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.

Jul 24, 2022

Phew! Finally, we get round to discussing all things Stranger Things season 4. From the Eddie of it all, to the mushrooming cast and the changes to the kinds of horror being depicted onscreen, we dig in. 

Stranger Things season 4 cast

Jun 19, 2022

The loosely adapted tale of Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet - Our Flag Means Death - has proven to be a fan favourite. Stevie and Emmet discuss - also a cat gets involved. 

Our Flag Means Death poster




Jun 2, 2022
This episode is not a review of Matt Reeves's The Batman. It's a review of season 1 to 6 of Superstore on NBC.

....although you could be fooled! 

Stevie and Emmet discuss how this workplace comedy used the format to raise issues with unionism, corporate America - and the COVID pandemic. How successful is Justin Spitzer's show in dealing with these storylines? 

Listen on to find out! 

(also Emmet keeps talking about Epix's From!). 

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

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

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). 

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. 

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.
Sep 3, 2020

In our Emmy Awards round-up episode we mentioned the Hugh Jackman vehicle Bad Education. Here we go into the story of Frank Tassone – and shout-out to Laci Mosley's excellent show Scam Goddess which brought the Roslyn school district scandal to our attention.

But like everyone in Melbourne, we are still in lockdown, so instead of risking our lives to go see Tenet, we binged seasons 1 & 2 of Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

(Seriously don't risk your life to see a movie, it's not worth it). 

Does the show live up to our memories of it? How about the controversial ending to the show, or how it handles politics, religion and paranoia as a genre show in a time before Game of Thrones mainstream plaudits? 



Aug 16, 2020

Next month on Monday 21 September 2020, the 72nd Emmys will be held. 

We haven't really discussed the Emmys before but this year has a cohort of nominees that caught our eyes. 

From Succession, to Schitt's Creek, Watchmen to The Mandalorian, we give a quick accounting of our picks from the bunch.  

Emmys 2020 announcement with Leslie Jones

May 24, 2020

Nick Hornby's High Fidelity was adapted to film in 2000, and now Ugly Betty's Sarah Kucserka and Veronica West have brought it to Hulu as a vehicle for Zoe Kravitz. 

High Fidelity on Hulu starring Zoe Kravitz pictured with Parker Posey

Stevie and Emmet talk about the television series, comparing it to the Stephen Frears/John Cusack flick from 2000 and the original novel. The gender-swap conceit is addressed, as well as the ensemble cast (Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Jake Lacy, David H. Holmes, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Rainbow Sun Francks) and how the show fails to properly update material to the times leaning on nostalgia. 

Thinking to put their money where their mouths are, Stevie and Emmet then share top five lists for one another. 

To listen, check out this playlist on Spotify

Also, here is a list of album cover art by Elaine 'Sgraffito' Nic Cuana

Oh and this was our 100th episode! Thanks for listening folks. 


Mar 30, 2020

First thanks as always for listening folks. In this episode Emmet and Stevie relate a personal bereavement and how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted them. The eulogy for Gerard Cooney can be found here

Tiger King Joe Exotic Netflix

In the meantime, now that we're all shut-ins following social distancing protocols, some recommendations:

  • Tiger King, the Netflix docuseries that's taken the world by storm
  • Unbelievable, a rape drama series inspired by true events starring Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever and Toni Colette
  • Crowded, a near-future comic about a 'murder app' from Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell and Cardinal Rae

Shout-outs also to Jason Franks and Neevon Mohtaji for....well helping us with groceries from our quarantine. 

Jason Franks

Neevon Mohtaji

Jun 10, 2019

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens was a favourite book of Emmet's back in the 90s and over two decades later it has landed on Amazon Prime. Last year Justin Cronin's vampire apocalypse epic The Passage also was adapted to television (sadly it has since been cancelled. As a fan of both books, Emmet has thoughts on their televised iterations (Stevie didn't read the book, but also has opinions on the shows). 

