Pop Culture Happy Hour

by NPR

Get obsessed with us. Five days a week, Pop Culture Happy Hour serves you recommendations and commentary on the buzziest movies, TV, music, books, videogames and more. Join arts journalists Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson, and Aisha Harris - plus a rotating cast of guest pop culture aficionados. The Happy Hour team leaves room at the table for exploring a range of reactions and opinions on every bit of the pop universe. From lowbrow to highbrow to the stuff in between, they take it all with a shot of cheer.Make your happy hour even happier with Pop Culture Happy Hour Plus! Your subscription supports the podcast and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/happyhour

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • Ms_Bones
    The Beaches Are Keeping My Fall Days Sunny
    Thank you, Stephen Thompson. The recommendation of The Beaches album was solid. I listened to it all the way through and already have at least three songs stuck running around on repeat. Me & Me and Everything is Boring are so fun, and who doesn’t love to Blame Brett? I’m not always one to try out new stuff, so I’m glad that when I did, it was with zero regrets.
  • LucaNPR
    Love it
    Love the show, it has an interesting take on the various topics it covers. It helps me make a decision if to invest time in a certain show, movie, concert and anything in between. On the downside, I am a paid subscriber but lately I have been finding commercials breaks even if I would have expected not to have any.
  • ColeBritney
    Great Swiftie episode
    I really enjoyed listening to your Taylor Swift episode. I would consider myself a Swiftie, and I don’t get to see the show until next year in Indianapolis. But your panel got me really excited for next year.
  • June’ mom
    Return to once a week format
    I used to love this show but really since they transitioned to the multiple episodes per week format the content has been completely uninteresting to me ( so much comic book / super hero content!!) .
  • ABCorcoran
    What happened to this podcast?
    Used to be great. Insightful, funny, charming, interesting. Is it just the lack of good films and shows out there? Every episode gets lamer and lamer with less interesting projects and less insightful commentary. I went from a daily listener to MAYBE listening once very few weeks. Shame.
  • EAB2/11
    Rarely hear about stuff I am actually interested in.
    I like this show for its length and I like the people but most of it contents don’t really meet me where I am. I really wanted to hear about their thoughts on the final seasons of Ted Lasso and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I just watch Jury Duty and I am amazed they have never had a show on it. I like their reviews on big blockbuster but besides Barbie I usually find myself not wanting to go to the movie after I hear the review.
  • krystalcovert
    My favorite
    I love this podcast, love the hosts and especially love Linda Holmes. Episodes could be longer!
  • Billybill1984
    Dallas-watching GRANDPARENTS!?!?!
    Wayyyy too soon. Great show.
    My PCHH Friends
    Love the short episodes and, after a few years I’d daily listening, I feel like I’m friends with the crew. Always a place I go for a take on what’s new.
  • User1002&
    Slow temple doesn’t get to the point focuses on the wrong thing and to much politics
  • joethereviewguy
    Predigested talking points for uncritical liberals
    It’s hard to see what this podcast really has to offer apart from the simplest, blandest sentimentality designed to appeal to the broadest liberal base possible. Like the big tent Democratic Party, this podcast is light on ideas but heavily subsidized by their corporate donors. You’ll hear more adds for the flavor of the week rainbow splattered consumerist bull crap than you will insightful analysis of any media.On the plus side they don’t platform any hateful ideologies or content. I guess suburban dads need some source for talking points next time they bump into each other while shopping for birkenstocks!
  • Surfside8
    Self absorbed
    Every opinion expressed here these days boils down to “this just didn’t work for me”. When the participants use “I” more than any other word it shows a general disregard for the audience. After years of fun, and fluff and some interesting insight, the self-absorption of these people is just not working for me.
  • Parker21
    Hate listens only…
    These people are insufferable.
  • Sunshine on my shoulders...
