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What's making us happy: What you should watch, read and listen to this weekend

Spirit Halloween

It was the week when we got a new Adele single. It was the week when Hollywood braced for a strike. Here's what NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.

Demi Adejuyigbe's Sept. 21 videos

For the last few years, my favorite end-of-summer tradition has been comedian Demi Adejuyigbe's September 21st videos. If you don't know Demi, he is a TV writer and a funny person and just an all around delight on Twitter (@electrolemon), where he does these choreographed productions to the tune of Earth, Wind and Fire's song "September." He's said this year's video is his last. -Stephen Thompson

Spirit Halloween

I have a new early fall tradition, and that is the musician and comedian Nick Lutsko and his Spirit Halloween videos. Last year, he recorded a song that was ostensibly supposed to be the theme for a Spirit Halloween store. If you've never seen a Spirit Halloween store, it's kind of what you'd imagine: It's a pop-up Halloween store full of skeletons and animatronics and stuff you put in your yard. And so, he created his own theme that kind of spirals off into this whole critique of Jeff Bezos, all in the span of about two minutes.

Of course, he wound up getting contacted by Spirit Halloween to do a sequel in which he purchased many thousands of dollars worth of animatronics, set them up in his basement and shot the second one. A couple of weeks ago, he completed the Halloween trilogy with "Spirit Halloween Planet."

Getting Nick Lutsko's Spirit Halloween theme stuck in my head is just going to be a part of this season, probably for the duration of my life. And for that, I'm very, very happy. - Stephen Thompson

The Departed

I don't understand how The Departed came out 15 years ago, but it is streaming on HBO Max and it is just very strangely a comfort movie for me.

You're getting villainous Matt Damon, which I think is still a little bit rare in terms of his public and movie persona, and you're getting what I think is the best Leonardo DiCaprio performance. It's the movie that's very easy for me to fall back into. Of course, that includes appreciating the very pointed commentary that Martin Scorsese is making about the people we trust and the mistakes we make and trusting them. -Roxana Hadadi

The podcast Suspect

I've been listening to the true-crime podcast Suspect — just like a lot of other people — and although I can't say it necessarily breaks new ground in true-crime podcasting, if you're looking for a listen that's gripping, it certainly will fit the bill. -Linda Holmes

Pop culture reads for your weekend

Friend of the show E. Alex Jung profiled friend of the show Kumail Nanjiani this week in Vulture.

There's been a lot of interesting writing about Dave Chappelle in the last couple of weeks; I recommend to you Saeed Jones' take in GQ, on the special and the guy. -Linda Holmes

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.
Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
Roxana Hadadi