July 6, 2019

Monday Afternoon Movie, a Podcast



If you were alive in the 70s, you might be lucky enough to remember those dark, dour, and delicious made-for-TV horror films that premiered on any given major television network every week.They always featured one major star, to draw you in, like Shelley Winters, Kate Jackson, or Linda Blair. No matter how inappropriate for children they may have been, the entire family gathered around to watch, absolutely enthralled by every word and movement on the screen. The 70s heralded the dawn of the “Satanic Panic” era, so the plots almost always revolved around Satan and his minions. The crazy exploits of the characters in these films were all anyone at school talked about the next day.
“Did you see the little goblins in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark last night?” “Holy cow, can you believe what happened at the end of Satan’s School for Girls?” I loved these films as a kid, and still love them now. All of them are on YouTube in their entirety, absolutely for free, complete with all the little scratches and pops leftover from the VHS tape they were recorded on 40 years ago. 
So, I was beyond delighted when I recently stumbled across a gem of a podcast, created in honor of these made-for-TV wonders of yesteryear; hosted by actor, writer, improviser, and comedian, Sam Pancake (yes, Pancake is his real last name). It’s called Monday Afternoon Movies. Every week Sam invites a friend to watch a 70s-era made-for-TV film, and they discuss it down to every detail of costuming, casting choice, and goofy hairdo. It is captivating and absolutely hilarious. 
Sam is the perfect host. He is competent and clever, and he genuinely loves the subject matter. He states in the first episode that his mom always made him go to bed before the movie was finished, and she promised to tell him how it ended, but by the next morning she could never remember. It drove him crazy, so now he’s making up for all of those missed opportunities and botched endings by re-watching the films from his youth and actually finishing them. 

Sam is openly gay and, while I wouldn’t generally bring up someone’s sexuality in a podcast review, it’s important here because it is a huge part of Sam’s life and professional persona, and Sam wields it beautifully, with heart and aplomb. He’s like the gay best friend you always wanted in college, and the one you desperately need dropping truth bombs about your life choices as an adult. To put it to you straight (no pun intended), Sam is utterly fabulous! And his guests are amazing too. He invites boisterous drag queens, hilarious comedians, experienced actors, and clever friends to guest-host the show with him. The conversations are keen, thoughtful, and extremely funny. I’ve been bingeing the show for the past week and I can’t get enough of it. There are only two seasons so far, and I’m desperate for a third. Even if you’ve never seen or heard of these movies, you can easily enjoy this podcast. They discuss the plot from front to back, so you’re never left out of the loop with regard to story. And, I promise, you will never fail to laugh. 

Monday Afternoon Movie is available on all the standard podcast platforms, totally free. You can also visit the website https://www.mondayafternoonmovie.com/ for more information.

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