About the show

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.

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Episodes

  • Episode 63: To Protect and Serve (Two-Part Episode)

    January 26th, 2020  |  1 hr 41 mins
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, police buff, rockford files, shoefly, television, tv, you call this a pizza?

    Nathan and Eppy talk about a remarkable two-parter from Season 3, To Protect and Serve. Jim is hired to find a run-away bride from New York, but that quickly becomes the background to the drama stemming from the interference of a police "buff" named Lianne who's fallen for Dennis. Ultimately a character study of the obsessive Lianne, this David Chase-written story balances all of our familiar characters with the her narrative focus, as well as introducing a new foe for Jim in the character of hit man "Anthony Boy" Gagglio - more about him in our next episode. Highly recommended!

  • Episode 62: Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Waterbury Will Bury You

    December 29th, 2019  |  1 hr 27 mins
    1970s, 70s, blazing saddles, cleavon little, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv, wooden nickel

    Nathan and Eppy talk about the long-titled S3E13 Sticks and Stones Will Break Your Bones, But Waterbury Will Bury You. Jim comes back from vacation to learn that fellow PIs are losing their licenses through a series of set-ups. He teams up with a crack squad of motormouths to figure out what's going on, who's behind it, and why the private security firm Waterbury wants to do this in the first place. It's a fun David Chase-penned romp with that lovely Rockford Files stiffening of fantastic character play from guests Cleavon Little, Simon Oakland and Val Bisoglio.

  • Episode 61: The Italian Bird Fiasco

    November 24th, 2019  |  1 hr 26 mins
    1970s, 70s, art, cormorants, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, prague, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy talk about S2E19 The Italian Bird Fiasco. Jim takes a seemingly easy job bidding for a Cormorant statue at an art auction, but once it's broken in an assault by goons it quickly becomes clear that there's more to this job than it seems! A very funny episode with a great supporting cast, we enjoyed the ride even though the story itself was a little under (or over?) explained for our taste.

  • Episode 60: Godfather Knows Best (Live!)

    November 10th, 2019  |  1 hr 59 mins
    1970s, 70s, 90s, david chase, godfather, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    To celebrate our 60th episode, Nathan and Eppy are joined again by Emily Care Boss to talk about the fourth 90s Rockford Files Movie - Godfather Knows Best. But that's not all! We recorded this episode live as we watched the movie, all together in the same place! You can hear us hypothesize the twists and turns of this David Chase-penned script as Jim tries to help his godson, Becker's son Scott, out of trouble. We really had a great time, and came away feeling that this was the strongest of the movies so far. We hope you enjoy this change of pace for our show!

  • Episode 59: Rosendahl and Gilda Stern Are Dead

    October 27th, 2019  |  1 hr 30 mins
    1970s, 70s, abe vigota, ahab, creepy goon, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rita moreno, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss the second appearance of Rita Moreno on the show, in S5E2 Rosendahl and Gilda Stern Are Dead. Jim's friend Rita is witness to a murder, and quickly blamed for it just because she's a prostitute! Jim, of course, wants to help clear her name - but things turn more serious as they uncover evidence of a string of murders, all connected to a mobster played by Abe Vigota. It's a great character study in a villain who thinks he's a victim, and as always the Rita-Jim chemistry is so fun to watch, that's worth the price of admission all on its own!

  • Episode 58: The Battle-Ax and the Exploding Cigar

    October 13th, 2019  |  1 hr 34 mins
    1970s, 70s, exploding cigar, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, spy, stenography, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy talk about S5E14 The Battle-Ax and the Exploding Cigar. In some ways a parody of spy thrillers, Jim gets accidentally drawn into a plot by a national security operative that involves illegal gun-running - and in short order the FBI and ATF are also involved. Jim teams up with the no-nonsense Mrs. Bateman, head of the Federal Building steno pool, to figure out what happened to one of her secretaries, and in the process unravel this covert operation. It's a fun romp!