*Also Emmet messed up - the nod in the Roman sequence of Good Omens was to Spartacus, not Ben Hur*

Good Omens David Tennant and Michael Sheen

Sep 11, 2018

Last season the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling were trying to get a show together. 

This year they are fighting to not get cancelled. 

It's a show about gender politics, the vagaries of the entertainment industry, discrimination - and lots of wrestling. 

Also this episode - 

ACMI's Alice exhibition, Wonderland, which is wrapping up in Melbourne this October. 

And Emmet retracts a book recommendation. 


Sep 5, 2018

Does Insatiable, a vehicle for star Debby Ryan that caused a wee stir with its headline grabbing trailer, challenge fat-shaming in society?

Or is this a show that wallows in discrimination while claiming to be satire?

Debby Ryan star of Insatiable

We talk all things Insatiable this week, as well as give shout-outs to - 

Somebody Feed Phil

Glow season 2 from Netflix

Giant Days volume 8 from John Allison and Max Sarin

Oh and Stevie's side project

Apr 10, 2018

Ugly Delicious host David Chang eating a taco

David Chang's series on Netflix sparks an unlikely conversation encompassing politics, culture and identity. 

It also has Chang, food critic Peter Meehan, and other chefs in beautiful locations around the world eating fantastic looking meals. So far, so Bourdain. 

But this show organically develops into a far more wide-ranging discussion - and Stevie and Emmet are fully on board. 

(so on board they took a break on their wedding anniversary to discuss). 

Ugly Delicious

Also in this episode:

Judas Priest

Quitting Facebook

Penny Dreadful

And the charming film Pork Pie (which we reviewed in episode 13)

Oct 1, 2017

Inspired by the release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Stevie proposed this show should concentrate on how films and television handle morality tales (seeing as churches are more concerned with who is sleeping with whom like institutional Hedy Hoppers....but I digress). 

The Good Place title card

Singling out The Good Place, Lucifer and the second season of Preacher, Stevie and Emmet tackle how pop culture today deals with morality and religion. 

Sadly Star Trek: Discovery gets short shrift, but we'll get back to that sooner rather than later. 

Preacher season 2

Sep 17, 2017

Twin Peaks The Return on Showtime inspired a resurgence of interest in the cult 90's classic television show. Finally fans would get answers to questions like "Where's Annie?" and what happened to "the good Cooper"....or maybe not. 

Twin Peaks The Return cast

This week's interviewee, writer Maura McHugh, has a new book out on the film prequel Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me. Famously booed after its premiere at Cannes, the story of Laura Palmer's last days has become an unexpected cornerstone of the overall series - and The Return. 

Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me by Maura McHugh

In this episode Maura McHugh discusses her interest in Fire Walk With Me, the highs and lows of the new season - including controversial casting choices and Kyle MacLachlan's performance as Dougie Jones - David Lynch's fascination with what lies beneath the surface of polite society - and what does it all mean in the end. 

Sep 3, 2017

Game of Thrones is done and fans will have to wait at least another year for the final season to reach their screens. 

In this week's episode a GoT obsessive and a viewer blissfully free of any attachment to the series react to the events of season seven after a two day binge. 

The Starks - Sansa and Arya

What lies behind the appeal of the television series?

Has fantasy fiction gotten darker to draw in a wider audience and what does that mean for the genre? 

And with the war of the five kings ended - seeing as the kings are all dead and only women are left in positions of power - how does Game of Thrones treat its women characters? 

Can an ice-zombie be an effective villain? 

Spoilers for season 7 - we go deep on this episode. 

Jul 2, 2017

We discuss Girl Boss from Netflix, Preacher, iZombie and American Gods as adaptations to television - and the return of Twin Peaks. 

Girl Boss - Netflix

Is this the advent of a second 'Golden Age' of television?

Or are we looking at the diversifying of media to cater to all tastes. 

American Gods - Shadow and Laura Moon

Shows discussed in this episode include - 

* Girl Boss
* Braindead
* Designated Survivor
* Preacher
* iZombie
* Hannibal
* American Gods
* Twin Peaks seasons 1/2
* Twin Peaks: The Return