The Hopscotch Friday Podcast

Hopscotch Friday is an informed and impassioned pop culture binge. What does that mean? Well, it means we’ll review stuff and give you a good idea of what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s probably worth a cheeky watch anyway. Importantly, we also give you the *why*. Online we mostly focus on movies and DVDs. But we also like music, games, telly, comics…you name it. If you like what you hear, give us a shout at hopfriday@gmail(.com). Join Stevie and Emmet O'Cuana each week for a bit of pop culture pillow talk.
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Hopscotch Friday is an informed and impassioned pop culture binge. What does that mean? Well, it means we’ll review stuff and give you a good idea of what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s probably worth a cheeky watch anyway. Importantly, we also give you the *why*. Online we mostly focus on movies and DVDs. But we also like music, games, telly, comics…you name it.

If you like what you hear, give us a shout at hopfriday@gmail(.com).

Join Stevie and Emmet O'Cuana each week for a bit of pop culture pillow talk.

May 6, 2022
So right out the gate - spoilers for this 'un if you haven't seen Kenneth Branagh's follow-up to The Orient Express. 

Stevie and Emmet have thoughts! 

Poster for Kenneth Branagh's Death on the Nile

Also - Emmet has a comic story with Jeferson Sadzinski, Cardinal Rae and Marcela Corrêa Müller titled How To Win A Raid in the second volume of The BeBop from Bird's Eye Comics. The anthology is now being Kickstarted, so please share and support. 

Apr 13, 2022
Stevie's back! And she's talking Moonfall, with Emmet, who recounts exactly how long he's hated Roland Emmerich movies. 
Apr 4, 2022
Ten years ago Emmet had the opportunity to interview Larry Cohen, to promote a visit to Australia as part of MonsterFest October 2012. This episode features segments of their conversation, released as a tribute to mark the 4 year* anniversary of Cohen's passing. 

Larry Cohen posing with models of the 'child' from It's Alive

During their conversation, Cohen raises his feelings about the use of CGI effects in horror cinema, how his themes have allowed a new generation of film-fans to rediscover his films, as well as shout outs to Bruce Campbell, Quentin Tarantino, and The Big Lebowski. 

Also for no apparent reason Emmet decides to shit on Sydney as a filming location!? 

Mar 6, 2022
Taking on the reins from the late Ivan Reitman, director Jason Reitman returns us to the world of the Ghostbusters - and it feels more like an obligatory school reunion than anything. 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife logo

In this episode Stevie and Emmet discuss how this sequel restages whole sequences from the original movie, the clash of styles between the two Reitmans, and how Ghostbusters is yet another franchise graverobbing its stars using CGI à la Star Wars. 

Safe to say, not a recommendation, and spoilers abound! 

Feb 18, 2022

We were a little slow getting back in the groove for 2022 - so here's a madcap rush to give you some capsule reviews of things we liked so far this year (and some things....we didn't like)!

  • Dexter New Blood
  • The Matrix Resurrections
  • And Just Like That
  • The Legend of Vox Machina
  • Inventing Anna


With quick mentions of Peacemaker, Archive 81, Arcane and Emily in Paris - we'll get back to those at a later date. 

Dec 31, 2021

In a tip of the hat to Fred Armisen and Bill Hader's Documentary Now!Stevie and Emmet look back at some recent documentaries exploring the darker sides of human nature. 

How about something with a bet more pep, hurm? But then with the rise of the true crime podcast and - in a post-Tiger King world - there's clearly a demand for the kinds of documentaries that just leave a bitter aftertaste. 

So what's that all about. 

Florian Homm in Generation Wealth.

Included in this episode:

That last one is the exception that proves the rule. 


Dec 22, 2021

Recorded hours away from the Hawkeye finale on Disney+, Stevie and Emmet weigh in on Hawkeye, the Renner of it all, and of course why Florence Pugh is the best. 

Disney+ Hawkeye logo

Dec 7, 2021

Stevie returns for this chat about all things Dune

We review the latest film, compare it to Jodorowsky's unfinished weird project and David Lynch's finished - and also pretty weird - 1984 production. 

And Emmet's short review of Rafe Judkins's adaptation of The Wheel of Time is also featured at the end of the episode. 

Dune poster - Australian release

Oct 30, 2021

This Halloween, director David Weiner and CreatorVC are hosting a crowdfunding campaign to support the release of In Search of Darkness III. The concluding chapter in Weiner's exhaustive 80s horror documentary series, this campaign is offering fans the opportunity to curate what films will be discussed in this entry. 

