Ryan Murphy and his collaborators are responsible for everything from Glee to American Horror Story. And now, they've made their first project for Netflix. It follows Payton Hobart, a high school student determined to be president of the student body, and one day the United States. Murphy has gathered another of his impressive casts: Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bob Balaban, Bette Midler, and of course Jessica Lange.
Summer is turning to fall where we are, and that means it's time for a couch, a blanket, and a book. Fiction and nonfiction, essays and memoirs, we've got some ideas for things you can read this fall. And we're bringing in a couple of our favorite book lovers to help us out.
In the new Todd Phillips film Joker, Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, an aspiring comic. Neglected by the world and beaten down everywhere he turns, Fleck does what any discouraged clown would do: he becomes a menace.
The Netflix series Unbelievable brings together a group of actresses including Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, Dale Dickey and Danielle MacDonald. It's based on a true story about a young woman named Marie who was sexually assaulted and pressured by the police into recanting her story. Based on reporting from ProPublica and the Marshall Project, the series follows Marie, but also the two detectives who, much later, gave her case a chance to be solved.
In our fall movie preview, we will cover the ones we're excited about, the ones you'll be hearing more about, and the ones that might be picking up awards in a few months. Whether you like comedies or dramas, and whether you like to see your films in a theater or in the comfort of your own home, we're here to give you the scoop.
It was a huge night for Fleabag and a coronation for Game Of Thrones, and there were a few surprises and big moments along the way. The awards got spread out quite a bit this year, including a historic acting win for Billy Porter, several awards for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Ozark.
If you thought the end of the series Downton Abbey would be the end of the Crawley family's adventures, a new film has arrived to prove you wrong. The movie continues the story of this very wealthy group and their loyal staff. The large cast is reunited, from sharp-tongued dowagers to scheming butlers. And this time, the King and Queen are coming for a visit.
Anyone who's surprised at the big weekend the new film Hustlers had at the box office probably shouldn't be. Not only does it star popular women like Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, with drop-ins from Cardi B and Lizzo, but it got very good reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival. What's not to like? Hustlers is based on the true story of a group of women who danced at a strip club together and later drugged and scammed some of their wealthy Wall Street customers. Directed by Lorene Scafaria, the film is already generating awards buzz for Jennifer Lopez.
Donna Tartt's 2013 book The Goldfinch won a Pulitzer Prize for its story of a boy whose mother dies in a bombing. It's an epic tale of grief, abandonment, friendship, drugs, and a stolen painting of a goldfinch. Now, The Goldfinch has been adapted into a movie starring Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Nicole Kidman, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Finn Wolfhard and Sarah Paulsen.
The animated show Steven Universe has told the story of a human-alien hybrid boy and the race of alien women called Gems who've helped raise him on Earth. The show has told lighthearted stories of life in the fictional Beach City — and headed to space for a more epic saga about a group of intergalactic leaders, a past rebellion, and a plot to destroy the world. Creator Rebecca Sugar has said that there will be more episodes, but for now, Steven Universe: The Movie has just premiered on the Cartoon Network.
The 2017 movie It was a massive blockbuster, and became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time. Adapting the Stephen King novel of the same name, it tells the story of seven misfit kids in the late 1980s, and a supernatural being that preys on children in a small town in Maine. The sequel revisits the kids 27 years later — they're now played by the likes of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader.
Just about every week, we talk about what we're watching or reading or listening to right now. Today, we're doing something different. We're going back 20 years to talk about some of the movies of 1999, including Drop Dead Gorgeous, Office Space, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. We'll talk about what holds up, what looks really different, and what we miss the most.
It's autumn again. And that means we're getting a wave of new television. So it's time for the annual fall TV preview. Whether you like superheros or detectives, broadcast or cable or streaming, we're here to share what we're excited to see.
It's autumn again. And that means we're getting a wave of new television. So it's time for the annual fall TV preview. Whether you like superheros or detectives, broadcast or cable or streaming, we're here to share what we're excited to see.
We just spent three hours watching the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, which are never really about awards so much as moments: big performances and the memes and soundbites we may or may not remember for years to come. This year's show brought lots of Taylor Swift, and Missy Elliott, not to mention Lizzo, Normani, Lil Nas X, Rosalía and more.
The gang takes a look at Amy Sherman-Palladino's award-winning comedy, starring Rachel Brosnahan as a '50s housewife-turned-comedian. And, as always, What's Making Us Happy this week. Guests: Writer Katie Presley and Weekend Edition Books Editor Barrie Hardymon. (This episode originally aired on January 19, 2018.)
