What's making us happy: A guide for your weekend reading, listening and viewing
This week, Bob Dylan announced that he's releasing a new book, photographer Bryan Tarnowski captured the magic of a Fat Tuesday run and Oscar Isaac turned 43.
Here's what NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
BTS: Permission to Dance tour
The South Korean boyband BTS has three Seoul concerts this week, and they'll be live-streamed and shown in theaters for people who can't go in person. I've also gotten tickets to see them on tour next month, so that's four different concerts I'll be enjoying. —Laura Sirikul
Umma, out March 18
UMMA, a horror movie starring Sandra Oh, comes out next Friday. It follows Oh as a woman named Amanda, who lives on a rural bee-keeping farm with her daughter. Everything is going well until the remains of Amanda's estranged mother arrive from Korea. The film seems to be taking on ideas of potentially overbearing mothers and intergenerational trauma. I'm really excited about this movie, and I've already watched the trailer a bunch of times now. —Kat Chow
All Songs Considered
All Songs Considered — a show that I have been on intermittently for more than 15 years now — has been making moves to expand beyond what they've been doing for years, and I'm thrilled about it. They just launched a Best of the Month podcast hosted by our pal, Lars Gotrich, and have been putting out a Turning the Tables mini-series of panel discussions. They just put out a conversation between two dear friends of the show, Ann Powers and Marissa Lorusso, talking about their shared love of Kate Bush and Yoko Ono.
I just have been really, really excited to see one of the longest-running podcasts out there continue to grow after all these years, and find new ways to cover an even broader range of music and showcase the many, many gifted voices across NPR Music. —Stephen Thompson
"Is It Funny For The Jews?" by Jason Zinoman
It'd be weird to say that this makes me happy because it's about a serious subject, but Jason Zinoman wrote a piece called "Is It Funny for the Jews? " a few weeks ago for The New York Times, and it's a fascinating essay.
He's wrestling with this idea of being Jewish and dealing with things like anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and prejudice through comedy — and what it means to brush those things off or make light of them. And he goes through this brief cultural history of different Jewish comedians like Jerry Seinfeld or Jackie Mason and what it means to be Jewish in this time of rising anti-Semitism. It really made me think, and it's worth checking out if you haven't already. —Aisha Harris
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey on Apple TV+
Apple TV+'s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey has a great cast — Samuel L. Jackson, Dominique Fishback, Walton Goggins — and a great writing pedigree, in that it comes from Walter Mosley adapting his own novel. It's a little disorienting at first, because part of the premise is the central character's failing memory and cognition, but it's worth sticking with it to see whether it's for you. Two episodes are out Friday, and more will stream weekly. —Linda Holmes
Dead Eyes, the podcast
On my list for this weekend: the podcast Dead Eyes, which ... well, just see what it's about. It involves Hollywood and Tom Hanks and broken hearts, and I haven't listened to it yet but the recommendations have just been piling up, so let's all get to it together, eh? —Linda Holmes
NPR intern Fi O'Reilly adapted this Pop Culture Happy Hour segment into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations on what's making us happy every week.
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