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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Halftime Shows And Love Stories

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When it's early-mid February, the mind naturally turns to those fundamentals of the good life: love and football.

This week, we start out with a chat about the very unusual Super Bowl, which was marked by an unexpected 34-minute blackout as well as a big show from Beyonce. Of course, Stephen will fill you in on the results of Chicken Bowl, and he will lament what's happened to his great holiday celebration since it moved from Wisconsin out here to the east coast to the world of — and I am quoting here — "crumpet-munching lightweights." (No offense, lightweights who like crumpets!) As for the game itself, if you want to read another perspective on the blackout and the terrible commentary that resulted, try this one.

We'll also cover the ads, including this very lovable one that I still insist ends in hugging. (I apologize, by the way, for forgetting that it was Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy who tweeted this wonderful, hilarious response to the "God Made A Farmer" ad. That is pithy, quality comedy, Brandon McCarthy.)

After that, we turn to Valentine's Day, a holiday none of us fully embrace but all of us are stuck with anyway, because that's how Valentine's Day works. Stephen threatens to weep over this song, and almost does. (You can read more of his Valentine's Day music thoughts at the All Songs Considered blog.) We talk about some of the TV couples we think actually capture something real about romantic love, and Glen discusses several comics relevant to the cause, including this one, this one, and this one.

We close the show, as always, with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about this long-awaited album. Trey is happy about this short film, as well as about the much-discussed House Of Cards. Glen is happy about a film-watching experience that's almost certainly going to surprise you at least a little. I am made happy this week by a few things, including this video, and this book, and especially this audiobook.

Please keep in touch with us — you can find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: me, Trey, Glen, Stephen, Jess, and our producer emeritus and music director Mike.

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