Podcast of the Month: NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour

Don’t ever feel left out of watercooler banter again—the NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast is your guide to all things entertainment, including the latest movies, best TV shows and yes, most binge-worthy Netflix hits!

Twice a week, host Linda Holmes, writer and editor of NPR's entertainment and pop-culture blog, Monkey See, chats about pop culture with panelists Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon from NPR’s entertainment team, and Margaret Willison, the sassy editor of the Two Bossy Dames newsletter. The podcast covers the latest films to hit theaters and weigh in on popular shows, including Stranger Things, This Is Us and Game of Thrones. And if you’re looking for another way to feed your Black Mirror addiction, this is it—so far, the podcast has dedicated not one but two episodes to the show!

Holmes is a smart moderator, posing interesting questions and not hesitating to stir the pot when necessary. The panelists, meanwhile, are never afraid to disagree and vocalize their often strong opinions on what makes for good entertainment—they praise, question and sometimes downright berate programming, delivering the sharpness of typical NPR programming with a fresh wit and lightheartedness. They’re basically just saying what we’re all thinking, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself nodding along vigorously as you listen!

Dive in now with our featured episode, I, Tonya and What’s Making Us Happy.

I, Tonya and What's Making Us Happy

In this episode, NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour looks at I, Tonya, a mockumentary about Tonya Harding’s volatile career.

The movie tackles tough topics including domestic violence, the broken system that once defined figure skating and, of course, the brutal attack on skater Nancy Kerrigan. But as the panelists point out, the film’s tone is wobbly at best. The lighthearted soundtrack is distracting, and the central crime of the film—the attack on Kerrigan—is presented strictly for laughs. Still, if director Craig Gillespie set out to make viewers feel sorry for Harding, he succeeded, though not in the way you might expect.

Listen in to this episode to wrap your head around why the film’s true strength was its depiction of a terrible crime as an “exercise in idiots being idiots” and try not to sympathize with Harding. Then, subscribe to NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour on iHeartRadio and experience all the episodes for yourself.​​​​​​​