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What's making us happy: A guide to your weekend viewing and listening

Gretchen (Aya Cash) is a self-centered music publicist who falls in love with Jimmy (Chris Geere) in the FXX series <em>You're the Worst.</em>
Prashant Gupta
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FX
Gretchen (Aya Cash) is a self-centered music publicist who falls in love with Jimmy (Chris Geere) in the FXX series You're the Worst.

This week we celebrated the life of an icon, ranked the SNL musical guests, and talked with the composer of the Succession soundtrack.

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

You're the Worst

"It's this FX show from 2014, it ran 'till 2019. It's kind of a rom-com laced with arsenic ... [with] two, frankly, reprehensible people at the center. You had this struggling alcoholic novelist played by Chris Geere, and then you have this very self-destructive PR executive played by Aya Cash.

And what I love about this show is it, not for a moment, asks you to love these two characters. They are fully set with being themselves in that way. And it's really funny. Ultimately it's a show about finding your person. If you're looking for an unconventional rom-com that will kind of stick to the tropes but also undercut them and really unpack them and interrogate them, I think You're the Worst would be a good choice." — Marc Rivers

60 Songs that Explain the '90s

/ The Ringer
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The Ringer

Well, I'm a couple years late to this, but I have been binging 60 Songs that Explain the '90s, the really fun podcast hosted by Rob Harvilla. Each episode is a different song from the '90s and he digs into their origins, a little bit of back story about the artists, and I just really enjoy it. The first episode from a while back was focused on Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know." He's covering some songs I wasn't very familiar with — or I knew but couldn't tell you who actually performed them — like Gin Blossoms, Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me." And actually the show recently returned with a new episode and it's focused on "Smells Like Teen Spirit." He also has an interview with Courtney Love in that episode. Aisha Harris

Little Moon winning the Tiny Desk Contest

2023 contest winner Little Moon performs at the Tiny Desk
/ NPR
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NPR
2023 contest winner Little Moon performs at the Tiny Desk

We just announced the ninth annual winner of our Tiny Desk contest. We've had winners of this contest go on to be nominated for best new artist at the Grammys, like Tank and the Bangas. We've had winners of this contest that have won multiple Grammys, in the case of Fantastic Negrito. And this year's winner is a wonderful band from Utah called Little Moon, which manages to blend this kind of late aughts indie, big band qualities with some real, like, kind of Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom, kind of eccentricity. Like it's fragile but very forceful in really interesting ways. We're going to send them out on a little tour, so watch for tour dates in your area.

This Tiny Desk contest has really unearthed a ton of wonderful music. There's not just the winners. The bands that we discover along the way often wind up playing Tiny Desk concerts later, we've had entries go viral. It's such a wonderful kind of community that has been built out of these contests every year. Every year 5,000 to 6,000 artists enter. So we get so much great music out of it. But I'm really, really, really happy about this year's winner. — Stephen Thompson


More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

By Linda Holmes

I am currently listening to the audiobook of the Jenny Jackson book Pineapple Street, about a wealthy Brooklyn family, and it is very engrossing. (This is a book that comes from a division of Penguin Random House; a different division publishes my books.)

Also recently in my book-listening ears: Adam Sternbergh's twisty, complicated The Eden Test, about a couple who gets in way over their heads on a marriage retreat undertaken to reconnect them.

Eric Deggans shared some thoughts about the future of Max as it took over some of the branding from the former HBO Max.


NPR's Tilda Wilson adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marc Rivers
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
Tilda Wilson