Ep 82: State of the Sitcom Christmas Special with Paul Mayhew-Archer

December 6, 2018

We wish you a sitcom Christmas…

In the UK, one of the most beloved festive traditions is sitting down with your loved ones and arguing over what to watch after you’ve consumed more food than is ever necessary, and top of the festive TV wishlist is usually the sitcom Christmas special of the day.

In this very special Christmas episode, we’re joined by sitcom screenwriting royalty, Mr. Paul Mayhew-Archer. Writer on such small screen classics as The Vicar of Dibley, My Hero, Spitting Image, Mrs Brown’s Boys and script editor on Miranda, Grownups, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and much more, Paul is well-versed in what makes a Christmas special so… well, special!

We discuss what makes a classic sitcom episode, the balance between heartwarming and heartbreaking in comedy and why Yazoo’s Only You still brings us all to tears every year. Paul is one of the most engaging raconteurs bringing his wit and experiences to life with hilarious tales from onset of many beloved shows and exploring the nature of comedy, Christmas and life through his brilliant humour and insight into writing alone, with legends like Richard Curtis or Paul Mendelson, or as part of a larger team.

Paul also discusses the moment he learned he had Parkinson’s disease and how his outlook on life has evolved and shaped his comedy, resulting in his award-winning documentary Parkinson's: The Funny Side and his current live show, Incurable Optimist. His ability to bring so much emotion, joy and laughter to such a sensitive subject as serious illness is inspiring and the show explores the power of laughter as medicine for cancer, depression, loneliness as well as Parkinson’s. To buy tickets to one of the many shows Paul is performing up and down the UK, visit:https://sohotheatre.com/shows/paul-mayhew-archer-incurable-optimist/

State of the Sitcom will return in January 2019 with more special guests and a whole new host of your favourite TV funnies to dissect, your normal JoJCast schedule will resume from next week with some more festive frivolities.

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Ep 81: How real life impacts screenwriting - The Episode IX Conundrum & unforeseen circumstances for scriptwriters

September 27, 2018

Reality might not always play a huge part in the movies & TV we watch but sometimes the outcome of real life changes the course of fiction more than we know.

Following the sad, untimely passing of Carrie Fisher in 2016 the fact that JJ Abrams had previously intended Episode IX to centre around Leia Organa throws up more than just pain at the loss of such a bright star in the universe. For the scriptwriters there's a potential rewrite of the entire narrative as well as the difficult task of paying tribute to such key character, scribe and real-world icon of the franchise as a whole. In this episode we discuss the possibilities and potential pitfalls which lie ahead for Episode IX whilst also exploring how other films and TV have dealt with the influence of real life situations including House of Cards, Friends, Frasier, The X-Files and more...

We also discuss the merits of persevering with TV shows which may not have piqued your interest first time round in particular the latest Matt Groening series, Disenchantment, and the new season of Bojack Horseman!

Keep it cricket,

JoJ x

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Ep 80: Can the writers of Avengers 4 deliver with THAT much hype? Infinity War theories & the weight of expectation

September 13, 2018

After 10 years, 20 movies, and becoming the benchmark for blockbuster movies in the 21st Century, the MCU has become so much more than just a franchise.

After a raft of the franchise's best movies with Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and the beginning of the end in Avengers: Infinity War 1, there is a lot resting on the back of screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely with Avengers 4 (Infinity War 2).

In this episode, we discuss the difficulties and excitement of writing on that scale and with so many expectations. Plus, we work through our favourite fan theories and ask whether whatever Avengers 4 gives us, will ever be enough?

We also chat about Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events S2 and why sci-fi by it’s very nature has become renowned for breaking new writing ground.

Keep it cricket,
JoJ x

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Ep 79: Writing yourself out of a corner - How to deal with characters after a cliffhanger (ft. Orange is the New Black & Better Call Saul)

August 23, 2018

Nobody puts baby in the corner…

Well actually sometimes they do but how can writers successfully navigate themselves out of a narrative climax whilst maintaining a satisfying arc?
Jo & J discuss how the new seasons of Orange is the New Black and Better Call Saul tackled this very problem as well as some successful and not-so-successful methods from other media like Lost, Heroes, Grant Morrison and How I Met Your Mother!

We also talk some very special screenings we’ve attended recently including Black Klansman with Spike Lee and the documentary Paths of Blood Q&A with former Al Qaeda member turned MI6 double agent, Aimen Dean.

Join us as we navigate our way out of the corner like some kind of modern day Dizzee Rascal.

Keep it Cricket, JoJ x

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Ep78: How to write a TV romance? aka Will your ship sink or sail?

July 5, 2018

Welcome to the Shipping Forecast...

