pop culture

Elm Road Drive-In Theatre in Warren, Ohio, reopened over the weekend.
Elm Road Drive-In Theatre / Facebook

Much of the country remains shut down because of the coronavirus, but one nostalgic form of entertainment gets back into full swing in Ohio this weekend.

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect nearly every facet of life, including some governors moving to temporarily shutter movie theaters, Comcast NBCUniversal announced a potentially industry-altering change: It will allow customers to view new films at home through video on demand the same day as their theatrical release.

Trolls World Tour, slated to open in the U.S. on April 10, will be the first to kick off the new initiative.

The latest round of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions were announced today, and Whitney Houston is the only woman honored.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 35th annual class of inductees, honoring six musical acts — Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex — as well as veteran rock journalist, producer and artist manager Jon Landau.

The inducted musicians were chosen from a ballot of 16 finalists, which meant fans of Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy will have to wait at least another year for Rock Hall validation.

Standard caveats (really standard — same as last year and the year before): I don't watch everything. I am behind on many things. That's just the way the world is. So if something you loved isn't here, it is not a rebuke.

Alex Trebek, who has hosted the Jeopardy! game show since 1984, announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

"Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working," Trebek said in a video announcing his illness. "And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."

Standard caveats (really standard — same as last year!): I don't watch everything. I am behind on many things. That's just the way the world is. So if something you loved isn't here, it is not a rebuke.

A Marvel Of A Man: Stan Lee Dead At 95

Nov 12, 2018

American comic book writer, editor, publisher and former President of Marvel Comics Stan Lee died Monday at the age of 95.

Lee gave us over six decades of work like The Incredible Hulk and The Amazing Spider-Man — superheroes we could identify with, characters that allowed us to suspend our disbelief because they reacted to bizarre situations like you or I might.

Murphy Brown

Sep 13, 2018
Courtesy of CBS

The late-80’s hit television series “Murphy Brown” makes its way back to primetime this fall. Centered on the life of a top female broadcast journalist with a knack for calling out hypocrisy and sparking controversy, the show won five Emmy awards over the course of 10 seasons.

"I'm — I'm literally vibrating with excitement."

That's it — that's when we knew. We had barely even introduced this week's fourth chair — charming host of NPR's Bullseye and podcast network mogul Jesse Thorn — when he volunteered how excited he was to discuss the venerable and venerated PBS staple Antiques Roadshow. If you know and love Jesse's smooth, sardonic persona from his show or his podcasts, you'll probably enjoy hearing him wax fanboy-passionate about objects that have a story — and about this very odd, and oddly appealing show.

Two Dollar Radio

Hanif Abdurraqib, the author of the acclaimed essay collection They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, announced a two-book deal with Random House last month. But the vote of confidence from a major New York City-based publisher hasn’t lessened his dedication for his home city of Columbus.

Ahead of Sunday night's 60th Grammy Awards ceremony, a new study published by University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finds that more than 90 percent of Grammy nominees in the past six years have been male. Stacey Smith, co-author of the study — titled Inclusion in the Recording Studio? -- says there is an "epidemic of invisibility" in the music industry, particularly in songwriting and producing.

Only a few minutes into Sunday night's Golden Globes red-carpet broadcast on E!, Debra Messing explained to host Giuliana Rancic why nearly all the women were wearing black. (The men were, too, but they always do that.) Messing explained that it was part of the Time's Up initiative, which supports women who suffer from sexual harassment and assault — and not just in Hollywood. She went on to call out the recent departure from E!

Standard caveats: I don't watch everything! I am behind on many things. That's just the way the world is. So if something you loved isn't here, it is not a rebuke.

The three of us — NPR movie critic Bob Mondello, Pop Culture Happy Hour host Linda Holmes and me, a writer for the NPR Arts Desk and Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist — didn't share our lists of favorite 2017 movies with one other beforehand, so it's interesting to see us all agreeing on so many great films (The Big Sick, Call Me By Your Name, The Florida Project and Get Out).

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