Before he was fascinating and terrifying as Deadwood's Al Swearengen, actor Ian McShane played rakish antiques dealer Meredith Lovejoy on the long-running English series Lovejoy. This is that. More precisely, this is a discussion amongst the hoopleheads of the Lovejoy episode "Who is the Fairest of Them All?" which finds a haughty–if slightly zaftig–ballet dancer freaking the fuck out about a mirror. (Seriously. This episode is about the buying and selling of mirrors. The climax is a high-stakes operation involving the switching of price tags. Clearly, Lovejoy is nothing like the actual world of antiquing, which is violent and cutthroat.) Sincere thanks to guest and temporary host Shane Poole of In The Village: An Introcast for The Prisoner for his fact finding and good humo(u)r, as well as saving the podcast with his backup recording. Smashing job, Shane! You are indeed quite tickety-boo. (Also, I tried to do as little editing as possible for this bonus episode.) | Recorded July 19, 2015. Released July 20, 2015.

Hoopleheads Matt H & Mel record a commentary for the season two premiere, "A Lie Agreed Upon, Part I." (Note: Portions of the recording are missing due to technical issues.) | Released July 31, 2015.

Hoopleheads Matt H & Mel record a commentary for Season Two, Episode Six: "Something Very Expensive." | Released October 1, 2015.

Hoopleheads Matt H & Mel record a commentary for Season Three, Episode Five: "A Two-Headed Beast." | Released April 29, 2016.

Hoopleheads Matt H & Mel record a commentary for Season Three, Episode Eleven: "The Catbird Seat." | Released July 20, 2016.

Hooplehead Carol records a commentary for "Tell Him Something Pretty." | Released August 6, 2016.

Now that we've wrapped Deadwood, what is a hooplehead to do? Why, cover every. single. fucking. HBO drama series since the very fucking beginning, of course. This is the first installment of "Phase II" of the podcast in which we tackle the premieres of all HBO dramas chronologically. ... First on our list is Philip Marlowe, Private Eye (1983) which stars Cy Tolliver himself, Powers Boothe, as the titular hardboiled detective. Marlowe and his "Girl Friday" protect a mob snitch in Raymond Chandler's The Pencil. (11:15-1:05:50) ... Then we discuss the ridiculous "prison as summer camp" Maximum Security (1984) in which hardened criminals share their emotional problems and footrace for stereos with absolutely no supervision. Jean Smart plays reckless psychiatrist Dr. Alison Brody. (1:05:51-2:24:37) ... Also, we discuss a few projects in development at the network, including the Vince Gilligan penned mini-series "Raven" about the Jonestown massacre, and Alan Ball's new blended family drama featuring Holly Hunter. (0-11:14) | Recorded November 20, 2016. Released November 20, 2016.

The HoopleCast HBO Project continues by discussing two episodes of the horror anthology Tales from the Crypt (1989). In "The Man Who Was Death" William Sadler is a real Frank Underwood-slash-super villain, getting sadistic thrills by electrocuting his city's undesirables, until the easily predictable tries-too-hard-to-be-ironic "twist" ending. "Creep Course" finds a curious bookworm thrown into Jeffrey Jones's Egyptian tomb wherein she fucks a mummy to freedom and earns herself an A+ grade. Upstairs, Anthony Michael Hall transitions from nerd to jock then bleeds from the ass and mouth. (11:23-1:09:35) ... Then things get really horrific as we go all after school special with Lifestories: Families in Crisis (1992). "The Secret Life of Mary Margaret: Portrait of a Bulimic" stars Calista Flockhart as a teenager on the "scarf and barf" diet, and "A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story" features the future husband of Jennifer Garner (Ben Affleck, not Noel from Felicity) going all aggro when he overindulges in the steroids. Grace Zabriskie from Twin Peaks co-stars as Affleck's mother. (1:09:36-2:20:21) ... All these episodes are terrible, but some are less terrible than others. ... Also, Westworld's blockbuster ratings, two space operas in the HBO pipeline (Glare, and Isaac Asimov's Foundation series), and Big Little Lies. (0-11:22) | Recorded December 11, 2016. Released December 18, 2016.

