Pop Culture Happy Hour Hosts Share What Brings Them Joy: NPR

Group photo of the bakers in the tent (left to right) (rear) Sandro, William, Abdul, Carol, Maisam, Syabira, Maxy (front) James Rebs Janusz, Dawn, Kevin on The great British pastry fair on Netflix.

Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

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Pop Culture Happy Hour Hosts Share What Brings Them Joy: NPR

Group photo of the bakers in the tent (left to right) (rear) Sandro, William, Abdul, Carol, Maisam, Syabira, Maxy (front) James Rebs Janusz, Dawn, Kevin on The great British pastry fair on Netflix.

Mark Bourdillon/Netflix

This week, Twitch made some controversial moves, the plot thickened into an elite chess cheating scandal, and Idris Elba probably won’t be playing James Bond, sadly.

Here’s what NPR’s pop culture happy hour team was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.



There’s a show on HBO Max called Industry who just finished season 2, which I love. I think that’s fantastic, and I think one of the things that I really enjoy is showing young people at the start of their careers that they go on a journey and all that goes with it.

But it’s set in the finance industry, and I, who’s decidedly not a finance bro, really like to see the high-intensity finance scenes where lines like this are said: “How many Rycans are available on the market? No idea. I’ll have to check the free stream. Get it. Buy it. I don’t need an award.”

And I’m sitting on my couch like, “No, the backend is going to be killer. You want to quit as soon as possible,” like I know what I’m talking about. It’s really exciting. – Ronald Young Jr.

Interview of George Clooney and Julia Roberts in 2014 for vanity lounge

Recently, a clip from 2014 resurfaced of George Clooney and Julia Roberts giving an incredibly adorable, sexy and amazing interview to vanity lounge, made the rounds on Twitter.

It’s in anticipation, I think, partly because they have a new movie coming out, a romantic comedy, which I’m very excited to see be called ticket to paradise.

In this clip, George Clooney is invited by the interviewer. You know, like, “What’s the first thing you think of when you say Julia Roberts,” and they’re both so lovely. Just listen to them and hear the infectious laughter of Julia Roberts that we all know and love.

The full chemistry, vibes, old Hollywood feel reminded me of the 90s and early years in the best possible way. —Aisha Harris

music for animals and Background music for watering plants

I swam in a three-hour album by German composer Nils Frahm, who is a pianist and multi-instrumentalist, and he has this new album called music for animals. This is his pandemic project.

The title music for animals is a reference to the fact that animals seem to like it. It’s not designed to be enjoyed by pets, but I tested it on my cat Bashi and he seemed to sleep comfortably. Well, he was sleeping comfortably before I pressed play, but it seemed to work great for him.

Here is one of the singles, the 27 minutes on “Briely”.


This music for animals reminded me of revisiting a piece of music from last May by a Virginia musician named Past Palms. He specializes in background music for watering plants, as evidenced by the title of his latest EP, Background music for watering plants.


I’ll just take his word for it that this is exactly the piece of music you’ll want to listen to when watering your plants. —Stephen Thompson

The great British pastry fair


I’m always surprised how happy I am when the Britain’s Greatest Baking Fair returns to Netflix. Do I love it as much as when it was Mary Berry and it was run by the BBC? No. Do I like Matt Lucas as a host? No. Am I completely satisfied with all the changes they have made? No.

Nevertheless, I’m always so happy when it comes back and as soon as I see people in that tent cooking stuff – struggling people, hot people, old people, lovely people with a great sense of humor – do all kinds of dishes. I’m still so excited to see it.

We’re getting it now alongside it airing in the UK. It’s like a day later, but you’re much less likely to be spoiled about everything. You know, fire up your Netflix, watch some baking, learn how to make stuff. New season. —Linda Holmes

More Recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour Newsletter

by Linda Holmes

Discovery+ documentary Batali: the fall of a superstar chef is cleverly worded and raises some extremely important questions about sexual harassment and misconduct in the restaurant industry (and elsewhere). It begs the question of how to make sure films like this stay constructive and respectful and don’t just look at horror stories, but for the most part this one stays on the bright side I think.

A Bob Mondello story launched an NPR series on regional theater this week. Listen to it and stay tuned for more.

NPR’s Jeevika Verma covered Saeed Jones’ new collection of poetry, Living at the end of the world.

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 subscribe to our newsletter for recommendations each week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple podcast and Spotify.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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