We all know the TV tradition that is Will They or Won't They but we want to know how (relation)ships can sink or float a successful series amidst the storm that is television.

From Kirk & Spock and Mulder & Scully to Bill Potts & The Pilot to Ross & Rachel, we shine our lovelight onto the TV romances which have worked and those that have sucked the passion out of a series quicker than the words, "We need to talk"...

Join us on an oddysey through the tricky waters of shipping, moonlighting and edging... 

Keep it Cricket, JoJ x

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Ep 77: Star Wars - What’s the point of prequels?

June 14, 2018

Having seen Solo: A Star Wars Story recently, we asked ourselves the big question, has there ever been a good prequel?

Join us as we take a screenwriters eye to the problem with prequels and even find a newfound respect for A Phantom Menace. From Better Call Saul to Prometheus and from Monsters University to Hannibal, we uncover what works, what doesn't and whether ticking boxes is ever what fans actually want?

We also discuss the cancellation of two of our favourite Netflix shows, Love and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and we join the Atlanta party a few years late as it finally comes to the BBC in the UK.

Join us for some Jar Jar Binks loving and tell us what your favourite prequel is?

Keep it Cricket,

JoJ xx

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Ep 76: State of the Sitcom - The Serious Side of Sitcoms, with Inside Pop Podcast

June 6, 2018

State of the Sitcom continues...

What happens when the laughs stop? This week the miniseries looks at tears of sadness rather than laughter as we reach episode five.

We're joined by @Amita Patel and @Sean David Johnson, the incredibly insightful and enigmatic hosts of Inside Pop Podcast to discuss what happens when sitcoms try to tackle the big issues.

Diving deep into some well known moments when things got way too real in our favourite sitcoms, we share the tears, the education and the power behind Diff'rent Strokes' The Bicycle Man, Fresh Prince of Bel Air's Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse, Ellen's The Puppy Episode, How I Met Your Mother's Last Words, and many more. We discuss whether the medium is successful at dealing with serious topics, how modern sitcoms tackle the issues differently to the classics and whether Keeping Up Appearances 'made' it in America!

State of the Sitcom will return later in the summer with more special guests and a whole new host of your favourite TV funnies to dissect, your normal JoJCast schedule will resume from next week, with a slight twist ;)

Happy Sitcom-ing,

JoJ x

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Ep 75: State of the Sitcom Spaced, with Easy Riders Raging Podcast

May 31, 2018

State of the Sitcom continues...

The miniseries takes a break from stateside sitcoms & brings the focus to a little flat in North London.

In our fourth adventure we're joined by @Chris Johnston, the superbly prolific host of Easy Riders Raging Podcast and The Spielberg Pod to discuss the UK cult classic, Spaced.

Quoting the show as if we're its main characters, our passion for this unsung slice of comedy fried gold is evident from the start as we break down why it was so important to us, how it transformed the landscape of British comedy and what the wider cultural impact of Edgar Wright, Jessica Hynes & Simon Pegg's homage-o-meter truly is.

Tune in next week for more special guests who seek to pop 'Inside' the deeper moments in sitcom history!

Happy Sitcom-ing,

JoJ x

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Ep 74: State of the Sitcom - Frasier, with Wine and Crime Podcast

May 24, 2018

State of the Sitcom continues...

We push ever forward in our miniseries taking on all things sitcom from I Love Lucy to Rick & Morty and everything in between!

In this third episode we're joined by @Amanda, @Kenyon & Lucy, the criminally talented hosts of the Wine & Crime podcast to discuss the salad tossing and egg scrambling modern classic, Frasier.

Right from the start we get on like a house on fire covering the characters, writing and crepe pan seasoning impact of the show and even manage to bring up some true crime, the US political shitshow and exactly how Kelsey Grammar got his hair like that.  We had a blast recording this and can highly recommend pouring yourself a glass of vino and joining the Wine & Crime podcast on their "obnoxiously active" social media accounts!

Tune in next week for more special guests and maybe a simple motorcyclist and angry cow talking doped up biscuits!

Happy Sitcom-ing,

JoJ x

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Ep 73: State of the Sitcom - The Cosby Show, with Kobi from Flixwatcher & The Wire Stripped Podcasts

May 16, 2018

State of the Sitcom continues...

We plunge further into our miniseries taking on all things sitcom from I Love Lucy to Rick & Morty and everything in between!

In this second episode we're joined by Kobi, the enigmatic co-host of both the FlixWatcher and The Wire Stripped podcasts to discuss the staple of 80s and 90s primetime television, The Cosby Show.

