This week Germany returned looted artifacts to Nigeria, we looked back at the weird, wild and wonderful stories you might have missed, and we learned how to be better movie viewers according to film critics.
Here’s what NPR’s pop culture happy hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should be watching this weekend.
Blame! Podcast, Avery Trufelman Episode
I listen to this podcast called Blame! It’s a fashion podcast hosted by this guy named Jeremy Kirkland. There was an episode recently with Avery Trufelman. she does articles of interest Podcast that just released a full season on “Prep” and “Ivy”. But at that gig, they started talking about fashion and clothing and how silly it is to enjoy all those things – something I’ve thought about a lot. It’s been interesting to see other people struggling to care about something important – I’m not out here trying to say that shirts don’t matter because I think about different types of shirts a lot all the time. But it’s always interesting for me to think about it in the context of what’s happening in the world around you. —Andrew Limbong
Paris is burningStreaming on HBO Max
Belatedly, very lately, my partner and I started digging in the treasure chest of RuPaul’s Drag Race. We fall in love with new people, resent new people, and dive into this whole new wing of reality TV competition.
And as an aside, to get a better perspective on the show, I finally sat down for the first time to watch Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary, Paris is burningwhich is, of course, a massive cultural touchstone, influenced Madonna’s “Vogue” and pose, a show I really love and obviously had a huge impact on Drag Race. It’s a really touching, sad and fascinating film. It explores the 80’s, New York drag balls and the characters that populate that world. It’s sad because of the fate of so many people in this film. Only a small handful of people featured in this film are still alive. But there is also so much joy and credibility. …
When you love RuPaul’s Drag Race, if you really celebrate drag culture, I know our colleague Glen Weldon is way ahead of me as he’s been talking about it on the show for years and years. This movie is really worth catching up on if you somehow missed it. You can still find it on HBO Max and other streaming services, at least for now. And it’s great. Where have I been for the last 32 years? – Stephen Thompson
Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Christmas Album, Sleds.
I like Christmas music very much. I’m always looking for new Christmas music to enjoy – and it’s hard out there. There’s not a lot of new, new Christmas music being made. I prefer the ones that are a little sillier or funnier than Starbucks coffee shop versions of holiday albums that aren’t so stuffy. And lucky for us, Sheryl Lee Ralph from Abbott Elementary School and many, many other things before that, blessed us with a holiday album called Sleds and kill them does.
This album is actually along the same lines as RuPaul’s Drag Race. It gives us a bit of house music. It gives us a little “grown up” and sexy. It gives us some ballroom culture. There are some original songs. There are also holiday standards such as Little Drummer — that I never liked as a song. It’s just not an interesting song. But she takes Little drummer and she makes it interesting.
This whole album is a little campy. She called an interlude i love the holidays, where only Sheryl Lee Ralph says “I love the holidays, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah for you. I love them all.” … It’s great background music … while you’re finishing your wrapping or baking your Christmas cookies or whatever, it’s fun. Sheryl Lee Ralph is Joy. – Aisha Harris
crash landing on you
I wasn’t really enthusiastic about a lot of the things I saw, heard and read. And I was kind of amazed. I was starting to think that maybe I had lost my ability to really fall in love with anything. Luckily our brilliant producer Jessica Reedy was there for me and told me that this is the moment I needed to get into K-Dramas which she has been telling me for a while and other people have advised me not to and still do a while.
Jessica recommended it to me crash landing on you, this is a series that you can find on Netflix. There are 16 episodes. They are about… an hour and a half each. I saw 16 of them in about three+ days which tells you how much that got me. It’s part rom-com. It is the story of a woman, a South Korean businesswoman, who is paragliding to North Korea and is spotted by a North Korean soldier. He agrees to hide her and they like each other. It has elements of epic romance, after all. It has elements of politics and military and gunfights. Her family is this rich family. So it has a little something successor-how family intrigues are going on. There’s a lot of really wonderful friendships in there. He has a small company of guys who work with him who are very charming. Also, a small group of women who are like military wives live in this village. you get to know her
I fell in love with her so much. I loved it. I cried a few times. I kept texting Jessica about things I cried about at various times. It’s also very funny in some places. It’s one of the best mashups of many different genres and many different tones and emotions that I have experienced.
And you see, I’m painfully, excruciatingly late to start on this whole thing, let alone this series that has been a gigantic phenomenon in a number of different countries. But it made me so happy and relieved to respond so enthusiastically to something that I think is both very enjoyable and really well done. It’s a whole thing. crash landing on you available on Netflix. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be doing anything else because the next free time you have will be entirely devoted to that. – Linda Holmes
More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter
by Linda Holmes
We’ve already done our non-spoilers glass onion Consequence; our spoiler is coming! And in preparation, you can watch the film now on Netflix.
I haven’t seen Hallmark’s yet Hanukkah on the rye, but I thought I’d mark it as what I want to see this weekend because I’ve only heard good things about it – the best holiday movie of the season according to multiple sources. Hallmark will re-air it on December 24 at 12 p.m. EST.
I talked about the 1987 compilation album this week A very special Christmasand then boom! The Washington Post came out with a great retrospective about it.
NPR’s Pilar Galvan adapted the pop culture happy hour segment “What’s Making Us Happy” into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider it Sign up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour Apple Podcasts and Spotify.