In Maria Semple's novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Bernadette Fox is a wife and mother who mysteriously vanishes from her ordinary life in the middle of a personal crisis. Her daughter is left to piece together what happened. The new film adaptation is directed by Richard Linklater and stars Cate Blanchett as Bernadette.
Of all the TV shows about monstrous rich people, the HBO series Succession might be one of the most cutting. It follows heartless media mega-mogul Logan Roy and his ruthless children as they try to outmaneuver each other. And while the family is awful, the show is great. And if you're not watching it, you're missing out on a lot of high-quality scheming.
Back in 2004, Veronica Mars was a high school student working for her private-eye father on the side. After three seasons on the air and a crowdfunded movie in 2014, Veronica is back. Now an adult and still a detective, Veronica tackles a fresh mystery in a set of new episodes available on Hulu. She still works with her father, she's still in love with reformed bad boy Logan Echolls, and she still has a one-liner for nearly every occasion.
The new film Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham. The two play their characters from the Fast & Furious franchise, spun off into a fresh adventure. They race a mechanically enhanced super soldier played by Idris Elba to recover a deadly virus before it can melt the entire population of the planet into a series of small puddles.
In The Farewell, Akwafina plays Billi, a young woman whose beloved grandmother back in China is diagnosed with lung cancer. The family decides not to tell the grandmother that she's got only months to live — a decision that Billi strongly disagrees with. The Farewell was written and directed by Lulu Wang based on a piece she did on This American Life.
Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood is writer-director Quentin Tarantino's ninth film. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a fading western actor named Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his loyal stuntman Cliff Booth. It's set in the changing Hollywood of 1969, and in many ways, it's a breezy romp through studio backlots and makeup trailers — but hanging over every frame is the threat of violence, in the form of a very real historical tragedy — the brutal Manson family murders in the Hollywood Hills. It's glossy L.A. nostalgia laced with grisly violence — it's peak Tarantino, but does it work?
Queer Eye is back for a fourth season, so we figured it'd be interesting to review our first impressions of the series, back when it premiered last year. We talk about the show's broader mission statement, the new Fab Five, and how thoroughly the world has changed since the first iteration of the show went off the air. (This episode originally aired on February 21, 2018.)
Jeopardy! has been in the news a lot this year, both for James Holzhauer's historic championship run and for Alex Trebek's recent cancer diagnosis. But when we talked about the long-running game show last year, it was just an eternal juggernaut. (This episode originally aired July 11, 2018.)
For the last few years, Disney has been turning its beloved animated films into live-action revamps . But this revamp isn't live-action — even though it looks like it is. The digital animation is ridiculously advanced, bringing Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa to eerie, ultra-realistic life. The voice cast is full of ringers — Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Donald Glover and Beyoncé. But do the changes they make to the story — and the songs — improve on the original?
What has music, neon signs, classic cars, and Vegas gangsters in a dramatic story of love and death? Believe it or not, it's the Metropolitan Opera's production of Rigoletto, which we recently checked out in New York. Not only did we see the show, but we went backstage to see how they make the show happen.
Los Espookys is a very odd HBO comedy series about a group of horror-loving friends who start up a business that provides scary experiences for their clients.The six-episode series, which is now four episodes into its run, is co-written by two of its stars — comedians Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega. Its biggest-name co-star, Fred Armisen, also co-wrote the pilot.
In the film Midsommar, writer-director Ari Aster follows up his cult horror hit Hereditary with a film about a literal cult. Florence Pugh plays a young woman who tags along with her awful boyfriend and his pals to a remote Swedish village as they enact their bloody rituals. We discuss the sun-drenched Scandanavian creepiness.
In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Tom Holland's Peter Parker deals with the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame by not dealing with it — he takes a class trip to Europe, attempting to leave his great power, and his great responsibility, behind.
It's our second annual songs of summer spectacular! Every year at NPR Music we debate which hits might be remembered as "the song of the summer" — sometimes it's a frothy pop song, or a star-packed hip-hop banger, or simply a song that gets played on the radio over and over again until we're beaten into submission. This week we're bringing in a revolving cast of my colleagues from NPR Music, each of whom will play us one song — one nominee to be the unofficial Song Of The Summer for 2019.
In Yesterday, Himesh Patel plays Jack Malik, an English singer whose career is going nowhere. His parents don't understand him, but he's got the support of his friends — especially Ellie, his manager, played by Lily James. One night, Jack gets hit by a bus at the precise moment of a worldwide power outage. When he wakes up, he learns that he's in a world where the Beatles never existed. So he starts playing their songs — the world soon hears them for the first time, and Jack finds his entire life upended.
