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What's Making Us Happy: A Guide For Your Weekend Watching, Listening And Reading

Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong star in the Apple TV+, <em>Schmigadoon!</em>
Apple TV+
Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong star in the Apple TV+, Schmigadoon!

This week, Scarlett Johansson sued Disney, we all held our breath until Bob Odenkirk was feeling better, and we navigated a bunch of time zones and streaming servicesto watch the Olympics-- or not to. But there's plenty to do this weekend that might not be on your radar, so we've got a roundup of recommendations to keep you busy when the track and the pool are quiet.

What To Watch

Schmigadoon!, Apple TV+: I am loving Schmigadoon on Apple TV+. It stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key as a couple who are essentially trapped in a town that's a 1940s musical. It is supposed to be the equivalent of hell, but honestly, I would love to live in Schmigadoon, even if only for a week. I smile from ear to ear every time I watch it. I bounce along with every single episode. — Kristen Meinzer

Myth & Mogul: John DeLorean, Netflix: This documentary series looks back at the rise and fall (really big rise, really big fall) of the man who became best known for his criminal trial and his commitment to car doors that opened upward. It makes for an interesting study of the kind of rich person we had a few decades ago, when a rich person could still run out of money, before being rich meant having billions of dollars and no chance of ever running out of money. — Linda Holmes

The Weight Of Gold, HBO: This documentary premiered last summer, but I want to recommend it again. It's about the grave mental health risks of Olympic training and participation, and it makes it seem all the more necessary for athletes to start prioritizing their own well-being. It's a very rough sit — content warnings for suicide and other mental health problems — but everyone from Michael Phelps to Sasha Cohen to Apolo Anton Ohno has wisdom to impart about how gold medals come with a lot of strings attached. — Linda Holmes

Small Town News: KPVM Pahrump, HBO: I'm not sure this unscripted show about an independently owned Nevada TV station entirely works all the time; they're going for a kind of "can-do community spirit" vibe, and for a workplace comedy feel, and some of what's going on is really pretty sad. But there are some people who are definitely, as we say, "characters," and some I certainly rooted for. It starts Monday night, August 2. — Linda Holmes

Sean Bankhead's Choreography in "Wild Side" and "INDUSTRY BABY," YouTube

If you do not know Sean Bankhead by name, you probably know him by his fantastic choreography, which has shown up most recently in Lil Nas X's "INDUSTRY BABY" music video, and Normani's video for "Wild Side" featuring Cardi B. I am currently obsessed with both, but especially "Wild Side." They even put up a tutorial to learn the choreography for the video. If I was not a 30-something-year-old who is not as flexible as I used to be, I would be learning this. — Aisha Harris

What To Read

As a Native American sports journalist something that's made me happy very recently is the name change from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians. I was very excited to see this — very, very happy. I put this big Twitter thread out about my feelings as a Native journalist and it was shared hundreds of times, got thousands of comments and likes and I wasn't brutally, viciously attacked. I was actually surprised this time around because I have gotten a lot of pushback for things I've said about the former name for The Washington Football Team and the Kansas City Chiefs.

I was curious and looked up the Cleveland Indians on Twitter and their handle is @Indians. And I was like OK, well, what's @Guardians? It turns out it is Guardians of the Galaxy. And what really got me was a tweet by James Gunn, former director of Guardians of the Galaxy, that said if the new Cleveland Guardians mascot is not a raccoon with a machine gun, like the character Rocket from the movies, he's going to be bummed. He won the internet that day. — Vincent Schilling

What Else Has Been Making Us Happy Recently?

There's more where this came from! Five days a week, Pop Culture Happy Hour serves you recommendations and commentary on the buzziest movies, TV, music, books, videogames and more. Subscribe here >>

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Kristen Meinzer
Vincent Schilling