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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Oscar Nominees And 'Looking'

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The Oscar nominations are so strangely timed (for us) that we didn't get to them last week, so this is the week we take a look at what didn't make the cut that we wish had gotten through. Nothing will cast light on this discussion more than Mark Harris' terrific piece at Grantland about the effect of the expanded Best Picture field on all the other categories, which hasn't been as ... well, as expansive as you might have hoped. We chat about my favorite coming-of-age tale of 2014, a couple of performances we loved, and a directing nomination Stephen couldn't believe wasn't to be.

We then move on to the new HBO show Looking, which launched last weekend and has already been the subject of a startling number of think pieces. There's the straight man's guide to Looking at Esquire. There's the piece at Slate that says it's boring and features characters who could only exist with a limited understanding of "gay thought." There's a fine piece from Richard Lawson at Vanity Fair calling the show "as gay as it needs to be." But for the most part, we think it's an intriguing and promising show, and we chat about what exactly is the obligation of a single show to stand for an entire population.

And as always, we close with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about watching a trilogy that concluded earlier this year. Trey is happy about ... well, more of Looking, and one performance in particular. Glen is happy, just as you might presume him to be, about the upcoming release of a '60s show that has comet trails all over the superhero and television culture that followed. And I am happy about a show I had entirely given up on that I am enjoying all over again.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Glen, Trey, producers Nickand Lauren, and eternal pal and music director Mike Katzif.

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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