    Used to like, but…
    Regarding the July 17, 2023 episode: Why bother “reporting” on the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes? The coverage here seems stilted. What even do the writers and actors earn? Are writers and actors really destitute “victims”? And for those of them who can’t earn enough because they don’t work enough, perhaps that’s a sign they’re not marketable (and not that the entire industry is underpaid)? And if writers and actors want performance-related bonuses, are they willing to accept a deduction in their pay for poor performance, for failing to deliver on studios’ multimillion-dollar investment in their work? Food for thought… On a different note, while I appreciate the effort to get diverse panelists, sometimes it just feels like overly on-the-nose tokenism. Like, “This film has Asian characters. Therefore, we have an Asian guest today!” As if a single Asian [or whatever applicable demographic du jour] person could represent the whole of the Asian population. Again, the consideration given to having diverse viewpoints is good - but the approach just seems overly literal and facile.
  • TonyZozo
    Enjoying the show!
    I love the length of the episodes (not too long, not too short) and what they choose to cover. I sometimes listen to an episode, watch what they’re discussing, and then go back and listen again.
  • joybella86
    So disappointed
    I used to love this show and listened to it the second an episode dropped, but they are so negative and pretentious now. The regular panel is rarely together and the guests they bring in are largely HORRIBLE. I used to LOVE their guests. There were plenty of times in the past when I disagreed with their opinions but they still felt totally valid and reasonable. Now, I’ll listen to them talk about something I didn’t even like and I’ll end up wanting to defend the show/movie/whatever because I think their opinions are just stupid and petty. I hardly listen now and pop in on sometimes to give it a try. Woof. Getting deleted now.
  • HannahMPLS
    Consistent in over analyzing the ‘Entertainment’
    Yes, the entertainment industry is big business. However, it is, after all, entertainment. There is a consistent theme in this podcast of over analyzing and drawing importance to minute details. I find myself thinking, ‘get over it already’. Finally, my annoyance level, eye-rolling and disagreement with the reviews in general have me now unfollowing this podcast. It’s a shame, because I love the concept and NPR, just not the experience of this show.
  • Almostfamousamos
    Negative lately
    I use to love this pod. And I still do. But lately I feel like some of the hosts have already decided they dislike something before they see it. Glen says he loves superhero/comic material, but he sure seems to hate just about every movie that’s made about them. Some movies are just suppose to be fun.
  • bdp1994
    couldn’t make it 4 minutes into the episode. all opinions were just terrible lol
  • Mikey's Tikey Bo Bikey
    They no longer appreciate pop culture.
    It’s in the title, but I don’t think they actually enjoy pop culture. I’ve always enjoyed Glen and have read his books, but Linda Holmes in particular gives off an “I’m too good for this” attitude about everything they cover. I no longer enjoy the show.
  • Tahmeka
    Something is different
    I’ve listened this show for a long time and something has changed. It seems like some of our guests are not really consuming the media that you’re discussing. Ex. The Baby J episode - the guest said Mulaney doesn’t talk about his baby from his own mouth. 60 seconds of research would have told him that Mulaney talks about Malcolm and shares lots of photos and videos of him on Instagram. The other guest clearly only knows his work from viral clips on social media. It also feels like some guests think they have to say something negative. The criticisms can be so petty that they’re annoying. I still love the show and will continue to listen.
  • luvMD
    Not the same podcast I remember
    I listened to this podcast regularly a few years ago and for whatever reason hadn’t tuned in until recently. First, like other reviewers have mentioned, I wish the hosts evaluated each show or film for what it IS not what they wished it would be. Second, the increased commentary on “white woman this and white guy that” is such lazy and boring commentary. When this comes up in almost every single episode, usually multiple times, I have to remind myself that the overall show is short and that I do find their non-stereotypical language of white people to be interesting and insightful. This helps to power through the episode.
  • MdJGutierrez
    Former Favorite, Why do I Hardly Listen Now?
