Two Hundred a Day is a podcast by Nathan D. Paoletta and Epidiah Ravachol. We are exploring the intensely weird and interesting world of the 70s TV detective show The Rockford Files. Half celebration and half analysis, we break down episodes of the show and then analyze how and why they work as great pieces of narrative and character-building.
In each episode of Two Hundred a Day, we watch an episode, recap and review it as fans of the show, and then tease out specific elements from that episode that hold lessons for writers, gamers and anyone else interested in making better narratives.
Episode 29: The Queen of Peru
March 18th, 2018 | 1 hr 30 mins
70s, barbeque, come on, cookmaster, diamond, heist, indiana, james garner, jim rockford, peru, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S4E12 The Queen of Peru. Rockford is trying to handle an insurance company client recover a stolen diamond, but things go pear-shaped as the crooks try to pull a fast one and the diamond ends up in... the RV of a family from Indiana? The Wronkos steal Jims grill, where the diamond happens to be, and well things just spiral from there. This comedic episode combines a sparking David Chase script with some great characters, and is rightly considered a Rockford Files classic. We really enjoyed it!
Episode 28: Local Man Eaten by Newspaper
February 25th, 2018 | 1 hr 29 mins
70s, coop, gossip, james garner, jim rockford, mob, scandal, the proofreader, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S5E12 Local Man Eaten by Newspaper. Jim goes undercover at a scandal rag to figure out why his client, a doctor to the famous, has been burgled; meanwhile, a local mob boss is facing pressure from inside the family due to rumors spread by that very newspaper. This episode features two separate storylines that intertwine as the pressure mounts on each side, focusing on the increasing dissolution of Natalie, the woman driving her husband Augie to take over the mob family. This episode doesn't give us as much Rockford as usual but it paints a compelling portrait of the villains of the piece, making it a compelling episode of television and giving us a lot to talk about in our second half!
Episode 27: Feeding Frenzy
February 11th, 2018 | 1 hr 29 mins
70s, george wyner, ice rink, irs, james garner, jim rockford, mob, p.i., sideburns, statute of limitations, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S3E4 Feeding Frenzy. Jim's ex-girlfriend's father has been sitting on a literal pile of money that he accidentally stole, and now he wants Jim's help giving it back without repercussions. However, he's not alone in knowing about the score, and now all the sharks are circling in order to get that half million dollars for themselves! A suggestion from one of our Patreon backers, this episode has a great pace, snappy dialogue and features one of the greatest set-piece hostage exchanges in Rockford Files history - but there are some unclear thematic elements that, while they don't take away from the story, do make it a bit of an incoherent viewing experience. That said, this one is an atypical and well-worth-seeing episode!
Episode 26: The Dark and Bloody Ground
January 28th, 2018 | 1 hr 41 mins
70s, beth davenport, car chase, copyright law, james garner, jim rockford, tacos, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy are joined by special guest Emily Care Boss to talk about S1E2 The Dark and Bloody Ground. Featuring the debut of Beth Davenport and excellent action sequences from director Michael Schultz, we have a lot to gush about beyond the slightly-too-convoluted mystery plot that centers on dual identities, obscure copyright law, and love lost in the pursuit of big Hollywood money. In our second half, Emily leads our deep dive conversation into building dynamic relationships AND dynamic action sequences in fiction. Thanks to our Patreon supporters for enabling our first guest appearance!
Episode 25: I Still Love L.A.
January 14th, 2018 | 1 hr 33 mins
90s, california, james garner, jim rockford, l.a., mob, rodney king, satanic panic, tv, tv movie
Nathan and Eppy celebrate a year of the podcast by discussing the first 90s Rockford Files TV movie, I Still Love L.A. Fifteen years after the end of the original show, we catch back up with our friend Jim Rockford as he tries to (gasp) sell his trailer and leave L.A.! Amidst race riots, fires and earthquakes, Jim takes a case from his attorney ex-wife to discover the truth of the murder of a wealthy socialite. But when one of Jim's childhood baseball heroes turns out to be a possible satanist (!), he has to sort through a sordid web of lies to figure out what's going on and who's to blame. It's an interesting change of pace for us to take on this generation of the show, and we loved how the essential Rockford-ness was maintained. Unfortunately, the actual mystery seemed underbaked, and some of the plot points resonate very differently with us in 2017 than they were probably intended in 1994. That said, this was a fun change of pace for us and we look forward to watching more of these movies!
Episode 24: White on White and Nearly Perfect
December 24th, 2017 | 1 hr 33 mins
70s, dames, gams, james garner, jim rockford, magnum, mob, p.i., the rockford files, tom selleck, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S5E4, White on White and Nearly Perfect. Tom Selleck guest stars as Lance White, a squeaky clean alternative vision of what a P.I. can be. Working together to investigate the kidnapping of a wealthy industrial magnates daughter, Lance White's charmed storybook life gives Rockford a lot to criticize - but figuring out the case hinges not on Lance's idealism but Rockford's pragmatism. Equal parts character study, deconstruction of the fictional P.I. tropes and truly hilarious writing, this is a real stand-out episode not just of The Rockford Files but of purely entertaining television. Do yourself a favor and track it down!
