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

Elizabeth Debicki and John David Washington star in director Christopher Nolan's time-warping film, <em>Tenet</em>.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Elizabeth Debicki and John David Washington star in director Christopher Nolan's time-warping film, Tenet.

This week, the math was still not mathing, the opera lived to cause arguments another day, and Jake Gyllenhaal looked ... really different

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

Ventriloquist Megan Piphus

Megan Piphus is – believe it or not — Sesame Street's first Black female puppeteer. She's been on the show since 2021, and she voices the Muppet Gabrielle. I've been following her on Instagram and I just think she's so delightful.

In addition to being on Sesame Street, where she did a whole segment on Wash Day for Black kids with natural hair, she was on America's Got Talent belting out "My Heart Will Go On" without moving her mouth which is amazing. She has a lot of little side projects going on. Check her out on Instagram or on Sesame Street. — Aisha Harris

Tenet

I have been having so much fun watching the Christopher Nolan movie Tenet over, and over, and over again. In addition to enjoying the story, I bought the Blu-ray, so I was able to watch some of the behind-the-scenes featurettes. There's a scene in the movie where one of the cars like un-flips over. They built a car that un-flips over. Movies are awesome: A bunch of people who have skills got together and made a thing — and it was pretty, and fun, and they told me a story. How is that not incredible? — Cate Young

Taking part in Season 3 of Virtual Big Brother

I am part of the Big Brother hive – I really enjoy watching the show. And over the weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a Virtual Big Brother in which TV writer James Rogers III basically stages his own version of Big Brother. He casts contestants from across the Internet and he hosts and quizzes those contestants on different trivia moments. And ... I won! It was wonderful. — Tre'vell Anderson

Rediscovering family decorations

For a long time I could not find motivation to get out my Christmas decorations because I live by myself. But this year I got out my Christmas stuff just to be enjoyed by me and the dog, including a ceramic Christmas tree that my grandmother made ... maybe in the '70s? I shared a picture of this on Instagram and Bluesky and the number of people who said "my family has this exact thing" made me really happy. — Linda Holmes

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

The first game I sat down to play on my new PS5 was Spider-Man 2, which came out in October. This is wildly current compared to what I normally do gaming-wise; my PS4 and I were still picking our way through Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 (from the olden days, 2017). So far, so good. It's entertaining, it's got a solid story, it looks great, and I can function pretty well in the early going when it comes to fights. Look, if you're not somebody who's done it for most of your life, keeping track of eight buttons long enough to reach the point where muscle memory can guide you is quite difficult. But this game has enough hand-holding for me, and it lets me fail (and fail and fail) and just keep learning. And that's what you want.

If you follow film festivals and the like, you don't need me to recommend the film Anatomy of a Fall, now available for rent or purchase on demand. Sandra Hüller stars as a woman whose husband has come to a bad end, and who finds suspicion falling on herself. It does invite you to guess at her guilt or innocence, but more than that, it examines the decline of her marriage (including in flashbacks) and considers the effects on her son.

All episodes of FX's A Murder at the End of the World are now streaming on Hulu. It's a tricky, twisty mystery about a death that takes place at a secretive tech billionaire's remote, wintry hideaway during an exclusive, invite-only conference. I had mixed feelings about the way the story wrapped up — I've seen both positive and negative reviews of that element of it from critics — but if you like moody, icy, Nordic-feeling mysteries that are slow and deliberative, it's well worth your time.


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.

Aisha Harris
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Cate Young
Tre'vell Anderson
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.