Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Parks And Rec' And 'Better Call Saul'

Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

Well, now that we're past the Oscars (whew!), this week's show takes us into some quality television, both departing and arriving. It also brings to the table our pal Barrie Hardymon to join me, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon for this smaller-screen chat.

First, we saw the end of Parks And Recreationthis week after seven seasons. We all picked it up at different times, and while we all wound up as fans of the show, we all see its strengths a little differently. (Stephen's description of his favorite character made me laugh.) We rattle off some of the moments we loved, the secondary (and tertiary) (and ... quart ... iary?) characters who brought so much to the table, and how this managed to be such a sunshine-filled show and still keep Glen on its side. Speaking of Glen, read his fine piece on Harris Wittels here. And now that we've seen the finale, you can read my wrap-up here. We also made mention of several of Alan Sepinwall's pieces of writing about Parks, many of which are wrapped up here.

As Pawnee says farewell, the Albuquerque of Breaking Badreturns with the prequel Better Call Saul, starring Bob Odenkirk as lawyer Saul Goodman, back when he was known as Jimmy McGill. The visuals, the acting, the balance of comedy and drama, the relationship between this show and the one that spawned it — even though we'd only seen three episodes at the time, we found plenty to say about this one, too.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about a music project that's about to launch, which you'll be able to find at NPR Music very soon. Glen is happy about a film that he ... likes? Sort of? Well, at least it's one in which he clearly took great delight. Barrie is happy about a project that comes to you directly from a friend of the show, which will hopefully make you happy too. And I am happy because I'm writing in a new place, but especially because of a competition food show that is amazing and will make you want to make madeleines.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter — follow the show, me, Stephen, Glen, Barrie, producer Jessica, and our pal Mike Katzif.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit