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What NPR critics are watching, reading and listening to this weekend

Keke Palmer, Leiomy Maldonado, and Law Roach, hosts of <em>Legendary</em>.
John Johnson/HBO Max
Keke Palmer, Leiomy Maldonado, and Law Roach, hosts of <em>Legendary</em>.

This week, Kourtney Kardashian got married, a small group of workers at Activision Blizzard unionized and the summer movie season kicked off with the Belcher family.

Here's what NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.

Still Processing, with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham

I'm really enjoying the latest season of Still Processing, The New York Times culture podcast with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham.

There's an episode about Fatal Attraction, an episode about method acting, and an episode about athletes acting in movies. To me, what connects them all is aspects of moviemaking that have gone by the wayside.

Outside of the podcast, there have been lots of conversations about how we're just not seeing as much sex in films, and there are a lot of misunderstandings about what method acting is, and I just really appreciate listening to Wesley and Jenna's thoughts on how movies have changed over the years. –Marc Rivers

Eurovision compilations

Since I'm in Eurovision withdrawal, I've been watching a lot of compilations that fans have made of their local coverage. Countries have different commentators depending on where people are watching from. In the United States, we had Johnny Weir, but there are so many great ones, and it's been very fun to go on YouTube and giggle through a five minute compilation of Graham Norton's BBC coverage. –Daisy Rosario

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars

This season, the contestants on Drag Race are all past winners, so it's very serious, and might also have had the best snatch game the show has ever seen. They're also trying a new format where none of the queens will be leaving. Instead, the show will be using a point structure to determine who wins at the end of the season.

I think it's great, because there've been some very controversial eliminations in past iterations of the show where some very talented people were voted off, and watching them go home is not always the best thing for the show. –Daisy Rosario

Legendary on HBO Max

Legendary is in its third season now. If you're not familiar with the show Legendary, it is basically ballroom culture in a reality competition show. Ballroom is this incredible art form that mixes costumes, performances and dancing, and was started by Black and Brown queer people – you can see it in Paris Is Burning or Pose, and I'm sure it's watered down for this show, but it's just so much fun to watch.

This season Keke Palmer is taking over for Megan Thee Stallion as one of the regular judges on the panel, Law Roach is cattier than he's ever been and they even have an international house from France. I just love this show and watching incredible performances every week. –Aisha Harris

Ranking SNL musical guests

For the fifth consecutive year, I have ranked each musical guest that appeared on Saturday Night Live. This is a tremendous undertaking that I love doing, and there were some really strong performances this season. Also, Post Malone performed. –Stephen Thompson

This year's Tiny Desk Contest winner

The other great annual tradition that I'm so excited about is that we have announced the winner of this year's Tiny Desk contest! She is a wonderful singer named Alisa Amador, and we just recorded her Tiny Desk concert at the NPR headquarters, which was a very emotional experience for us.

If you have not heard her song, it is called "Milonga accidental," and you can tell in the first 10 seconds from her phrasing and from her tone just how good she is. –Stephen Thompson

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter:

  • I was deeply moved by this beautiful piece over at RogerEbert.com about Bob's Burgers and the way something you really love can save you. 
  • I recently watched Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation from 1974, starring Gene Hackman as a paranoid surveillance expert. This will be a shocker, but: that's a darn good movie that hasn't lost a step. 
  • All the This Is Us people among you will want to check out the take on the finale from NPR's Eric Deggans, including a conversation with creator Dan Fogelman.  –Linda Holmes

  • NPR's Fi O'Reilly adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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