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Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel

Eavesdropping at its finest, this podcast takes listeners into the most private of conversations—the therapy session. Each episode is a recording from the office of Dr. Esther Perel, a Belgian psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, and every week features a new couple with a new set of issues and dynamics to explore. Part of the show’s appeal is a gossipy thrill—it’s a fascinating window into the personal lives of strangers—but it’s also edifying. Perel is a wise counselor, with a very soothing voice, and her analysis is always as intriguing as the relationship under examination. ( —Clementine Ford



My ratio of water to Diet Coke is seriously unbalanced. To compensate, I add these hydrating powders to the water I drink. They work like Gatorade or Pedialyte to boost H2O’s hydration factor, but the very tasty formulas have less sugar and fewer calories. (Thanks to the berry flavor, I’ve actually started drinking more water.) First recommended to Air Mail staff by a C.I.A. agent, DripDrop is also a more hard-core solution to dehydration than the sporty alternatives, but you don’t need to be on a stakeout to find good use for the pocket-size packets: Deputy Editor Nathan King relied on them during a cross-country road trip, and I’ve heard they help ease hangover symptoms. (from $19, —Clementine Ford


Tony’s Chocolonely

If you didn’t know that the West Africa–based cocoa industry is especially vulnerable to shady business practices, including illegal child labor and modern slavery, this chocolate is a reminder. Tony’s Chocolonely has been working to make the industry more transparent since 2003, when the Dutch journalist Teun van de Keuken, shocked by the conditions of cocoa farms, made 5,000 fair-trade, 100 percent slave-free milk-chocolate bars and sold them in the bright-red wrappers that have become the Amsterdam-based company’s signature. Unlike the standard rectangular shape of most bars, these are unequally divided, good for the virtuous and the bingers alike. In addition to the classic milk chocolate, favorites—available in big, small, and tiny sizes—include milk-caramel sea salt, dark milk-pretzel toffee, and white-raspberry popping candy, for that extra sizzle. (from $2.40, —Julia Vitale



A lot of people consider the European Parliament, in Brussels, a joke and that’s the setting and premise of the political comedy series Parlement, now available in the U.S. on Topic. It follows Samy, who, newly hired as an assistant to a sweetly dim French politician, finds himself at the mercy of scheming aides, clueless committee heads, and callous fellow assistants. The characters and the show’s style of sardonic humor owe a lot to HBO’s Veep, but the international setting and battles over Brexit, the Finnish far right, and Spanish fishing rights bring their own set of inanities. Fittingly, the dialogue is in French, English, and a little German, and it’s very funny in all three languages. ( —Alessandra Stanley

Issue No. 89
March 27, 2021
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Issue No. 89
March 27, 2021