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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 202

Dan and Alan talk 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,' 'Dexter' finale, 'Breaking Bad' and more


Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.
We went podcast-less yesterday due to Alan's ongoing hospital adventures -- He's improving! -- and also because of communication SNAFUs caused by Gmail problems. Sorry!
But we've got you covered today, with a fairly long podcast that includes brief chatter about Sunday's Emmys, reviews of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.IE.L.D.," "Trophy Wife," "The Goldbergs," "Lucky 7" and "Back in the Game," plus discussion of Sunday's weak "Dexter" finale and strong "Breaking Bad" penultimate episode.
Maybe we'll have one more podcast later this week. We'd like to have one more podcast this week. However: Der mentsh trakht un Got lakht.
Here's today's breakdown:
Emmys (00:01:10 - 00:13:45)
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.IE.L.D." (00:14:00 - 00:23:50)
"The Goldbergs" (00:23:55 - 00:28:45)
"Trophy Wife" (00:28:50 - 00:35:30)
"Lucky 7" (00:35:35 - 0043:25)
"Back in the Game" (00:43:30 - 00:48:50)
"Dexter" finale (00:49:15 - 01:04:30)
"Breaking Bad" (01:04:30 - 01:27:30) 

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.



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<p>Miley's new video honors Jordan</p>

Miley's new video honors Jordan

Credit: Vevo

Watch: Miley Cyrus pays tribute to Michael Jordan in Mike Will Made It's '23' video

High school sure has changed

Move along, there’s nothing to see here or, at least, nothing you haven’t already seen.  In Mike Will Made It’s video for “23” featuring  Miley Cyrus, Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa, the producer and his buddies take over a high school.

The song is ostensibly a tribute to Michael Jordan (23 was his now-retired number for the Chicago Bulls) and his shoes.

Yes, the guys are in the clip, but, let’s face it, all anyone is paying attention to is Cyrus, who wears cut up No. 23 Bulls jerseys in various revealing states. Of course the guys all manage to pay tribute to Jordan without having to wear tiny little shorts and rubbing their asses, because, well, that would look ridiculous.

So by now, seeing Cyrus with her legs spread, in very little clothing, sticking out her tongue, running her hand over the top of her head isn’t really anything new, but if you haven’t quite gotten enough yet, there’s plenty for you here. There are even a few quick shots of Cyrus with a foam finger just for continuity from her Video Music Awards performance, y’all.

Her rap carries the song, though Khalifa’s mad scientist routine is mildly amusing. We reckon that chemistry lab will blow up before 4th period.

So not that high school kids aren’t aware of all this stuff, but the video features Cyrus smoking cigarettes, references to Molly, pot, purple drank, and blow jobs. Just a typical day in the life of your average teen and we're sure it's exactly how Jordan would like to be honored.


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FX renews 'The Bridge'

FX renews "The Bridge"
Season 2 will air next summer, FX announced today.

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<p>Demi&aacute;n Bichir and Diane Kruger in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

FX renews 'The Bridge' for season 2

Diane Kruger/Demian Bichir border cop drama has had uneven first season

FX has ordered a second season of "The Bridge," the cop drama set on the El Paso/Juarez border starring Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir.

Even by FX's patient standards, this is a pretty late renewal, with only two of the first season's 13 episodes still to air. I've been reviewing the show all summer, and while I like a lot of the performances and the way the show has dealt with the world on the border, season 1 went off the rails the last few weeks with the denouement of its evil serial killer mastermind story arc.

That said, there is excellent raw material here, and the serial killer stuff was largely adapted from the original "Bron," and simply didn't translate here. I've seen tomorrow night's episode, which gets back to a lot of what the show was dealing with in its early episodes, and it's much stronger than any other recent installment. It fits with what producers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid have said is the direction they want the show to go in, and if that's the case, I'm back on board.

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DVD Exclusive: How the 'Hannibal' team approached Hannibal Lecter post-Anthony Hopkins

DVD Exclusive: How the 'Hannibal' team approached Hannibal Lecter post-Anthony Hopkins

Mads Mikkelsen and series creator Bryan Fuller discuss making Lecter their own
When NBC ordered a drama series based on the events leading up to Thomas Harris' "Red Dragon," the big question from many fans was how Bryan Fuller and company would put their imprint on the iconic character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
After watching a full season of "Hannibal," those questions were gone. It's not that Mads Mikkelsen made anybody forget Anthony Hopkins' Oscar-winning performance, but the "Casino Royale" veteran's take on the creepy cannibal was nuanced, reptilian and terrifying in its own way.
"Hannibal" arrives on DVD on Tuesday, September 24 and HitFix has an exclusive clip of a bonus feature in which Mikkelsen and series creator Bryan Fuller discuss making Lecter their own.
Thanks to strong reviews and its unique international financing deal, rather than its precariously low ratings, "Hannibal" was renewed for a second season and will be back on NBC at a yet-to-be-determined time.
Check out the exclusive clip above.
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'The Blacklist' crushes 'Hostages,' thanks to surging 'Voice'

"The Blacklist" crushes "Hostages," thanks to surging "Voice"

"The Voice" returned up 17% from last fall with nearly 15 million viewers, driving 12.6 million to the James Spader drama. "Hostages," meanwhile, only attracted 7.5 million, while "Mom" debuted to 7.9 million.

M.I.A. responds to the NFL's $1.5M demands by filming herself flipping the bird
The singer released a YouTube video accusing the league of "massive corporation d--k shaking."

Vanessa Redgrave joins ABC's "Black Box"
She'll play a psychiatrist in the drama series from the creator of "The L Word," Ilene Chaiken, and Bryan Singer.

Hoda & Kathie Lee to write a newspaper column
The "Today" duo are joining the New York Daily News as columnists.