We discuss the comedy, scriptwriting and cultural impact of the show in its heyday as well as focussing on the ongoing case against Bill Cosby and other key figures in comedy who have been charged with similar abuse or worse. This deep but fun podcast also covers the best and worst of UK and US sitcoms, how to deal with your heroes falling from grace and the ongoing calamity that is Last of the Summer Wine. We're very proud of how much we covered with Kobi and hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Tune in next week for more special guests and maybe pour a criminal glass of fortified wine from Cádiz!

Happy Sitcom-ing,

JoJ x

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Ep72: State of the Sitcom - Introduction & Animation, with For Film’s Sake Podcast

May 9, 2018

State of the Sitcom has landed!

Welcome to our miniseries within our scheduled screenwriting podcast where we take a deep dive into all things sitcom from I Love Lucy to Rick & Morty and everything in between!

In this first episode we're joined by Bryan & Chris, the witty & insightful hosts of For Film's Sake and For Writing's Sake podcasts (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/for-films-sake/id1084763473?mt=2) to discuss the animated sitcoms.

From The Flintstones to The Simpsons, South Park to Bojack Horseman and many a detour into dramas, films & Daria cosplay, this is a spralling podcast you don't want to miss.

Tune in next week for another special guest and a classic but controversial choice.

Happy Sitcom-ing,

JoJ x

 

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Ep 71: Writing Sci-Fi - Ready Player One, Annihilation & The X-Files

May 9, 2018

It's a busy month for Sci-Fi so we thought we'd investigate what makes for good science fiction screenwriting in relation to new releases, classic films from the genre & more.

We provide a spolier-free insight into Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, then get spoilerific as we get into Alex Garland's Annihilation and even give our full low down on Season 11 of The X-Files.

In addition we discuss our latest music picks and talk about some recent live events we've been to including Dizraeli, Jamila Woods, Open Mike Eagle and No Such Thing As a Fish podcast.

Thanks for listening,
JoJ x

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Ep 70: Who Should win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay + Black Panther Review

May 9, 2018

And the Oscar goes to…

The 90th Oscars are set to be groundbreaking for a lot of reasons with #Timesup & #MeToo set to play a big part and the possibility for an Academy Award first if Jordan Peele’s Get Out claims the top spot.

We’re delighted to see so much progress (although there’s still a long way to go) being taken by the Oscars and to celebrate we breakdown the nominees for our favourite category, Best Original Screenplay.

The nominees include some of our top films of the last 12 months and we discuss which one we think should win, which one will win and which film is our favourite.

In addition, we’ll also be live tweeting the whole Oscars Ceremony on Sunday night (Monday morning UK time) on Twitter, so be sure to follow us and join in our special Oscars Drinking Game.

Thanks for listening,
JoJ x

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Ep 69: Hello 2018

May 9, 2018

2018 is going to be the shit...

Following the political double whammy horsecock which was 2016 & 2017, we're starting out 2018 full of hope, joy & antici.............PATION for what's to come and that's in no small part due to the awesome movie releases coming our way.
So in our first episode of the year, join us as we run down what we're excited about and why we're so freakin' excited about it, plus you get to hear us make joyful noises about Black Panther, Lynne Ramsay & much more.

Anything we missed? Then let us know in the comments what else we should be loving in 2018!

Thanks for listening,
JoJ x

 
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Ep 68: Review of 2017

May 9, 2018

It's easy to feel down about 2017 with hate-fuelled politics, climate change & more but JoJ are here to provide you with some good vibes!

The last 12 months have been incredible for pop culture with amazing new music, record-breaking new movies & further proof TV is in its Platinum Age.

We also aim to start 2018 with a positive outlook so we pick our top positive takeaways from the last year to try and bring a glimmer of hope to our lives, and hopefully humanity too!

Thanks for listening for another year,
JoJ

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Ep 67: 80s Sci-Fi Nostalgia ft Thor Ragnarok, Bladerunner 2049 & Stranger Things 2

May 9, 2018

Maybe it's because we have a Tory government or a homophobic, racist tyrant in the White House. Maybe it's because the nature of culture is cyclical. Or maybe it's because we all need a bit of nostalgia right now. Whatever the reason, the 80s are back and they're taking over our screens!

Join us as we review and discuss the screenwriting in Bladerunner 2049, Thor: Ragnarok & Netflix's Stranger Things 2 in our 80s Sci-Fi special.

We also discuss the Harvey Weinstein criminal investigation, the impact on Hollywood and other industries and what we can do as consumers.

Plus, in our regular feature #TheEmpireWritesBack(where we discuss scripts in Empire Magazine's Top 100 Movies of All Time as Voted for by Readers), we cover pre-1960 films including Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, 12 Angry Men, Rear Window, Vertigo, Seven Samurai, It's a Wonderful Life & Citizen Kane.

