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NPR Arts & Life

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Difficult People' And Amusement Parks

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Difficult People' And Amusement Parks

Linda Holmes is this close to returning home from two and a half weeks at the Television Critics Association press tour — so close, she swears can practically feel the fabric of the sheets on her very own bed — but she's absent from this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour taping. Which, in turn, means two very special guests on this week's show: Super-librarian Margaret H. Willison and Code Switch lead blogger Gene Demby join Glen Weldon and me for a spirited and wide-ranging discussion.

First up: the new Hulu original series Difficult People, which stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner as best friends in New York who don't like very many of the folks around them. Opinions within our panel vary about as widely as opinions are ever likely to vary on this show; we disagree with the sort of intensity we usually reserve for debates about Tootsie Rolls or talking to people at parties. One not-very-shocking spoiler is that Glen is absolutely and utterly in the tank for this half-hour comedy and the people on it, but we've got plenty more to say from there.

From there, this week's episode just gets looser and looser as we take on amusement parks: theme parks, water parks, outdoor attractions of all stripes, and anywhere else funnel cakes are sold. Amazingly, all of our respective amusement-park roads somehow, at some point, lead to Pennsylvania — Hershey Park, Great Adventure, Kennywood outside Pittsburgh — but we also take detours through Coney Island, Wisconsin Dells, Disney-owned super-parks, childhood traumas and deep-friend Oreos.

Finally, as always, we close with What's Making Us Happy this week. Margaret is psyched for this new musical with a Sara Bareilles score, as well as a favorite TV comedy. It's been recommended on the show in recent months, but Gene throws additional praise in the direction of this recent book, as well as new albums by neo-soul acts: this one and this one. Glen is thrilled by The Odd Gentlemen's new reboot of a videogame classic. And I've got kind words for The New York Times' new TV critic, a Twitter feed close to my heart and a gorgeous moment from a recent TV finale.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Glen, Margaret, Gene, absent Linda, producer Jessica, and pal and producer emeritus Mike.

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