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 49: Second Chance

    May 26th, 2019  |  1 hr 32 mins
    1970s, 70s, dionne warwick, gandy, isaac hayes, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockfish, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss S4E4 Second Chance. Following up on our last episode (The Hammer of C Block), we visit the final Gandalf Fitch episode to see how the character has been handled since that debut. Gandy seems to have found a niche for himself bouncing at nightclubs, but when he decides to manage the career of a promising lounge singer (played by Dionne Warwick), he ends up hit on the head and chasing down ghosts from the past - and, of course, turns to Jim for help. Also featuring a complicating Angel appearance, this episode is both action-packed and very funny, paying little attention to Gandy's tragic origin story and leading us to the conclusion that the show essentially treats Gandy as a different character in the subsequent episodes, not a continuous one. This one gave us a lot to talk about, and we really enjoyed watching it!

  • Episode 48: The Hammer of C Block

    April 28th, 2019  |  1 hr 31 mins
    1970s, 70s, gandy, isaac hayes, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockfish, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss the first appearance of Isaac Hayes as Gandolf Fitch in Season Two's The Hammer of C Block. Gandy has been in prison for 20 years for a murder he swears he didn't commit, and since Jim owes him money from their time together in the slammer, his first stop is Rockfish's trailer. The plot of this one revolves around discovering the truth behind the murder of Lila, Gandy's ex-girlfriend; but what we struggled with as we watched is how Gandy is, at root, the actual villain of the piece. Content warning! This episode (and thus our discussion) include direct focus on emotional and physical abuse, and suicide. It's an engaging, effective episode that isn't reducible down to a clear "yes, watch it" or "no, don't."

  • Episode 47: Star Trek TNG - Ship in a Bottle

    April 1st, 2019  |  1 hr 12 mins
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    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 second appearance of holographic Prof. Moriarty in S6E12 Ship in a Bottle. Data and Geordie are just trying to enjoy some simple Sherlock Holmes programs on the holodeck, but there's some kind of fluctuation - and when Reg Barkley takes a look, it allows Moriarty to escape the hell of being trapped in system memory. He quickly launches a plan to con the access codes to the Enterprise out of Captain Picard, bringing us into a fun con-counter-con story. (Happy April, everyone!)

  • Episode 46: Counter Gambit

    March 24th, 2019  |  1 hr 19 mins
    1970s, 70s, angel, con game, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, pearl necklace, rockford files, television, thirst, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss S1E16 Counter Gambit. Jim is hired by an unsavory acquaintance to find a woman, which he quickly realizes is a cover for some kind of valuable that this woman may or may not have with her. Once Jim does find her, however, the situation quickly becomes more complicated. This is a con game episode, and we really enjoyed the twists and turns of the con, and (as titled) the counter-con. Of particular delight is the first regular-season appearance of Angel Martin! If you can see this one cold, you should - there's a lot to appreciate once you know the story, but the layers of misdirection are deftly handled and worth experiencing at full effect, if possible!

  • Episode 45: The Trees, The Bees and T.T. Flowers (Two-Part Episode)

    February 25th, 2019  |  2 hrs 9 mins
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy cover our second two-parter episode, a Season Three gem featuring notable character actor Strother Martin as the titular T.T. Flowers, an elderly farmer who refuses to sell his land to a predatory real estate developer. Through a scheme involving his shady son-in-law and an ethically bankrupt psychiatrist, T.T. is hauled off against his will to a mental institution; but Rocky knows that something isn't right. Once he get Jim on the case, it's just a matter of time until he starts to uncover the scheme, but he faces numerous attempts on his life as he tries to find some hard evidence to prove the wild conspiracy. With a genius framing device that unites both episodes as one story, great performances all around and some great action sequences, we really enjoyed this one. Recommended!

