Ep 111: Big Bang Theory, Californication

Firstly there are some issues with sound this week so apologise about that.

Secondly there are some issues with humour, but hey if we haven’t apologised in the last 110 eps we aren’t starting now.

Content a-plenty in this week’s instalment.

In Raywatch we examine the latest Today Tonight/Chaser fiasco.

It’s a BIG Fall with The Big Bang Theory and Big Shots.

There’s an I Don’t Buy It that’s hard to swallow.

We pick over the unsatisfactory bones of Californication. Or was it all a dream?

There’s some Letters To Boxcutters.

And some unexpected DVD bonus features just in time for Christmas.

Plus the sound thing. Must be the heat. And the gremlins. Although the fact that it is a bit strange and really not quite right sums up the whole episode really.

the show:

the thingy


  1. catbrain says:

    HEY! Why should WE apologise about the sound??

  2. This Life +10 has been and gone guys. Great bit of telly it was, too.

  3. i reckon nerds are the new black on tv becuase the networks have realised if they attract the nerds, we’ll promote the shows on forums, blogs, and podcasts. Cos, lets face it, only nerds join forums, blog or podcast.

  4. @catbrain
    I apologise for my colleague’s spelling errors. In fact, I will do so more than once so that apologies are made.

  5. also, have you guys seen the posters for the new showcase series satisfaction that have popped up everywhere? the women are all photoshopped so much it actually looks like the same woman wearing a series of wigs.

    its like some bizarre aphex twin album cover.

  6. I didn’t see the Howard/Costello fluff piece (it’s impossible for me to see Today Tonight because I have a brain), but I saw generous chunks of it in various news packages.

    For a happy chummy couple, there was no rapport of which to speak. They didn’t even look at each other! I saw Howard glance briefly at Costello once, and even that was distant. Costello didn’t look at Howard at all, even when he delivered that weird-arse line about leaving the lid off toothpaste.

    Also, surely the gimps who watch Today Tonight are already going to vote for the Coalition? So what was the point, exactly? Some footage has landed in other media, certainly, but it looks bad, and it’s always headlined with something like “decade-long enemies give chummy interview.”

    Contrast this with Rudd’s appearance on Rove, in which he just sat rather nervously in a chair and proved he was human.

  7. Oh, and the new-found Howard/Costello loveliness reminds me of Kennett’s last pitch at remaining the premier of Victoria, during which time he attempted to soften his image by smiling loads and holding flowers. And lost.

  8. Oops.

    Clearly it was meant to read: … so WE apologise about that.

    But in fairness CB you were there too, so maybe it is a little your fault…

  9. catbrain says:

    Cellular, modular, interactivodular…

    @Josh: thank you.
    @Ross: no more cake for you. πŸ˜›

    Brian Nankervis sounded like he was on bulbs.

    [It didn’t sound as bad as I thought it might – I listened through in-ear phones and, once you guys got going on a topic, I forgot the noise was there.]

  10. catbrain says:

    And I meant to agree out loud as well: Californication ending was COMPLETE PANTS. If that was supposed to be a cliffhanger, it sucked balls. It reminded me a little of The Graduate (except their faces were happy) and some other 80s freeze-frame moment that I can’t quite remember. Complete shite, nonetheless.

  11. Felt more like tying up lose ends because they had no idea if there was going to be a Californication season two… and didn’t have ideas for season two if there was. Shame. It was pretty good up until the last 5 mins.

    Sounds quality was still better than some other podcasts, so nothing to be ashamed of! (btw, sounded like the sample rate for the computer was set to 32khz, or it was being clocked from anther device (DAT player?) that was set to 32khz).

  12. So sue me for being a sap – I *liked* the Californication ending. True love conquers all, a family reunited, and Maddy Zima in a skimpy dress.
    *so romantic*

    That said, I’d be amazed if there was anywhere left to go with it regardless.

    Oh, and FOR SHAME, Boxcutters, FOR SHAME for introducing Xmas stocking fillers in November. Stuff apologising for the sound quality – try showing some contrition towards those of us trying to remain in yuletide denial for as long as we can. “Christmas comes but once a year – but goes on for THREE MONTHS”, as Louden Wainwright once declaimed… DVD bargains be damned.

  13. guywithoutaname says:

    Hey Boxcutters,
    Like Futurama?
    Check Out This Interesting Link

    From What I’ve Read Its Legit.

