WWNO skyline header graphic
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local Newscast
Hear the latest from the WWNO/WRKF Newsroom.

What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing and listening

Pauli Murray is the subject of the documentary <em>My Name Is Pauli Murray.</em>
Pauli Murray Foundation
Pauli Murray is the subject of the documentary My Name Is Pauli Murray.

This week, the Oscar gift bags were ... kinda weird, honestly, new emotions wereon the way, and Part Two was worming its way to big money.

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

The Eurovangelists podcast, Maximum Fun network

/ Maximum Fun
Maximum Fun

The Eurovision Song Contest is coming and the best way to prepare is to listen to a new podcast called Eurovangelists, hosted by Dimitry Pompée, Oscar Montoya and Jeremy Bent. On one level, this podcast is "Eurovision 101." And if it was just that, I'd still recommend it to people, but I probably wouldn't keep listening myself because I'm good on the basics. But it is a lot more than that: It's enthusiasts enthusing with abject sincerity, but in a knowing kind of way. They're smart. They're funny. They're walking you through week by week, the songs that each Eurovision country is nominating for the finals coming up in May. They're sharing why they love this ridiculous spectacle without even a trace amount of gatekeeping. Everything about the podcast is specifically pitched to invite you to love Eurovision as much as they do — and as much as I do. — Glen Weldon

Strangers With Candy, Paramount+

/ Paramount+

The theme song of Strangers with Candy has been stuck in my head because I am doing a rewatch of this show. It's a Comedy Central series that ran for three seasons beginning in 1999. It's created by a bunch of Second City alumni, including Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, inspired by cheesy afterschool specials and PSAs. Sedaris stars as Jerri Blank, a former sex worker and drug addict who spent years as "a boozer, a user and a loser." And she returns to high school as a 46-year-old freshman. This show is surreal and definitely not P.C. Jerri's a full-on, unapologetic racist with a Confederate flag on her bedroom wall. But, my God, it still hits. I very much enjoy it. — Aisha Harris

My Name Is Pauli Murray, Amazon Prime

My Name Is Pauli Murray is a wonderful documentary about a lawyer, writer, civil rights activist and priest who I did not know nearly enough about. Murray was a generation ahead on many issues: She refused to sit in the back of the bus in 1940 — 15 years before Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott. Murray's legal writings were extremely influential on Supreme Court justices Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She's a fascinating person and the documentary is really warmly told — I was transfixed by this illuminating film. — Stephen Thompson

On the Job video series, the dishwasher episode

Priya Krishna has a series on The New York Times Cooking YouTube channel in which she investigates different jobs within the world of food. She's visited a school cafeteria, a laundry where they wash linens for restaurants, and most recently, she spent a day with Dre, a dishwasher in a fine dining restaurant. She follows him throughout the day to look into the complexities of that job and how critical it is to keeping the restaurant running. If you expect this to be, "Oh, the terrible, hard life of a dishwasher," it's not that — it's about the skilled labor that he's doing and how important he is to the organization of the place. Dre is the most engaging, charismatic, absolutely transfixing guy and the video gets into what his aspirations are. In this series, Priya is doing work that I don't see a lot of other people doing and it makes me happy every single time there's a new installment. — Linda Holmes

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

I cannot exactly recommend the sixth season of Netflix's Love Is Blind, but I do recommend the upcoming Pop Culture Happy Hour episode about it, which we taped this week. So do I actually recommend that you watch it (with an itchy fast-forwarding finger, let's be honest)? Maybe. Maybe so.

The latest podcast to successfully suck me in is Cover Up: The Anthrax Threat, which looks back at the long (and basically hapless) investigation into the anthrax letters that were sent to various people in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. There is a lot about it that I had forgotten, and it's fascinating to think about why.

As Oscar night approaches, I want to take a second to mention how really, really different the landscape is right now compared to how it was, say, 10 years ago. And what I mean by that is that the great majority of the major nominees are already available to watch at home — on services people may already have like Netflix, Peacock or Paramount+, or for rent through whatever VOD (video on demand) platform you prefer. That extends to a lot of the international, animated, and documentary features, too. For the most part, what you're curious about, you do have access to (other than, in particular, some of the shorts), and if you haven't caught up with some of the terrific nominees that aren't Oppenheimer or Barbie -- say Past Lives, The Holdovers or any of the docs — treat yourself.

Amazon supports NPR and pays to distribute some of our content.

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 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Glen Weldon is a host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He reviews books, movies, comics and more for the NPR Arts Desk.
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
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.)
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.

👋 Looks like you could use more news. Sign up for our newsletters.

* indicates required
New Orleans Public Radio News
New Orleans Public Radio Info