolly Parton's America'

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Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding in "Last Christmas," directed by Paul Feig. Jonathan Prime/Universal Pictures hide caption

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Jonathan Prime/Universal Pictures

'Last Christmas' Might Warm Your Heart, Or Not

There are a lot of Christmas movies with a lot of different inspirations. The new film Last Christmas, is inspired by Wham! song of the same name. The film is directed by Paul Feig and written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, and stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. It tells the story of a woman who's struggling to get back on her feet after an illness knocked her out.

'Last Christmas' Might Warm Your Heart, Or Not

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