Happy Christmas from HoopleCast! And what did Santa bring you? Why, shit weasels and toodle pips for days and days, by Jove! Join Matt and Claire as they laugh and cringe their way through Stephen King's oxycodone nightmare Dreamcatcher, the first in our unnecessary series of commentary podcasts in which we celebrate the cinematic milestones of Mister Timothy Olyphant. | Tags: Stay Sexy Don't Die, Damien Lewis Has a Tiny Mouth, David!, Spring Cha-Ching, Evan Peters Face, Ooby Ooby Oo Ere Are Ou Ee've Ot Ome Ork O O Ow, Double Fuck-a-Ro, Jason Lee Doesn't Understand the Concept of Quarantines, Twelve Toothpicks, Morgan Freeman's Eyebrows, Bucko Blue Boy Leader, Colonel Maple Syrup, Aliens Came to Earth to Ride Snowmobiles, Yes, Claire, You Still Have Asthma In Your Memory Warehouse Because That's How Memory Warehouses Work--Science Fact!, Blimey! My Finger! It's Magic!, Don't You Dare Hurt Ty Olsson, Matt Misses All the Screenwipes, Dumbest Aliens Ever, Giant Tooth Vagina, Thomas Jane is a Mama's Boy, Unintentional Comedy | Recorded November 26, 2016. Released December 25, 2016.

Come see us, little boys, as we scrape the very bottom of the HBO programming barrel. Hotel Room (1993) is David Lynch at his most pretentious--a terrifying thought. In "Tricks" Harry Dean Stanton may have a split personality, and may intend to kill a prostitute, but who the fuck can say for certain as this is nearly impenetrable garbage. "Getting Rid of Robert" features Deborah Unger, Mariska Hargitay, and Scott Bakula's wife as chatty gal pals, debating the merits of the titular Robert. "Blackout" is a slow, tedious march toward oblivion as Crispin Glover and Alicia Witt sit in the dark, ignoring their (probably delicious) Chinese food, until they're mercifully engulfed by the sun. (6:22-1:12:09) Meanwhile, HBO's first attempt at sci-fi is the anthology series Perversions of Science (1997), a show so bad it killed the CableACE Awards. Like Keith Carradine in "Dream of Doom" we feel trapped in a never-ending nightmare. William Shatner directs "Boxed In," and if you ever meet him at a convention be sure to ask him about the time Kevin Pollak got his dick stuck in a sexbot, because, yeah, that happened. (1:12:10-2:03:44) ... Also, a quick preview of the upcoming Amy Adams vehicle Sharp Objects, and Room 104, a comedic version of Hotel Room by the Duplass brothers. (0-6:21) | Recorded January 29, 2017. Released January 31, 2017.

It's a new era for HBO as the premium cable network launches its first successful dramatic series, the relentlessly grim Oz (1997), which ran for an impressive fifty-six episodes. Our guest Steven brings a fan's enthusiasm to the discussion of "The Routine," which introduces us to the prisoners and administrators of Emerald City--before Jon Seda and his penis (yes, Mel, rewind the tape, because you missed it) suffocate the episode. (8:33-1:10:30) The first installment of From the Earth to the Moon (1998) is a far more optimistic, albeit slightly dull, palate cleasner. The Soviets have launched the first man into outer space, igniting the race to land a man on the moon. "Can We Do This?," the premiere of this twelve-part mini-series, concerns the Mercury and Gemini (not pronounced how you'd think) programs. There's a lot of white guys in shirts and ties looking at screens and dials. It's not as exciting as that one astronaut movie (title TBD) Carol loves. (1:10:31-2:21:03) ... Also, the trailer for the Oprah Winfrey vehicle The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. (0-8:32) | Recorded February 19, 2017. Released February 28, 2017.

