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.
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?
We talk all things Insatiable this week, as well as give shout-outs to -
Glow season 2 from Netflix
Giant Days volume 8 from John Allison and Max Sarin
Oh and Stevie's side project.
Mission Impossible: Fallout follows on from the events of Rogue Nation, and continues to mark the franchise's upswing in quality.
Partly this is due to the rewarding collaboration between star Tom Cruise and director/writer Christopher McQuarrie.
But this is also a franchise that has found its feet after the initial post-Cold War confusion as to who the enemy is.
Turns out, it's us. Anyway we dive in to what we liked about the most recent entry and trace the series' growth over the years.
This episode we talk A Quiet Place - is it a Christian right parable for family values....or just a silly monster movie?
Then we talk season 3 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which begins at the lowest point of Rebecca Bunch's life (brilliantly played by show co-creator Rachel Bloom) and then ends on a cliffhanger that has us eager to see where the show will finish in season 4.
And while you're there....
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Neve Campbell star in this Hong Kong-set riff on Die Hard. There's a building - but a bigger one. There's terrorists - but they're beefier. And there's an unstoppable family man on the loose to stop them - but instead of Bruce Willis, it's the Rock.
What did Emmet and Stevie make of it all? Listen to find out.
Also discussed -
Ant-Man and The Wasp/Incredibles 2
Top five 'good' comics from the past ten years
Eleanor Davis - How to be Happy
Roger Langridge - Snarked.
The Long Weekend in Alice Springs - Joshua Santospirito.
Gary Spencer Millidge's Strangehaven serialised in the Meanwhile... anthology from Soaring Penguin Press.
Emily Carroll - Through the Woods.
Cinemascore be damned - Hereditary is great!
Gee people whaddya want?
Beyond the conversation about the difficult measures horror cinema is held to by both critics and fans, we also review Ari Aster feature film debut.
J.A. Bayona's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is discussed, as well as the declining appeal of Chris Pratt.
The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein
*SPOILERS FOR DEADPOOL 2*
Firstly - Stevie is back! And then we open our review episode of Deadpool 2 by discussing Ireland's Repeal the 8th Amendment referendum. Other points raised include
Neevon is back - and he comes with reviews of Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty and the Martin Freeman zombie flick Cargo.
This episode we:
Till next time, cheers folks.
Peadar talks his sources of inspiration for the series, the changing face of genre writing - and a tease of what's in store with his upcoming stories for George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series.
(Also we get into a quick study of what the séimhiú is and how to pronounce Saoirse Ronan - so Irish students, take note).
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).
Also in this episode:
And the charming film Pork Pie (which we reviewed in episode 13)
Kay Cannon's Blockers really surprised me. While I went in expecting a grossout comedy after catching the trailer (which caused Stevie to bow out), what I discovered instead was a sincere and sharply witty film about our attitudes to sex.
Concerned more with the hang-ups of parents played by Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz than their onscreen children (Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon), Blockers does indulge in scenes with bodily fluids flying hither and thither - but it's also an interesting investigation of the pressures we put on young women when it comes to sex.
Next we discuss Alex Garland's long-awaited Annihilation, adapting the first novel of Jeff VanderMeer's The Southern Reach trilogy to the...well our smallscreen as it turns out.
This episode we discover the playful (yet terrifically black) comedy The Death of Stalin from director Armando Iannucci.
This is a fantastic piece of political satire that challenges the safe revisionism of historical dramas onscreen through the choice to have the actors use their actual accents.
We also talk about the Marimekko exhibition currently on at Bendigo Art Gallery and Altered Carbon on Netflix.
Also - let us know for an upcoming episode what films personally disappointed you. Email email@example.com, or drop us a line on social.
And we're back - Hopscotch is now a fortnightly podcast, giving us more time to do this whole 'life' business we've heard so much about.
This episode we talk Ladybird and Black Panther.
Emmet attempts to link the two by arguing that Ladybird, directed by Great Gerwig, occupies the position of 'sensitive young person comes of age' vacated by male film-makers - who are now applying that model to superhero films.
But is the quickly becoming familiar Marvel model holding back film concepts like the rich world of Wakanda in Black Panther? We discuss.
A series of mortals travel to a land of Faerie - and things go bad.
This is the substance of Jason Franks's novel, a wickedly inventive take on fantasy fiction, or "C.S. Lewis with curse words" as Emmet puts it.
