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Updated: 23 min 29 sec ago

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Handmaid's Tale' And A New Comedy

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 4:00am

The panel talks about the harrowing TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, then switches gears to check in on the NBC comedy Great News, from – among others – executive producer Tina Fey.

(Image credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu)

'Get Me Roger Stone' Profiles The Man Who's Wanted Trump To Run Since 1987

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 3:38am

Documentarian Morgan Pehme says the political consultant cultivated Trump's candidacy for almost 30 years. "I think he believed from day one that Trump was a legitimate candidate."

(Image credit: Netflix)

This Week In Race: Census Worries, Yellowface And Kendall Jenner. Again.

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 3:01am

In this edition: posers, pretenders and passers.

(Image credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

An Orthodox Bride Makes An Unorthodox Decision In 'The Wedding Plan'

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:44pm

Critic Ella Taylor loved this "beautiful and beguiling" tale of a Tel Aviv woman determined to let God provide her a last-minute groom.

(Image credit: Roadside Attractions)

A Mysterious Iraqi Sniper Pins Down Two U.S. Soldiers In 'The Wall'

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:00pm

John Cena and Aaron Taylor-Johnson star in Doug Liman's stripped-down, real-time thriller. Despite its script's many contrivances, critic Scott Tobias says Liman's direction is tense and unrelenting.

(Image credit: David James/Amazon Studios)

In 'Violet,' A Deadly Assault And A Dispassionate Survivor

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:00pm

Flemish writer-director Bas Devos' visually striking, enigmatic tale of sudden violence and internalized emotion dares audiences to empathize with its closed-off teen protagonist.

(Image credit: Ryan Bruce Levy )

Goldie Hawn And Amy Schumer Have A Non-Dream Vacation In 'Snatched'

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:00pm

Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer star in Snatched, which has plenty of flaws, but at least offers a chance to see two very funny women with lively chemistry.

(Image credit: Justina Mintz/20th Century Fox)

'King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword': An Edgy Script, Dulled By CGI

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:00pm

An Embarrassment of Ritchie: Charlie Hunnam stars as a hunky Arthur in a film that crackles with director Guy Ritchie's distinctive style but sinks under its bloated special effects.

(Image credit: Daniel Smith/Warner Bros. )

With 'Check Please,' A Comics Creator Rewrites The Rules — And Scores

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 3:36pm

Bitty Bittle is a gay college hockey star who loves making pies. He's the main character in the popular hockey webcomic "Check Please," created by Ngozi Ukazu — who incidentally cannot skate.

(Image credit: Ngozi Ukazu)

'Tar Baby': A Folk Tale About Food Rights, Rooted In The Inequalities Of Slavery

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 1:36pm

Versions of the story of Bre'r Rabbit outwitting Bre'r Fox exist around the world. At heart, a new book argues, they're really about who controls access to food and subverting the powers that be.

(Image credit: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

'Based On A True Story' May Not Be True — But It's Still Scary

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 9:00am

French novelist Delphine De Vigan follows up her tell-all 2012 memoir with a creepy tale of a blocked novelist — also named Delphine — who falls under the sway of an elegant, menacing ghostwriter.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

'Seeing People Off' Is A Short, Strange Trip

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 6:00am

Slovak author Jana Beňová's English language debut is a bizarre, oblique — but beautiful — series of vignettes about a couple who spend their time drinking and smoking in Bratislava coffee shops.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

In 'Music Of The Ghosts,' A Khmer Rouge Survivor Faces 'The Reality Of Cambodia'

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:00am

Novelist Vaddey Ratner, herself a Khmer Rouge survivor, tells the story of a Cambodian-American woman looking for answers about her father's disappearance under the regime.

(Image credit: )

Don't Be Fooled: 'Generation Wealth' Is More About Wanting Than Having

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 4:24pm

Lauren Greenfield's 500-page photo collection shows toddlers in designer clothes and magnums of champagne. But it's also about how ostentatious displays of wealth have replaced real social mobility.

(Image credit: Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE)

A Lost Rice Variety — And The Story Of The Freed 'Merikins' Who Kept It Alive

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 2:04pm

The rice traveled from Africa to the Southeast, where it was a link to home for enslaved Africans. Then it nearly vanished — and with it, a heritage tying African, Southern and West Indian foodways.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Brian Ward)

'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway Seeks To Upend Television With 'I Love Dick'

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:45pm

I Love Dick tackles themes of gender, sexual obsession and artistic insecurity, all through a humorous lens. "Transparent was my origin story," Soloway says. "This is my story about finding my voice."

(Image credit: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

'No One Can Pronounce My Name' Is A Charming Take On Loneliness And Connection

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:45pm

Set in an Indian-American community in suburban Cleveland, Rakesh Satyal's new novel uses intertwined plots to explore the comedy of everyday life. Critic Maureen Corrigan says readers will be amused.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

'House Of Names' Is A Violent Page-Turner, And A Surprising Departure

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 9:00am

Colm Tóibín ventures far afield — in time and place — for this heart-stopping take on the tragedy of Clytemnestra and her family, reanimated with suffering the ancient Greeks never imagined.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

'Priestdaddy' Shimmers With Wonderful, Obscene Life

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 6:00am

Patricia Lockwood's scabrous memoir of growing up with a married Catholic priest for a father is a little overreliant on quirky family details, but scorching in its approach to the Catholic Church.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

ABC Announces Plan To Revive 'American Idol'

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 3:36pm

It was a short death. American Idol is coming back to TV. The long-running Fox network singing competition was cancelled last year due to sagging ratings, but ABC announced Tuesday that there are plans in the works to revive it.

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