Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'O.J.: Made In America' And A Quiz
This is our 300th episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour — not counting Small Batch editions, which would drive the number significantly higher — so now's as good a time as any to thank everyone who's listened, supported us both within and outside NPR, and/or appeared on the show itself. We're feeling awfully appreciative that we've been allowed to stick around this long.
Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Code Switch's Gene Demby and I kick off Episode 300 by trying to wrap our heads around a daunting project: Ezra Edelman's towering new five-part, seven-and-a-half-hour ESPN documentary about O.J. Simpson, titled O.J.: Made In America. Rather than merely focus on the famous trial in which the former football star was accused (and, in a controversial decision, acquitted) of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994, Edelman tells a much more sprawling and ambitious story. (For more on O.J.: Made In America, please read Linda's tremendous essay from last week.)
Naturally, there's a lot to unpack, but we're all pretty effusive about Edelman's work — particularly the way he contextualizes Simpson's life and very complicated relationship with race against a backdrop of unrest in and around Los Angeles. We discuss highlights from O.J.: Made In America, offer a few thoughts on Edelman's interview subjects (including prosecutor Marcia Clark and former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman), and note the inclusion, particularly in the series' fourth installment, of some extremely graphic crime-scene photos.
Then it's on to a far more lighthearted segment, recorded in May at the Vulture Festival in New York, in which Linda quizzes Glen, guest Audie Cornish and me about extremely short-lived TV shows. No spoilers, of course, but you will note that I do find an exciting new way to embarrass myself while taking a quiz on Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Then, of course, we close with What's Making Us Happy this week. I cosign last week's recommendation (by guest Margaret H. Willison) of a musical running at New York Theatre Workshop until the end of July. Glen raves about a gripping, Batman-adjacent graphic novel. Gene courts my eternal jealousy by recounting a recent stadium concert he got to see. And Linda loves a new TV show on an unlikely network.
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