Episode 23: The Aaron Ironwood School of Success
December 10th, 2017 | 1 hr 27 mins
70s, dare to dream, dare to succeed, james garner, jim rockford, mob, pizza, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S2E1, The Aaron Ironwood School of Success. When Jim's former foster brother turns up in L.A., it's not just to promote his business empire; he has a problem and he needs help. It turns out that Jim may trust Aaron just a little too much as he's brought into a swindle, and has to figure out the angle before it's too late! The chemistry on screen elevates this episode over a slightly illogical script, and the psychology of the action sequences give us a lot to talk about in our second half!
Episode 22: The Four Pound Brick
November 26th, 2017 | 1 hr 27 mins
70s, cops, hash, james garner, jim rockford, leigh brackett, noir, star wars, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S1E20 The Four Pound Brick. An old friend of Rocky's is convinced that her cop son's death was no accident, and Rocky hires Jim to look into it! A straight-forward detective mystery written by pulp author and screenwriter Leigh Brackett, we find the combination of genre conventions and iconic Rockford Files characterization to be well worth the watch, and it gives us a lot to talk about in our second half as well!
Episode 21: Hotel of Fear
November 12th, 2017 | 1 hr 29 mins
70s, angel martin, hitman, james garner, jim rockford, mob, murder, room service, the cobra, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S4E10 Hotel of Fear. Angel gets into serious trouble when he witnesses a murder, and Jim needs to look sharp to keep him out of the literal line of fire! This episode deftly handles multiple mysteries while showcasing all of the things we love about both Jim and Angel, giving us a lot to talk about in our second half about crafting characters in fiction. A solid recommendation from us!
Episode 20: Quickie Nirvana
October 22nd, 2017 | 1 hr 31 mins
70s, age of aquarius, hippies, james garner, jim rockford, karmic bashlash, the rockford files, tiger, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S4E7 Quickie Nirvana. Rockford's hippie acquaintance Sky Aquarian draws him into a serious problem with a former employer, a blackmail scheme and a bunch of money. A wonderful David Chase script gives us all of juicy characters, good gags and fun mystery-solving action we love so much in the show, and much fodder for talking about how to demonstrate character through actions in our second half. We really like this one!
Episode 19: The No-Cut Contract
October 8th, 2017 | 1 hr 26 mins
70s, dick butkus, feds, football, james garner, jim rockford, mob, mustaches, rob reiner, the rockford files, tv, violin players
Nathan and Eppy discuss S2E15 The No-Cut Contact. Rob Reiner guest-stars as a "second rate quarterback on a third-rate team" who nevertheless drags Jim into trouble, caught between the Mob and the Feds. Can Jim figure out what's going on before "King" Sturdevan pins the whole deal on him? We break down how the chemistry of the leads and our beloved tight writing make this a great episode to watch, and go over protagonism and MacGuffin's in the second half. Highly recommended!
Episode 18: Just By Accident
September 24th, 2017 | 1 hr 28 mins
70s, demolition derby, james garner, jim rockford, terrible jokes, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S1E21 Just By Accident. This episode keeps the action moving along as Rockford investigates the death of a friends son, a Demolition Derby driver, in a mysterious accident - unfortunately, the writing overall and the treatment of Rockford in particular doesn't meet our generally high expectations! We break down the missed opportunities in the second half, as this episode left us wanting better choices made on behalf of our friend Jim.
Episode 17: There's One in Every Port
September 10th, 2017 | 1 hr 24 mins
70s, con game, dual registry, get the crew together, halibut, james garner, jim rockford, scheme, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S3E12 There's One in Every Port. Rockford thought he was helping out a friend, but it turns out he was conned! Now he has to assemble a crew, turn the mark and con his "old friend" Eddy in order to pay back the mob - before time runs out. This is a wonderful con game romp of an episode!
Episode 16: The Oracle Wore a Cashmere Suit
August 27th, 2017 | 1 hr 29 mins
70s, james garner, jim rockford, large body of water, mystery, psychic, psychic detective, robert webber, scam, scheme, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S3E2 The Oracle Wore a Cashmere Suit. A self-proclaimed psychic is assisting the police with a missing persons case, and takes a keen interest in what Jim has to do with it. A wonderful performance from Robert Webber as "psychic" Roman Clementi adds to a fast-paced story of mystery, mixed motives and murder. It's a great episode!
Episode 15: 2 Into 5.56 Won't Go
August 13th, 2017 | 1 hr 25 mins
5.56, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, korea, mystery, scam, scheme, tank stealing, the rockford files, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S2E10 2 Into 5.56 Won't Go. Jim's old commander from the Korean war has been killed - but not before leaving a mysterious message on Jim's answering machine that leads the Colonel's daughter to Jim's door. This episode leans a little harder on some generic tropes than we generally expect, but does feature great dialogue and a lot of fodder for our second-half discussion about handling villains, dramatic irony and metaphors in your stories and games!