Ep 250: Rake, Dr Janet Hall

Rake on TVHere’s the thing. We did 250 episodes of this show. This is episode 250 but we did our 250th a while ago so here’s one we did this week?

Did you follow that? Well, can you follow a whole review of the new ABC show, Rake? I’m sure you can.

Also, Toby Halligan starts us off on our look at the specifics of how television affects us as actual humans in his interview with Dr Janet Hall, following up her piece in news.com.au last week.

Courteney Hocking is our very special guest cohost because she’s just wonderful.

Don’t forget about being a part of John Richard’s Outland finale shoot this Friday.

This week’s question: Have you listened to all 250 episodes of Boxcutters? Is this actually the 250th? Send us an email..


  1. Nathalie Boxcutter says:

    Brett – Sam Neill’s ads are about red meat not only lamb: are you linking Neill to lamb because he’s a Kiwi?

  2. Trizshjen says:

    There are many times when i have been affected by the television shows i have been watching at the time but none have had such a lasting effect as the finale of breaking bad season 3. For a number of days after the end of that episode i was walking around in a daze, in shock from the intensity of the occasion.

    I think that any quality media is able to impress on someone emotion and depending on the quality of the story telling and the persons emotional investment in a story it can have a real lasting effect. Recently a web comic i read ( http://www.questionablecontent.net ) has had the main characters relationship break up after 3-4 years of being together in real time and for me personally it had the same feelings of the breakup of a close friends relationship, shock, denial, all the normal stages of greif.

  3. I spent the first 7-8 minutes of the ‘Rake’ review screaming into my earpiece “-but it’s just a shameless attempt at an Aussie copy of Californication – can’t you see it?- CAN’T YOU ALL SEE IIIIIT””
    By way of saying – thank you Brett for pointing out the obvious.

    I’m personally a little surprised that an Aussie show is the first to copy the formula. Shouldn’t there be 50 of these things out there by now? And it’s on the ABC no less. How odd. Good stuff though – much like it’s forebear, despite the subject matter, or the quiet desperation of the major characters, there’s nonetheless a real ‘joy’ evident in the show. Everyone involved seems to be enjoying the hell out it; I can only imagine the line reads as everyone cracks up before saying ‘fuck it – let’s go there”. Also, did Hugo Weaving pay the producers for that role? He looked like like he was having the most fun of his career…

  4. David Boxcutter says:

    Brett, you still haven’t explained exactly what cultural value is being protected by the anti-siphoning laws. Is it sitting on the couch watching TV and drinking beer? I really don’t think that’s going away anytime soon, Pay TV or not. You also haven’t written your promised article responding to the rebuttals you got on this topic last time it came up.

    Also – a rather embarrassing gender bias/stereotyping moment in the interview:

    Halligan: “Is it because women feel more vulnerable than men?”
    Hall: “That’s true.”

    Whoa. Like there are no strong and secure women, and no vulnerable and fragile men.

    I was also surprised at the lack of critique of the idea of the government paying to put moralistic messages into TV shows. It was more like “Oh, putting PC propaganda into our stories. That sounds like a good idea.”

    I would have thought a psychologist would have been more aware of issues like people rejecting ideas when they are being preached. After all, most of us grew up with such PC messages implanted into our TV shows, from Neighbours to Desgrassi Junior High. We could all detect the “message” episodes and knew instinctively that they stunk up the place.

    I don’t know anybody who has been persuaded to change their actions because of a moralistic TV show. Most people I know still went out and smoked, drank and did all the drugs the TV shows warned against. Although I never got myself trapped in a discarded refrigerator, I can’t really credit Punky Brewster for that, because I would have had enough common sense not to that in the first place.

  5. Sorry but have to disagree about Rake. Could possibly swallow the Alvin Purple style sexual sophistication of the show if it was funny. But for me it wasn’t funny, incisive or even worldly. I felt the whole thing was a middle aged private school dude’s wank. Or a adolescent private school boy’s wank.

  6. @edb

    considering the popularity, I think the term ‘wank’ gets a bad rap


  7. Bernadette Boxcutter says:

    I can’t really put into words how wrong I believe you to be about Rake. A bigger load of self-indulgent, snooze-inducing crap I have not seen in a long time. I am Aunty’s biggest fan so normally give ABC shows far more leeway than other offerings but even I can’t be bothered with this unsophisticated, unrealistic, unfunny, white bloke’s second-rate fantasy (a prostitute turned girlfriend is just as stupid now as it was when Richard Gere and Julia Roberts acted it out).