  • Episode 57: Guilt

    September 29th, 2019  |  1 hr 32 mins
    1970s, 70s, explosion, guilt, helicopter, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, the cocked hat, tv

    Nathan and Eppy talk about S5E15: Guilt. The woman that Jim almost married calls him out of the blue - someone is trying to kill her! Jim has to handle not only the puzzle of her mysterious assailant, but also how Valerie uses their past relationship to get what she wants out of him. The title of the episode is indeed the main emotional theme, and we find it to be a well-told but, in some ways, difficult story. It does have perhaps the most spectacular vehicle chase we've seen so far, though!

  • Episode 56: A Plus Expenses Special

    September 15th, 2019  |  44 mins 54 secs
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, plus expenses, rockford files, special episode, television, tv

    This is our latest Plus Expenses episode, the show we release to our patrons over at our Patreon. Plus Expenses is our pre-show chatter, where we catch up with each other and talk about other media we've been into and what's going on in our lives as self-employed game designers. In this episode, we talk about: Amazon and capitalism, pricing games, Youtube radicalization, the Star Wars Minute podcast, Godzilla, meat shields vs jobbers, pro wrestling in Japan, a book of essays on David Chase, the cultural influence of television, location as character, place in RPGs, psychogeography, the World of Darkness "By Night" books, "I lived in New York for 5 years" stories, Mill Creek DVD collections, and of course the value of public libraries.

    Plus Expenses is a free podcast available to all of our patrons. If you like what you hear, please consider joining them in supporting the show for only $1 an episode!

  • Episode 55: Profit and Loss (Two-Part Episode)

    August 25th, 2019  |  1 hr 54 mins
    1970s, 70s, chili thing, fraud, james garner, jim rockford, ned beatty, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy take a look at the first two-part episode from the first season, Profit and Loss (E12 and 13). Starring Ned Beatty as the villainous CEO of a fraudulent investment firm, this two-parter is very much one linear story through both episodes. Though it features a number of wonderful Jim Rockford moments, and gives us a lot of good Rocky material, we can't help but feel like the big climax is a bit of a let-down given the extensive buildup. On the other hand, it does have perhaps the greatest 3-minute hot-dog related scene in all of the Rockford Files!

  • Episode 54: Gigi Garner Interview + Q&A Special

    August 4th, 2019  |  1 hr 50 mins
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy are super excited to welcome Gigi Garner, daughter of James Garner and animal rescuer, to the show! We talk to Gigi about the James Garner Animal Rescue Fund she recently launched, get some of her reflections on the Rockford Files and her father's legacy, and hear some great stories! We then answer questions from our patrons and listeners, including the monumental task of picking a favorite episode!

  • Episode 53: The Reincarnation of Angie

    July 28th, 2019  |  1 hr 33 mins
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy talk about S2E12 The Reincarnation of Angie. Jim gets a call from the panicked Angie, concerned about a mysterious call from her now-missing brother Tom. Things escalate after they find half a million in cash in Tom's wall safe, and Jim calls in a friend from the FBI to help track down what happened to Tom, and why someone is now after Angie. A curious episode that showcases Jim's tradecraft, we found that it has a bit of a mismatch between the emotional beats and the narrative, both of which are very strong on their own.

  • Episode 52: The Paper Palace

    July 14th, 2019  |  1 hr 31 mins
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy talk about the first appearance of Rita Moreno on The Rockford Files in S4E16 The Paper Palace. When a pair of French-speaking tough guys assault Moreno's character, Rita Capkovic, the police don't seem very interested in helping out a known prostitute. While Dennis is a friend, she ends up hiring Jim to find out why anyone would want to hurt her - and when one of her only other friends, an elderly woman, is killed, it ups the stakes of the mystery. This episode shines as a nuanced portrait of a woman who lives her life unapologetically in the face of judgement, and the character work throughout is fantastic - overall, one of the great episodes of the show!