What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing, listening and reading
Here's what the NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
Revisiting John Grisham novels, and anticipating his forthcoming book The Exchange
Earlier this summer, I realized that one of my secret favorite authors, John Grisham, wrote a sequel to The Firm called The Exchange— and it's coming out this fall. So I decided to read every single one of John Grisham's books this summer, and those have been really fun to revisit. Of course, they're pulpy and sort of goofy — all about lawyers doing lawyer stuff. But as the books continue, they take on really surprising, anti-authoritarian, anti-cop, anti-big law themes, which I did not necessarily expect. It's gratifying to see an author writing books that keep up with a changing America. And they're pretty much all available through my local library. — Roxana Hadadi
The podcast Do We Get to Win This Time?
I've been listening to a podcast called Do We Get to Win This Time? from the culture site The Ringer. The creator, Brian Raftery, basically makes work that speaks directly to my soul — he wrote a book about the year 1999 and movies, and did a podcast about Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. This latest podcast is about the way the Vietnam War has been portrayed in movies. There's a fascinating contrast between Hollywood's approach to World War II, and its approach to Vietnam, which was a war that Hollywood would not touch for years. The podcast is a really fascinating peek back into the ways that Hollywood got to rewrite the narrative of that war. It's about the ways that Hollywood has been tentative around morally and politically complex stories. If you like movies and you like history, this is a perfect combination of the two. — Marc Rivers
Deadloch, streaming on Prime Video
Deadloch, on Prime, is what Broadchurchwould have been had it been played as a comedy. The creators, Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, are very upfront about that: As they were writing this series, the working title of it was "Funny Broadchurch." The set-up is exactly the same: Very small coastal town where everybody knows each other. This one is in Tasmania. Two wildly mismatched detectives (played by Kate Box and Madeleine Sami) are investigating a series of murders. Gratifyingly, the story itself is dark, and twisty, and fun, because they are constantly tossing out all these red herrings. The interaction between the detectives is very funny. — Glen Weldon
Amazon supports NPR and pays to distribute some of our content.
Dessa's new album, Bury the Lede
One of my favorite artists, Dessa, has a new album called Bury the Lede. Dessa is a singer, a rapper, an author and a poet. She's somebody who traverses genres in unexpected ways. She's always worked in hip-hop — infusing it with a lot of sung portions — and this record has that, but mixes it in with songs that are pop-ier in feel and approach. Every song threatens to go in six different directions at once — but in the best possible way. — Stephen Thompson
More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter
by Aisha Harris
I've not caught up with the just-dropped series finale ofReservation Dogs yet (I've heard it's great) because I only just started binging the show last month and am currently three episodes behind. I love it dearly, but I'm kicking myself for taking so long. If, like me, you've "been meaning to" check it out but haven't, just do it. You will not be disappointed.
Thiscareer-spanning conversation with Todd Haynes is a treat for any fan of his work. (There's a charming anecdote where he recalls thinking it was "Where far out thou Romeo?" because he grew up around LA hippies in the '60s.)
I've hadKaytraminé, the uber-catchy collaborative album from producer Kaytranada and rapper Aminé, on regular rotation all summer, and as fall rolls around it remains, allowing me to hold onto the summery grooves a bit longer.
Beth Noveyadapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" for the Web. 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.