The Television Podcastulacra
Episode 297: That Doesn’t Look Like Anything to Me

Episode 297: That Doesn’t Look Like Anything to Me

May 19, 2019

So, here's a pitch: some people go into a virtual world based on the Old West to experience a narrative-driven experience that gives them a good time roleplaying a harmless power fantasy to escape from their stress-filled lives, but whoops the computer goes crazy and the robots in the simulation start trying to kill them for real. We'll call it..."A Fistful of Datas," and we'll make it an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Why, what did you think I was talking about? (Hardy har, I made a funny. We're also talking about "Rascals" and "The Quality of Life," plus another second season episode of The Wire.)

Episode 296: Murder One, Ch. 10-12
Episode 295: Reliquary
Episode 294: Murder One, Ch. 7-9 - Flapping the Unflappable

Episode 294: Murder One, Ch. 7-9 - Flapping the Unflappable

April 24, 2019

It happens! Once! Even the great Teddy Hoffman can get knocked off his game. We're continuing to talk Murder One this week, with three more chapters that show just how boring most of trial work. And yet, the show remains entertaining? We don't know, it's kind of a miracle. Then, The Wire continues making things miserable for just about everybody in Baltimore, as bad choices lead to more bad choices and everyone's getting pulled down by the "Undertow."

Episode 293: Deeply Cynical and Lazy

Episode 293: Deeply Cynical and Lazy

April 17, 2019

Samuel Clemens, that is, not us. We're kicking off The Next Generation's sixth and penultimate season this week, with "Time's Arrow, Pt II," "Realm of Fear," and "Man of the People," and whoops, they're all kind of crap. At least the Barclay episode shows that the crew is getting better at creating a healthy work environment for non-neurotypical coworkers. Way to be allies, Next Gen crew. Oh, and then we talk about The Wire, as Nicky is living a Bruce Springsteen song but wouldn't know it because he listens to crap nu-metal bands in "Hard Cases."

Episode 292: Murder One, Chapters 4-6: The Legend of Curly’s Gold

Episode 292: Murder One, Chapters 4-6: The Legend of Curly’s Gold

April 15, 2019

Murder One continues (and continues to be awesome) this week. There's a magnificent Raymond Chandler mystery happening here; pity it keeps stopping to act out rejected LA Law spec scripts. Also, The Wire's second season starts to heat up with "Hot Shots."

Episode 291: Within You and Without You

Episode 291: Within You and Without You

March 21, 2019

We wrap up the fifth season of The Next Generation with "The Inner Light" and "Time's Arrow," and it's one of those times where J. has difficulty explaining why something is so great because it affects him on a deep and personal level quite profoundly so instead he has to kind of crap on it as a defense mechanism, and also "Time's Arrow" is here. It's good in ways that don't matter and crappy in the ways that do! (Did I just write a new tagline for our podcast?) This episode synopsis is a damn mess, but we also talk about The Wire season two, and McNulty's "Collateral Damage."

Episode 290: Murder One, Chapters 1-3

Episode 290: Murder One, Chapters 1-3

March 13, 2019

See, Murder One doesn't have "episodes," it has "chapters." This is back when showrunners could talk like this and sound novel, not pretentious. We're talking the mid-90s ABC experiment Murder One, and boy was it ahead of its time (and, unsurprisingly, regressive in a few ways). Then we kick off season two of The Wire, with "Ebb Tide." McNulty's on a boat!

Episode 289: Fun But Dumb

Episode 289: Fun But Dumb

March 10, 2019

We're back on The Next Generation this week, with "Imaginary Friend," "I, Borg," and "The Next Phase." Then, we wrap up the first season of The Wire with "Sentencing." 

Episode 288: Cupid, Part V - Love’s Labour’s Cancelled

Episode 288: Cupid, Part V - Love’s Labour’s Cancelled

February 13, 2019

We're talking about the final three episodes of Cupid they got to make before the show was sent to farm upstate where it can run and play. No, you can't visit, but it'll be happy, just trust us, sweetie. And speaking of buying the farm, we're talking about The Wire, too, and its penultimate season one episode, "Cleaning Up," which has just one question: Where's Wallace?

Episode 287: Wesley Crusher RIP in peace

Episode 287: Wesley Crusher RIP in peace

January 23, 2019

Just kidding -- he's not dead. His career might be, though, after a suspicious accident at Starfleet Academy. It's Star Trek: The Next Generation and "The First Duty," And Ron Moore's got a writing credit, so you know there's a dead pilot and cover-ups and lying and totally boss speeches. But then we have to watch "Cost of Living" and "The Perfect Mate," and they suck and are terrible, so keep the focus on the good episode where it belongs. Afterward, things get heated (even more so) on The Wire, as there's an officer down and the entire city goes on "The Hunt."

Episode 286: Cupid, Part IV - NETFORCE

Episode 286: Cupid, Part IV - NETFORCE

January 16, 2019

We're back! Welcome to 2019, everybody. It takes a while to get back on track -- we have a retraction to make, then we ramble a bit about that whole Black Mirror: Bandersnatch business -- but then we take up our old habit: watching episodes of the '90s classic (?) Cupid and kinda frowning about them. Hey, one of these is pretty great! Afterwards, we spend a few minutes on The Wire, as McNulty's arrogance, Daniels's ambition, and everyone's general incompetence gets the details exactly where we knew it would: with bullets flying, bodies in the street, and someone paying "The Cost."

Episode 285: Christmas Special 2018

Episode 285: Christmas Special 2018

December 25, 2018

Why, it's Christmas Day, sir! Indeed, we provide this shorter-than-usual episode to tide you over during the holiday season. We exchange television gifts -- an episode of The Odd Couple from Robby, an episode of The West Wing from J. -- and then chat about The Wire's "Game Day" for a bit. A fine way to round out the year. See you in 2019!

