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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Steve Jobs' And More About Moguls

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This week, we tackle Steve Jobs, the solid new film about the Apple co-founder, directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin (who also tackled Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network). Together with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch, we talk about the dialogue, the interesting structure, the alternatively devastating and celebratory tone of the film, and the (for us) surprisingly nifty turn from Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. On the whole, it's not a film I think any of us would recommend as a piece of research, but it has some interesting strengths and nobody would ever deny that Sorkin can write pretty amazing chatter.

From there, we broaden out in our next segment to consider the wider world of films and other stories about moguls and business superstars — which, as Glen points out, is a kind of character about whom American popular culture has been, at times, ambivalent. We've got Trading Places, Horatio Alger, The Devil Wears Prada, and lots more.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about something he seems to have been right about (can you blame him?), and also about the revival of a cast he loves in a new-ish show and a book he intends to use entirely for the purposes of good. Glen is happy about having gotten to work with Barrie Hardymon in announcing the finalists for this year's National Book Awards (a segment you should have received in your podcast feeds but can also hear now). Gene is happy about a film he says is so good that he'll never see it again, as well as about a profile not everybody liked, but he sure did. I am happy about a playlist I've been enjoying in the early part of this fall, and about a podcast I loved listening to, and about a movie that kicked off one of my favorite times of year.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Stephen, Glen, Gene, producer Jessica, 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.