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What's making us happy: A guide to your weekend listening and viewing

<em>Big Picture</em> by Fenne Lily
Big Picture by Fenne Lily

This week, we played fantasy barista, listened to some robot tunes, and then finally went outside to stare at some pretty clouds.

Here's what the NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.

No Borders, Just Flavors!

There is a web series out called No Borders, Just Flavors! It's from United We Dream, which is a youth immigrant rights group. It's a cooking show of young immigrants, and it is just so wonderful. It is beautiful, and kind, and delicious. I've really enjoyed watching it, in part because I feel like so much of the news about immigrant youth is so dark and terrible. It's nice to have some joy and see some joy of that experience. I would also say one of the things the show does really well is not trying to humanize young immigrants — what it's doing is celebrating them and showing the ways that immigrants enrich our culture and the beauty and warmth and love and great flavors of it. It's just been a joy for me to watch, and I hope a lot of people get to check it out and live that joy as well.

- Cristina Escobar

You Must Remember This: "Erotic 80s" and "Erotic 90s"

You Must Remember This, a Katrina Longworth podcast
/ Spotify
You Must Remember This, a Katrina Longworth podcast

The podcast You Must Remember This has had seasons that have covered a lot of stories about the history of Hollywood, but nothing has really pulled me in quite like the previous season, which was called"Erotic 80s," and the current season, which is called "Erotic 90s." I think these shows are so interesting and they're so maddening because one of the things Karina Longworth is very good at ... she has kind of an interest in the connection between what is happening in movies and what is happening in the wider world. ... What she's talking about, yes, it's erotic '90s, it's the way that sex was playing out in film at that time. But it also has a lot to do with sexism more generally and what was happening with actors and actresses.

The Thelma & Louise episodehas just come out and I have not listened to it yet, but I did just listen toan episode about Theresa Russell and Sondra Locke.Teresa Russell is an actress from that time who was doing a lot of very sexy movies. Sondra Locke became famous partly because she sued Clint Eastwood, who had been her longtime partner, but Sondra Locke was also a gifted actor and director. And there's a whole story of how her career was essentially sabotaged as a result of that conflict that I found incredibly compelling.

I could listen to like four or five seasons of "Erotic 90s" because you're now in the sweet spot of the movies that kind of were coming out when I was developing an interest in film and thinking about film. I love them.

- Linda Holmes

Big Picture by Fenne Lily

The thing that is making me happy this week is a fantastic new album by a singer songwriter from the UK namedFenne Lily. Within the last couple weeks we've had a couple of really fantastic records by singer songwriters making soothing, thoughtful, really interesting and compelling and beautiful music that seems very soft on the surface, but digs deep the closer you listen. I'm really in love with this Fenne Lily record called Big Picture. You can just get lost in just the guitars on this record, it's so gorgeous.

- Stephen Thompson

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

We Recommend:

I think I recommended the If Books Could Kill podcast episode about Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus in this space a while ago, but that's not going to stop me from recommending their episode on Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Because wow.

If you're not yet caught up on the prospects of a WGA strike (which seem to me to be pretty significant), NPR's Mandalit del Barco has a piece that might help.

Sarah Weinman wrote a very good piece last weekend about truth and true crime, and even if these seem like well-covered topics, give it a read — she's one of the genre's real experts and enthusiasts.

NPR's Tilda Wilson adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Cristina Escobar
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.
Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
Tilda Wilson