Ep 276: cloudstreet

Is cloudstreet the best television drama creation to come out of Australia or is it just another example of our reliance on nostalgia and bush magic to avoid truly reflecting our culture?

It’s quite possible that we answer that question in this week’s episode and there’s only one way to find out.

Also, John went to ACMI to (s)talk David & Margaret. He made a recording of his (s)talking and shares it with us.
[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/media.boxcutters.net/BCep276a.mp3|titles=Episode 276|artists=Boxcutters]

There’s more about How We Watch and an absolutely great bit of Trotters.


One Thing

  • The Brady Bunch, “Kelly’s Kids” – 5:30pm Wed, 24 Aug 2011, Eleven
  • Insight, “Tampa” – 7:30pm Tue, 23 Aug 2011, SBS ONE (repeated on SBS TWO on Friday)

Can’t Stop The Serenity

The Melbourne Browncoats host their annual charity event this Saturday. They promise “heaps of prizes to give away”” plus see Serenity and Dr Horrible’s Sing-along Blog on the big screen! Tix are $18 online or $20 at the door.

For more info, see the facebook page or the Melbourne Browncoats wesbite.


  1. Jimbo from Logan says:

    How do I watch TV?

    Not live, I can’t stand commericals. We have a Foxtel iQ and a dual tuner DVD/HDD recorder and we almost always have shows saved up. Occasionally if we want to watch a show as soon as possible, we will wait for 20 -30 minutes after it starts before we start watching so we don’t catch up before the final ad break. Even with Brisbane Roar soccer games, I will start 15 minutes late to skip half-time. Last week, it almost seemed like we’d have to watch something live because we were already taping four things at 8.30 on Thursday, but I decided to tape the repeat of True Blood at midday on Friday instead of its first airing. That’s what’s good about cable channels repeating things.

    I rarely use iView or the others – I don’t have the patience to watch things on my computer, which is in a different room from the TV. I will only use it if I discover too late that a show is on and I’ve missed some episodes, for example I’d never even heard of Party Down when ABC2 started showing it so I missed the first three episodes and got to catch up on some of them. Or when Go! messes about with the starting time of Fringe and my recording missed most of the episode (I used to tape the late night repeat).

    One thing I do that I haven’t heard mentioned by you or your commenters is that I often watch shows at 1.3x speed, which is something my HDD recorder can do. And if the show is taped on my iQ, I will actually copy it onto the HDD so I can watch it fast. I realise this means I lose some nuances, but it also means I can watch a 1 hour commercial drama in 30 minutes; which is useful when there is only a short window before my wife decides she wants control of the remote control again.

    When I watch TV, I mostly do nothing but watch TV. I find I miss too much if I’m fiddling about on my phone at the same time.

    A final aside – even in the era of disc recording, I still refer to what I do as “taping” a show – what verbs do other people use?


    • I do try to avoid using the terms taping or taped for TV content saved to whatever sort of hard drive though sometimes I still slip back into the old vernacular if I’m not concentrating.

      We still talk about playing ‘carts’ on radio for IDs or ads. I did start out sticking the 8-track cartridges into the decks in the studio – with the occasional joy of firing a cart that wasn’t finished or re-cued that was always a risk – but I think a majority of broadcasters at RRR now wouldn’t even have seen one.

      It is a handy shorthand in the studio, however. It doesn’t matter if content is played off computer or minidisc or CD – they’re all carts. I think it’s a sweet legacy term that connects us back to the golden age of radio.

  2. Erm… the David & Margaret thing is only a minute long? Or is there a problem with the non-itunes file?

  3. Great ep guys.

    Josh, the thing I like most about FetchTV is being able to access Al Jazeera relatively easily.

  4. David Boxcutter says:

    How does Josh being able to see his neighbours’ TV screens translate in Brett’s mind to “checking out the community style”? Also, Josh mentioned “The CW” twice but Brett didn’t even say “The Country and Western Channel” once. What the hell is going on?

    Josh, I have a Zoom H4n here, and you can press record twice to record. You don’t have to press play. Of course, the real crime here is that Toby Halligan did not catch this egregious error via extensive testing in the Boxcutters Electronics Testing Lab (BETL).

    How do I watch TV? One word: Bittorrent. Even for local shows that I could record via DVR or watch via iView. Bittorrented shows come with the advertisements already removed, and in a format I can easily stream to my TV. The only thing I watch live-to-air is Masterchef, and that probably won’t continue next year, since “The Renovators” destroyed everything.

  5. Hi guys,

    I thought I’d add to Toby’s bit at the end about TV watching and the risk to your health: most of the harm of TV watching is probably coming from the individual being sedentary. It’s a somewhat new field in Physical Activity research, but basically, sedentary behaviour is an independent risk factor for chronic disease. So reducing your sedentary behaviour does not mean exercising because the harm comes from the lack of activity in your muscles at a metabolic level. Even standing periodically would count as reducing your sedentary time. It’s true that researchers play up the TV watching part of it just because it sounds a little shocking. But in truth any sort of inactivity, especially at office jobs, is bad for you.

    The evidence in this field has been slowly coming along, mostly because it’s kind of tricky to test for this stuff and design studies that could accurately measure the risk. All we know now is that it’s probably bad if you sit for too long and the real harm comes from long periods of true inactivity.

    I’m only a student so I don’t know everything there is to know, but I hope this clears up some things.

    here are a few picks from the literature:


  6. I can’t remember the last time the tv in our house was actually used to watch live tv, or even delayed tv.
    In fact, only a few weeks ago, the house mate and I both received a message from a friend to turn on the tv as something was on they thought we would find interesting. It was at this point we found out the fetch tv was not even plugged in and by the time we got it set up, too late.

    I will for the most part give my full attention to what I watch on my computer, occasionally keeping an eye on twitter. However there are a few guilty pleasure shows that I watch while also browsing or playing minecraft.

    I think if our free to air stations were to broadcast in full HD, I might be tempted to watch more live tv, if I could get over the delays and crap programming.

    Another fantastic episode, cheers guys.

  7. So, your cult poses a problem. I have money, just not a credit card or friends. Can I just mail you some cake? 😉

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