Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Dear White People' And The State Of Animation

With Linda Holmes on vacation during this week's taping, we turn to a pair of dear familiar faces in Code Switch's Gene Demby and Kat Chow. As race and culture bloggers for NPR, they've got a few opinions about our first topic this week: the film Dear White People, which satirizes black campus life at a fictional Ivy League university. Our panel (Gene, Kat, Glen Weldon and myself) is decidedly mixed on the film, appreciating some characters more than others and holding misgivings about the film's point of view and motley bundle of supporting players.

Then it's on to a wide-ranging discussion of modern TV animation, which we agree has never been better as a whole. We refer back to a recent discussion about the demise of Saturday-morning cartoons while reflecting on realism vs. absurdism, the range of voice-acting and animation quality, and the chasm between big-budget computer animation and the more playfully crude likes of South Park. Along the way, we touch on Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Adventure Time, Archer, The Legend Of Korra, Batman: The Animated Series, Sagwa, the works of Filmation and much more.

Finally, we close with What's Making Us Happy this week. Kat expounds on her obsession with momofuku cakes and horse shirts, while Gene, like so many people, is in love with this podcast from the makers of This American Life. Glen offers a mea culpa over a misstatement about Prince's "Purple Rain" last week, before launching into a mixed defense of this song and a full-throated endorsement of this TV show. And I praise yet another new David Rees project: an unlikely mashup of two musicians you'd never expect to hear together.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Glen, Kat, Gene, absent Linda, producer Jessica, and our pal Mike.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Most Popular