What's making us happy: A guide for your weekend watching and listening
This week, Power of the Dog and Dune led the pack in Oscar nominations, Sting sold his songwriting catalog and Dollywood announced it'll fund educational costs for its employees.
Here's what NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
What's making me happy this week is Jackass Forever and the Jackass franchise. The franchise probably has one of the best homoerotic friendships that I have ever seen on camera, but what I really love about the Jackass franchise is that I think it really distills what friendship is. They always hold each other up when they fall down. There's a camaraderie to watching these movies that's just so fun and so ridiculous.
Plus, Jackass Forever is great. You still get to see Johnny Knoxville get hit by a car, but they also bring in new people and it rocks. I don't know where they found him, but they bring in a guy whose name is "Poopies," and Zack Holmes, who goes by "Zackass," and they bring some new life into the franchise. I love it. - Reanna Cruz
StraightioLab podcast, with Sam Taggart and George Civeris
This week, like many weeks over the past couple of years, the podcast StraightioLab has made me very happy. It is hosted by comedians George Civeris and Sam Taggart, and the conceit of the show is quite simple: Every episode they invite a guest to help them unpack an element of straight culture. You've got your obvious topics like quarter-zips, prom and the suburbs, but then there are some more esoteric ones like fear, information, and, in what is perhaps their most shocking episode to date, apples.
George and Sam are also not afraid to talk about some of the larger questions surrounding podcasts: should two gay men have a podcast? Is it embarrassing to be sincere? And, crucially, is their podcast any good at all? It is one of those shows that either you're in immediately or you're out immediately, but it has been bringing me so much joy to listen to the two of them. - Christina Tucker
True Blood on HBO
What is making me exorbitantly happy this week, and many other weeks, is True Blood. My roommate and I started watching the show a couple of weeks ago, and it's literally all I think about now. I live and breathe True Blood. If I'm bored, I'm thinking about Sookie Stackhouse and I'm waiting to see her again. I actually finished Marry Me last night and immediately put on True Blood because I was like, I need to keep the happiness train going. My roommate even got a COVID test the other day and spoke in a Louisiana accent the whole time without realizing it, so I think we may be watching too much. But I love it. - LaTesha Harris
Los Espookys on HBO
I was thrilled to see a tweet from actress Ana Fabrega earlier this week saying they had wrapped up filming on season 2 of Los Espookys. It's a wonderful show on HBO that follows a group of friends who love horror, so they try to start a business staging different kinds of horror scenes in order to trick people into thinking that they're real. It is such a lovely and deeply, deeply weird show. The great Julio Torres is an absolute treasure in it.
Still, it wasn't necessarily a big pop culture phenomenon when it came out, and I didn't necessarily think we were going to get a second season. So that wonderful, heartwarming tweet from Anna Fabrega has given me something delightful to look forward to. - Stephen Thompson
NPR intern Fi O'Reilly adapted this Pop Culture Happy Hour segment into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider subscribing to our newsletter to get recommendations on what's making us happy every week.
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