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Pop Culture Happy Hour: TV Season Postmortem, Old People, Young People

NPR
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On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, I am back from vacation and back at the table, and boy, was I glad to be there.

We talk about the winners and losers of the last TV season and do one final check-in on the shows we picked in our TV fantasy segment last fall, which you will recall took place while I was hobbling around with a boot on my sprained ankle. (Remember my injury? IT WAS GLORIOUS.)

My pick was A Gifted Man, which is canceled. Glen's pick was Terra Nova, which is canceled. Trey's pick was Pan Am, which is canceled. Stephen's pick was Revenge. But Tanya Ballard Brown's picks were Once Upon A Time and Grimm and Scandal, and they're all coming back, so Tanya wins! And not Stephen, no matter what he tells you.

If you take an interest in our discussion of just how many shows have been canceled since the start of the fall season, perhaps you'll be interested in seeing the actual Post-It notes from which I read this impressive list.

/ Linda Holmes
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Linda Holmes

Of course, we've got plenty of hopes for the upcoming season, and if you can't figure out what Stephen and I are talking about when we get on the topic of touch-screen hair dryers (WHAT?), here's some help.

We also talk about the portrayals of the old and the young in a segment I am playfully calling "Sunrise, Sunset." (Mostly to make my mother cry.) We kick it off with a discussion of Betty White's Off Their Rockers (which apparently is coming back ... sigh), which reminds us that whether you do or you don't carry with you the idea of Betty White as the greatest person game shows ever knew, you should enjoy this compilation.

Believe it or not, Glen manages to tie zombies and vampires to how we feel about aging. Please understand we are talking about the fear of zombification as a metaphor, not actual zombification. Whee!

We also chat about kids and portrayals thereof, calling back to this horror show you might recall, as well as better portrayals in decent films and shows, including a very harrowing, very early performance from Tina Majorino.

Naturally, we close with What's Making Us Happy This Week. Glen enjoyed a little dancing, which he liked a lot better than the Washington Post did. Trey enjoyed this, while Stephen is all about this. And I warmly appreciated my vacation activities and my vacation reading list, including this and this, and I threw in this just because you totally need to read it because it's great.

PCHH Bullet Points:

  • The William Goldman quote "nobody knows anything" is from his highly entertaining book about Hollywood, Adventures In The Screen Trade. Goldman wrote The Princess Bride, as well as the screenplays for films including Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and All The President's Men.
  • Warren Littlefield's book Top Of The Rock is oodles of fun, and it discusses then-NBC executive Preston Beckman, now at Fox, and you should absolutely follow Preston Beckman on Twitter.
  • Did Patrick Wilson really tweet that he was happy his show was over? Apparently so.
  • Two great pieces on hate-watching Smash, from Tara Ariano at Slate and Emily Nussbaum atThe New Yorker. And Tara's piece on Betty White's Off Their Rockers at Grantland is mentioned on the show, too.
  • Did you get confused when Trey referred to Betty White's "dusty muffin speech"? We can help.
  • So come and find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: me, Trey, Stephen, Glen and Mike.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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