Rashid Lotf's poster for In Search of Darkness III

Emmet picks Weiner's brains on his approach to the In Search of Darkness series, his approach as a 'nostalgia curator', how cool Barbara Crampton is - and the discussion exorcises a video store trauma of Emmet's from the 1990s!

Mentioned in the discussion:

Oct 3, 2021

After an impassioned text exchange with guest Tan, Emmet agreed to watch Midnight Mass on Netflix. 

This episode is the result of that text message! This is a spoilerific conversations folks, so if you haven't yet seen Mike Flanagan's offering, we recommend checking it out first. 

Midnight Mass


Sep 26, 2021

This episode we talk about shows and movies that use violence for comic and satirical effect. 

Firstly a very impressive Korean drama just released on Netflix called Squid Game. Then we compare the show's approach to using violence - be it extreme and upsetting, or comical - to the likes of James Gunn's Troma-esque The Suicide Squad and Eric Kripke's adaptation of comic The Boys

(And if you make it to the end, Emmet delivers his rant about HBO's Watchmen!)

The Suicide Squad (2021) poster

Sep 6, 2021

Remember Black Widow? The movie that inspired its own Marvel's Civil War between the star and studio? 

Well we talk about it here!

(Mainly because Stevie watched it for a second time and has thoughts!). 

And Emmet bites his tongue to not blurt out his Taskmaster nerd rant - but here's his favourite comic panel featuring the character:

Jul 24, 2021

Director David Freyne's follow-up to Irish zombie drama The Cured is this heartfelt coming out drama set in Co. Kildare. 

Fionn O'Shea and Lola Petticrew star as Eddie and Amber, two gay teens just trying to survive school. Spotting that Eddie is equally estranged from their classmates, Amber proposes a solution - they pretend to date until they can finish school!

Shenanigans ensue. This is a sincere and heartfelt film, and the semi-autobiographical touches stir up memories of surviving the 90s for Stevie and Emmet also!

(and before the trip down memory lane, Emmet briefly touches on Kevin Smith's Masters of the Universe for Netflix and the apparent 'controversy'). 

Fionn O'Shea and Lola Petticrew star in Dating Amber (2020).

Jun 30, 2021

"Cruella De Vil
Cruella De Vil
If she doesn't scare you
No evil thing will
To see her is to
Take a sudden chill
Cruella, Cruella De Vil"

Stevie and Emmet review Craig Gillespie's Cruella

Is it a harmless camp foray into Disney villainy with a sidelong glance at the style innovations of Vivienne Westwood, or a heartless corporate product aimed squarely at merchandising aisles? 

Emma Stone in Cruella

In other news, Emmet was recently interviewed by Zoran Ilievski for his podcast Graphic Nature, where he discusses coming to comics, a weird coincidence involving a lost script from the early 2000s and The Beating of Wings

May 30, 2021

How does Emmet draw a long bow connecting Wild Mountain Thyme and Army of the Dead

He finds a way. 

Army of the Dead directed by Zack Snyder

In happier news we also discuss the Matt "Ireland's favourite uncle" Le Blanc meme and if that brown bread ice cream took your fancy, here's where you can get it

May 16, 2021

Stevie and Emmet take a drive to Major Tom's in Kyneton to buy burgers. 

More episodes soon. 

...barring further incidents with our kangaroo neighbours. 

Richard E. Grant in WIthnail and I

In this episode:

Mar 25, 2021

'The Snyder Cut', officially known as Zack Snyder's Justice League, dropped this week on HBO's streaming platform. 

The three year campaign by fans to restore director Zack Snyder's version of Justice League, which we reviewed in episode 42 with Dr Matt Finch, was endorsed by the film-maker and eventually the cast. Additional footage was shot late last year, in combination with original footage and special effects sequences. 

Zack Snyder's Justice League 2021, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller
If I could turn back time...Ezra Miller as The Flash. 

So what did Tan and Emmet make of it?  

Also you are strongly advised to check out Leslie Jones's delightful live tweet of Zack Snyder's Justice League here

Mar 16, 2021

Well we cracked. We got Disney+ – after welcoming a wee kitten named Wanda into our house – and watched Wandavision

Wandavision - starring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda

We've got plenty to say about this latest show from Marvel Entertainment. In fact Emmet has a bee in his bonnet about whatever folks are saying about this weekly show that inspired intense speculation. 

