What Makes Us Happy: A Guide to Your Weekend Reading and Watching


This week, TikTok star Noodle the Pug and his owner Jonathan Graziano announced that the 13-year-old dog will be getting his very own picture book. The Grammys have been rescheduled and moved to Las Vegas, and Microsoft has announced that it will acquire Activision Blizzard, the games company behind Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

Here’s what NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour team was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.

20s: Austin on Netflix

I watched the new Netflix show called 20s: Austin, which is very similar The real world when it started. You’ve got eight young people in their twenties, they’re all moving to Austin – and like the original version of The real world, they all have to go out and find their own jobs.

They also separate men and women into two different houses connected to each other. It’s a very diverse cast in many ways. It’s very much a Gen-Z/Millennial show where there isn’t a lot of drama. It’s mostly about talking about our feelings, and when there’s a drama, everyone is very self-aware. —Aisha Harris

The onion: 20 years later

There’s a fascinating piece of cultural anthropology on Substack called The onion: 20 years later. A writer by the name of James daSilva takes a look at back issues of onion – and doesn’t just review them, doesn’t just talk about the jokes that work and don’t – but talks about the evolution of comedy, the evolution of readers’ perspectives and the stories that seem always relevant and those that are not. t and why.

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This is not only an opportunity to revisit those old problems of onion, which are, of course, very dear to my heart because I worked there. It’s just a really interesting look at life 20 years ago and how things went and didn’t go. —Stephen Thompson

Mix synchronicities

Mix synchronicities is produced by Dave Cowen, whom I met because I live with bipolar disorder. He also lives with bipolar disorder, and he found some of my writings and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.

He has this sub-pile where he basically mixes the songs and finds out how they sync with his life. Whenever I’m in the middle of a manic episode, I just feel like every song speaks to me, and he kind of plays into that, but making it a little less serious, a little less heavy. He is a great writer and he has a great taste for music. —Kiana Fitzgerald

NPR Kroc Fellow Mia Estrada adapted this Pop Culture Happy Hour segment into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider subscribe to our newsletter for recommendations on what makes us happy each week.


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