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What's making us happy: A guide for your weekend reading and viewing

Raquel Daniels and Kamari Bonds in <em>Twentysomethings: Austin</em> on Netflix.
Raquel Daniels and Kamari Bonds in Twentysomethings: Austin on Netflix.

This week, TikTok star Noodle the pug and his owner Jonathan Graziano announced the 13–year-old dog will get his very own picture book. The Grammys were rescheduled and moved to Las Vegas, and Microsoft announced that it'll acquire Activision Blizzard, the gaming company behind Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

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

Twentysomethings: Austin on Netflix

I've been watching the new-ish Netflix show called Twentysomethings: Austin, which is a lot like The Real World when it first began. You have eight young twentysomethings, they're all moving to Austin – and like the original version of The Real World, they all have to go out and find jobs of their own.

They also separate the men and the women into two different houses that are connected to one another. It's a very diverse cast in lots of ways. It's very much a Gen-Z/Millennial show where there isn't a lot of drama. It's mostly talking about our feelings, and when there is drama, everyone's very self-aware. — Aisha Harris

The Onion: 20 Years Later

There is a piece of fascinating cultural anthropology on Substack called The Onion: 20 Years Later. A writer named James daSilva looks at old issues of The Onion – and doesn't just review them, doesn't just talk about which jokes do and don't work – but talks about how comedy has evolved, how readers' perspectives have evolved, and which stories still feel relevant and which ones don't and why.

It's not only an opportunity to revisit these old issues of The Onion, which are, of course, very near and dear to my heart because I worked there. It's just a really interesting look at life 20 years ago and how things have and haven't evolved. — Stephen Thompson

Shuffle Synchronicities

Shuffle Synchronicitiesis produced by Dave Cowen, who I came across because I live with bipolar disorder. He also lives with bipolar disorder, and he found some of my writing and we've been keeping in touch since then.

He has this Substack where he basically shuffles songs and figures out how they synchronize with his life. Whenever I am in the midst of a manic episode, I just feel like every song is speaking to me, and he's kind of playing on that, but making it a little less serious, a little less heavy. He's a great writer and he has great taste in music. — Kiana Fitzgerald

NPR Kroc Fellow Mia Estrada adapted this Pop Culture Happy Hour segment into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider subscribing to our newsletter to get recommendations on what's making us happy every week.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Aisha Harris
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Stephen Thompson
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.)
Kiana Fitzgerald
Kiana Fitzgerald is a freelance music journalist, cultural critic, and DJ. She writes for the world from deep in the heart of Texas.
Mia Estrada
Mia Estrada is a 2021-2022 Kroc Fellow. She will spend the year rotating through different parts of NPR, including the Culture Desk, National Desk and Weekend Edition.