When Avengers: Endgame came out in late April, it got good reviews and it did huge business. As with everything we talk about, we didn't want to spoil it for you, so some of its biggest developments went un-analyzed. But no more. We thought this one deserved a second look before we bid this chapter of the Marvel Universe farewell. So today, we're discussing and revealing with abandon.
The Toy Story movies have been skittering around the closets of our hearts for almost 25 years. Anchored by Woody the sheriff, voiced by Tom Hanks, they're central to the story of Pixar. Now we're up to Toy Story 4. This time, Woody has to protect a homemade toy named Forky, voiced by Tony Hale. Forky may just be a spork with a face, but he's special to Bonnie, the little girl Woody lives with.
When Big Little Lies came to HBO, it boasted a cast full of stars: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz and Laura Dern. For season two, they upped their game by adding Meryl Streep. The end of season one solved a mystery the show had been circling, and season two is about the aftermath.
In the movie Late Night, Mindy Kaling plays Molly Patel, a woman who gets her big break in the writers' room of late night host Katherine Newbury. Newbury, played by Emma Thompson, is on thin ice with the network and wants to add Molly as a way of diversifying her very white and very male writing staff. But once Molly gets there, she finds that being considered a diversity hire comes with challenges of its own. Late Night also features John Lithgow, Denis O'Hare, and Reid Scott.
A few weeks ago we talked about the wonderful new teen comedy Booksmart. the film is directed by Olivia Wilde, who is also an actress known for her roles on House, The O.C., and Tron: Legacy. In this bonus episode, you'll hear Wilde's recent appearance on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. She played 'Not My Job' where she was quizzed about Buffalo Wild Wings.
We are recapping this year's Tony Awards. James Corden was back as the host, and it was a big night for the musical Hadestown and the Irish play The Ferryman. The musicals Tootsie and Oklahoma! also picked up multiple awards.
In 2016, Phoebe Waller-Bridge presented the world with Fleabag. She not only writes the show, but she stars in it too. She plays a young woman only referred to as Fleabag who is bruised by external and internal struggles. And in 2019, the show came back for a wonderful second and, we're told, final season.
Rocketman is a new biopic about queer rock icon Elton John. It is in many ways a typical rise-and-fall, dangers of fame kind of rock star biopic. But there is a difference: this is a full-on jukebox musical on film. And star Taron Egerton doesn't just lip-sync — he actually sings.
In the new movie Booksmart, two young women about to graduate from high school spend one last night trying to catch up on everything they missed. Starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, it's the directing debut of actress Olivia Wilde. The cast also includes Jessica Williams, Billie Lourd, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow and many more. And we really, really like it.
We recently packed up and road-tripped to New York to check out some selections from the current Broadway theater season. We went to musicals and plays, revivals and new works, and we have a lot of thoughts.
Once upon a time, a man named John Wick retired from his successful career as an assassin. But then he returned to it. And across what's now a three-film series, he's been having a heck of a week ever since.
The Pokémon universe has brought the world television cartoons, trading cards, video games, plush toys, the mobile-game sensation Pokemon GO, and a string of animated movies. Now, the franchise makes the leap into live action with a big-budget summer blockbuster called Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
Everyone needs inspiration. And we need it too. So from time to time, we pause just to single out some of the people whose work we're appreciating. People from whom we want more. We call this segment People We're Pulling For.
While summer is a time of spectacles and sequels, there is always time for love. The new romantic comedy Long Shot stars Charlize Theron as a beautiful and sophisticated presidential candidate and Seth Rogen as the grubby speechwriter with her on the campaign trail.
Nothing fascinates the world like a meteoric rise. Except, of course, for a spectacular fall. The story of the Silicon Valley startup Theranos and its young founder Elizabeth Holmes has both. And the coverage it's received has been huge. There's the book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, the podcast The Dropout, and the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Today we look at three ways of telling the same story.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought us Iron Man movies, Thor movies, Captain America movies, Avengers movies, and many other superhero franchises over the last decade, and they all feed into one epic that ties up many of the loose ends. Today we're talking the juggernaut to end all juggernauts, Avengers: Endgame.
On Wednesday, Beyoncé released two major projects. On Netflix, a new documentary captures the process of putting on headlining appearances at last year's Coachella Music Festival. She also surprise-released a double-length live album that contains just some of the highlights from Beyoncé's two ambitious Coachella performances. Both projects are called Homecoming, and they help immortalize a huge stage show full of dancers and drum lines and impeccable choreography and songs that reach across Beyoncé's career.
