NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour - Well, 49 Minutes

Friday, July 16, 2010

I've been waiting all day to get a chance to settle down to listen to National Public Radio's latest podcast. It's Pop Culture Happy Hour, despite the fact that no alcohol was actually imbibed by participants Linda Holmes, Trey Graham, Glen Weldon, and Stephen Thompson. (I note that the "Categories" into which the website feels it belongs are "Live Chats, "Culture and Criticism," and, yes, "Unclassifiable.") What the podcast amounts to is the sort of thing you get when a bunch of buddies sits around sharing views and reviews and maybe playing some sort of game (in this case, identifying TV shows from brief audio clips). (My favorite of those clips was a woman describing a guy by saying, "He's wearing a - yom kippur, I think it's called." Just saying.)

Comic-book commentator Weldon doesn't get a chance to discuss Aquaman, choosing instead to discuss a recent episode of the BBC's Doctor Who ["Vincent and The Doctor"] in which The Doctor fought "a giant killer chicken lizard" that also happened to be invisible. "They spent a lot of money on the sets," Weldon said. "They spent a lot of money on the costumes. ... The fact that it was invisible was what made it so cool." The discussion quickly morphed into whether it was a giant invisible chicken lizard or a giant invisible turkey. "It had a space wattle," someone pointed out.

And so it went, with comments on the summer's Iron Man movie, the summer's Twilight movie, the possible departure of 30 Rock and The Office stars, the entire group's adoration of NBC's Community series, and more, more, more. It didn't hurt my enjoyment that Stephen is my son or that this is, truly, the sort of conversation I enjoy listening to - whether at a convention, in a comics shop, or sitting around with family and friends.


farmbrough August 9, 2010 at 12:38 AM  

Sorry that they centred their comments on the chicken creature in "Vincent And The Doctor". Unless they were specifically discussing effects and art direction, the thing they "spent a lot of money on" in that story which was important was the script, from Richard Curtis, writer of Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually. The script managed to be funny, moving, and thoughtful, as well as incorporating a "monster".

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