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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Arcades, Nose Putty, And Lisbeth Salander's Parents

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As you may recall, last week's storm (big hugs to those of you still dealing with that mess) left us without a show, but we have returned this week with a fully stuffed episode in which we spend a little time on what we meant talk about last week: Cloud Atlas, which Stephen and I in particular did not want to have seen at almost 10:00 at night for nothing. (Believe it or not, Stephen is still obsessed with this Les Miserables featurette, which he is convinced is seven minutes long despite the fact that it is not seven minutes long. I am seriously considering some sort of urchin-themed Rickrolling project in which people would send Stephen what purported to be links to new Sera Cahoone music but actually went straight to that featurette, or particularly to the "WHAT HAVE I DONE?" part, which is his favorite.)

Aaaaanyhoo, we then move on to this week's film, the enchanting Wreck-It Ralph, which we liked with a few reservations.

We pick up another listener suggestion by jumping off of this TED talk by Lemn Sissay, in which the poet and playwright talks (among other things) about fiction's total fascination with children separated from their parents, from Harry Potter to Luke Skywalker to Lisbeth Salander to Superman. We speculate about why, even beyond the well-known Disney movies with missing parents, fiction is so fascinated by kids growing up without their parents or the parents they had at birth. (Please note: this is about kids without parents or people they call parents, not kids who are adopted, who obviously do have parents and are not in this discussion. I am always fearful that my choice of words will somehow appear to get that wrong.) We talk about how living without your parents reflects mythology — both ancient and less ancient — and how it changes the focus of a narrative.

And finally, we talk about what's making us happy this week. Glen is playing the heck out of the American Revolution. Trey is enjoying Acorn TV, even though we gave out the wrong URL. Sorry! Stephen is violating the Zaxxon rule all over the place and wondering whether Windows 8 is reading his mind. And I enjoyed some time last week with an old favorite show that was surprisingly pleasant to revisit.

Please keep in touch with us — you can find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter:me, Trey, Glen, Stephen, producer Jess, and our producer emeritus and music director Mike.

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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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