Arts

3:51pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Television

Beyond 'Downton': BBC Imports That Got Away

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 7:50 am

Trixie (Helen George, left), Chummy (Miranda Hart), Jenny (Jessica Raine) and Cynthia (Bryony Hannah) are midwives serving London's poor East End in the 1950s.
Laurence Cendrowicz PBS

There was so much great stuff in arts and entertainment this year that we just couldn't report on all of it as it was happening. So we're playing a little catch-up on the ones that got by us.

In 2012, the BBC delivered some thrilling new TV dramas to its two primary outlets in the U.S.: PBS, which has been programming its shows for decades, and the cable channel BBC America.

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1:58pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Race

Descendants Of Slaves, Slave Traders Come Together

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. And a Merry Christmas to you, if you celebrate. Your kids might've gotten a visit from jolly St. Nick last night, but did you know St. Nicholas was a real guy? We'll talk with the man who traveled the world in search of the man who would become Santa Claus. That's just ahead.

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1:54pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Food

Father Leo On How To 'Spice Up' Married Life

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 1:56 pm

Spicing Up Married LIfe

Mixing spiritual and culinary nourishment might seem like an odd pairing to some. But it all comes naturally to Father Leo Patalinghug. He's a priest of the archdiocese of Baltimore, and the author of multiple cookbooks. His latest is called "Spicing Up Married Life," where advice about strengthening your marriage sits side by side with recipes for romantic meals.

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1:12pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Television

David Bianculli Says 2012 Brought No New TV Favorites

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 2:57 pm

Aaron Paul plays a meth-making drug dealer on the AMC drama Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Rounding up his favorite shows from 2012, Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli says that when it came to television, it was another good year for cable and another so-so year for networks. Nor were there any new shows, he says, that wowed him. All the shows he watched and liked in 2012 were shows that have been around for at least a season.

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1:12pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Movie Reviews

David Edelstein's Top 12 Movies of 2012

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 2:47 pm

In Friends With Kids, Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) play two best friends who decide to have a baby together while keeping their relationship platonic — so that the baby doesn't interfere with their own romantic relationships.
JoJo Whilden Roadside Attractions

It's time for end-of-year lists. Fresh Air movie critic David Edelstein stubbornly refuses to either place his top picks in numerical order or make his list an even number of 10. Instead, he places his 12 favorite films from 2012 in alphabetical order, from Amour to Zero Dark Thirty.

Of the 12 films he picked for 2012, not one, Edelstein says, would he call the "M"-word — a masterpiece. That designation he reserves for the new extended DVD cut of Kenneth Lonergan's film Margaret.

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11:30am

Mon December 24, 2012
History

'Mad Science' Looks At Groundbreaking Inventors

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 1:56 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Switching gears now. When you think of inventors, you probably think of Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, Nikola Tesla. But of course there are many people, especially people of color, who've created things that we used every day and yet we might not have heard of them. It was an African-American, for instance, who helped develop the modern traffic light and a Japanese man who thought up instant coffee.

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7:03am

Mon December 24, 2012
Three Books...

The American Sublime: 3 Books On Faith In The U.S.

Bob Thomas iStockphoto.com

In light of the often tortured interweave of faith and politics in American life, we sometimes forget that our country was first settled by those seeking freedom not from religion but to practice their own versions of it: French Protestants and English Puritans. In many ways, religion is our founding fact. These books explore the vital undercurrent of faith in the expression of American life.

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7:03am

Mon December 24, 2012
New In Paperback

Dec. 24-30: A Spy, A Marshal, An Eavesdropper And A Guantanamo First

Fiction releases from Elmore Leonard, Ellen Ullman, Thomas Caplan and Alex Gilvarry.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

6:23am

Mon December 24, 2012
Author Interviews

Oscar-winner Emma Thompson Revives 'Peter Rabit'

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 6:34 am

After more than 80 years, Emma Thompson's The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit brings Beatrix Potter's beloved character back for a romp around the Scottish countryside — and lots of rule breaking. Thompson says Peter Rabbit's "disrespect for authority" is one of the things she loves about him. (This piece initially aired on October 11, 2012 on Morning Edition.)

3:17am

Mon December 24, 2012
NPR's Holiday Favorites

David Sedaris Reads From His 'Santaland Diaries'

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 6:30 am

iStockphoto.com

You might not expect "Santa's Helper" to be a career-altering gig, but for David Sedaris, it changed everything. The writer and humorist spent a season working at Macy's as a department store elf. He described his short tenure as Crumpet the Elf in "The Santaland Diaries," an essay that he read on Morning Edition in 1992.

Instantly, a classic was born. Sedaris' reading has become an NPR holiday tradition. Click the "Listen" link above to hear Sedaris read his tale.

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