    I used to listen as soon as a new episode dropped, but that was with the former panel. I appreciate the effort to diversify, even while I’m not hearing myself as a Latina (much less as a Mexican-American) represented. I can’t stand all the vocal fry on this show now. It makes me dive for the OFF button. I do not think Biance is everything, she’s just a singer to me. I can’t remember the last time this show was how I found something I wanted to see/hear/read. I used to hear a recap and at least feel motivated to give things a try. Now? I just don’t. The strength of a PCHH recommendation has *POOF!* disappeared, and that’s a shame.
  • ManJamLyn27
    A longtime favorite, but missing some of the old charm.
    I’ve been a listener of this show for many years at this point, and it’s easily my favorite podcast. That being said, I feel like the show has lost some of what made it so charming in the earlier episodes. Specifically, I love the episodes where the whole panel is together to discuss what they watched/read/listened to. Those episodes happen occasionally now, but at a reduced frequency. Truthfully, I’m a bit conflicted because, while I love the ability for more voices to come together and talk about specific pieces of entertainment, I really miss being able to hear each PCHH host talk about something from their own viewpoint. It became a reliably barometer against which I could judge if I would like something (eg. This movie is “not for Lindas,” etc). I recognize that, for every episode in which the whole panel appears, there are guests that are not featured, but I wish the hosts were all together a bit more often. I also want to somewhat agree with some of the recent reviews that some recent shows have come across as overly critical. Personally, I appreciate that being more critical can open your eyes to things you might not have considered, but certain guest panelists do feel more negative than others. All-in-all, I adore this show and will stick around, but I can understand why others may leave it behind.
  • Tine2891
    Do you Guy’s like anything
    I used to listen to this podcasts everyday but it got to a point where it feels like the hosts and guests don’t like anything. Remember that most of your listeners are normal people who sometimes just like to watch a movie to help escape real life. We don’t need everything to be over analyzed and deeply critiqued.
  • Anama105
    Too pessimistic
    This show is getting annoying. They don’t like anything, they over dissect and over analyze even simple entertainment. They sit on their high horses about what stories, movies, and shows should be, and nothing meets their ridiculous standards.
  • BrooklynListener
    Great show, great guests
    I especially love it when Kristen Meinzer is on!
  • Sarita
    Splendid and fun
    I just love the generous take they offer so many shoes And the joy, deep humanity, and humor they bring to pop culture. So delightful.
  • rockets1323
    Pop culture angry hour
    I feel like there’s a difference between criticizing, and being a pessimist. These guys are always really upset
  • Bromarquimas
    Like it but….
    I listen every day and really enjoy but today….Kate: lose the affectation. It was hard to listen to.
  • GJD83693
    Not enough time to watch
    I love this podcast and listen to it everyday, however when a new blockbuster movie comes out, they do a review right away. While I love that, I also don’t. It doesn’t give us listeners a chance to watch it, especially if it’s a big movie that most people don’t want spoilers for. When it comes to movies like that, I think they should wait at least a week before they do a review. Otherwise, everything else about this podcast is great!
  • Dora4.0
    Awesome podcast
    I love this podcast & it is a mainstay that listen to often to keep up on pop culture. I have particularly enjoyed the daily format. The podcast is so much better now. It was good before but now the discussion is way more nuanced and layered. I also think the addition of Aisha to the three original hosts is very good & they have great chemistry. 🙂
  • Jmysays
    Once great, now meh
    These folks find something to dislike about everything. I’m a longtime listener who remembers when they covered a better mix of entertainment—more books, the occasional theatre—and actually laughed and had a good time. Now they just complain and over-dissect. I usually wind up not interested in watching the thing after their discussion. Even the “what’s making me happy” has turned into the guest host promo spot, something they already reviewed, or a tiktok video. I’ll pass.
  • cancel tik tok
    Go-to for all reviews
    I won’t watch anything until I’ve heard what they think of it! Helps curate such a large amount of possibilities into what I will actually like.