Episode 284: This Is a Long One

Episode 284: This Is a Long One

December 13, 2018

It tends to happen when we talk about memorable Next Gen episodes, doesn't it? We're talking this week about "Ethics," "The Outcast," and "Cause and Effect," and boy is one of these episodes still unfortunately relevant. Then, we dish on The Wire, in which Omar offers a famous quote, Bunk sleeps in a bunk, and Stringer goes to school for some "Lessons."

Episode 283: Cupid, Part III - Love Is Dead

Episode 283: Cupid, Part III - Love Is Dead

December 12, 2018

Or is it? No, no, it's not, but Trevor thinks it might be. We talk about Cupid for a bit, then drift over to talk about The Wire

Episode 282: Something Something Turkeys

Episode 282: Something Something Turkeys

November 22, 2018

It's Thanksgiving and we're here to talk about Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's "The Masterpiece Society," "Conundrum," and "Power Play," and somehow the least dumb one is the worst one? Who knows. Also, we talk about The Wire some. Come out of your food coma and give it a listen.

Episode 281: Cupid, Part II — Have a Drumstick and Your Brain Stops Tickin’

Episode 281: Cupid, Part II — Have a Drumstick and Your Brain Stops Tickin’

November 14, 2018

We can't quite get over just how ***1990s!!!*** Cupid is. Every fiber of this thing's being is just drenched in its late-90s vibe, and that's before Lisa Loeb shows up. We watched "A Fractured Fairy Tale," "First Loves," and "Meat Market," and talk about the good and the bad. Then we discuss The Wire's fifth episode, "The Pager," for as long as J.'s dog will let us. He's demanding, that dog.

Episode 280: Halloween Special 2018

Episode 280: Halloween Special 2018

October 31, 2018

It's Halloween, and we're taking a look at some "spooky" episodes from TV history: Star Trek's "Catspaw," Hammer House of Horror's "The House That Bled to Death," The X-Files's "Folie a Deux," and Doctor Who's "Blink." Hey, one of them is scary!

Episode 279: Bad Dads, Bad Kids, and Coats Made of Cheese

Episode 279: Bad Dads, Bad Kids, and Coats Made of Cheese

October 27, 2018

You know, it's not all fun and games, doing a podcast about Star Trek: The Next Generation. Some weeks you have to talk about episodes like "New Ground," "Hero Worship," and "Violations," which range from "forgettable and mediocre" to "maybe the most unpleasant hour of Star Trek ever produced." Yick. Better things are in store for us on The Wire, though, as "Old Cases" finally gets things moving in a big way.

Episode 278: Cupid, Part I: So Very ’90s

Episode 278: Cupid, Part I: So Very ’90s

October 27, 2018

We kick off our look at another one-season-only show this time 'round, with Cupid, the show from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas from before he was the creator of Veronica Mars. We talk the show's central mystery (the mystery it clearly has no intent of ever solving) and it's quirky (if dated) charms. Also, we continue to talk The Wire, with "The Buys."

Episode 277: This Bad Boy Can Fit So Much Filler

Episode 277: This Bad Boy Can Fit So Much Filler

October 11, 2018

[Shatner voice intensifies] Spoooock! 

Yes, we're up to that legendary moment on Star Trek: The Next Generation, wherein Leonard Nimoy drops in for a two-parter that the writers only had three-quarters of an episode's worth of story for! Yes, "Unification," has some fantastic moments, but this thing's chock full of pointless, time-filling nonsense. For example, every single scene aboard the Enterprise. Also, though, we have "A Matter of Time," which is a hidden gem of an episode. Elsewhere, we continue our look at The Wire, with its second episode, "The Detail."

Episode 276: Greg the Bunny, Pt. II - We Also Talk About the Wire in This One

Episode 276: Greg the Bunny, Pt. II - We Also Talk About the Wire in This One

October 4, 2018

It's our turn to give a fuck about The Wire, as we start our discussion with the first episode, "The Target." Before that, though, we talk about Greg the Bunny again, for the second (or last?) time. 

Episode 275: Ready Player Number One

Episode 275: Ready Player Number One

September 20, 2018

Oh my GOD, that's a terrible joke, who lets me write these? Anyway, we're talking Star Trek: The Next Generation this week, as a giant snowflake comes back for seconds in "Silicon Avatar," the Enterprise turns into The Towering Inferno in "Disaster," and Riker's boner almost destroys the galaxy (seriously) in "The Game." Elsewhere, Elementary's sixth season comes to an end, which was a surprise to us, but not half as surprising as it was to the people writing it.

Episode 274: Greg the Bunny, Pt. 1 — Comedy Without Confidence

Episode 274: Greg the Bunny, Pt. 1 — Comedy Without Confidence

September 18, 2018

Yes, we're starting another one-season show, and since one of our listeners was kind enough to buy us the DVDs (!), we're talking about the people-and-puppets sitcom Greg the Bunny. Does it age well? Was it good to begin with? We talk about that as we discuss three episodes from its one and only season (though not the same three episodes, as we kind of get our wires crossed). Also, Elementary pulls the trigger on its serialized plot in its penultimate episode (we recorded this before the finale aired).

Episode 273 (actual): Sokath, His Eyes Uncovered

Episode 273 (actual): Sokath, His Eyes Uncovered

September 12, 2018

Oops, got my episode numbers wrong in the titles. This is the actual Episode 273, which kicks off the fifth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with "Redemption II," "Darmok," and "Ensign Ro." Uh oh, these are all all-time classics! Temba, his arms wide!