A Guide to Your Listening and Watching Weekend: NPR


Kevin and Frankie Jonas host ABC Claim to fame.

John Fleenor/ABC


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John Fleenor/ABC

A Guide to Your Listening and Watching Weekend: NPR

Kevin and Frankie Jonas host ABC Claim to fame.

John Fleenor/ABC

This week, JK Rowling’s new book raised eyebrows, Dolly Parton launched a pet clothing line and Taylor Swift broke the internet with the announcement of her new album.

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

Horror in the high desert

Youtube

What makes me happy is actually something that scared me so much I was sitting in my room screaming. It’s called Horror in the high desert on Amazon. It’s done in a sort of mockumentary style, and it’s about a guy hiking. He does not come back.

It turns out that the second to last time he came out, he had seen this very strange place, and he felt like someone was following him. And then, of course, he returns to this place.

I like Deadline mysteries, and it’s like a Deadline mystery that really sticks to the landing. Because most of the time they don’t go where you want them to go, like the ex-boyfriend did it or something. No, it takes it where you want it to go.

The last act and the ending are so good with horror because it’s about found footage. I can’t give it away, but oh my god, that’s why I’ll never hike or camp in my life. Here, after Blair Witch and that I would never do. I’m finished. — Ayesha Rascoe

Claim to fame

Youtube

The youngest, Jonas’ “bonus” brother, Frankie Jonas, and his brother Kevin Jonas are co-hosts of the ABC show Claim to fame, and it’s so good. It’s a reality contest, and the premise is that all contestants are non-famous relatives of celebrities. Hence the involvement of Frankie Jonas.

They all live together in a house and do not know who the other candidates are related to. You have Whoopi Goldberg’s granddaughter, Simone Biles’ sister, and Chuck Norris’ grandson. And that’s only in the first episode, so don’t even worry about spoilers.

Their goal is to conceal the identities of their famous relatives while trying to discover those of others. There are elaborate and convoluted games they play to get clues, and while you’re watching, you kind of play.

When they’re onto someone and that person is in danger of leaving the house, they go into survival mode and start going after all those friends they’ve made over the past few weeks. It’s stressful, it’s messy and I love it. I have to watch every episode. —JC Howard

by Beyoncé Renaissanceand Kevin Bacon’s cover of “Heated”

It’s been about a month since Beyoncé’s album, Renaissance, has been freed. I can’t stop playing it, and neither can anyone else.

There’s this wonderful video that Kevin Bacon, yeah the Kevin Bacon, posted on social platforms a few days ago. He performs an acoustic rendition of Beyoncé’s “Heated” from the new album with his baby goats all around him, and it’s amazing.

You realize watching Kevin Bacon pay homage to Beyoncé that this album has truly entered the zeitgeist, and it’s a testament to her wisdom and power some 20 years into her career that she has always have this hold on us.

I am obsessed. Beyoncé, I love you. This is your year, your rebirth. —Sam Sanders

Criminal Emily

Youtube

I saw it a few months ago at Sundance, and it finally came out. It was one of those movies that really stuck with me when I saw it there, and that’s Criminal Emilywhich stars the wonderful, amazing, weird, awesome Aubrey Plaza.

It’s this very tense action thriller in which she plays a woman who is true to my soul – tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. She struggles to find a well-paying job due to a past criminal conviction, so she finds herself hooked up to this credit card fraud ring, and then everything goes wrong.

I think it’s really sharp. There’s all the current political commentary here, and Aubrey gives this fantastic performance of someone who’s both in over their head but so desperate and trying to do what they can just to survive.

It also has great performances from Gina Gershon and Theo Rossi. You can see it in theaters now, or just jot it down for later when it hits VOD. It’s really fun and thoughtful, and I highly recommend it. Plus it’s 90 minutes long and I love a 90 minute movie. —Aisha Harris

More Recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour Newsletter

fans of romance might enjoy this piece from NPR on Gen Z, romance and social media (and, of course, Colleen Hoover and Emily Henry).

If you haven’t checked yet month on Netflix, starring Mo Amer and created by Amer and Ramy Youssef (whose terrific show Rummy is over on Hulu), highly recommend. Plus, we’ll be covering it on the show next week, so you’ll be all set!

I never miss an opportunity to read Soraya Nadia McDonald writing about Serena Williams, this time driven by the question of who will be the tennis filmmaker.

NPR’s Eric Deggans published an article last week about the memoir of Michael K. Williams, the wonderful actor some of you knew as Omar Little. Williams died nearly a year ago with the book nearing completion; it was completed by its co-author.

by Linda Holmes

NPR’s Maison Tran adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment “What’s Making Us Happy” into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider subscription to our newsletter for recommendations each week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple podcast and Spotify.


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