Boxcutters Episode 98

Strap yourselves in for a long and spikey one, people. We’ve got Katrina Mathers from The Wedge in to face the hard questions and then we all do the same during the final and controversial Golden Age of Television. There’s also I Don’t Buy It, Quotes and a short chat about Mad Men.

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    1. For guys who know so much about television – you know nothing about television! Just this once, all the Boxcutters family who supported The West Wing for GAT were right, and Josh and Ross are wrong. Four perfect seasons…

      And for the record… The Games was written by John Clark but not with Brian Dawe. He co-wrote it with Ross Campbell, who more commonly goes by the pseuodonym Ross Stevenson when hosting 3AW’s breakfast show in Melbourne. He is hands down the best radio broadcaster in the country, and made cameos in The Games as a shock jock and a belligerent Scottish guy. I watched this show again last year and it still holds up very very well.

    2. To be fair – Josh and I (and the envelope) know nothing about TV, Brett spent most of the post show telling us how wrong we were not to include West Wing.

      Thanks for setting us straight on The Games. Great show, very funny.

    3. Just a couple of things to follow up from this week?s show. Firstly, both Josh and I were remembering incorrectly the details of Drew Carey?s new hosting job in the US:

      Drew Carey makes a welcome return to primetime television in a new collaboration with American network CBS.

      Carey, known for his razor-sharp wit and quick humour, helms CBS?s new game show Power of 10. In the style of shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Carey?s entry gives contestants the chance to win money by answering questions, with a view to a possible prize of 10 million dollars.

      The new show?s hook is that the questions will be based on polls taken across the American population. Contestants most in tune with public opinion can cash in on their popular knowledge. An example of a question is: ?Do you think you?re smarter than George W. Bush??

      Sounds a little like Millionaire crossed with Family Feud to me.

      Secondly, if anyone was confused, when Sandra Sultry says she?s playing with her box, of course she means her TV – on BOXcutters.

    4. The Newsroom was fantastic!

      I really wish I’d mentioned Green Wing.

    5. i dont get the ten year rule…

    6. hmm – i think once you explained the rules of GAT, i understoodyour culling process better. Some of the stuff (ie needing to be made in the last 10 years or so) i either forgot about or hadnt heard. In that case i dont mind the exclusion. Other people are going to berate u about TWW so im not going to bother… i will say this though. I reckon you could widen the criteria for GAT and itd be a great excuse to discuss the worthiness of a show each week. This about it, it could be a great way of bringing some historical context to each show… just a thought. NIt was an extremely funny episode thogh, i kinda fell off my chair on the bus ths morning. and as for the MIFF rant … well, you should try seein a movie in sydney:)

    7. I was waiting for the GAT list to be posted but I can hold it in no longer.

      Ladies and gentlemen, in the case against inclusion of the West Wing I give you Series 2, Episode 16: Somebody’s Going to Emergency, Somebody’s Going to Jail.

      The use of Don Henley’s “New York Minute” without any sense of irony should disqualify the entire programme. Unfortunately the episode would have been terrible enough without it.

    8. Josh, you are kicking out a whole series based on one episode, but you are leaving Lost in there? Oh come on you guys whinged over and over about how awful the start of season 3 (its season 3 right?) of Lost was. Maybe that should be chucked out because of its “dragging out” of the storyline in an effort to keep the seasons going.

      I’m sure I could find many other series in the GAT which should be chucked on terrible episodes.

      Just a comment, personally I dont care too much for lists, I know what I like and as long as I can see it I’m happy (when I’m not I’m angry, yes Channel 10 I’m looking at you).

    9. Actually, Nigel, it was just another example further to what Ross and I had already discussed on the show.

      I can bring up a lot more if you’d like. West Wing was full of episodes like that. It’s just that that one, particularly, sticks in my mind because of my intense dislike for Don Henley.

    10. I don’t know where to put this: John from Cincinatti axed.

    11. Gee, what a shame. The finale was worse than the previous week, and that is saying something. What a waste of time.

    12. Right. That’s it. I’ve had it.

      NigelP, you’re the king. As I said last week, TWW managed to snare a huge audience while tackling heavy subject matter in a political setting. But no – clearly the televisual descendants of fucken Gilligan are far more worthy!

      Josh, sadly TWW was produced in the United States. Unfortunately, if you want to snare a huge audience while talking (walking and talking?) politics, the odd moment of schmaltz is probably going to be inevitable. I’ve managed to forgive just about every one of those moments in the first four series because the rest of it was so damn good. For fuck’s sake, we’re talking about a show which had one of its most dramatic and compelling and well-written episodes named after the number of an amendment to the US constitution! (And don’t tell me you weren’t clutching the arms of your chair when John Goodman snarled, “You’re relieved, Mr President.”)This show told the story of a presidential election – coherently somehow – while managing to avoid the detail of how on earth the presidential primary system works. (A hundred bucks to anyone who can thoroughly explain that to my satisfaction.) That’s just great story-telling!

      Yes, Don Henley sucks. But that was a big block of cheese day. So I think you’re forgetting the golden moments of Toby ignoring a bunch of globalisation protesters, Sam investigating an old case of espionage, and CJ with some crazy map makers who wanted to turn the world upside down. And that was just one episode!

      I also give you Ainsley Hayes, Joey Lucas, John Laroquette’s cricket bat, the old guy from the state department, Bruno Gianelli, Amy Gardner sitting on Josh Lyman’s stoop (and everything else she did), missing the motorcade, Karl Malden’s amazing Oval Office cameo, Matthew Perry showing off some fairly good acting chops as a Republican, Hoover’s good luck charm, Bartlet and Ritchie in the theatre foyer, Judge Roberto Mendoza, CJ and Simon, and Delores Landingham’s new fucken car!