  14. That’s awfully tempting Guy……..

    Also apparently Chilli Peppers (or Chilli Willi as they will always affectionately be known thanks to Barney) are suing over the name Californication.

    Why now? I guess they waited to see how the show would pan out, but with the last episode being so dreadful they had no choice.

  15. I’ve listened a couple of days late this week, so I’m playing catch-up. (Without Libbi Gore.)

    I’m not sure there’s any danger of the Beeb canning Top Gear. They must make a fortune off international sales, with an audience of at least a quarter of a billion. Yeah, it would be expensive to produce but that’s part of its appeal. I don’t know one end of a car from the other but it’s simply the sexiest looking factual show on television anywhere.

    Brett, the story I read said SBS would show its own series and then the British series at a different time of year.

    I can’t see an Australian version working. It won’t look as good – you’d think – and how do they get access to all those flash cars?? It’ll be three eps long – Commodore, Falcon, Camry.

    And Brett, it’s very true to say the Channel Nine hampers were a personal gift from the Packer family. They always came with a card with Kerry’s signature printed at the bottom.

    It’s another sign of the way things have changed, but it’s also just the way it goes I guess.

    “A Nine Source”

  16. I think the, so called, sound problems were actually a subliminal message from Ross telling us who we should vote for, and why we should do so.

    I?m only half way through the episode, so am still undecided.

  17. chuckles says:

    In reference to your brief discussion on HD TV. I have an LG Plasma (standard definition) with a built in HD tuner – with it I am able to receive the HD channels with the Dolby 5.1 audio stream.

    I’ve noticed for the last couple of weeks the PrimeHD channel (I live in Ballarat) has occasionally been broadcasting alternative programmes (both movies and old TV series from what I can recall) – I cant wait for WIN and Southern Cross Ten to do the same – crap in 3 extra flavours!

  18. Thanks for the warning at the start of the show, I would have been fiddling with my headphones all show if I hadn’t known (sounds like a loose wire).

    With respect to Californication, I had the feeling that the series was too short and when they realised they were getting near the end they had to tie up all the loose ends so shoved it all into one show. I had the feeling it was a dream sequence, but I do agree that it felt too “real” to be one.

  19. With respect to the HD comment I forgot to add this. I found my PVR switch channel 1 from being Ten Digital to Ten Digital HD. I ended up getting a message yesterday saying “HD Not Compatible” on my PVR, along with a black screen. Unless you have access to a HD tuner you will not get any signal out of it.

    Now I have to plug on 10 on my PVR to see it, Damn you channel 10 (and had to reset all my settings).

  20. surely the end of Calafornication was a “Graduate” moment. Thats how I read it anyway.

  21. I wouldn?t be so presumptuous as to tell people who to vote for? We get in enough trouble when we get off topic with things like Apple Vs Microsoft.

    Speaking of politics, did anyone catch the PM on the 7:30 Report last night? Amazing. Typical of the whole election really. He was completely defensive and unable to get on message much at all.

    Plus he actually said (with complete seriousness):

    ?You can?t learn by reading book.?


    Be interesting to see how Rudd goes tonight. Maybe we should be voting for Kerry O?Brien.



    [Can someone please explain to me why documents used to make decisions by Cabinet should be suppressed?]

  23. Re: Channel 10 HD Channel….. the story is that CH 10 want to make sure when you get your new HD TV / PVR / STB, that the first thing you see is how awesome Ten looks on Ch 1. Whether that’s enough to keep viewers from looking anywhere else, I don’t know.

  24. Okay, finally listened to the podcast.

    HD v SD.

    If you have an SD TV and STB you cannot watch HD channels, if you have a HD TV and STB you will be able to watch both HD and SD channels.

    The law doesn’t permit multi-casting on the SD channels (except for ABC and SBS), only the HD channels, so the SD channels are just showing the exact same thing as the FTA channels, but just in higher quality (if the content is in higher quality).

    As for the sound, yes, you need the equipment to output the 5.1 to, so your TV Tuner/STB needs to be connected to an amp to output in that fashion. If you are listening via a HD TV, ordinarily they will have some virtualisation that will take the signal and emulate 5.1 as best it can from the 2 TV speakers.

  25. Thanks Bolden

    So what happens with for example Ten, when they have a separate schedule for HD like they are launching soon?

    Does that mean House will be in SD because it is on the regular channel not their HD channel?

  26. No probs.

    Yes, based on my understanding, the 3 (yes 3) Ch 10 SD channels will be showing whatever is on FTA – say House. Then depending on what 10 want to do, they can obviously just show House on the HD channel or something else.

