It was the week the artist who sang a defining song of the era walked to the sea, looking straight ahead, not at h/sh/me. It was the week the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation began crashing into the protective sandbag wall that is the US Constitution. And that was the week your social feeds were filled with photos of a tiny orange sun hanging in an orange sky, like someone throwing a basketball from a great height into a sea of sherbet.
Here’s what the NPR pop culture happy hour the crew was careful – and what you should check out this weekend.
Luis Miguel’s cover of “I only want to be with you” – “Ahora Te Puedes Marchar”
So part of my job is to travel across the country to eat at restaurants, which is a wonderful privilege. And one of the benefits of that is that I can eat at restaurants that have really good playlists. And so a lot of my taste in music comes from songs I’ve heard in restaurants. And a few weeks ago, I was at a restaurant in Houston called Tatemó, and I heard an absolutely amazing cover of “I Only Want to Be With You” by Dusty Springfield by Luis Miguel. And instead it was called “Ahora Te Puedes Marchar”, which means “you can leave now”. It’s like an all-Spanish version. Dare I say it’s better than the original Dusty Springfield? It’s such a bop. — Priya Krishna
Doctor Who’s upcoming 60th birthday
It’s the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who this November…it’s a British sci-fi series about a character called The Doctor, and they travel through space and time, usually with a companion. And in November, there will be a three-episode special to celebrate the 60th anniversary. And a lot of people are excited about this special because the show has had a tough few years under different creative directions. But the incoming showrunner is Russell T Davies, who brought the series back in 2005. And those specials that are coming, and the upcoming series is supposed to bring back a lot of favorite characters and also introduce new actors to the Doctor Who universe: Neil Patrick Harris, Jinkx Monsoon, Jonathan Groff, Ncuti Gatwa. … So all that to say, what makes me happy this week, this year, is that I’m reliving the revival series. It’s on Max and I’ll be on Max and in Doctor Who by November. —JC Howard
Shiny Happy People: Secrets of the Duggar Family
Well, I don’t know if “happy” is the right word for how this makes me feel, but Amazon Prime has a new docu-series called Bright happy people. … The show dives really deep into what was really going on behind the scenes with the Duggar family on 19 children and counting and how…this show [was] billed as truly wholesome Americana – a throwback to old-fashioned values.
What do we mean by “outdated values”? What do we mean by “back when America was great again?” We all know what that means. … Tabloid journalism has played a role in presenting this image, but also in uncovering the truth. …
Showing isn’t just about entertainment and it’s not just about religion — it’s also about politics and pushing these people to the pinnacle of political power in America. So it’s a really fascinating sight for anyone curious: how did right-wing religious politics come to be what it is today? It’s not just about a weird family. These are bigger issues in America. –Kristen Meinzer
Jessie Ware’s new album This! Feels! GOOD! and the song “Pearls”
So what makes me happy is that for the last few weeks I’ve been playing Jessie Ware’s latest album almost non-stop. This! It feels good! There are several excellent exclamation marks in there. It’s just such a delight. It’s very dancefloor heavy disco. If you remember his previous album, What is your pleasure? Which kind of worked in the same kind of disco groove. That’s it — but taken as the nth degree. …
Are you going to put this on and it’s going to make you so happy and so excited? Because it’s a very exciting album. One of my favorite songs on the album is called “Pearls”. Just all that little disco revival in general that happened through music. I’m always here for a disco revival. …I like disco, I like Jessie Ware. —Aisha Harris
More Recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour Newsletter
by Glen Weldon
In comedian John Early’s new HBO special, now more than ever, he brings his hilarious, self-involved comedian character “John Early” to the stage for an hour of songs, stand-up comedy and fun social commentary. He also brings his parents, and ends by unleashing a frankly surprising falsetto on a cover of “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer. You will feel it too.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel came out on a solid final season, made even stronger in that it finally showed her hard at work, and didn’t feature every character on the damn show constantly telling her how wonderful she was. At Marc Maron WTF podcast, he has the showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino will perform a lap of honor — and to talk about the arc of his career in a candid and engaging way.
NPR’s Tilda Wilson and Beth Novey adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment “What’s Making Us Happy” into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider subscription to our newsletter for recommendations each week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple podcast And Spotify.