It's been 60 years since The Twilight Zone first aired, with the voice and eventually the face of its creator, Rod Serling. Now, CBS All Access has brought the anthology series back in a new incarnation. This time, the host is Jordan Peele. He is also an executive producer, and the big cast includes Adam Scott, Kumail Nanjiani, Steven Yeun, Chris O'Dowd, Tracy Morgan, Sanaa Lathan, and a whole lot more.
For the last four seasons, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has followed Rebecca Bunch as she pursued love, dreaded her mother, and tried to address her mental health. The show stars Rachel Bloom as Bunch, who created the show with Aline Brosh Mckenna. Now, it's all over, and we're going to talk about it.
"Shazam!" is what young Billy Batson says to morph into a big red superhero. It's also the name of the new movie about him. Starring Zachary Levi as the big lug in the suit, Shazam! makes for a lighter DC Comics movie.
Spring is here, but it's been a long winter. And we're a little overwhelmed by the news of the world, so we're taking a moment to share some of the things that lift our spirits in a segment we call Pop Culture Serotonin.
The comedy series What We Do In The Shadows imagines what a slacker reality show might look like if all the roommates were vampires. The show is based on a 2014 film of the same name, which was helmed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. A new cast of vampires inhabits the FX show.
The new Hulu series Shrill follows Annie, a young writer. She's trying to get her career moving, figure out what's up with her sort-of boyfriend, and learn to feel good about her body. Annie is played by Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant, who developed Shrill with TV writer Ali Rushfield and with Lindy West. West wrote the 2016 book of the same name that forms the backbone of the show.
The South by Southwest music festival brings together artists from around the world to perform in big venues and small ones, on sidewalks and sprawling stages. Every year, we bring back some musical discoveries that just might be your next favorites.
The much-praised Hulu series PEN15 is about two middle-school girls who feel like they might never figure out how to grow into adults. The show was created by Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle and Sam Zvibelman. And the hook is that Erskine and Konkle play versions of themselves as kids, awkwardly surrounded by actual tween actors.
Comedy Central's very funny new show The Other Two is about the older siblings of a newly minted YouTube star. His fame makes them feel overshadowed in some of the ways you might expect. But it's also a chance for them to look out for him, and to learn a lot about the broad outlines of fleeting fame.
NPR Music is heading to South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. It's a huge feast of musical discovery that brings together bands and fans from around the world. All Songs Considered convened a panel to preview some of the new discoveries we're most excited to see and hear.
Captain Marvel is the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first movie to give a woman the lead role. Brie Larson stars as a badass space-warrior fighting in an intergalactic war between two alien races. Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury, albeit digitally de-aged, because Captain Marvel is set in the '90s.
If you came of age in the 1990s, you might know Luke Perry as the rebellious teenage fantasy boyfriend Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210. But you also might know him from the original movie version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Or as Archie's dad on Riverdale. Perry was only 52 when he died on Monday. We take a moment to celebrate Perry's contributions to pop culture.
Today we're diving into the complicated and tangled world of Netflix's Russian Doll, a series anchored by a dynamic performance from Natasha Lyonne. She co-created the series with Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler.
Green Book is your best picture, and Bohemian Rhapsody and Roma took a bunch of the top prizes, too. And it all got done in a ceremony without a host. We're breaking it all down: the winners, the speeches, the songs, why we're mad, and why we're glad.
Where will you find rock bands going up against jazz pianists, superheroes, and scheming women in beautiful dresses? At this year's Oscars. We're going to talk actors, directors, and much more. We'll also make some predictions, so we might help you win your Oscars pool.
Pop Culture Happy Hour is in its ninth year, so Linda decided to write a quiz about the ninth seasons of television shows. Stephen and Glen faced off against one of our favorite podcast teams, Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings of The Nod. This episode was recorded live at the Bell House in Brooklyn.
This year's awards were a big night for Childish Gambino and Kacey Musgraves. It was also a night of strong performances from artists like Janelle Monae and Cardi B. And don't forget Diana Ross, who wished herself a happy birthday a month and a half early.
The Lego Movie was a surprise commercial and critical hit. It starred Chris Pratt as an every-man construction worker named Emmet and Elizabeth Banks as a rugged bad ass called Wyldstyle. Together, they saved the Lego world. Now, five years later, Emmet is back — and so is the fusillade of cameos, both surprising and not so surprising — to take on a new threat to the extruded plastic world.
Another year, another Patriots Super Bowl win. But was it a high scoring game? It was not. In fact, no one had even scored a touchdown when Maroon 5 came out to headline the halftime show. We recap the game, the halftime show, and the commercials.
