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.
May 13th, 2018 | 1 hr 31 mins
1970s, 70s, dr. feelgood, green drink, james garner, jim rockford, one flew over the cuckoos nest, p.i, rockford files, television, the alphian way, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S4E19 The Competitive Edge. Hired to track down the disappearance of a bank executive by his wife, Jim stumbles upon the secret of an exclusive "health club" The Alphian Way, leading to his own abduction to a rural mental health institution! While leaning a little too hard on the comedic portrayal of the mentally ill, this episode is a tightly-plotted piece with a wonderfully broad cast of character actors, and we find a lot to like inside the fantastical story.
April 29th, 2018 | 1 hr 33 mins
1970s, 70s, criminal justice reform, fifth amendment, grand jury, james garner, jim rockford, night rider, p.i, rockford files, social justice, television, tv
Nathan and Eppy are joined by special guest Jess Banks to discuss one of the most memorable, and perhaps influential, episodes of The Rockford Files: S3E7 So Help Me God. Jim is called before a grand jury to testify about a case he knows nothing about, and when he invokes his Fifth Amendment rights he is jailed on contempt of court! This "issue episode" dramatizes the use of grand juries to compel witness testimony and exploit the mechanisms of justice to deprive innocent people of their rights, in a way that is compelling and educational, not preachy. Jess brings in the perspective of an activist for criminal justice reform (among other things!) and really brings a lot to our discussion. Enjoy!
April 15th, 2018 | 1 hr 30 mins
1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv
Nathan and Eppy discuss S2E18 In Hazard. Beth has been poisoned! While she recovers, Jim has to find out who did it and why before something more terrible happens. In the process, he runs afoul of an embezzlement scheme gone south, bringing an unhappy mob boss into the picture. A suggestion from a Patreon backer, this is a good solid episode that features all of the elements of The Rockford Files that we appreciate, as well as some truly memorable camerawork from director Jackie Cooper that enhances the story tremendously!
April 1st, 2018 | 1 hr 17 mins
cyrus redblock, dixon hill, holodeck, noir, picard, rockford, star trek
Welcome to Twenty Dollars a Day, the podcast where we explore our favorite fictional characters in the Star Trek: TNG universe! Nathan and Eppy discuss the character of Dixon Hill as introduced in S1E11 The Big Goodbye. When Captain Picard decides to destress by bringing up his favorite noir detective program on the newly upgraded holodeck, it all seems like fun and games - until a remote probe sends things haywire and the fictional and real dangers facing the Enterprise start to converge. This is a well-constructed episode with some poignant moments among all the scenery chewing. (Happy April, everyone!)
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!