What’s Making Us Happy: A Guide to Your Weekend Viewing, Reading, and Listening

What's Making Us Happy: A Guide to Your Weekend Viewing, Reading, and Listening

Discover the latest recommendations from NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour crew

In a week filled with surprising revelations and bold proclamations, the NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour crew has been paying close attention to the latest happenings in the world of entertainment. From thought-provoking podcasts to captivating novels and powerful monologues, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend. Let’s dive into their recommendations and explore what’s making them happy.

Fad Camp podcast:

Conor Dowling and Grace Mulvey, two comedians who have struggled with body acceptance and diet culture, host the Fad Camp podcast. Each episode delves into a topic related to fatness or anti-fatness, offering a mix of information, vulnerability, and humor. From dissecting shows like The Biggest Loser to discussing fat camps for children, Conor and Grace provide a unique perspective on the damaging effects of anti-fatness. Fad Camp is a podcast that will make you laugh, think, and challenge societal norms.

Silver Nitrate, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia:

Transport yourself to Mexico City in the early ’90s with Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novel, Silver Nitrate. The story follows two best friends who find themselves embroiled in a spooky mystery involving a Nazi occultist and a secret film. Set in a time before the internet and smartphones, the characters must rely on dusty film archives and the phone book to unravel the truth. With its nostalgic atmosphere and Nancy Drew-like qualities, Silver Nitrate is a thrilling read that will captivate fans of The Vampire Diaries TV series.

The monologue in Barbie:

America Ferrera’s character, Gloria, delivers a powerful monologue in the film Barbie, addressing the contradictions and expectations placed on women. While some critics dismiss it as simplistic or eye-rolling, the impact of this scene cannot be underestimated. A personal anecdote shared by a friend in her 60s highlights the profound effect the monologue had on her. It made her feel seen and validated, reminding us that art can have a profound impact on individuals who relate to its message. The success of Barbie suggests that many others may have had a similar experience, making it a moment worth acknowledging and appreciating.

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More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter:

In the New York Times article recommended by Aisha Harris, readers gain insight into the rise of Travis Kelce and the calculated steps behind his ascent to fame. It serves as a reminder that success in the entertainment world can be a combination of chance and careful planning.

For those intrigued by stories of multi-level marketing schemes, The Dream podcast’s latest season, hosted by Jane Marie, provides a deep dive into the history and insidiousness of MLMs. It also explores the “bootstrap” mentality that often accompanies these schemes, offering a comprehensive look at their impact on individuals and society.

Lastly, Dan Levy’s feature directorial debut, Good Grief, is now streaming on Netflix. This melancholic rom-com-dramedy features a standout performance by Ruth Negga and is the perfect accompaniment for a cozy evening with a warm blanket and a glass of red wine or hot cocoa.


As the weekend approaches, take some time to indulge in the recommendations from the NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour crew. Whether it’s exploring the complexities of body acceptance, immersing yourself in a nostalgic mystery, or reflecting on the power of a monologue, there’s a wide range of entertainment options to choose from. These recommendations not only entertain but also provoke thought and inspire meaningful conversations. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekend filled with captivating viewing, reading, and listening experiences.