    And I have to agree with David Boxcutter above – if you’re going to talk seriously about the psychology of television that’s great, but surely a bit more critical thinking and response to the idea of the government paying money to brainwash the masses by inserting “messages” into TV programs is warranted. I’m sure the Chinese love having all their drama produced by the government and only containing information and images in keeping with the dominant political philosophy of the day. Sheesh.

  8. Adam D(oxcutter) says:

    Following your discussion about southern Africa, I was there recently and thought you mind be interested in a bit more information about the media there. Maybe not. Anyway.

    TV in South Africa is hilarious. You’ve got the SABC, which operates three television channels (1, 2, 3) that somehow manage to cover all 11 official languages (although SABC3 is mainly English). There’s a period in the late afternoon during which you’re guaranteed to see a news bulletin, although chances are it’ll be in Xhosa or Sesotho or something.

    The SABC is perpetually under siege for being mismanaged at a ministerial/board level, although much of that reporting could well be sour grapes from the other media outlets (there’s a licence fee system, which as we’re seeing in the UK irks the competition). It does seem that the SABC channels are mostly watched by the black majority, while the white/affluent classes have a DSTV subscription.

    Digital terrestrial broadcasting hasn’t happened yet. This year DVB was close to being rolled out when the ministry suddenly proposed that weird-arse digital TV system they use in Brazil and Japan. Clearly kickbacks going on there. I don’t know how that’s going now, but there’s potential for the whole country to bollocks up its digital television strategy on a scale that Richard Alston would be in awe of. One saving grace is that the government is looking into making basic email available through set top boxes, so that people who can’t afford a PC or internet connection can still access some basic government services (although, given the licence fee associated with having a television, I don’t know how that would help poor people, but whatever).

    South Africa’s press is limited, but there is some choice, at least in the English language publications. The Irish mob that runs the Independent in the UK also runs a load of daily papers that you do tend to see everywhere (Cape Times and Cape Argus in Cape Town; The Star in Johannesburg). There’s also the Mail and Guardian, a weekly paper produced by Trevor Ncube, a Zimbabwean operator who has had to curb his publications in Zim (but has only recently been permitted to get that going again, thanks to the dynamics of the unit government). The Sowetan is pretty popular around the traps, too.

    The real press colour in South Africa is coming from internet-only services. There’s a relatively new site called the Daily Maverick, which is quite like Crikey but without a paywall. Primedia, a media company that owns a few key music and talk radio stations (think 3AW but not rancid), operates Eyewitness News (think Southern Cross Network News but not rancid).

    Botswana (where the Kalahari is) certainly has bugger-all landline infrastructure. We didn’t think to take a mobile phone and were consequently without phone or internet for weeks.

  9. Adam D(oxcutter) says:

    Just to clarify: by ‘hilarious’ I mean the SABC managerial mess and the fact that it’s disregarded in favour of pay TV.

  10. David Ubergeek says:

    You may have covered this earlier, but topic idea: series that over-stay their welcome. Not necessarily jumping any sharks, but just fading whilst still on air.

    Topic spawned by this current series of The Office (US). Plus, dare I say it, The Librarians…to a lesser extent. To each their own, but maybe a worthwhile discussion.

  11. @Adam Thanks for such a great update – the media landscape in SA sounds fascinating. I’ve read the Daily Maverick once or twice but never had a sense of its context.

  12. Adam D(oxcutter) says:

    No worries. I forgot to add links to things so here they are (all English-language links):

    SABC – http://www.sabc.co.za
    Independent Online (Cape Argus/Times, Star) – http://www.iol.co.za/
    Mail & Guardian – http://mg.co.za/
    The Sowetan – http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/
    Daily Maverick – http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/
    Eyewitness News – http://ewn.co.za/

  13. A minor quibble but Jonathan Dimbleby (An African Journey with JOnathan Dimbleby) and David Dimbleby (Seven Ages of Britain) are two different people, but certainly brothers.

    • Hi Marina. I read your comment previously but have only just understood what you said… Holy CRAP! I thought just the haircut had seemed to have a much bigger effect than I’d expected… That explains so much.
      I remember David Dimbleby as a news reader/commentator from my days in London. I have no idea at all what Jonathan Dimbleby ever did though.
      The most striking thing was how big his haircut seemed to make his nose…

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