  • Episode 44: Kill the Messenger

    January 27th, 2019  |  1 hr 23 mins
    1970s, 70s, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy talk about S5E5 Kill the Messenger. Our good friend Dennis Becker is under a lot of pressure - not only does he have his Lieutenants exam coming up, the wife of the deputy chief police commissioner is murdered, and he gets assigned the case. Jim tries to help, but everything he uncovers about this murder just makes it harder for Dennis in one way or another. A spotlight episode for Becker, it really showcases Joe Santos's hold on the character, and we get to see some big changes in Dennis Beckers life. We really loved it!

  • Episode 43: A Bad Deal in the Valley

    December 23rd, 2018  |  1 hr 12 mins
    1970s, 70s, crooked money, escrow papers, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv, victory taco

    Nathan and Eppy talk about S2E22 A Bad Deal in the Valley. After an old girlfriend saddles Jim with a briefcase full of counterfeit cash, he has to figure out what her con is before the Feds get to him... or her. A solid, but unremarkable episode overall that shares many threads with other others we've talked about so far. We feel like it's a great introduction to the Rockford Files vibe, but it doesn't do anything in particular better than any other episode.

  • Episode 42: The Big Cheese

    November 25th, 2018  |  1 hr 33 mins
    1970s, 70s, big cheese, irs, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss S6E10 The Big Cheese. Jim gets a phone call from a reporter friend telling him to expect something in the mail... just as he's murdered! He doesn't know what it is, but it's something that a crooked union boss wants to get ahold of. And when the package is finally delivered... well, it really "sharpens" the mystery (it's a wheel of cheese!). This is a remarkable episode in how it handles considerable back-and-forth tone shift between grittiness and humor - and it also reveals another emotional layer of the Jim Rockford character, as he reacts to the death of his friend Eddie. Quite recommended!

  • Episode 41: Our Third Discussion Special

    November 22nd, 2018  |  33 mins 26 secs
    1970s, 70s, discussion special, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, thanks, tv

    Your hosts Nathan and Eppy have a short conversation about what's changed over the course of the podcast so far, what has surprised us about the show, and what we're thinking about for the future. It happens to be Thanksgiving, so we also take a moment to say thank you for listening. Thanks so much!

  • Episode 40: A Blessing In Disguise

    October 28th, 2018  |  1 hr 41 mins
    1970s, 70s, 90s, angel, blessing, james garner, jim rockford, movie, p.i, rockford files, televangelist, television, tv

    To celebrate our 40th episode, Nathan and Eppy take a look at the second Rockford Files TV movie, 1995's A Blessing In Disguise. The premise is that Angel has become a televangelist preacher, so it's worth watching for that alone! Though padded out in some odd ways to our eyes, this movie really showcases how rock-solid Garner and Margolin are in their roles as Jim and Angel, no matter how much time has passed since the original show.

  • Episode 39: Dirty Money, Black Light

    September 30th, 2018  |  1 hr 30 mins
    1970s, 70s, boxing ring, electric larry, goons, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss S3E22 Dirty Money, Black Light. Rocky finally gets a break and wins a vacation in Hawaii - but once he's gone, starts receiving thousands of dollars in cash in the mail. Jim, worried that he's been tricked into a scam, has to hustle to figure out what's going on and why in this episode full to the brim with crooks, loan sharks, feds, Angel, Dennis AND Beth! One of the Stuart Margolin-directed episodes, there's so much packed into this episode that some of the threads are hard to follow, but many of the specific bits are really well done.

  • Episode 38: The Big Ripoff

    August 26th, 2018  |  1 hr 23 mins
    1970s, 70s, flights, insurance fraud, james garner, jim rockford, p.i, paris, primitive, rockford files, television, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss S1E7 The Big Ripoff. Jim goes on a European jaunt to track down the truth about a widow who received a big insurance payout, but his client doesn't buy his conclusion that the husband is still alive. Trying to figure out a way to get paid for his work, Jim goes to the insurance company, leading him to yet another town in California to prove that Steve Nelson is still alive. We felt a very strong "back to basics" vibe with this episode, which features a fantastically tight script by series creator Roy Huggins, good humor, and a fun mystery that keeps the energy moving with each reveal of the NEXT thing that's going on.