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 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!

  • Episode 14: Pastoria Prime Pick

    July 23rd, 2017  |  1 hr 28 mins
    70s, corruption, james garner, jim rockford, mystery, scam, scheme, the rockford files, tv

    Nathan and Eppy discuss S2E11 Pastoria Prime Pick. Jim's car break down in New Pastoria, and a series of coincidences quickly turn into a plot to charge him with a serious array of crimes - and the whole town is in on it! This episode features great pacing and Rockford character moments as the plot unfolds, revealing an all-too-relevant tale of government corruption.

  • Episode 13: Our Second Discussion Special

    July 16th, 2017  |  57 mins 20 secs
    70s, analysis, angel martin, detective, episodic, jim rockford, special episode, the rockford files, tv

    To celebrate going to a two-episode-a-month format, Nathan and Eppy take on some listener questions and comments about the show so far! We consider questions about some of our favorite episodes, including The Farnsworth Strategem and Chicken Little is a Little Chicken, and then tackle an existential question: what is a "typical" episode of The Rockford Files?