Ep 242: But what is television?

genealogy.pngWith poor Nelly away sick, the wonderful Geraldine Hickey comes in to take her place for a week.

  • Brett doesn’t buy an ad for a genealogy website.
  • We start talking about what television actually means and how the very concept is changing and where it’s going. That’s going to be a long journey but we’ll have a fun time along the way.
  • Also, there’s a Rule of One, a letter or two and one thing to watch this week.

Get it and listen to it:

And then, please, let us know what you think.


  1. I now think that I need to have a serious look at myself and the TV shows that I have been watching after Josh first trashes Hellcats (incidentally, she is only 21, not 28 :p) and now Lost Girl.

    On a side note, i really dont think you watched the episode with the amount you got wrong 🙂 Obviously these shows are not the best the world has to offer in televisual delights by any stretch of the imagination, but I really didnt think they were ‘that’ bad.

    What I do think you should be trashing instead of the individual shows themselves are the lack of imagination that the tv execs and writers at the moment.

    Currently we have :
    True Blood – Vampires, Warewolves, Fae, Witches(sort of)
    Lost Girl – Fae
    Vampire Diaries – Vampires, Warewolves, Witches
    Pretty Little Liars – bitches, oh wait. Sorry, wrong list

    But you get the idea. It seems that once someone is on a good thing, everyone else feels they need to get in on it too and just floods the market witch cheap copies.
    I think they need to be taken for what they are: silly, fun and in no way serious or good TV.

    In the mean time I am going to rewatch all of Chuck to make sure it isnt crap TV that i have just blindly overlooked while staring at Yvonne Strahovski.

    • Josh Kinal says:

      @Noodlez, am I to infer from the subtext that you like Hellcats and Lost Girl? If so, I’m really keen to hear why. And yes, the character might only be college-aged and the actor might only be 21, but are you telling me she doesn’t look 28?

      Also, you’re safe with Chuck. It’s a good show AND Yvonne Strahovski is totally worth staring at.

  2. Oh! and I forgot, succubi seem to be coming into favor with them also being both in Lost Girl and The Gates (along with again, vampires and werewolves)

  3. I imagine that if you put Scooby Doo into myheritage, you’ll either get Dynomutt (The Wonder Dog) or Leo McKern.





    And Josh, please no more reviews like that Lost Girl one, it actually makes me want to have a look.



    • Josh Kinal says:

      @Gavin Boxcutter, I have never before noticed the similarity between Scooby Doo and Leo McKern (aside from their obvious shared love of snacks).

      Also, I realised, as I was saying the very words in the review, that I made it sound much more exciting than it is. Still, that’s how to get a bad show past network execs. Just make it sound exciting. But don’t waste your time. There are many other, much better things you could be watching.

  4. David Boxcutter says:

    You guys need to look up the meaning of “tautology”. It means unnecessary redundancy – i.e; saying the same thing twice in a sentence.

    I believe what you were thinking of was a contradiction in terms, or mutually exclusive statement. “Pop-culture academics” would only be tautological if it is assumed that all academics are mad for pop culture, which obviously isn’t the case.

  5. Darren Boxcutter says:

    Does the Rule of One mean you have to watch the 1st episode of the series or can you pick one at random?

    Maybe the show will be better in a future episode.

  6. Daniel D Boxcutter says:

    Oxymoron is what I think Brett was going for.

  7. Nelly Thomas says:

    Thanks for stepping in Geraldine – loved your co-hosting. For those who are interested, I am feeling much better.

    Ok, most important thing first: my celebrity look alike is apparently an actress called Camilla Belle. http://camilla-belle.net/
    Keep in mind that I also had a 75% compatibility with an Asian singer (I am not Asian).

    As for the letter to Boxcutters suggesting that I am a “laugh at the boys giggling girty” (I’m paraphrasing), I say these things:

    – I am a generally happy person
    – I like to laugh
    – I try to be a generous co-host and coversationalist
    – I am a COMEDIAN
    – there are no other women on the show for me to laugh at and with

    I considered also outlining my feminist credentials, but decided against it. Suffice to say I have many faults, but being a “Fifi Box” is not one of them.

    Finally, smoke one thing: “maybe women and men don’t like to hear women laugh – just throwing it out there.” Cropley, you never fail to disappoint.

    Thomas out.

    Oh, and for the record, I will keep on laughing and may even giggle on the podcast from time to time.


  8. Firstly, Josh’s giggles are so infectious that it often leads to fellow commuters staring at me, wondering what is so damn funny!

    Secondly, I’m really keen to hear more about your thoughts on the question ‘what is television?’. It was something I studied in a German media class at uni, and is very interesting once you wrap your head around it. It relates to Marshal McLuhan’s theory ‘the medium is the message’. The idea is that it’s not the content that is important, but rather how it is delivered.

    As it stands, television is quite a passive form of media, we just have to sit there and watch in order to absorb the information. But I feel that viewing ‘television’ online allows the viewer to be more engaged in the program, which is important. Not only can the advertisers tailor the ads to each viewer, but they can offer recommendations based on viewing history, extra info about the show etc. The viewer can also take advantage of having the web at their fingertips – googling croquembouche receipes while watching Masterchef, or getting the stats on your favourite Survivor contestant for example. The viewer can usually also pause, rewind and fast forward the show, send a recommendation link to friends via Facebook, tweet about how great it was and find out when the next installment will be up online. The evolution of the medium of television is going to have a big impact on how society consumes its news and entertainment.

    That’s why I don’t think television will ‘die’ as such, but will just evolve to become a more interactive experience. I can’t wait for the day my flatscreen is able to surf the web! (There’s probably already a way to do it but I’m not tech savvy enough!)

  9. lyndal boxcutter says:

    I agree with Clare about the infectious laughter. I often giggle at something on Boxcutters when on the tram or at gym and get odd looks. There was quite the public incident when Josh was talking about Pantisiphoning.

    I’m very conscious of the “Oh Eddie you’re terrible” school of giggling female radio presenter and I don’t get that vibe from Nelly at all.

    I’m loving the corrections at the end of the episode. I have to school myself not to comment before I’ve listened to the whole ep as I nearly jumped straight on and nominated cats stealing babies souls as What Brett was Smoking this week but appreciated the clarification by Toby at the end.

  10. David Boxcutter says:

    I have another “Rule of One” for you – the new CBS show Shit my Dad Says. I lasted about four minutes into this one. At least I managed to watch a whole episode of Hellcats.

    This one is so bad I’m thinking of going and watching episodes 2 and 3 of Hellcats just to cleanse my palate. I think that the Rule of Three is well and truly dead. It’s far too much to ask people to subject themselves to more than 15 minutes of the current season offerings, nobody should have to suffer that way.

  11. I just had to comment on something that Josh said this week. He said, “They’re not focussing on creating content that is compelling [or] nurturing new talent … They’re just focussing on how can we create something that’s going to sell advertising time”.

    That’s an interesting point, but perhaps they just need to wake up to the fact that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive and that, in fact, sticking with a program can build brand loyalty.

  12. Paul Boxcutter says:

    Isn’t the rule of one just akin to TV stations just shafting a show after 1 episode rating poorly? ala ‘The Peter Helliar Effect’?

    I jest, of course, but it has the same feel. That said, I haven’t endured any of these shows you speak of 😉

  13. I really, really hope the future of television isn’t Googling stuff while watching reality shows.

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