Interview with the Made For Tv Movie Club
The Made-For-TV Movie Club Podcast is hosted by friends, Beth Lee and Kierstin Cira, who share their love for classic made-for-TV movies from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. With their expertise in pop culture and film, they provide witty discussions and lively debates while reminiscing about these “beloved” films. If your an 80s fan of kitch and camp made just for TV, grab some popcorn and enjoy the interview.
Where Are You From? What Is Your Background?
Beth: I’m From The ‘80s. Just Kidding! I’m From A Small, Tourist Town In Wisconsin. I Grew Up In A Blue-Collar Family With Both Parents And Two Siblings. We Didn’t Have A Lot Of Money, So Tv Was Our Entertainment. When There Was A “Tv Event” Like The Movie The Day After Or When Geraldo Rivera Thought He Found Al Capone’s Vault And Opened It On Live Television, My Mom Would Make Popcorn Or Sundaes And We Would Watch Them As A Family. Currently I Am A College Instructor With A Hubby And College-Aged Twins.
Kierstin: I’m From A Small Town On Lake Michigan In Wisconsin. Beth And I Actually Grew Up Quite Close To Each Other But Didn’t Meet Until We Were In Our 20s. I’m A Public-School Elementary Teacher In A Nearby District. I’ve Been Teaching Since 1991 With Some Sporadic Time Off To Raise My Kids.
What Inspired You To Do Podcasting, Specifically About Made For Tv Movies?
Beth: Our Original Plan Was To Start A True Crime Podcast. However, We Realized Pretty Quickly That There Are Already Many Great True Crime Podcasts. So, We Pivoted And I Thought It Would Be Fun To Find Out If The Tv Movies I Loved Were As Good As I Remembered. (Spoiler Alert: Many Weren’t. Ha-Ha.)
Kierstin: I Love Listening To Podcasts But, Truly, Beth Is The Idea Person. I Just Said “Heck Yeah” When She Said We Should Do A Podcast.
What Was The First Thing You Remember Seeing On Tv Or At The Movie Theater?
Beth: The First Thing I Remember Is Sesame Street. Kermit Was Featured In The ‘70s, And I Loved Kermit. The Only Tattoo I Have Is Of Kermit.
Kierstin: I Have A Very Distinct Memory Of Sesame Street. Particularly Harry Monster. I Had To Have Been Two At The Time.
What Performer Or Artist/Writer Inspires You The Most?
Beth: That’s A Tough Question! If I Have To Pick One, It Would Be Margaret Atwood. I Majored In English For My Bachelor’s Degree And Took A Margaret Atwood Class In The Early ‘90s. She Is Far And Away My Favorite Writer, And I Am So Glad That She Has Shows Like Alias Grace And The Handmaid’s Tale On Netflix, So That Her Gift For Storytelling Can Be Shared. She Has A Huge Body Of Work Published, But I Would Recommend The Robber Bride Or Cat’s Eye If You’ve Never Read Her.
Kierstin: My Favorite Musician Is Midge Ure. He’s Phenomenal And Gives Me Goosebumps When I See Him! I Think Just About Anyone Performing Inspires Me Because They Are Up There, Giving Their All And Doing Something That They Love!
What Other Areas Of Art Are You Involved In?
Beth: I Am A Writer. I Wrote A Textbook Several Years Ago, But I’ve Always Loved To Write Fiction. During The Pandemic, I Decided To Go Back To School And Get An Mfa In Creative Writing, Which Has Long Been A Goal Of Mine. I Will Finish That Degree In Early 2024. Kierstin And I Are Both Reiki Masters.
Kierstin: I’m Super Adhd So I Have The Supplies To Do Every Kind Of Tangible Art. I’ve Sold Some Macrame But I Also Paint, Do Embroidery, Crochet, Draw. I Love Gardening, Which Is Definitely An Art. I Also Have Done Singing (In A Band… Many Years Ago) And Community Theater. I Also Teach Meditation. My Interests Vary Wildly.
Do You Think Your Environment, Where You Live, Has An Effect On Type Of Art You Create?
