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What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing

Niecy Nash-Betts accepts the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her performance in <em>Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.</em>
Valerie Macon
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AFP via Getty Images
Niecy Nash-Betts accepts the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her performance in Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

This week, the BAFTA nominations weren't wild about Barbie, Richard Simmons still just wanted to be left alone, and it was hard to know exactly what to make of J.Lo.

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

The Book of Clarence

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It's directed by Jeymes Samuel, who also directed the Western The Harder They Fall. This one is an epic biblical film that's inspired by movies like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments, but also has the humor of Mel Brooks and Monty Python. LaKeith Stanfield plays Clarence, who is a struggling hustler, the twin brother of one of Jesus Christ's apostles (also played by Stanfield.) Clarence is this non-believer who observes Jesus' influence and decides to proclaim himself a new messiah so he can collect money and pay off a debt. It's got a standout cast — David Oyelowo, Alfre Woodard, Teyana Taylor, Benedict Cumberbatch. The tonal balance doesn't always quite work, but it's fun, and dramatic, and stark — and it's worth seeing. — Aisha Harris

Lego Masters, on Fox and Hulu

Lego Masters is a fun, competition-based reality show in which teams of two are tasked by Will Arnett (who's very game game show host) to build Lego projects. You get this nice mix of art and science, and I'm already weirdly, emotionally invested in it, even though the stakes are not terribly high. If you are snowed in and looking for something to binge that will not tax your emotions, I cannot recommend Lego Masters highly enough. There are four seasons. — Stephen Thompson

Niecy Nash-Betts' Emmy acceptance speech

Niecy Nash-Betts winning the Emmy earlier this week and what resulted from it – like her backstage conversation where she was asked about that moment where she thanked herself:

I sawon Instagram the next morning she had gotten up and was like skinny dipping with the Emmy with her wife. I really appreciated what Niecy did in that moment. It was great to hear her say: No one believed in me like I did. — jarrett hill

The Historically Black Phrases live show

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jarrett hill

I've decided to go the shameless self-promotion route and say that the thing that is making me happy this week is that jarett hill and I have turned our bookHistorically Black Phrases,into a touring live game show that we are hosting. We are going to D.C., Atlanta, New York and LA throughout Black History Month. It's a lot of fun. We're planning it. We're writing original questions. You want to be there. Trust me. — Tre'vell Anderson

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

I mentioned it in last week's newsletter, but I thought American Nightmare on Netflix was really good. It's a sensational and weird story, but there's absolutely a serious point to the series when it comes to the operation of law enforcement. The Criminal podcast (which you should be listening to) has a great two-parter about the same case.

The soundtrack album from the Mean Girls movie (of the musical) is out now. While not all of the songs work, the ones that do are a treat, and the orchestrations are very interesting, particularly compared to how they were done on stage.

I loved reading Andrew Limbong's piece about Christina Applegate's appearance at the Emmys. She's great and funny, and she handled a potentially challenging situation so well.


Beth Noveyadapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" for the Web. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
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.)
jarrett hill
Tre'vell Anderson

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