What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing and listening
This week, the Hollywood labor situation was not as close to a resolution as we might have hoped, Netflix decided to go into the opposite business from the business it is in, and Taylor Swift showed up ahead of schedule.
Here's what the NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
TwoSet Violin is a classical music comedy duo — they are two Australian violinists, Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, and they do little sketches and challenges — like perfect pitch challenges, or playing through really hard solo and orchestral repertoire and making fun of each other. They do sketches about what it's like to be in orchestra. It is 1,000% super dorky, but it's very funny, especially if you come from the world of classical music, or you've ever played in an orchestra. TwoSet Violin is currently on tour — I saw their live show at Symphony Center in Chicago and they were amazing. They played really, really hard violin repertoire while hula-hooping and while blindfolded. If you can't see them live, I would recommend checking out their YouTube channel. — Wailin Wong
"2 Die 4" by Addison Rae featuring Charli XCX
"2 Die 4" by Addison Rae featuring Charli XCX is officially my song of the summer. Not only because it is a bop dot com, but because it came from such an unexpected place for me. The journey of the song is that Addison Rae — yes, the TikTok dancer, yes, the lead in He's All That (the She's All That Netflix reboot) — in 2021, she was kind of embarking on this pop-star, movie-star, Hollywood, four-quadrant career. She was just constantly in our faces. And her debut single,"Obsessed," was not well-received. Fast-forward to summer 2023: She releases this four-song EP called AR. And guess what, guys? It absolutely slays. I'd love to see more Addison Rae. — Candice Lim
Moonlighting, now streaming on Hulu
Moonlighting — which is now streaming on Hulu — is a detective comedy drama series that aired from 1985 to 1989. Bruce Willis at the time was basically a nobody and showed up on this show with Cybill Shepherd, who was very famous. She plays a model. He plays this guy who's sort of running a ragtag detective agency that's intended to lose money for her as a tax write-off. She falls on financial hard times and is supposed to go shut the detective agency down. Instead, he kind of wheedles and persuades her to become partners.
This show was so influential for me because of its rat-a-tat banter. They have all these kind of one-off episodes that are really fun and weird: There was a whole episode written in the style of Shakespeare. There's a whole episode that's in the style of an old black and white movie that had an intro by Orson Welles. It was a show that was just really inventive, and different, and strange. — Linda Holmes
The Royal Hotel, now in theaters
The Royal Hotel, directed by Kitty Green, stars Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick as two young women who are vacationing in Australia. They blow all their money and have to get jobs at a local bar in this remote mining town so that they can keep their holiday going. This bar is the stuff of nightmares for women — the men are always drunk, and handsy, and flirting. Slowly but surely, it gets more tense and more dangerous. I don't know if the ending quite pays off, but I think overall this was really interesting to watch. It made me uncomfortable in many ways. — Aisha Harris
More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter
by Linda Holmes
I cannot tell a lie — The Golden Bachelor is more charming than I expected. Gerry, who's a 72-year-old widower, seems very genuine and more than a little dorky, and most of the women who want to date him appear nice and also genuine. While there is a lot of talk about finding love later in life, there aren't nearly as many "break a hip" or "early bird special" jokes as I was afraid there would be. We'll be covering it on the show in a bit, but honestly, I do sort of dig it.
The extremely popular novel Lessons in Chemistry is now an Apple TV+ series starring Brie Larson. The story of Elizabeth Zott, a scientist in the 1950s and '60s who becomes a cooking show host, has its ups and downs, but Larson is charming and the series is, for lack of a better word, sort of soothing.
My childhood baseball team was the Philadelphia Phillies, who, as you read this, are headed to the National League Championship Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. If they win that series, they will face either the Houston Astros or the Texas Rangers in the World Series. The Phillies have had a hint of beer league about them in many eras — their scraggly beards, their scraggly hair, what a friend of mine once insisted was an unmatched tendency to have tobacco juice on their shirts. All of this to say, Kelsey McKinney wrote a very funny and well-researched piece for Defector about their tendency to "show clavicle" with open shirts, and I commend it most highly to you. Go Phils!
Beth Noveyadapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" for the Web. 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.
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