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This podcast brings together three NPR critics to engage in laidback conversations about the most recent movies, TV shows, books, and music. Arts commentator and novelist Linda Holmes (Evvie Drake Starts Over) leads the discussions while Stephen Thompson (NPR Music) and Glen Weldon contribute (NPR Arts Desk) from their expertise. Thanks to “the fourth chair”—reserved for a guest contributor—this format never gets boring. While I have found that the discussions usually don’t examine religious themes in pop culture, I have learned to count on this podcast for solid recommendations, especially when it comes to films and television. The recaps of events such as the Grammys or the Oscars also allow the listener to keep up with the times without wasting time. Each show concludes with a segment called “What’s Making Us Happy This Week” in which the commentators present briefly their latest interests and finds. This podcast nicely balances intelligent criticism with a happy, light-hearted tone.  (Apple, Google, Spotify, NPR One)

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