© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

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

Joel Kim Booster recently returned as a guest on the podcast <em>Depresh Mode.</em> He's shown above at Sundance in January 2024.
Mat Hayward
Getty Images for IMDb
Joel Kim Booster recently returned as a guest on the podcast Depresh Mode. He's shown above at Sundance in January 2024.

This week, Beyoncé showed up at the Guggenheim (sort of), we said goodbye to one of our greatest character actors, and Travis Kelce had Love is Blind opinions.

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

Miami Connection

Miami Connection is probably my favorite movie of all time. It was co-directed by and stars Y. K. Kim — a Korean taekwondo artist who moved to Orlando, Fla., opened his own studio, and decided to make a movie. This movie played in a handful of theaters in 1987 and then disappeared. Years later, an Alamo Drafthouse programmer found the copy of the movie on eBay. It got a rerelease, and now it's a cult classic. Kim plays a taekwondo instructor who's also the leader of an electro synth-pop band called Dragon Sound. And they face off against a bunch of motorcycle baddies and ninjas. It's the type of movie that you want to watch with a bunch of friends. There's a really fun How Did This Get Made podcast episode about it too, which is how I even discovered that this movie existed. — Aisha Harris

Joel Kim Booster's return to the podcast Depresh Mode

/ Maximim Fun
Maximim Fun

In 2021, the podcast Depresh Mode, which is John Moe's show about depression, had an episode with the brilliant comedian and writer Joel Kim Booster. At the time, Joel was deep in a depressive episode and it is one of the only times I've ever heard somebody be as candid about what it's like to be in the middle of the worst of a depressive episode. He really believed at the time: I'm never going to have another idea again. I don't think I'm ever going to be funny again. And he meant it. And it's a very, very tough listen.

I was so pleased to get a notification just this week that Joel came back to Depresh Mode to talk about what has happened since then. As you probably know, he has continued to create, has continued to be funny. And I am so excited to listen to it. — Linda Holmes

The Hunt for Red October episode of the podcast Blank Check

/ Blank Check Productions
Blank Check Productions

Blank Check is a podcast, hosted by Griffin Newman and David Sims, where they go through the filmography of a director, film by film, with a different guest for each film. They have at last arrived at director John McTiernan. I want to specifically compel people to an episode featuring New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie, who they have on to talk about The Hunt for Red October. It's a great movie. It's a great run of movies. It's a great podcast. — Chris Klimek

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

Vinson Cunningham's Great Expectations is a novel about the 2008 election, which draws heavily on Cunningham's experience on the Obama campaign. It's about the disappointments of being closely involved in electoral politics, but it's also a close-up look at the interconnectedness of political and religious faith. I liked it a lot, and Cunningham talked about it with Brittany Luse on It's Been A Minute.

When I was 17, right after Oprah promoted the Optifast shakes she used to lose a bunch of weight, I was put on that program by my doctor. As was the case for Oprah herself, it was not a long-term solution. Many years later, I remain aggravated by her involvement in the weight-loss industry, and I can't think of anyone more qualified to dig into it than Tressie McMillan Cottom.

Netflix has a new season of Physical: 100, a show where 100 people are gradually narrowed down to a single winner over the course of a bunch of grueling competitions. When the first season aired, I was absolutely certain I would not be interested in it, and then I turned it on, and then I went into a trance, and then I lost a bunch of hours until it was over.

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.

Linda Holmes
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.
Aisha Harris
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.