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What's Making Us Happy: A Guide For Your Weekend Watching, Listening And Reading

In the new show <em>Reservation</em> <em>Dogs, </em>four Native teens commit crimes to fund their efforts to leave their home in rural Oklahoma.
In the new show <em>Reservation</em> <em>Dogs, </em>four Native teens commit crimes to fund their efforts to leave their home in rural Oklahoma.

It's been a week full of heavy news from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan to the COVID surges in the U.S. to the destruction in Haiti after a massive earthquake. We hope you're managing in whatever way works best for you. That may mean finding ways to help Afghan refugees or support relief efforts in Haiti. You might also need a break, so we're here with a few things that might offer a respite or a moment of levity.

What to watch

Nine Perfect Strangers, Hulu

Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers is based on Liane Moriarty's book, produced by David E. Kelley, and starring Nicole Kidman. For all those reasons, it's a clear follow-up to Big Little Lies. This story of nine people who wind up at a ritzy wellness retreat isn't always as compelling as I wish it were, but great performances from a cast that includes Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon and Bobby Cannavale make it worth checking out. -- Linda Holmes

Reservation Dogs, FX on Hulu

I am finding joy in a new television series called Reservation Dogs. It's about four young teenagers in Oklahoma on the reservation who kind of turn to a life of crime and justice. It's directed by Sterlin Harjo, who is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. It's a teen drama and is completely referential to Quentin Tarantino and the whole history of indie film. It's worldbuilding at its very best, and the young actors are magnetic. — Ann Powers

What to listen to

"Hypnodancer" by Little Big

I am recommending something incredibly stupid that has made me laugh and laugh. It is a band from Russia called Little Big. They have a series of viral videos and they were supposed to be Russia's representative in the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest before it was canceled last year. Their songs are so ridiculous, satirical and loud. They've got a bunch of videos, each more ridiculous than the one before. — Stephen Thompson

"Amaneki" by Sweet William and Ichiko Aoba

One thing that's quieting my brain and giving me reprieve from reporting on Afghanistan all week is a song called "Amaneki" by Sweet William and Ichiko Aoba. It's just very ambient and beautiful. It's like floating away on a cloud. I put in on every night when I go to bed, and it's still playing when I wake up in the morning. I have no doubt it's going to be the top song of my Spotify Wrapped this year. -- Cyrena Touros

Dr. Death podcast, Wondery

You probably know by now whether you like the Wondery podcast Dr. Death or not. It has its own style, its own flavor. If you use it for company while cleaning, as I do, be aware that they've started a new season, and you'll never guess: It's about a bad doctor. -- Linda Holmes

What to read

Normal People by Sally Rooney

I am very late on this, but I just read Sally Rooney's Normal People, and it was very disturbing. I listened to it as a audiobook and it just kept going. It was thrilling. So I am very excited to watch the TV show on Hulu and be even more disturbed. — LaTesha Harris

What else has been making us happy recently?

There's more where this came from! Five days a week, Pop Culture Happy Hour serves you recommendations and commentary on the buzziest movies, TV, music, books, videogames and more. Subscribe here >>

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