    There is an article in The Age today adding more information – interestingly, they were talking about showing Formula 1 on the HD channel, live. Then rebroadcasting it later on FTA. That said, right now, prior to the change to HD programming that they are talking about. Although not all the time right now, House would be showing on ALL of the SD and HD channels at the same time as FTA.


  27. David Boxcutter says:

    If you have an SD TV and STB you cannot watch HD channels, if you have a HD TV and STB you will be able to watch both HD and SD channels.

    Technically, not true. You don’t need an HD TV to watch HD channels, you just need an HD set-top box. Decent set-top boxes will downconvert the signal to fit your SD TV. (But what’s up with calling it a “set top box” anyway? With the current LCD and plasma screens, they are too thin to balance a box on the top, so they go beneath the TV)

    In fact, you don’t need a TV at all, you can just get an HD tuner for your computer, and turn it into a HD recorder.


    Boxcutters – no mention of the new season of The Mighty Boosh that just started? You guys must really fear the jazz.


    Re: Top Gear.

    An Australian version would be just disastrous. Whoever came up with this idea doesn’t understand how long it took for Top Gear to mature into the amazing show that it is, and the unique chemistry it requires for the whole production – both in terms of the presenters’ talent, and the visual sophistication of cinematographers who have experience and passion for shooting cars and landscape.

    I recently downloaded a season of Top Gear from 1992. Apparently the show goes back at least as far as 1988. The only really recognisable part of the show is the theme song, and Jeremy Clarkson. He has his usual inimitable style, but the other presenters in those days were like government employees making public safety announcements.

    Can you believe they even did things like cover rally car racing? That totally killed the old episodes for me. One minute they would be doing their car reviews, the next moment they are giving you the results of that weekend’s rally race in excruciating detail. God it was boring. Motorsports has to be the world’s most boring thing. Funny how Top Gear can make the ordinary consumer car fascinating, but professional racing still seem like John Howard on boxcutters morphine.

  28. Re: SD – yes technically a HD tuner will normally show the downscaled HD signal on an SD TV. I didn’t want to muddy the waters too much, as people (as we’ve seen in the podcast) can be confused enough, but yes you are right.

    Set-bottom-boxes although interesting doesn’t have the same ring to it!

  29. David Boxcutter says:

    Set-bottom-boxes although interesting doesn?t have the same ring to it!

    Which is why we should simply call them receivers. “Set-top box” always seems like a horrid Americanism to me, like “SUV”.

    I mean, it has “box” in its name! How vague is that? The name doesn’t even indicate what it is – just that it’s box-shaped and goes on top of something. Bizarre.

  30. Yeah, it is an americanism alright!

    It is weird considering if they integrate a STB into a TV, it’s simply called a HD tuner. But aren’t they really called Digital Terrestrial Receivers (as a Digital Radio Receiver is called also) – and it’s actually more American that we’ve lazy-fied it to STB.

    And to be honest, I’ve never actually thought about the name of the STB anyway. I’ve always had an integrated HD Tuner πŸ˜‰

  31. David Boxcutter says:

    Sorry, I just can’t use that initialism for set-top box. It pains me. It’s like syphilis or something. Sexually Transmitted Bubos?

  32. Mine is on top of my set of boxes, so therefore its a “set-top box”. Of course thats because all the vents are in the top of the stupid thing.

  33. hey, antony green groupies, download the pdf election bingo card i made at work today..

    its just a collection of all the seats that antony will be watching on the night, and if more than ten fall to labor, then bingo!

    get it here:


  34. catbrain says:

    Nice one, FTC!

  35. A couple of weeks ago I tried to buy a HD set t… er, DTT receiver, and the bloke in the shop said it won’t output to a 4:3 CRT television. Everything I’ve seen, read and heard since says otherwise. Annoyed.

  36. Hey, the bingo card up loaded yesterday didnt have NSW on it for some reason, so i’ve re-uploaded it.

    Now includes,Bennelong, Wentworth, Parramatta, and of course, Eden Monaro.. πŸ™‚


  37. David Boxcutter says:

    Adam, I highly recommend the LG LST-6100P

    It will output several different resolutions, from 1080i down to SD. It’s not the cheapest HD receiver, but it’s very good. Go into JB Hi-Fi, and if you hassle one of the salespeople, they should knock $30 or so off the price.