What do Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice, and Green Book have in common? Two things: one, they're nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars; and two, they're based on events in the lives of real people. Today, awards season leads us to a wide-reaching conversation on some very different movies.
If you've noticed your friends have been a little more "tidy" than usual, or your thrift store a bit better stocked, it might be because of Netflix. The streaming series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has spurred an organizational renaissance. Or at least a conversation about one.
Alfonso Cuarón directed the award-winning film Gravity in 2013, and won an Oscar for it. Now he's back with a movie that's equally ambitious, and much more personal. Roma is inspired by Alfonso Cuarón's childhood, and the movie tells the story of Cleo, a nanny and housekeeper in 1970's Mexico City.
Despite how firm our opinions often seem when we first declare them, there have been times when they've changed. During our recent live show at the Brooklyn Podcast Festival, we took a moment to talk about some things we have different feelings on now then we once did.
In 2000, director M. Night Shyamalan presented Unbreakable, the story of two men whose epic tales of good and evil collided. Then came 2016's Split, a stealth sequel. Now, Shyamalan wraps up the trilogy with Glass.
The Masked Singer isn't your everyday singing competition. Based on a South Korean format, each week we learn the identity of the elaborately costumed "celebrity" who gets voted off. So far, we've unmasked football player Antonio Brown, and comedian Tommy Chong.
Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody unexpectedly won big. So did thanking your parents and going on just a little too long. It's the wee hours of Monday morning, and we are wrapping up this year's big winners and big surprises.
The sci-fi series Black Mirror has always been about changing technology and its usually dark implications for the future. Its latest episode, Bandersnatch, is itself the result of new technology developed at Netflix. As you watch it, you make your own on-screen choices that determine which of several possible endings you reach.
Fox canceled Brooklyn Nine-Nine at the end of its fifth season, but much to our delight, NBC picked it back up again. It's coming back for a sixth season starting on January 10th, and we thought that would make it just the right time to revisit our conversation about it.
Today, we look back on our 2018 resolutions to see how we fared, and make some new ones for the year to come. We also make our fearless pop culture predictions for the next 12 months, and see how last year's predictions panned out.
The animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse focuses on one of the Spider-People who has come along in the years since the world first met Peter Parker, in 1962. In the film, Miles Morales is a Brooklyn teenager who acquires spider-powers at the same time he discovers that there are other versions of himself across alternate dimensions.
It's the end of the year, and that makes it the perfect time to talk about the things we loved the most in 2018. From Black Panther, to Crazy Rich Asians, to the viral moments you might have missed, we are rounding up our fifteen favorites of the year. So get ready for a whole lot of recommending.
In 1964, the original Mary Poppins made Julie Andrews a movie star and introduced a generation to Dick Van Dyke's regrettable Cockney accent. Now, Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda head up Mary Poppins Returns.
The Favourite, set in the early 1700s, tells the story of Britain's Queen Anne and two women who are jostling for her favor. Rachel Weisz plays the Queen's close adviser Sarah, and Emma Stone plays an ambitious servant named Abigail who has her eye on a bigger prize.
What's warm and fuzzy, emotionally manipulative, and desperate for attention almost every hour of every day? Linda's dog, sure. But also the Hallmark Channel's endless supply of holiday movies and the competitors nipping at their heels.
You can't have an abundance of Christmas songs without also having an abundance of opinions about Christmas songs — songs we love, songs we hate, songs we love when they're sung by one person, but hate when they're sung by another. This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, we've convened a special panel to tackle our favorite songs for the season.
Wreck It Ralph was a hit when it came out in 2012. Ralph Breaks the Internet picks up where that film left off, and is even more ambitious than its predecessor. This time, Ralph travels to the Internet — which gives the movie a lot of material to work with.
It's been three years since the Rocky movies were reborn with Creed, starring Michael B. Jordan as Apollo Creed's son, Adonis. Now, in Creed 2, Adonis is up against the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed his father in the ring in 1985.
Widows is not your average heist movie — director Steve McQueen and co-screenwriter Gillian Fylnn have created something far more interesting. The film also has a star-studded cast that includes Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez, Brian Tyree Henry, and Liam Neeson.
In the Amazon thriller Homecoming, Julia Roberts plays a caseworker at a facility that helps soldiers re-adjust to civilian life. Or at least that's what she thinks it does. But calls from a mysterious boss and sessions with a young soldier make her question everything.
Stan Lee helped create some of the most indelible comic book characters in American popular culture, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and Black Panther. He died Monday. He was 95.