What Makes Us Happy: Your Weekend Viewing Guide

This week we watched a rare hybrid of birds, watched autumn leaves fall and learned how to throw a successful themed party.

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


i am a Star Wars tent. Andorra it’s out right now and the fact that not everyone is watching it drives me a little crazy. That’s totally a thing Star Wars fans have been begging for a very long time. The show delivers on the promises I expected the prequel movies to deliver. Which only I experienced Rogue Onewhich I think is one of the best Star Wars movies of all time.

If Stellan Skarsgård doesn’t get an Emmy nomination for his performance, I will write this and personally burn Hollywood to the ground. I tweeted the other day that this show managed to make the politics interesting and engaging that George Lucas was aiming for but never quite pulled off.

Watching people walk around the room planning a riot and trying not to get caught will put you on the edge of your seat. This kind of heart-pounding action in a dialogue scene is challenging to write. It’s sensational. I’ll make sure to tell people, please watch Andorra, please make sure we have more shows like this. Please let people know that Diego Luna is circling this set, that he is awesome. I’m obsessed, everyone has to watch it. Joelle Monique

Behind the sun

It’s called a movie I love Behind the sun which opened last week and did very well at the box office. It’s an independent film by Scottish director Charlotte Wells about a father and daughter. Starring Paul Mescal. It’s a beautiful story set in the 90s. It is unique in the way it tells the story of memory.

People are really responding to the film, even though it is a smaller production. Screenings in LA and New York were sold out last weekend, although the publicity is mainly reviews from critics and people promoting it on Twitter. It gives me a little hope that there is still an audience for smaller films. It’s an A24 film, which I think really helps now that there’s a whole generation of moviegoers who’ve built their identity around A24, which has its pros and cons. But in this case, I take it as a win that they show up for this movie. Carlos Aguilar

Scooby-Doo (2002)

I have loved this movie for the last two decades and it is simply the stupidest and most ridiculous movie I have ever come across. It’s just the gift that keeps on giving. I watch it every year around this time and it always brings me so much joy. I even had a birthday cake based on this movie a few years ago. Watching movies is an amazing experience. If you haven’t seen it, please do. And of course the soundtrack is also very entertaining. I love the song “Land of a Million Dreams” by OutKast. It’s just something that I think would bring a lot of lightness to people who are in a dark time, or even just people who want to laugh. Kiana Fitzgerald

Remembering Leslie Jordan

We lost Leslie Jordan this week. That certainly doesn’t make me happy. But the affection for him, which has recently swelled in response to the news, has of course made him widely known as Beverley Leslie on Will & Grace, but he disconnected for years before that and has been disconnecting ever since. He got this wildly disparate following on social media late in life, fueled entirely by his expression of his authentic self. No manipulators, no consultants.

If you want to watch my favorite Leslie Jordan performance, you can stream it on Peacock. It is in Southern Baptist Sissies, which is a play written and directed by Del Shores that was filmed in 2013. It’s about growing up gay in an evangelical church. And of course, the game is somewhat predictable, I think he’s preaching to the choir. But it has some great performances that really sell it. Two of these performances include Dale Dickey and Leslie Jordan. They play a couple of barflies who are kind of out of their own corner of the stage like some sort of Greek chorus. He is effortlessly cheerful. At one point he smashes his partners in a scene and you can feel him sitting in it and just basking in the moment.

He moves deep in this game. But mostly he’s just authentic, natural, being himself in a way that a lot of gay men never get to. He was a mensch. We will miss him, but he has this performance at the Peacock to remember. Glen Weldon

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

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Essie Davis as Nancy Bradley in the episode “The Murmuring” by Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of curiosities.

NPR’s own Chloe Veltman has a profile Colleen Hoover you can read or listen if you are one of the many (many) people who are curious about her and her work.

NPR also wrapped its own The next phase a project dedicated to regional theater, and all of this is worth a look.

NPR completes the trifecta of inner goodness and this week also had a piece by Marielle Segarra on magic Practical magicas part of the great “I’m Really Into” series.

Guillermo del Toro’s horror anthology Cabinet of curiosities is streaming on Netflix, and if you like a good old spooky tale, I highly recommend it. We’ll talk about it on the show too, so if you’re watching, you’ll be ready! (But I only watch it during the day. With all the lights on. And the doors locked.)

NPR’s Pilar Galvan adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment “What Makes Us Happy” for digital. If you like these suggestions, please consider subscribing to our newsletter get referrals every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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