The Sopranos (1999) is considered by many to be the pinnacle of HBO programming, but do the hoopleheads share that opinion, or are they wistful for the salad days of Maximum Security and Hotel Room? Are you kookalamanza? Vaffanculo, you pazzo stunad! New Jersey native Carol is the M.V.P. of this episode, bringing all the geography facts and riveting personal history. (10:39-1:29:13) Then, things become altogether depressing on The Corner (2000), a precursor to The Wire, which takes place at the intersection of West Fayette and North Monroe Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Charles S. Dutton introduces us to Gary, Fran, and DeAndre, family members whose lives are tragically destroyed by drug addiction. (1:29:14-2:29:50) ... Also, updates on the Deadwood movie, True Detective season three, Curb Your Enthusiasm's return, and which Big Little Lies mom is Matt A? (He took a Buzzfeed quiz to find out.) (0-10:38) | Recorded April 23, 2017. Released April 30, 2017.

Dane of The Proud Jacuzzi Crew is our guest for this Powers Boothe Memorial Podcast. Six Feet Under (2001 - 2005) is Alan Ball's dramedy about the insufferable Fisher clan. Nate, the scruffy eldest son, has flown home to Los Angeles for Christmas, but holiday plans are thwarted when the family patriarch runs afoul of a city bus. (It's ironic, because they own a funeral home, but now they're the client, get it?) (16:17-1:34:35) In the opening installment of Band of Brothers (2001), "Curahee," everyone's favorite of the six Friends plays the uncompromising drill instructor of Easy Company. Things he does not like: staying hydrated on long runs, prophylactics, contraband peaches, spaghetti dinners, reading maps, fences--hey, is that Michael Fassbender? (1:34:36-3:21:00) ... Also, Game of Thrones spin-offs, Fahrenheit 451, Lovecraft Country, and The New Pope. (0-16:16) | Recorded May 28, 2017. Released May 31, 2017.

Happy Independence Day from HoopleCast! 7th in literacy! 42nd in life expectancy! 1st in gun deaths! U-S-A! U-S-A! It's the second in our series of unnecessary commentary tracks for films featuring "Hawaiian" Timothy Olyphant. Matt, Claire and Will are on a wild ride to Kauai, following the adventures of Cliff and Cydney [sic], newlyweds who run afoul of backpacking creeps, one or more of whom may be a dot dot dot murderer. Also, Will's mortal enemy, Steve Zahn. | Tags: Jeremy Sisto Effect, A Hundred Dollars in Pet Rent?!, That's a Beautiful Man Right There, Steve Zahn is the Moon and He's Been Eclipsed by the Sun, U.S. Murder Rates, American Jedi, I Keep My Insulin in the Crick, That's My Bitch, They Got Themselves a Hemsworth (Gotta Catch Em All), Chekhov's Scorpion, Never Cut Foreskins, Shark Eyes, Longest Flashback Ever, ...And It Was a Perfect Getaway. | Recorded June 4, 2017. Released July 4, 2017.

Re-up your podcast stash with another supply of HoopleCast, featuring Will of SpartaCast fame ALIVE! ALIVE! ALIVE!. Will is here to defend The Wire (2002), the series about Baltimore's drug war, which is often cited by critics as the greatest fucking thing mere mortals have ever had the privilege of viewing. Based on the pilot, do the hoopleheads agree? Let's put it this way, if we're not intimidated by the rabid, frothing fans of David Lynch, do you think we care about you hoppers? Take your shot. (11:46-1:36:47) Then, at long last, Carnivāle (2003). A warning: if I, your humble host, sound completely manic during this recording, it's because #1 I truncated too much silence while editing, and #2 I might just be a tad enthusiastic to discuss this most wonderful and magical of period dramas. (1:36:48-3:28:40) ... Also, True Detective, Watchmen, Room 104, and The Deuce. (0-11:45) | Recorded July 9, 2017. Released July 16, 2017.