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

Isa Briones, left, Will Price, Miles McKenna, Zack Morris and Ana Yi Puig in <em>Goosebumps.</em>
David Astorga
/
Disney
Isa Briones, left, Will Price, Miles McKenna, Zack Morris and Ana Yi Puig in Goosebumps.

This week, there were some big book awards, Kevin Hart was honored, and a lawsuit was filed against Sean Combs.

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

Matt Rogers' song "Hottest Female Up In Whoville"

"Hottest Female Up In Whoville" is a song is from Matt Rogers' Christmas album, Have You Heard of Christmas? (You might know Matt as the co-host of the podcast Las Culturistas.) This album is Christmas bops and a comedy album. Every song has a story that Matt wrote and worked on with his creative partner/pianist Henry Koperski. This song is told from the perspective of the Christine Baranski character in the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas — she's hot, she's messing with the Grinch, and Matt builds this narrative that her sexual proclivities have prevented her from making genuine female friendships in Whoville. — Candice Lim

Goosebumps on Disney+ and Hulu

Like plenty of other millennials,I grew up on Goosebumps books, but I feel like most of the film adaptations have seemed kind of cheesy. So I was kind of skeptical about the new Goosebumps TV series, but I gave it a chance. Each of the first few episodes focuses on a different high schooler and the monster of the week that they're dealing with — whether it's like a possessed camera or a haunted mask. And those stories interweave and connect and by episode five, they're all converging as part of one storyline. I have really been enjoying it. — J.C. Howard

André 3000's new album, New Blue Sun

This week, NPR Music broke the story that André 3000 of Outkast will be releasing his the first album in 17 years. I have absolutely loved watching the discourse around this very weird album. It is an 87-minute album with no rapping, and no singing, and a whole lot of wind instruments. The song titles on this album are so funny and so weird; the first track, which kind of explains the M.O. of this record, is called "I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A 'Rap' Album But This Is Literally The Way The Wind Blew Me This Time." I see a project like this and I just think: Man, I love art. — Stephen Thompson


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 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: November 18, 2023 at 12:00 AM EST
An earlier version of this story misspelled the band name Outkast as Outcast.
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Candice Lim
J.C. Howard
J.C. Howard is a producer for TED Radio Hour and How I Built This with Guy Raz. He started with NPR as an intern for How I Built This in May 2018 and began producing in his current capacity in January 2019.
Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson is a host, writer and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist and guest host on All Songs Considered. Thompson also co-hosts the daily NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created with NPR's Linda Holmes in 2010. 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.)