This week there was too much new music to keep up with, Eurovision fans geared up for a glitzy Saturday and the Pulitzer Prizes were announced.
Here’s what NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour team was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
Ncuti Gatwa is the new doctor on Doctor Who
The showrunners of Doctor Who announced that we have a new Doctor: Ncuti Gatwa, the actor who plays Eric in Sex education, will be the last actor to take on the role. They announced it via tweet, which was a little weird and random because it’s usually a bit more extravagant. When they announced Peter Capaldi was reprising the role, they put on this elaborately cheesy live event, and for Jodie Whittaker, they put together a nice short video.
Still, I’m really looking forward to Gatwa – he’s young, he’s black, he’s Scottish, he was born in Rwanda and he’s awesome Sex educationwhere he anchored a character who on paper is a queer best friend and made him a rounded, very complete person with an inner life.
I’ll also note that her taking on this role coincides with the return of queer showrunner Russell T Davies, which I’m very excited about. This announcement also upset some of the worst people, which is another bonus. In any case, I will be there to welcome doctor number 14, Ncuti Gatwa. –Glen Weldon
Florence + the new Machine album (and videos)
Florence + The Machine on
Florence + the Machine have just released their new album, dance fever, and in the run-up to that, I’ve released music videos that I’m obsessed with.
The music videos for “King”, “My Love” and “Free” all tell this great expressionist story about Florence’s relationship to her own creativity in very strange and chilling ways. The videos are all gorgeous, but, to me, what makes them so exciting to watch over and over (and over again) is that, while lead singer Florence Welch goes through all that drama, in the back- plan, there’s always this quiet stone-faced redhead staring at her, and I can’t stop thinking about him. He’s terrifying and I’m so excited that someone injected this bit of chaos into his album release cycle. —Mark the void
I saw again turn red for the first time since its release, and it struck me how much I still loved the movie. It’s such a perfect and specific encapsulation of what it was like to be a tween in 2002.
There’s a scene where Mei comes home and takes off her stick-on earrings, and I burst into tears because I hadn’t thought about it in a decade. And it was wonderful to see not only her on-screen experience, but to recognize how she relates to her family, the obligations she feels towards them, and her inner conflicts as she balances becoming her own person and try to remain part of his family. I found the movie very moving and I think it’s by far the best thing Pixar has done in years. —Cate Young
Girls5eva was created by Meredith Scardino and stars Renee Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell, Sara Bareilles and Busy Philipps. They are members of a group of girls who have been definitively not the Spice Girls and reunite in middle age.
This show is from the Tina Fey Robert Carlock collaboration which made 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Good news. Girls5evafor me, has the frequency of jokes from these shows, which lets you skip through the ones that don’t work, but are about 30% less nasty, which is a good thing.
It’s such a pleasure to watch. The band’s performances are amazing, I love the musical flourishes that come from Jeff Richmond, the composer, and the first season featured the best and possibly the only pastiche of Simon and Garfunkel I’ve ever heard. This season, the girls are recording an album for Property Records, the Property Brothers label. This plot pays off so much that – as a longtime Property Brothers viewer – I almost couldn’t believe it was happening on screen. It’s so just watchable, and I love it. —Linda Holmes
More Recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour Newsletter
- hacks returns to HBO Max this week for a second season, and while I have my little quips about Ava’s character, it’s a really fun show, and Jean Smart is a miracle.
- If you are still waiting to catch up on the second season of Girls5eva on Peacock, you have a treat ahead of you. It’ll be a few weeks before we see where they go with the Property Brothers joke, but it’s definitely worth it.
- This Saturday is Eurovision finals! You can stream the competition on Peacock and follow using Glen’s preview.
- It’s time to catch up Downton Abbey if you want to be ready for the next movie and podcast episode we have on the way. —Linda Holmes
NPR’s Fi O’Reilly 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.