Beth: Living In A State With Four Seasons Has Always Affected Me As A Writer. I Can’t Imagine Living In A Place Where I Can’t Experience The Lows Of Winter And The Highs Of Summer Temperatures. My Husband And I Spend A Lot Of Time In The Up, Which I Talk About On The Podcast Often. I Feel Very Connected To The Up In A Way That I Cannot Explain. Our Connectedness To The Land There Was So Strong That We Recently Bought Property Up There. I Feel A Deep Fondness For It, And That Helps To Inform My Writing.
Kierstin: Absolutely! But It’s Not Just The Physical Space That You Are In, It’s The Energy Of That Space. When We Record, We Always Have The Salt Lamp On For The Good Vibes. We Also Have Some Fun Accouterments. But, I’m Not The Creative One, That’s All Beth! I’m Just Another Pretty Voice. Sigh.
What’s The Worst Tv Movie You Have Ever Seen?
Beth: That’s A Loaded Question! Kierstin Always Says, “There’s Nothing Better Than A Bad Movie” So We Are Never Unhappy When We Pick A Movie And Then Dislike It. There’s Been Multiple In The Almost 60 Movies We Have Reviewed. I Know Kierstin Will Pick Another Movie, Because She Actually Liked And Chose This One. But, The One I Would Choose Would Be A House Without A Christmas Tree From 1972. It’s Probably A Bit Unfair To Pick A Movie Starring Two-Time Oscar Winner Jason Robards. The Acting Was Good, But The Movie Was Just Depressing And It Left Me With Very Little Hope For The Characters. If A Movie Is Going To Be That Sad, Then Give Me A Little Whiff Of Hope At The End.
Kierstin: Hahahaha! There’s Nothing Better Than A Bad Movie!!! My Husband And I, Along With Our Kids And His Siblings Love To Watch Cheesy Movies Together! Doing The Podcast, It’s Crazy How Bad The Movies Can Seem. Particularly When You Are Seeing Them Through A Lens If 2023. Totally Different Vibe Than When I May Have First Seen Them! It’s Hard To Identify A “Worst Movie” Because The Content Through A “Modern” Lens Can Be Very Questionable But It Was All Well And Good 30-50 Years Ago. The “Zuni Fetish Doll” From Trilogy Of Terror Will Make Me Laugh Every Time! That Was So Cheesy!!!
What Do You Think The Popular Culture Will Be Like In Ten Years?
Beth: Everything Is Cyclical. I Think That Celebrities Will Reign Supreme As They Have Been Doing. However, There Will Be New Ones. I Think The Influencer Culture Will Still Exist, But I Think It Will Evolve Into Something Other Than People Who Only Post Pictures Or Make A Three Minute Video. I Also Believe That We Will See Fewer Streaming Services And A Trend Back To Services With Multiple Channels. It’ll Be Cable 2.0. I Hope Subscription Streaming Services Continue To Provide Quality Viewing That We’ve All Come To Enjoy.
Kierstin: That’s A Darn Good Question. It’s Hard To Imagine That Much Would Change And Yet, Experience Tells Me Everything Is Going To Change! I Wonder If We’ll See A Decrease In Live Entertainment In Exchange For Virtual Experiences. That Would Be A Huge Bummer As I Love Being In An Audience For Live Entertainment!
What Other Things Would You Like To Explore As A Podcast?
Beth: I Have Several Areas Of Interest I’d Love To Explore As A Podcast. I’d Love To Create A Missing Persons Podcast Or A Podcast Series That Focuses Solely On ‘70s Tv Horror.
Kierstin: Truly, I Just Follow Where Beth Leads! She Makes Suggestions And They’re Always Solid Fun! Maybe Exploring How To Get My Husband And Kids To Listen!!! Hahahaha! Whatever Beth Thinks, I’m Along For The Ride!
What Projects Are You Working On Now?
Beth: We Are Always Working On Upcoming Episodes For The Podcast, Which Is Always Fun. In Addition, For The Mfa Program I Mentioned Earlier, I Am Writing A Novel. Once That Is Complete, I Am Working With A Writing Mentor/Friend To Edit It. My Long-Term Goal Is To Get An Agent And Sell It.
Kierstin: Lol!!! Running For School Board Is My Biggest Project Right Now!