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The Perfect Quarantine Podcast
Movie Therapy with Rafer and Kristen is light-hearted fun and easy on the ears.
I love listening to podcasts. Many people do. But in the content-saturated world where your feed is overrun by Joe Rogan, Crime Junkie, and NPR, it’s easy to miss some of the indie gems.
If you are a film buff, you need to be listening to Movie Therapy with Rafer and Kristen.
The premise of Movie Therapy is simple: have something weighing on you? The state of things got you down? Endless free time in quarantine? Send in your predicament and our two expert co-hosts, Rafer and Kristen, will give you a tv or film recommendation to make you feel a little bit better. They add in a bit of “questionable advice” (their words, not mine) if your dilemma requires a bit more than a movie oasis. They say they’re only truly qualified to give out the movie endorsements since they are only film critics and not licensed therapists, but what they say is so authentic and thoughtful, you can’t help but feel like they missed their true calling.
Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture critic and author of How to Be Fine, used to host a WNYC show together entitled Movie Date. Their website states, “Their co-hosting relationship went on pause in 2016, when Kristen left WNYC to pursue full-time podcasting, but their friendship remained strong, and they held out hope that they would someday host a podcast together again. Fortunately, that day is now, with Movie Therapy.”
There are so many reasons to love this show.
First, Rafer and Kristen are so entertaining. Kristen and her picks are spunky; she isn’t afraid to offer trashy binge-worthy tv or Christmas films in the summertime. Rafer’s movies are always unpredictable and I’ve learned so much about foreign and cult cinema thanks to his out-of-left-field choices. They disagree often and it always seems like when one of them recommends a movie to the listener, the other either can’t even possibly believe that their friend would choose something so outlandish and terrible— or they just haven’t seen it at all. They always laugh it off. Friends first, movies second.
The situations that they handle are also so common in 2020. Tired of being cooped up with your in-laws while quarantining? Feel uneducated on systemic oppression? All alone while social isolating? These are all situations they have prescribed movies for and helped the listener approach.
And the situations don’t have to be quarantine related.
Passed over for a promotion? Trouble sleeping? Boring in the kitchen? Also tackled with films like The Devil Wears Prada, The Tree of Life, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Each episode follows the same structure. First, two listener letters where they each share their picks and occasionally their advice. The final segment is called “What Should I Watch Next?” and in this time they either answer another letter or talk to a special guest, guiding that person in how to follow up a recent watch of theirs that they loved. For example, a recent email asked for another “time loop” movie after ironically watching Palm Springs over and over — but they didn’t want to take the comfortable and tired Groundhog Day route.
The show’s 30–45 minute run time is easily digestible and perfect for driving around or a walk outside to break the monotony of the quarantine.
My only complaint is that there isn’t more.
I’ve listened to every episode! New episodes drop on Friday and I eat them up immediately — then I have to wait all week for the next one!
I even had to reach out to the pair to ask where I could find their old show, Movie Date, because I just couldn’t get enough of these two talking movies and sharing laughs.
To top it all off, the show’s community is growing.
On recent episodes, they have been touting their Facebook group created for fans of the show. I joined as soon as I heard. In the group, fellow fans share what they would have prescribed to the patient, what they thought about the movies they watched because of the show, and pose their own questions. The people there are kind, creative, and overall a great group of film fans.
There have been many podcasts spawned from the quarantine, but this is easily the best one I’ve found.
If you’re looking for something new to watch or have an ailment that you think could be cured with some screen time, this is the perfect show for you. I look forward to it every week and I think you will too.