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What’s Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing and gaming

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What’s Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing and gaming

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Sara Bareilles, left, Paula Pell, Busy Philipps and Renée Elise Goldsberry in Girls5eva Season 3.

Emily V. Aragones/Netflix


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Emily V. Aragones/Netflix


Sara Bareilles, left, Paula Pell, Busy Philipps and Renée Elise Goldsberry in Girls5eva Season 3.

Emily V. Aragones/Netflix

This week, an influential audience was offered up an AI buffet and was not having any; even the most garbage show could have the most moralistic reunion; and we were all reminded that even James Bond has to follow the rules.

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

Love Is Blind, on Netflix

YouTube

Love Is Blind is really the first reality show since the early seasons of Real Housewives of New York that I have followed. Once you start watching any reality franchise your entire life becomes that franchise because there’s a season that comes out every quarter. Love Is Blind America is on Season 6. I am in these people’s lives. I am in their experiment drama. Reality TV is difficult for me because I don’t like it when people fight with each other — I’m fine with it in fiction — but when I see people hurting each other’s feelings on TV, I’m like, I don’t want to watch this, this is not a sport, I do not want to cheer these people on. But apparently Love Is Blind is a formula that works for me. — Jordan Crucchiola

Movie Grid

I’m not a gamer, but I do enjoy little website games. There’s this website called moviegrid.io which is a really lovely game. Basically it’s a three-by-three grid and on one side there are actor or director names. And then across the top it might say “$100 million movie” or “Oscar-winning performance.” And you have to wrack your brain to think, for example: OK, what Jake Gyllenhaal movie made over $100 million at the box office? And you try to fill out the whole grid. You get more points for more obscure movies. There’s a TV version and a classic film version. So if you play like Connections and Wordle and stuff like that, this is very much up that alley. — Reanna Cruz

Girls5Eva, on Netflix

YouTube

Girls5Eva Season 3 has just dropped on Netflix. (It moved from Peacock.) This show is still firing on all cylinders. It stars Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps and Paula Pell. They play a late ’90s/early aughts girl group who are reunited. The first two seasons were all about them trying to get together and make this whole thing work some 20-odd years later. This season they are all on tour. Each episode finds them in a new part of the country. It’s just delightful. The music is great, the performances are great. Renée Elise Goldsberry continues to be sort of like the Jenna Maroney of Girls5Eva. I love every time she’s on screen. It’s a great binge. — Aisha Harris

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

We’re going to talk about the Lindsay Lohan Netflix romcom Irish Wish (as well as a couple other recent genre entries) on Pop Culture Happy Hour pretty soon, but let me just say: If you’re the kind of person who can swallow a silly story if the settings and the leads are appealing, this just might be up your alley.

Maris Kreizman at LitHub takes on the idea of turning the publishing of books over to “freelancers,” which in this case means gig workers. I have to say, as someone who has written books, I think I benefit from the team I work with having stability and institutional knowledge, and even if I got a bigger cut, I don’t think I would price-shop for something like an editor. So consider me Team Maris.

Some of the blogs (yes, blogs) that I have loved over the years are gone, and some have been taken over by evil forces. But some are thriving, and Oscars week is a great week to revisit both Go Fug Yourself and Tom + Lorenzo. Fashion commentary that combines actual knowledge with sharp wit? I am always grateful.

Beth Novey adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment “What’s Making Us Happy” for the Web. 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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