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Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Smaug Problem And The Holiday Music Blues

A drawing of two clinking martini glasses.
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On this week's round-table podcast, featuring special guest Chris Klimek, we start with a conversation about The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. We talk about the dragon, the dragon-izer, the walking, the absence of lengthy dishwashing sequences, and many, many other things. Can Glen continue to hold the line for hairy-foot fans? You'll have to find out for yourself. (You can also check out the Village Voice review Chris references.)

[By the way, if this episode came to your podcast feed titled ENTER TITLE, we know! We're sorry. This is affecting a bunch of NPR podcasts, and we hope it's fixed soon.]

And then we find ourselves bells-deep in a conversation about holiday music, spurred by a piece Chris recently published in Slate. His thesis: there hasn't been a new holiday tune added to the canon in many years — not since "All I Want For Christmas Is You." The rest of us try less to argue that the canon has indeed accommodated new songs and more to suggest songs that might be deserving and reasons they might not have made it.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about an exhibit so great he got out his tux for it. Chris is happy about a piece of theater he particularly enjoyed. (Because he was sitting in Trey's chair, you see.) Glen was happy about ... well, you'll hear it. And I was happy about a very high-quality Showtime show that brought me a lot of thoughtful fodder over the last couple of weeks.

Find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Glen, Chris, Trey, producer Sarah Ventre, and our esteemed producer emeritus and music director, Mike Katzif.

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