    The thing I like most about LG is that their remote control units are actually designed well, for humans. All the buttons are in the right place, and not cluttered. It also has buttons for controlling the TV power, volume and channel – so you should only need the 1 remote. It can be programmed to control different brands of TV, not just LG.

  38. I’m so happy to find a place where other election nerds like myself get a kick out of Antony Green and his stats and graphs – I thought it was just me! I no longer feel alone. Thanks Boxcutters.

    (I should make an ad.)

  39. I’m not thanking you for that fucking banana phone song, though. (*runs round in circles hitting head* Get out! Get out!)

  40. David Boxcutter says:

    Watching ABC election coverage. I love how whenever they show the seat of Benelong, with former Kerry O’Brian cohort Maxine McKew possibly winning – there are massive cheers coming from the floor. Classic.

    Although I wish whoever’s phone that is would turn the ringer off and put it on vibrate. So annoying.

    I’m going to call it now. Nooooooooo Howardo!

  41. Ah but you are all forgetting…. COONAN!! I forget which channel she was on, but she did say that a labor victory was… “pie in the sky”. Which I got a kick out of.

    I actually watched it on Sky. I liked their graphic a little better, which took in the two party preferred and gave the score. The ABC had labor well behind the libs for half the night via the graphic. Which, to this voter, was annoying.

  42. I flicked around, settling for the ABC, but you think Sky was early, channel 9 was (and I kid you not, this was the graphic they used) running Howard’s picture through a shredder before 8 saying he’d lost his seat! That said, they ran Turnbull at the same time through it too.

    Yeah, the crowd at the ABC was pretty annoying, they also went nuts when the ALP got the 76 seat. I did like Kerry O’Keefe defending the accused ‘Labor rent a crowd’ by saying, no they are probably cheering the Chaser boys who are up to something down there…..;)

  43. Unfortunately, I was stuck in enemy territory, DJing a 40th birthday last night. During the speeches, they actually said they’d be out of a job on Monday with the loss of Howard.

    Consequently, all I had to go on over the night was the ABC mobile app and then watching back the SBS coverage that I’d recorded (it was actually set for RocKwiz and the usual music movies they’re showing on Saturday nights.) Having seen snippets of coverage from the other channels today (Sunday), SBS’ was as dull as dishwater, even with the best efforts of Karen Middleton.

    It’s turned out to be a bittersweet day, though, with the news tonight that Matt Price has lost his battle with cancer, passing away over the day, after Barrie Cassidy mentioned him this morning on Insiders, saying he was going well. Vale Matt.

  44. That is terrible about Matt Price…

    Barrie’s message was very nice but it did have the feel of hopelessness about it.

    Very sad.

  45. catbrain says:

    Did anyone else hear Red Kezza’s gaff regarding the “ABC, I mean ALP victory”?!

    I was at a party where one of the householders chose to watch (please don’t hurt me) the Sunrise coverage… It was quite peculiar – at times quite serious, then alternating with stupid graphics (cartwheeling Howard cartoon, anyone?) and hamminess. (It sounds like Nine were trying to be like them in that respect, with the whole shredder routine.) Nevertheless, a devastated Joe Hockey was a joy to watch.

    Would have loved to have seen the Michael Kroger/Robert Ray exchange on Nine – Kroger saying that Labor wasn’t going to get the 30 seats predicted, followed by Ray deadpanning that Labor were devastated at only getting 23.

  46. Joe Hockey wasn’t just devistated. He seemed rather angry at the fact that people had the audacity to vote out the Liberal Party. Your right though. It was a joy to watch. Yeah ok I was a channel slut.

  47. David Boxcutter says:

    Did anyone else hear Red Kezza?s gaff regarding the ?ABC, I mean ALP victory??!

    That was particularly cool, because at the time he was referring to Maxine McKew, who of course is a former ABC colleague.

  48. I was watching the ABC, but did a bit of channel flicking during the evening to see what the others were up to. Seven didn’t seem very different from any other coverage – the ‘boring bits’ seemed quite intact – except for annoyingly bright and whirly graphics and little animations (my sister said “too many colours!”) and something called The Tower of Power. Classy. (“Deal!”) I also caught Helen Coonan describing Labour’s broadband plan as “pie in the sky” – small chuckle. Missed Nine’s shredder completely. Laughed at Kerry O’Brien’s gaffe re an ABC victory (yay!) and shared his frustration with the annoying crowd.

    But I’m a happy camper πŸ™‚

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