And if you are in Melbourne on Thursday 15 February at 6.30, come along to the launch at Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 to meet the author (and you can check out the book itself here).
Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are receiving Oscar attention for their daughter/mother roles in I, Tonya.
But does Craig Gillespie's film play too loose with facts, or is the approach he takes an astute method of confronting audiences too willing to look the other way to stories of domestic abuse?
Also - from next week Hopscotch is going fortnightly.
Neevon Mohtaji joins the show to discuss The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as owner Kay Graham and editor Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post during its transformation into the paper of record.
Is this another Oscar contender for Spielberg given its themes of the importance of the Fourth Estate - or a formulaic 'prestige picture'?
Emmet and Neevon discuss.
Driven to his sickbed by a nasty bug, Emmet decided the only thing for it was to read Michael Wolff's surprisingly slim cause de célèbre Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
Then we talk Guillermo del Toro's aquatic romance The Shape of Water starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer, with Doug Jones as the underwater lover.
Finally the gig that Godspeed You! Black Emperor just hosted in Launceston for MOFO, in partnership with dance troupe The Holy Body Tattoo - which simply had to be seen to be believed (we try to talk about it anyway).
It was very loud.
Next week Neevon returns to discuss Spielberg's The Post.
Is pop culture something we're passionate about - or something we're told to be passionate about?
That's the question we're asking ourselves with this episode, which turns into a recommitment to what Hopscotch Friday was meant to be from the beginning, a show about the things we love.
This week we talk the backlash against critics, toxic fandom and the PR media cycle, as well as:
Here it is, our wrap up of all the things we loved in 2017. Books, films, telly and comic books - we've got our picks of the things we loved, including some we already reviewed here on the pod.
And if you want a sampling of what we discuss in this episode -
Happy new year folks - see you in 2018.
Star Wars and Paddington - two films that smack of adult nostalgia for their childhoods, now re-marketed to children today.
Paddington 2, directed by Paul King, conjures up a sense of Englishness that is at once classic, but also modern.
It's a charming film that is well worth your time.
The latest Star Wars - which Stevie has not seen, so Emmet is left to be interrogated on its merits - is brought to the screen by Rian Johnson.
Instead of heavily relying on the established Star Wars formula, Johnson chooses to highlight the use of those repeated plot threads - temptation by the dark side, a Jedi mentor crippled by failure, a resistance army forced to continually retreat from an evil empire in pursuit - then flips these narratives in interesting ways.
This is a spoiler free discussion that treats of The Last Jedi's position in relation to the original films - and the whole Star Wars marketing phenomenon.
Star Wars redefined Hollywood by creating the blockbuster and sfx technology - but does it still work as a continuing story?
And what does it mean for franchises like Star Wars, and Harry Potter, require constant immersion even outside the movie theatre?
The Disaster Artist, directed by James Franco and based on the tell-all memoir by Greg Sestero about his experience of starring in The Room, hits Australian cinemas on December 7.
And folks - this may be one of the best films of 2017!
With an all-star cast and a stunning central performance that is more sympathetic recreation than mimicry (Tommy Wiseau being a living cartoon in his own right) - The Disaster Artist has finally made something great out of The Room.
This week is all about trash cinema meeting the mainstream, but seriously - catch this film.
Dr Matt Finch joins the podcast to talk Justice League, Jason Momoa, the DC universe, Jason Momoa, and the impact of the male gaze - and Jason Momoa.
(pictured - Not Jason Momoa)
This is a spoiler-filled discussion so be warned if you have not yet seen the film.
But if you're looking for a giddy, rifferific take on the culmination of Zack Snyder's DC movieverse - here it is.
How does Stranger Things 2 and Thor Ragnarok evoke the 1980s through the dimly remembered lens of 80s VHS box art, arcade games and teenage hormones?
The Duffer Brothers and Taika Waititi have served up two different kinds of nostalgic reflection on the decade children retreated from the street to the home entertainment room.
Does Stranger Things 2 serve simply as a decent sequel to the surprise Netflix hit - or does it have a responsibility to be all things to all viewers?
And has Taika cracked the Marvel Movies code with Thor Ragnarok?
Books! Love 'em - don't have a lot of time to read 'em anymore.
Blame modern life, or whatever, but a good book takes time and deserves an attentive reader, so no smartphone distractions, or Netflix binge-athons please.
In the end we packed our bags, stuffed in a few paperbacks, and over a week of sunshine read: