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NPR Arts & Life

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Movie Stars And Eurovision

George Clooney stars as Lee Gates in <em>Money Monster.</em>
George Clooney stars as Lee Gates in <em>Money Monster.</em>

Over the years that we've been doing Pop Culture Happy Hour, there are a few things we've been repeatedly asked to cover that we haven't figured out how to do for logistical reasons. One of them is the Eurovision Song Contest. A decades-old tradition watched by hundreds of millions of people who aren't Americans, it didn't come to American television until this year, when Logo ran the grand finale live for the first time. We — including fourth chair Barrie Hardymon — watched, and we talked about the singing, the costumes, the hosts, the sense of irony, the politics, and the swelling of national pride.

That's how it came to be that the B segment about singers we in the studio had never heard of came to be explained in the blog post before the A segment about Julia Roberts and George Clooney. Specifically, we all saw Money Monster, and we talk a bit about whether there's anything to it beyond its movie stars — and then we talk about movie stars. Do they still matter? What did they and what do they do for Hollywood and for audiences? What does it even mean to be a movie star if people mostly go and see you in a particular franchise?

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about discovering an old favorite with a consistent favorite, and then there's a whole plot development within his explanation, and ... you just have to hear it for yourself. Glen is very sad about the loss of comics artist Darwyn Cooke, but glad for the remembrances that followed. Barrie is happy about some books she heard about recently, and about some books she's discovered on her own after catching adaptations on TV. And I am happy about perhaps the best reaction ever to a show being canceled.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Stephen, Glen, Barrie and producer Jessica.

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