But there is a enough going on in this show, with stars Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany and Kathryn Hahn succeeding to make some magical moments. 

(And Emmet spruiks his comic The Beating of Wings, now printed and available at Ownaindi). 

Feb 14, 2021

Save Yourselves! is an alien invasion dramedy with touches of horror starring Sunita Mani (from Glow, much-missed in this parish) and John Reynolds (Search Party) as a couple who escape to the country just as society starts to fall apart. 

And they've just cut themselves off from the internet so for a number of days the couple remain blissfully unaware of their impending doom. 

Save Yourselves with Sunita Mani and John Reynolds

Emmet and Stevie discuss Save Yourselves as an unlikely response to COVID-pandemic and quarantine boredom, and its indie-feature budget inventiveness. 


  • Emmet delivers some bad news to Stevie.
  • The Eileen Jones article on John Carpenter can be found here.

Just to note as well, this episode was pre-recorded before the latest lockdown in Victoria. 

Jan 31, 2021

Shhh. This podcast has a kitten now - don't wake her. 

Haskiri Velazquez as Daisy in Saved by the Bell 2020

Anyway, dozing cats aside, this episode Stevie and Emmet discuss the revamped Saved by the Bell, with returning stars Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen alongside a new cast of students returning to Bayside High. 

And you know what? We loved it. Courtesy of writer/producer Tracey Wigfield and a game cast of actors, this is less a nostalgia-fest, and more an attempt to repair and restore a property with plenty of problematic elements that was simultaneously innocuous - and question why that was. 

It's smart and fun stuff people, and pretty underrated as a show. 

Jan 4, 2021

"Die Hard is a Xmas movie? You don't say!"

Insert Willy Wonka meme here. 

Stevie and Emmet missed the boat on their planned 'unexpected Xmas movie run-down', but no matter! They're going to talk about Die Hard anyway. Because, as Stevie says, it's a good film anyway. 

Also she has thoughts about Batman Returns she wants to share. 

Emmet also raises examples of Die Hard-likes, such as Dwayne Johnson's Skyscraper (which we reviewed here) and the bloody good fun of Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving going on an office-workplace rampage in Mayhem

Also mentioned:

Dec 25, 2020

With apologies to the guests Emmet invited to join him - here is a belated pilot episode for a dedicated podcast on every issue of Jeff Smith's Bone. 

Bone by Jeff Smith Stupid Stupid Rat Creatures

For a conversation about issues #1 and #2 of the comic, Emmet speaks to author, journalist and comic creator Anthony Castle 

Dec 4, 2020

The Queen's Gambit, based on Walter Tevis's novel, is the latest hit from Netflix. 

The Queen's Gambit from Netflix

Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller and Moses Ingram, the miniseries explores themes of addiction and isolation through the experience of chess prodigy Beth Harmon. 

Stevie and Emmet discuss the show, its treatment of addiction and the subsequent criticism of it within the press, and why Emmet is reluctantly going to watch The New Mutants

Nov 22, 2020

First off, we open the episode with the ambition of reviewing The Queen's Gambit. That did not happen. We had too much to say about Lovecraft Country. So check back in with us next episode for that!

Lovecraft Country – Jonathan Majors as Atticus Freeman

Instead Stevie and Emmet get stuck into a discussion of Misha Green's Lovecraft Country. Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Wunmi Mosaku and Michael K. Williams are among the excellent cast-members of this horror series that centres the genre legacy of Lovecraft against the lived experience of Black Americans. 

Also mentioned: 

  • Josephine Tay's novel The Daughter of Time
  • How Lovecraft Country exemplifies the critical approach to the author H.P. Lovecraft the genre needs.
  • 'Blank spots' in how history is taught in the US and Australia.
  • Emmet's piece on Michael Shea.
Nov 3, 2020

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror film documentary with a lot to say. 

Focusing on the experience of actor Mark Patton, who starred as Jesse in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, it explores the impact on the actor of the gay panic response to the homoerotic themes and imagery of the film. 

Patton's candid and pained reflections on homophobia in Hollywood, and the wider world, in the era of AIDS and religious lobbyists targeting gay rights, form the spine of this emotional film. 

Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen also features the contrast of 'Freddy fans' who mock the perceived gay content of the film with advocates reclaiming both Freddy's Revenge, and Mark Patton, as an icon for queer cinema. 

Stevie and Emmet discuss the film and the emotional highs and lows of this sensitive subject matter. 

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street poster


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