      And you know very well, Kinal, that this list is just barely scratching the surface. So stop being so petulant!

      Show me another show which could not only stay on air but hold an audience in America after showing the president cursing God out in Latin in a cathedral.

      And then put it in the Golden Age of fucken Television ahead of the modern-day Ginger and Maryanne!

      Right. I think I’m done.

      Except to say that anybody who wants to use their mobile phone in a cinema better have a fucken heart to transplant or they can get fucked.

      Thank you one and all.

    13. Yay for Jimbo – you should boycott the show until “the envelope” relents. You’ll be missed during that time, but it’s for a greater good.
      Perhaps the Post-It Notes are the same ones that are used on the front of newspapers these days, which piss me off with equal intensity. This whole campaign just says to me that the government is treating concerns with absolute contempt – no real explanation, we’re just telling you that you’re wrong.
      Oh, you’re so puerile with your schoolboy pronunciations… his name is pronounced why-ner. IE = ee; EI = eye. *rolls eyes*

    14. ‘Can you lose your job for being female? [whump] FACT: TREACLE TASTES LIKE TREACLE’

    15. David Boxcutter says:

      Right on, Jimbo. Testify!

    16. I still can’t get over the fact that none of you have seen Band of Brothers. If there was ever a TV show that everyone should and should have seen in the last 10 years its that one. Well that and SPACED but I take it none of you have heard of that one. Both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz come out of that show.

    17. Spaced seconded. Utterly unique in its time.

    18. Oh, and The Royle Family for that matter. Satire taken to a whole new level. Entire shows literally about nothing (not in the Seinfeld sense of ‘about nothing,’ i.e. not actually about nothing), yet thick with acute observations.

    19. I happened to watch the entirety of Spaced last weekend and Josh is a fan. Ross should also be coming up to speed shortly.

      It was a little lost on me, though I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s about the references being a little old now or possibly something about hearing how great it was before watching and then having no chance to live up to it. I had a few chuckles but no rollicking bouts of laughter and I wasn’t particularly drawn to any of the characters.

      The Royle Family left me cold when it was on ABC and I was catching the odd episode. Shameless was much more engaging for me – though not as an out and out comedy.

    20. The Royle Family and Shameless are chalk and cheese. The Royle Family is subtle in its portrayal: some of the more important (and more accurate) traits are only evident on repeated viewing, e.g. Barbara asking Denise the same questions about food every episode. It’s a bit like fine art, in that you really need to invest a lot of time in order to get anything back. (Being related to people exactly freaking like them helps too.)

      Spaced isn’t best ever or anything, but it was certainly influential, and I’d certainly never seen anything like it before.

    21. Watching SPACED recently made it glaringly apparent why I don’t like Family Guy – the pop culture references are more subtle and incorporated directly into the story, rather than having the FG fanfare of “look at me – I just made yet another random reference”. But that’s probably also a reflection of my broader preference for British over US comedy.

      Sorry for bringing the whole FG thing up again… not sure why I did it – probably just to have a dig at Brett. *grin*

    22. Actually CB Peter Boxcutter suggested the Golden Age of Television to us right in the middle of the whole Family Guy Vs South Park brewhaha and Brett quite correctly predicted GAT would be an even bigger can of worms.

    23. When I first saw SPACED, I had the biggest shock of my life. You see, Tim, is me. SPACED is like my life story. Scary isn’t it.

    24. ps. Its still freaking me out that there are two Nigel’s listening to Boxcutters. There are not that many Nigel’s in OZ.

    25. scalpel4hire says:

      Hi All

      I came to boxcutters late, so have only heard the more recent GAT stuff.

      I was, however, very disappointed with the latest discussion, which struck me as not much more than a wanky vanity ego-trip on the part of Josh & sidekick. Brett puts a show up, Josh says no (cos he didn’t think of it first?)

      To my mind, Brett’s list (it was Brett, wasn’t it?) seemed to include many shows which met the criteria, whereas the original 23 shows include some of questionable value (Futurama but not Family Guy? The Shield/The Wire but not 24? Arrested Development but not Scrubs?)

      The West Wing?
      In, definitely in.

      To go back a step, though, I’ve got to say the GAT concept itself is a bit silly. I think the number of times a seminal show has been mentioned, only to be discarded because it was ‘too early’, illustrates just how ludicrous it is to say that TV has become something special in only the last 10 years.

      (Maybe I’m just too old for this discussion – I remember where I was when I heard John Lennon was shot, eg. Shit, for that matter, I saw ‘Let It be’ and ‘Woodstock’ when they were new cinema releases.)

      I can’t begrudge you the excitement of thinking you’ve been born into a ‘golden age’. That’s the prerogative of every age, and I’ve been there a few times myself.

      For my money, however, TV has always had great storytelling etc, you just had to know where to look. What price Callan, The Sweeney, Minder, Hill Street Blues, The Day After, Monty Python, Failsafe, Taxi, Cheers, St Elsewhere, BlackAdder, etc etc etc etc?

      Still, for all my carping, I think the Boxcutters is a great podcast; maybe I’m just jealous I don’t get to bounce my thoughts about TV around the tubes of the interweb every week.

      Keep at it.

    26. Hear hear. Without this site and podcast I’d have nobody to talk to about any of this stuff.

      Isn’t the point of GAT to highlight recent television? Because it’s done its job.

    27. @Adam:

      Isn?t the point of GAT to highlight recent television? Because it?s done its job.

      I think you’ve said it much more directly and succinctly than any of us could.

      Thank you.

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