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What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing, listening and gaming

Wayne Brady as The Wiz
Jeremy Daniel
Wayne Brady as The Wiz

This week, Taylor Swift delivered some tortured poets, Quentin Tarantino changed his mind, and at least one Oscars hangover went on and on and on.

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

Koreaboo, on Audible

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Audible

Audible has a romantic fiction podcast called KoreaBoothat is too cute. Shayla is an English expat in Korea and you expect her to do the stereotypical romance thing and fall in love with a K-Pop idol, but she ends up falling for her landlord's son. It's incredibly cute and sweet and funny. It's written by Shenee Howard. The episodes are about half an hour long — super easy, delightful, and so cheery. — Joelle Monique

The Wiz on Broadway

I am delighted to say that the revival of The Wiz has brought me so much joy. I saw it in previews and it just opened on Broadway. It is a multicultural, multicolored delight. Folks who go to see it will be clamoring for the cast recording album because, more than anything, I think what stuck with me is just the wonderful vocal arrangements and orchestrations from this new version. I think people will really enjoy it. — Soraya Nadia McDonald

Balatro

Balatro is a deck building video game, which means it's basically poker that you play by yourself. You're dealt this hand, and then you try to build straights and flushes and things of a kind, etc. What makes it addictive is its elegant simplicity: Between hands you get a chance to buy random Jokers and other cards that do different things. And as you go through each run, the amount of points you can get, you have to earn on that hand increase. So, once you don't make it, that's it. You start over, your Jokers go away, you start from zero. You keep playing, and playing, and playing, because moments happen when the Jokers you have assembled interact with each other, and when they do, you see the points multiplying exponentially and you feel completely invulnerable. Producer Liz Metzger mentioned this game so I checked it out and when I looked up, it was the next day. — Glen Weldon

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

Don't miss Elizabeth Blair's piece for NPR marking the 50th anniversary of Redbone's "Come And Get Your Love." It was the first song by an all-Native and Mexican American band to make it into the Billboard Top 10, and she collects some terrific reminiscences. It's a really good piece both to read and to listen to.

At six million views on YouTube, the dance video of the CDK Company interpreting Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" is hardly a hidden gem. But the choreography is fascinating, and it's highly recommended if you're in the mood for a little mind-blowing movement.

The Hulu series Under The Bridge is based on the true story of a Victoria, B.C. teenager who was killed after going off to meet a bunch of other teenagers. And while that's a dynamic that's been explored before (going back at least to River's Edge), this is also an opportunity for recent devotees of Lily Gladstone to see her play the cop who's determined to figure out what happened. Riley Keough plays a journalist who grew up in Victoria and has returned to write a book, only to get very much mixed up in the case.


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.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Soraya Nadia McDonald
Joelle Monique
Glen Weldon is a host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He reviews books, movies, comics and more for the NPR Arts Desk.
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.
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