What to watch and read this weekend: NPR
This week started not with a bang, but with a series of rowdy tweets announcing the winners of the Golden Globes, after a year in which the awards were mired in controversy. The soundtrack of Encanto reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and the Library of Congress announced the winner of the 2022 Gershwin Prize: Lionel Richie.
Here’s what NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour team was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
Remembering Dwayne Hickman
The death of Dwayne Hickman, who was Dobie Gillis on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis in the 1950s and 1960s, got me down this rabbit hole watching old music videos of him on shows like The Bob Cummings Show, which was also called I love this Bob. I wonder why I liked it, don’t I? At nine years old, I thought it was the best thing in the world.
I watched four or five episodes recently, and to say it takes me back is an understatement. It’s just kind of a throwback to my youth as we start in 2022. —Bob Mondello
Great crew on NBC
Unsafe, unfortunately, left us and ended. But we are already seeing the fruits of Issa Rae’s labor, in Great crew. It’s a new show on NBC created by Phil Augusta Jackson, who wrote for Unsafe, as well as shows like Brooklyn nine-nine and Wrench and Peele.
It’s a show that’s, like Unsafe, located in LA and on a group of friends – but Great crew is a little more focused on male friendships. He has a lot more happy endings, how I Met Your Mother vibes, in the best possible way. One of the show’s main characters is Noah, played by Echo Kellum. He often wants to be in a relationship, and when his relationships end, his whole life falls apart. He’s a mess. Nicole Byer plays her sister, and they have so much chemistry. It’s really fun. I hope it stays. —Aisha Harris
A swim in a pond in the rain: in which four Russians give a master class on writing, reading and life by George Saunders
It is essentially a class in the new classic as a form.
He focuses on crafting it all, the How? ‘Or’ What and Why line by line: how you create and maintain tension; how things like the length of your sentences and paragraphs manipulate your reader’s mood; what describing something with different types of images does to your reader’s imagination. And finally, how you have the responsibility, as a writer, to anticipate your reader’s expectations, and then to confuse them in a way that remains satisfying.
Saunders does this by presenting a set of short stories by four Russian authors: Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev and Nikolai Gogol. On some level, it’s a pale buck that speaks to the quality of those other four pale bucks. But it’s a class in essence, right?
And he’s an extremely passionate and talented writer who is basically interested in something with great specificity, great utility. It never comes across as condescending, elitist, or titled because it truly wants to share with you the techniques these writers employ. —Glen Weldon
70s Dinner Party: An Instagram Account
There’s this Instagram called 70s Dinner Party. It looks back at culinary, dining and hospitality trends of the 70s. The account posts pages from old cookbooks and Good Housekeeping-type magazines, where they tell housewives and housewives how best to entertain guests.
I didn’t grow up in this country, corn there are lots and lots of Jell-O salads — which, not to bellow anyone’s yum — are so disgusting. My favorite is called “24 hour vegetable salad”. If you’ve run out of dinner ideas, if you ever find yourself saying “I miss what I’m eating so much”, this is the Instagram page for you. — Bedatri Choudhury
NPR Kroc Fellow Mia Estrada adapted this Pop Culture Happy Hour segment into a digital page.