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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Judy Blume's New Book And Lifetime's 'UnREAL'


This week's show finds us cracking open Judy Blume's new adult novel In The Unlikely Event (it's an adult novel as in a-novel-for-adults, not an adult novel as in "too sexy for polite company). Joined by our friend and librarian-in-chief Margaret Willison, we talk about the structure of the book, the character voices, Blume's particular brand of what Margaret calls "emotional immediacy," the balancing of period references in a book set largely in the early 1950s, and lots more. I mention during this conversation that I got to talk to Judy Blume not long ago at an event in D.C.; you can actually watch it, if you're interested.

We also talk about a new television show that I wrote about on the blog a while back: Lifetime's surprisingly thoughtful UnREAL, which is based on a short film that's also really good. Stephen, Margaret and all come to UnREALas experienced consumers of the franchise it's most directly addressing, The Bachelor(and Bachelorette), while Glen ... does not. Whether that affects one's enjoyment of the show is just one of many questions tumbling around during this conversation.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about binge-watching an old favorite with a young favorite, and he would like to take a moment to invite you to pepper him with questions about music. Glen is happy about Showtime's Penny Dreadful, and about the miniseries Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell, and about the video game he's been waiting for, Batman: Arkham Knight. Margaret is happy about an autobiography she thought was out of reach that returned to her. And I am happy about a TV series that I'm only too happy to encourage you to enjoy.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Stephen, Glen, Margaret, producer Jessica, other producer Kiana, and pal and producer emeritus Mike.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.