Thanks for listening,
JoJ x

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Ep 66: A triptych of fear with The Handmaid’s Tale, mother! & IT

May 9, 2018

To avoid fainting, keep repeating it's only a podcast, it's only a podcast, it's only a podcast...

This month, we discuss fear in three recent releases - IT, mother! and The Handmaid's Tale - focusing on screenwriting and the overall impact of each piece.

We also have our regular feature, The Empire Writes Back, in which we choose titles from @Empiremagazine Top 100 films (as voted by readers) & discuss the screenwriting and whether the film's are still any good. This month we cover comic book movies, The Dark Knight, Avengers Assemble, Guardians of the Galaxy & Captain America: Civil War.

Plus, there's also our take on movie news, new trailers and pop culture happenings over the last month.

Thanks for listening,
JoJ

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Ep 65: Top of the Lake, Defenders, Okja & Spielberg Special

May 9, 2018

Wow, have we got a jam-packed episode for you this month!

We cover movie news, film & TV trailers plus a boat-load of in-depth discussions on new film and TV releases including Top of The Lake, The Defenders and Okja.

This episode in our monthly feature - The Empire Writes Back - where we discuss scriptwriting in Empire Magazine's Top 100 Films of All Time, we have a Spielberg Special covering seven of the director's top films.

Thanks for listening,
JoJ x

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Ep 64: Game of Thrones S7 E7 - The Dragon & The Wolf

May 9, 2018

It's Baaacckkkk!!!!

@HoBoJoBo & @Meerkuts are long term fans of Game of Thrones and so we're pleased to bring you our spoilerific weekly update on the latest episodes for Season 7 of the epic series.

We cover the East, West, North & South of Westeros in our weekly minisodes.

Join in, let us know your thoughts and how you think the Game of Thrones will end.
Valar morghulis x

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Ep 63: Game of Thrones S7 E6 - Beyond The Wall

May 9, 2018

It's Baaacckkkk!!!!

@HoBoJoBo & @Meerkuts are long term fans of Game of Thrones and so we're pleased to bring you our spoilerific weekly update on the latest episodes for Season 7 of the epic series.

We cover the East, West, North & South of Westeros in our weekly minisodes.

Join in, let us know your thoughts and how you think the Game of Thrones will end.
Valar morghulis x

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Ep 62: Game of Thrones S7 E5 - Eastwatch

May 9, 2018

It's Baaacckkkk!!!!

@HoBoJoBo & @Meerkuts are long term fans of Game of Thrones and so we're pleased to bring you our spoilerific weekly update on the latest episodes for Season 7 of the epic series.

We cover the East, West, North & South of Westeros in our weekly minisodes.

Join in, let us know your thoughts and how you think the Game of Thrones will end.
Valar morghulis x

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Ep 61: Game of Thrones S7 E4 - The Spoils of War

May 9, 2018

It's Baaacckkkk!!!!

@HoBoJoBo & @Meerkuts are long term fans of Game of Thrones and so we're pleased to bring you our spoilerific weekly update on the latest episodes for Season 7 of the epic series.

We cover the East, West, North & South of Westeros in our weekly minisodes.

Join in, let us know your thoughts and how you think the Game of Thrones will end.
Valar morghulis x

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Ep 60: Spider-Man Homecoming, OITNB, Better Call Saul & Citizen Kane

May 9, 2018

Bumper Episode Alert!

We've got a jam-packed podcast for you this month chatting about all things Comic Con, trailers, TV shows and movies!
We go back to school and discuss scriptwriting on the "best Spider-Man movie yet" whilst getting deep with new Netflix seasons, Orange is the New Black and Better Call Saul.

Finally, we review the classic Citizen Kane as part of our new feature #EmpireWritesBack and announce a very special #WatchwithJoJ for next month.

Thanks for listening,
JoJ

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Ep 59: Game Of Thrones S 7 E3 - The Queen’s Justice

May 9, 2018

It's Baaacckkkk!!!!

@HoBoJoBo & @Meerkuts are long term fans of Game of Thrones and so we're pleased to bring you our spoilerific weekly update on the latest episodes for Season 7 of the epic series.

We cover the East, West, North & South of Westeros in our weekly minisodes.

Join in, let us know your thoughts and how you think the Game of Thrones will end.
Valar morghulis x

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Ep 58: Game of Thrones S7 E2 - Stormborn

May 9, 2018

It's Baaacckkkk!!!!

@HoBoJoBo & @Meerkuts are long term fans of Game of Thrones and so we're pleased to bring you our spoilerific weekly update on the latest episodes for Season 7 of the epic series.

We cover the East, West, North & South of Westeros in our weekly minisodes.

Join in, let us know your thoughts and how you think the Game of Thrones will end.
Valar morghulis x

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