What's making us happy: A guide to your weekend listening and viewing – NPR
Gameplay from Cult of the Lamb Massive Monster/ Devolver Digital hide caption
Gameplay from Cult of the Lamb
This week, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences apologized to Sacheen Littlefeather, the USA Mullet Championships chose their kid and teen finalists, and Japan said it wants young people to drink more alcohol.
Here’s what the NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
I was a professional musician many years ago, and one of my oldest friends from that time, producer Gregg Pagani, has co-written and produced Chaka Khan’s new single, “Woman Like Me.”
It really is a wonderful song, and it’s so great to hear this vocalist, who is almost 70, still bringing it and doing something really cool.
She has the song up on her YouTube page, website, and Spotify so folks can check it out. — Eric Deggans
This is a game that just came out for various platforms, and it is entirely my jam. You are this cute little sheep who has been recruited by an Elder God to form a cult in its name. So you gather followers and materials, and you gather materials by slashing your way through some very cute, randomly generated dungeons.
The other half of the game is managing your followers. You build shrines and temples for them to worship you. You also build farms and sleeping quarters, and if you don’t build outhouses everyone’s going to get sick because they poop damn everywhere.
You need to keep their faith in you high, because if it drops, one follower will start sowing dissent among your flock. So what kind of cult leader do you want to be? You can sacrifice your followers or brainwash them with magic mushrooms to get a quick burst of faith. Or you can give them gifts and blessings and take their confessions to keep them happy.
I should make it clear by now that at some point in the game, the line between cult and organized religion becomes a distinction without a meaningful difference.
The aesthetic of this game is so cute; all your followers are these cartoony woodland creatures with giant eyes. The design is really impressively deep because it gives you a lot of choices for what kind of cult you build, which really ups the replay value. It is Animal Crossing meets Helter Skelter, and it is adorably sinister. — Glen Weldon
We’ve talked about P-Valley on Pop Culture Happy Hour, and the season two finale is making me happy. I love this show so much. For me, the central relationship is the one between Lil Murda and Uncle Clifford.
Uncle Clifford, played by Nicco Annon, is a non-binary owner of The Pynk, a strip club in the Mississippi Delta. Lil Murda, played by J. Alphonse Nicholson, is an up-and-coming rapper, and they have a beautiful relationship.
There’s one moment in the season two finale that I’ve gone back to over and over again — Willow Murda is at The Pynk, and he’s performing this song called “Seven Pounds of Pressure.” It’s hard. It’s all about murdering people, but it’s so catchy.
On top of that, you have Mercedes, who is one of the pole dancers there. She’s played by Brandee Evans, and she is bringing it. I just love that sequence and the aerial shots of her coming down the pole. It is fantastic, so if you are not watching P-Valley on Starz, you should do it. — Aisha Harris
by Linda Holmes
We will have an episode about the finale of Better Call Saul, but along with that, enjoy Eric Deggans’ review for NPR.
Are you the kind of person who likes a quick home makeover with some nice stories about families and a very charismatic host? You might enjoy Netflix’s feather-light Instant Dream Home, featuring Danielle Brooks.
Vengeance, B.J. Novak’s feature debut as a writer-director (and star), has arrived on demand after a theatrical release a few weeks ago. It’s a story about a guy whose desire to start a podcast leads him down a very dark road, and while I’m not sure everything about it works, I admired its weirdness and its absolute skewering of certain media tendencies.
NPR’s Maison Tran adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment “What’s Making Us Happy” into a digital page. 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.
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