Earlier this month, ABBA released a new album called Voyage. It's the Swedish pop sensation's first set of new material in 40 years. Voyage gives us a perfect excuse to talk about all things ABBA: the massive sales, the jukebox musical Mamma Mia!, the endless hiatus, and — of course — those classic songs.
More episodes from "Pop Culture Happy Hour"
Wordle And What's Making Us Happy This Week
25:15The daily online word game Wordle has absolutely exploded in popularity in recent weeks. It's a game that gives you six chances to guess a five-letter word, giving you clues along the way about which letters are right and whether they're in the right places. It's addictive, but it can drive you mad.
31:30What do Dancing With The Stars, the Sex and the City spinoff, and one of the most viral ads of 2019 have in common? They represent some of the many pop culture touchpoints of the ubiquitous fitness brand Peloton. We talk about the Peloton universe, including it's star-making stable of instructors complicated relationship with the wellness industry.
16:25A Hero is the latest film from Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman). In this story, Amir Jadidi plays Rahim, a man who comes into possession of a lost handbag and some coins. But nothing goes as expected, and he becomes everything from a local celebrity to a suspected criminal. A Hero is on the short list for this year's international feature film Oscar, and is streaming on Amazon Prime.
The Book Of Boba Fett
18:05In the new Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett, Temuera Morrison brings new layers to the mysterious bounty hunter from the original Star Wars films. The story vacillates between flashbacks to how he escaped his presumed death in Return of the Jedi, and the present day as he and his lieutenant Fennec Shand (played by Ming-Na Wen) take over Jabba the Hutt's criminal empire on Tatooine.
2021 Best Books For Music Lovers
11:02If you're looking to discover a new book, NPR has a marvelous mechanism to help you out: It's called Books We Love, and it's a sortable guide to hundreds of great books from 2021, as handpicked and recommended by the NPR staff. Today we're talking about some of the music-related books we loved in 2021.
Abbott Elementary And What's Making Us Happy
23:10The fantastic new ABC series Abbott Elementary is a sitcom set at a severely underfunded Philadelphia public school. Quinta Brunson is the creator and very funny star of the mockumentary-style comedy, which follows a cast of teachers who are dedicated, but burnt out as they make do with limited resources and a hilariously incompetent principal.
And Just Like That...
24:42And Just Like That... the ladies of Sex and the City are back. (Well, most of them anyway.) The HBO Max series finds Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon reprising their roles as Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda. The new cast features several non-binary characters and performers of color including Nicole Ari Parker, Sara Ramirez, Karen Pittman, and Sarita Choudhury. But do these updates make the nostalgia trip worth it?
Great 2021 Music Documentaries
14:44Today we're recommending some of the great music documentaries we missed in 2021: The Velvet Underground, Framing Britney Spears, Controlling Britney Spears, and Tina.
19:38The slyly innovative HBO Max series Sort Of follows Sabi, a gender fluid millennial in Toronto trying to figure their life out. Sabi, played by co-creator Bilal Baig, nannies for a family whose matriarch winds up in a coma, placing Sabi in a tough spot between living their life and caring for others first. It's a show with good word of mouth that makes for a great Saturday afternoon binge.
The Tragedy Of Macbeth And What's Making Us Happy
25:26The Tragedy of Macbeth adapts Shakespeare's familiar tale of blood and betrayal, dreamlike daggers and stubborn stains. But its stars Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are significantly older than the leads usually are, which makes the whole thing hit differently. Directed by Joel Coen, the film fuses black-and-white cinematography with a clean, minimalist production design that underscores the story's theatrical roots. It's now streaming on Apple TV+.