Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Join as a sustainer and help unlock $10k. Just 24 sustainers to go!

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Spiders And Kittens And Lots Of Gratitude

Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

It's been a while since we were all at the table together, but this week, the PCHH team returns in force to talk about The Amazing Spider-Man, whether it matters whether a film is "necessary," and whether charming leads are enough to make up for certain story shortfalls, if we presume that they exist. What will happen? Who will compare Spider-Man to Hamlet? Who will call Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker "moist"? (Okay, that one is me.) There are some basic Spider-Man spoilers, but we did what we could not to blow plot points of this particular movie.

We talk about the story, and about some of the reviews, including the one from Dana Stevens in Slate. And here's what I wrote about it myself.

Our second topic today is the second annual Appreciation Day, the holiday Stephen invented last year wherein you take to social media, using the #appreciationday hashtag, and say nice things to all the people you really like. We'll be appreciating people on Sunday, which is Appreciation Day (observed) this year. Stephen is getting things off to a strong start by making his epic essay about being the captain of the softball team at The Onion (believe me, it's a very fine piece of work) available to you in PDF form. Take advantage of this.

And once we've done that, we all talk about some of the things we've grown to appreciate. And I know that the thing you want most is the kittens in Brooklyn. THE KITTENS! You can see them all here, and specifically, you can see Tommy here. He wants a home! He needs a home! Also, please note that this grumpy-looking one is me. OF COURSE IT IS.

And then, of course, it's what's making us happy this week. This is making Glen happy (and contains a smidgen of strong language). Several different things are making Trey happy, but primarily this. Arcade games make another appearance in making Stephen happy, and small things continue to be mostly what's making me happy.

Naturally, you can find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: me, Trey, Stephen, Glen and Mike.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

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.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.