Ep 328: Death and Horror

You want the laughs and good joy times? Well, we have an episode all about death and horror to knock that smile and cheer right off your face. Take that, Happy Pants.

John takes you through death affected tv shows while Josh tries to look at the difficulties of horror on the small screen or something.


As requested by a number of listeners, episodes will go live at 6am (UTC+11) on Thursday mornings.


  1. Cracking discussion about death, a great podcast again gents!

    That Big Bird one was amazing to listen to, got me very misty this morning. another reason, along with the interviews that you guys have done with Sesame Street folk that makes me love that show more and more (and pass that love of Sesame Street on to my 3yo daughter)
    I’d forgotten MASH, but that was beautiful also that you were so happy for Colonel Blake to get out of that ‘hell-hole’ that killing him off made it a real shock.

    There were 2 others that stuck out for me, one was 8 Simple Rules when John Ritter died, it was as John describes the method as very US, but very touching when they handed off the carving of the Thanksgiving turkey (again, same time of year) to the son. (They did then make a big joke out of it, but I liked it).

    The other was Tony’s mum in The Sopranos, were they digitally recreated her for a few scenes to get that completed, of course the Sopranos wasn’t one for the sentimental send off…….

  2. The discussion on being unable to sustain horror on TV brings to mind Rod Serling’s quote:

    “It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.” (Rod Serling)

  3. actualchad says:

    I was expecting someone to chime in at the end:

    How’s Pete?
    Howwww’s Pete?

    The Walking Dead started off very patchy in Season 1, went looking for it’s own storyline, couldn’t find anything compelling, so it came back to the comic book storyline in season 2, and has progressed from there.

    Season 2 starts slow again. Once the “mid-season finale” gets out of the way, the show starts to move along nicely.

    Season 3 is much better, probably more like fans would have preferred. How many shows get three seasons to get it right?

    I think it was John ages back who put me off American Horror Story. Now that Josh is loving it, I have to ask: can I watch Season 2 without Season 1?

    Also, five words: Bob climbing over a couch.

  4. Trudy Boxcutter says:

    Dear Boxcutters

    Thanks for a great 2012. While I missed your over-one-hour postings, there was quality in the brevity.
    Here are my favourite shows for the year, in no particular order. Some did not air for the first time this year, but rather, I watched them for the first time.

    *Community. I put off watching this because the premise did not grab me. I finally started watching it when I moved house and had no TV for several days and had to rely on shows downloaded to my hard-drive. Now I am in love … with Jeff Winger. OMG how cute is he?! Often laugh-out-loud funny, this show is a great pick-me-up and is sometimes quite genius.
    *Speaking of pick-me-ups … Project Runway (All Stars, Season 10, Australia). I totes love this show. If I’m feeling down I reach for a bit of Project Runway and invariably, I feel better. It has glamour, style, bitchin, credibility, creativity, talent and competition – love, love, love.
    *Lowdown. I did not watch the first season of this, and really only tuned in to the second season, initially, because it was straight after Rake. So funny and quirky and delightful and silly.
    *Breaking Bad. After a failed attempt at commitment to this show a few years ago, I got stuck in this year. I think it is really, really good but perhaps a little over-hyped? (Feel the same way about The Wire). Still worthy of a mention among the best though.
    *The Shadow Line. Mesmerising UK thriller, with twists and turns, and blood and violence and eccentricities galore. Was like a symphony with light and shade, crescendos and decresendos.
    *Game of Thrones. Loved the first season. Felt a bit confused at the beginning of the second. Lots of new characters and not much explanation. But once I got the hang of it all, I was hooked again. Then felt bereft when it was over.
    *Girls. Really loved the candour of the show. I like that the central protagonist is flawed and cool and crazy and smart and insecure, all at the same time. Really liked the friendship dynamic between Hannah and Marnie. Only bum note for me is Jessa. A bit too cool-for-school and phoney.
    *The Bridge. Just finished watching this and (like everyone else) thought it was superb. From the theme song, to the original character of Saga and her beauty despite her lack of grooming (I was frustrated that she wore the same clothes the entire time!) and her endearing strangeness but professional brilliance, and her rapport with her boss and with Martin and his warmness and tolerance but stupid maleness, and the twists and turns and satisfying but tragic end – wow, this was soooo good.
    *American Horror Story: Asylum. I’ve become addicted. They have all the bases covered: paranormal activity/possession, alien kidnapping, psycho killers and sadism, and I’m enjoying it all. Horror and violence is so cathartic!

    I also want to comment that, a few years ago, my must-watch shows were things like Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. I couldn’t bring myself to watch them this year. Not just because they had passed their used-by-date but because there is so much better stuff out now. It’s been a great year for TV.

  5. In the inevitable “nitpicks from Fred” section…

    – Brenna mispronounced “TRAIL of the Pink Panther” as “TRIAL of the Pink Panther”. Blake Edwards also got TWO zombie-Panther movies out of it, with both “Trail of the Pink Panther” and “Curse of the Pink Panther” using deleted scenes to keep Peter Sellers in films without any new footage. Curse also featured David Niven’s final performance, with his voice dubbed by impressionist Rich Little due to ill health.

    – John got something wrong about Doctor Who. He’s going to cry now. The Master was not off the series for a decade – more like 3 and a half years. Roger Delgado’s last story was “Frontier In Space” (which finished on 31 March 1973) and the first story featuring the Master after his death was “The Deadly Assassin” which started 30 October 1976).

    (and by the way, just like Brenna, John’s my favourite)

    • John Richards says:

      Damnit, Fred, you’re right. I was rather lazily indicating the gap between Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley’s performances as the Master, and hadn’t actually thought about The Deadly Assassin.

      Also, feel free to ponder on the title “The Deadly Assassin” for a moment. As opposed to what other kind of assassin?

    • David Boxcutter says:

      Best Boxcutters blog post ever, based solely on nitpicking Doctor Who facts.

  6. Playing catch-up on old Boxcutters…

    The segment on how death is handled on TV was great, but you mention Frontline’s non-sentimental handling of Brian’s sacking/Bruno Lawrence’s death. It’s almost impossible to find now — and I’m baffled as to why it wasn’t on the DVD box set — but there was a doco that screened around the time of season two called Behind The Frontline, which showed all the behind-the-scenes wheelings and dealings (including a conference call in which Rob Sitch tries to convince Actors Equity that they should be allowed to fly Harry Shearer over for a guest spot, long after he’d been booked).

    In that doco, they talk about an episode they had written and possibly rehearsed in which they bid farewell to Brian, as they were aware Bruno’s health wouldn’t allow him to return for the show. My memory is hazy, but I believe they were about to fly to New Zealand to film it when news came in of his death. One of the Working Dog people described it as a very touching/moving episode, which would have clearly been the opposite of what they eventually went with.

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