  • Kasslea
    Too spoilery
    I generally don’t agree with the reviewer’s opinions on the movies for the most part, but I still enjoy listening to their opinions on them overall. The reason for the lower review is that they really don’t give spoiler warnings like they used to. I get some of the movies and TV shows are based on books, but some of us haven’t read the books or it’s been a long time since we had read them and don’t want spoilers. I don’t think it would be that difficult to give a spoiler warning and then talk about those things at the end of the episode. I also wish they had hosts with more differing opinions. Many times all the hosts all have the same opinion, and it would be nice to see more balance.
  • JennaSuls
    Great listen
    I look forward to this team’s critique of what is new in pop culture.
  • NOsoccermom
    Pay wall for Oscars recap!? REALLY?!?!
    I’ve been listening to this podcast for years and now, suddenly, the morning-after Oscars coverage is behind a paywall?! What shameless shilling trickery, NPR! You want to set up a pay structure for people who can afford and/or would rather listen “ad free” than have a couple of interruptions, fine. But to make access to a culmination recap show conditioned on a “free trial” of a fee system is bait-y and cruel and, really, the exact opposite of PUBLIC radio.
  • Meiyan2014
    Unsubscribed - Glen is Insufferable
    I really enjoy all of the other hosts, but Glen Weldon had become increasingly insufferable. I just cannot listen to the show anymore. Hopefully the other hosts will come out with their own podcast, and he can remain…alone with his strange judgements. Bleh!
  • Chase Laplante
    Very good
    Very very good
  • Ellens8
    Smart and cool
    The discussion is balanced. They know their cultural references and they get them. Genuine love for nostalgia as well as smart new perspectives.
  • Bemad00
    Show has completely unraveled
    The show USED to be a celebration of all forms of art, artists and the artistic process - from the silly to the superb. Now it’s just dissecting a movie’s representation (and how it fails to meet the panel’s standards), condescending laughter, and no heart. Ever since they moved to a 5 day format and introduced Statler and Waldorf - Aisha - the show took on an increasingly negative and dismissive tone. Looking at the most recent reviews, it seems quite clear that many feel similarly so I don’t understand why they keep pushing further in this direction. Linda is still the absolute greatest and if they included who was hosting each episode in the description, I could at least know which ones to listen to. Since they don’t, it’s going to have to be a full unsubscribe. After a decade of listening.
  • Lousaysso
    The women on this podcast should know that one’s voice should drop at the end of a sentence, unless a question is being asked. The women all sound like they are asking a question ALL THE TIME. They sound unsure of themselves, even when they are stating a fact. Embarrassing.
  • KL0609
    Awful Podcast. Definitely not the level of professionalism that I expect from NPR.
    Listened to a few episodes and could not finish. Each host and guest are pretentious, awful, and are no way even remotely interested in the topic. I’m all for different opinions, but if they have to resort to making fun of something to get their point across, that’s just juvenile. I expected better, NPR!
  • Lllllama3000
    Good vibes
    Love that they try to balance opinions and offer criticism without pretension.
  • Coffee with the Weird Sisters
    ree · aa · nuh
    Rihanna is pronounced ree-aa-nuh
  • SoCalLibrarian
    Soothing voices
    My go to podcast for suggestions of books, shows and movies.
  • SimplyJazz03
    The Best Man Final Chapters
    Hated their description of The Best Man Final Chapters. The series gave the fans closure and a deeper dive into the each character and what they were battling with regarding friendship, family, marriage, aging parents, health. Murch’s character was the prime example of him trying to find his own way, sharing his true feelings about his friendships and finding time for self-care.
  • williemam
    Wow! Tried listening to the Harry/Megan show. Listening to podcasters talk about other people’s IQ’s and then laughing about it like they are so above people. These people are just too smart for me.
    MEGAN and Harry
    What about how the Windsors split from royalty comparison?
  • kkrraav
    I listen every day!
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