Ep 121: In Treatment, Oscars, The Biggest Loser

This week we discuss new HBO drama In Treatment. There?s a rural I Don?t Buy It. We complain about Channel 9?s shoddy Oscars telecast. There?s some Biggest Loser Quotes as well as the usual News, Quiz and Pork.

121 – rhythms with fun!




  1. Labor in Power was shot in 1993 when everyone – including the then government – expected Labor to lose. For that reason even the most senior of ministers was extremely candid. It was screened in 1994 after Keating’s “sweetest victory of all”. (Brett, how could you get that quote wrong?? “This… this is the sweetest victory of all. (Raucous applause) This is a victory for the true believers.”) It came off the back of Keating’s famous parliamentary response after the polls had started to turn. Hewson asked him in question time, “If the prime minister is so confident of victory why doesn’t he call the election now?” To which Keating responded, elbow on the despatch box, searing gaze across the table, “Because mate, I want to do you slowly.” Arguably the best ever response to a question in the House of Reps.)

    As I noted last week. that Four Corners episode mirrored all the framing, editing and musical methods of Labor in Power. But The Howard Years – whenever it’s screened – will not be able to match the added frisson which comes with screening extremely candid interviews with ministers who are, against the odds, still in power. Nonetheless, I still thought it was great telly even though there’s been cricitism of it as a let down.

    And let’s get this straight about Oscars night: as I texted you guys, better to have average pizza and a great host than the other way round. No matter who gets the awards.

  2. Does anyone else ‘not buy’ the new ANZ ad which is a lame rip off of The Chemical Brothers Let Forever Be film clip? Unless ANZ has enlisted Michel Gondry to create it’s ads, which I doubt. It hasn’t even bothered to create the full effect. Poor work.

    Another ad agancy rip-off which was on more often a month or two ago was for a brand of ‘ladies sanitary products’ (I forget which one). The ad involved young, hip women leaping through computer generated shapes in slow motion. That may sound a bit neither here nor there but I’m sure everyone got the email/saw the YouTube clip of Japanese Game Show Human Tetris Happy Challenge or whatever it was called – same thing.

    Surely these ad agencies are getting paid enough millions of dollars to spend the time to come up with an original concept. I know it’s been happening for years but grrrrr…

  3. Rob Boxcutter says:

    Ah, Granola. With cinnamon and yoghurt.

    I’m with Josh on In Treatment. Great writing, superb acting, set in what must count as one of the more unusually intimate settings two (or three) people can find themselves. I agree it is unrelentingly tense in many episodes, but this just draws me in further. The concept certainly is a dangerous one for television and could so easily be done very badly indeed. Thankfully, that’s not the case. I don’t think even Ross thought it was badly done, just not his cup of tea. One thing that would definitely ruin it is advertising. This show would be ripped to shreds if interspersed with ads on a commercial station, as it relies so much on atmospheric and conversational build-up, as well as periods of reflective silence.

  4. Yes, you are spot on there Rob. In Treatment requires a big investment of television time and I don’t want to see these characters every day or invite them into my life for two and a half hours each week.

  5. catbrain says:

    @jimbo: thank you so much for reminding me of the “do you slowly” quote… the image I recall of Keating delivering that line has kept me smiling all day. I do miss the witty repartee from parliaments of yore…

    I think the whole idea of a local Top Gear is misguided, but if Michelle Walsh is one of the presenters it’s going to be a big pile of steaming poo. She’s that bint who used to be on Escape With ET – always came across as dumb as a box of rocks.

    Don’t a vast number of the Chinese population have satellite dishes anyway, even on the mainland? I assume the ban on foreign cartoons is only applicable to media the state can directly control. The kids can probably continue to watch on YouTube or Google Video anyway.

    The 7.30 Report had an item about Underbelly in Victoria tonight. You can watch tonight’s program here until about 8pm tomorrow night. It doesn’t look like they’re putting it up as a single video, although they have got the segment about Richmond Boxing Club and Shadow Boxing (performed by Angus Sampson, produced by Sam Pang) if anyone’s interested…

    The Night Cap is just The Chat Room by another name, isn’t it? Didn’t work the first time, won’t work now.

  6. I’m totally with Rob and Josh on In Treatment.
    I initially found the concept fascinating but I knew I was invested in the characters by how tense I got whenever Paul and Laura were in the room together.
    Even the giant horse teeth on Melissa George couldn’t take me out of really caring about whether Paul would do the right thing.

    @ James – Did you get a chance to see Keating! on any of your trips back here?

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