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Pop Culture Happy Hour, Redux: 'This Is Us' And 'Speechless'

Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) in <em>This Is Us.</em>
Ron Batzdorff
Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) in This Is Us.

We're scattered to the winds this week, so we thought we'd dig one of our favorite episodes from last year out of the vault — the one in which we took a first look at two then-new broadcast television shows that continue to impress: This is Us on NBC, and Speechlesson ABC.

This episode gave us a chance to hear from two different but equally incandescent hosts of All Things Considered: Ari Shapiro joined us to talk This is Us's weird, weepy (for Ari, at least) appeal, and Audie Cornish weighed in on the funny, smartly written and extremely well-cast Speechless.

We concluded, as always, with What Is Making Us Happy. Stephen loved a spooky Miyazaki anime. I loved an interview with a certain ... not-un-snippy men's fashion designer so much that I perform a dramatic reading of an excerpt. (Bonus: Listen for the shade Cornish throws in the direction of my radio-friendly personal style.) Audie loved two very different podcastepisodes. Linda dug the American version of a the coziest, homiest, crumbliest reality television show around.

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Glen Weldon is a host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He reviews books, movies, comics and more for the NPR Arts Desk.