"Buffy's" Anthony Head lands on Syfy

He's joined the supernatural action pilot "Dominion."

"White Collar" books Steven Pasquale
The "Rescue Me" alum will play a rogue stockbroker.

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<p>James Spader of &quot;The Blacklist&quot;</p>

James Spader of "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Big 'Voice,' 'Blacklist' premieres lead NBC Monday while 'Sleepy Hollow' holds well

CBS' 'Mom' and 'Hostages' have weak Premiere Night launches
Fast National ratings for Monday, September 23, 2013.
Welcome to the 2013-2014 TV season!
There was plenty to report on the Nielsen-approved opening night of the new season.
On the positive side, "The Voice" returned above last fall's Monday premiere, building with each half-hour, beating "Dancing with the Stars" overall and prompting a strong premiere for "Blacklist," even if "Blacklist" came in below last September's "Revolution" premiere.
Speaking of positives, FOX's "Sleepy Hollow" held up very well in its second airing, especially among young viewers, even against far tougher competition.
Also positive, CBS got good numbers for the hour-long premiere of the final season of "How I Met Your Mother," which was a competitive second to "The Voice" among young viewers and equalled last fall's premiere.
That's where the good news stops for CBS, though, as "Mom" had a soft launch after "2 Broke Girls," which was down nearly a quarter from last year's premiere. "Mom," in turn, led into a very underwhelming premiere for the new drama "Hostages," which started weak and limped to a third place finish for the hour, certainly below CBS' hopes for the heavily promoted limited series, which may find itself even more limited if it doesn't perk up.
On to the numbers…
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Christina Aguilera on "The Voice"

 Christina Aguilera on "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

'The Voice': Is Cee-Lo and Christina's return a good or bad thing?

The original band's back together, but has it lost its rhythm?

Much has been made of the return of CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera to the merrily spinning judges' chairs on "The Voice." As fellow judge Blake Shelton reminded us during last night's premiere, it's like the original band is back together. The catch is, of course, that original doesn't always mean better.

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<p>Isiah Whitlock Jr. in &quot;Lucky 7,&quot;&nbsp;Malin Akerman in &quot;Trophy Wife&quot;&nbsp;and Jeff Garlin in &quot;The Goldbergs.&quot;</p>

Isiah Whitlock Jr. in "Lucky 7," Malin Akerman in "Trophy Wife" and Jeff Garlin in "The Goldbergs."

Credit: ABC

Fall TV Reviews: 'The Goldbergs,' 'Trophy Wife' & 'Lucky 7'

How do the non-'SHIELD' parts of ABC's all-new Tuesday lineup stack up?

As I noted yesterday, the combination of A)a really weak freshman class of fall shows, and B)my very slow recovery to full health means I'm not going to be doing long reviews of all the new shows (and in certain cases will be skipping them altogether).

Tuesday has four new shows debuting, all of them on ABC. (When you have as many holes as ABC has, you sometimes have to do insane things like schedule a night featuring only first-year shows.) "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got the full review treatment, and I'll have some brief thoughts on "The Goldbergs," "Trophy Wife" and "Lucky 7" coming right up...

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<p>&quot;Like Father, Like Son,&quot; one of the films controversially absent from this year's foreign-language race.</p>

"Like Father, Like Son," one of the films controversially absent from this year's foreign-language race.

Credit: Sundance Selects

Roundup: Fixing the foreign-language Oscar

Also: Fantastic Fest winners, and has Michael Douglas been taken for granted?

By this point, it's common knowledge that the Academy's voting system for Best Foreign Language Film -- or Best Foreign Language Film Approved And Selected By A National Committee That Is Also Agreeable To The Widest Academy Demographic And Was Domestically Released Within The Eligibility Window -- is, to put it gently, somewhat flawed. Everyone has different ideas about how to fix it (including, to their credit, the Academy itself), but Toronto Film Festival director Cameron Bailey's are more sensible than most. I wholeheartedly echo his statement that the idea of this being a country-based competition in this era of global co-production is archaic. Also interesting: he argues that requiring contenders to have a US release date would encourage increased distribution of foreign fare. Good points all round. [Variety]

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<p>Maria Hill (a cameo-ing Cobie Smulders) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)&nbsp;in &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot; </p>

Maria Hill (a cameo-ing Cobie Smulders) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Are too many companies too invested to let 'The Avengers' spin-off be special?

The overstuffed nature of the title "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." says a lot about "The Avengers" TV spin-off (it debuts tonight at 8 on ABC) as a whole. It's a show serving multiple masters in ABC, Disney and Marvel — and, in turn, the throng of Marvel superhero films to which the show will be very loosely tied. It has a whole lot of producers, though the most famous and talented of them, Joss Whedon, is too busy making the "Avengers" sequel to be as hands-on as he was in his days with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel" and "Firefly."  The pilot episode introduces three different point of entry characters for the audience, on top of mysteriously bringing Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson back from his apparent "Avengers" death.  There are many potentially fascinating shows lurking inside the "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot, but the primary agenda seems to be to make a superpower-flavored "NCIS" — which, conveniently, will be airing right against "SHIELD."

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Ex-'Dexter' boss: How I would've ended the series

Ex-"Dexter" boss: How I would've ended the series

Clyde Phillips, who left after the Trinity Killer season, says he would've put Dexter Morgan on an execution table with those he killed glaring at him. PLUS: "Dexter" finale copped out in the worst way possible.

Conan goes all-in on "Breaking Bad": Watch his barrel opening
Last night's show featured the cast and creator Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston reading his favorite erotic fan letter, plus the performers of "The Ballad of Heisenberg" and the cast giving away "meth."

"The Disappearer" from "Breaking Bad" says: "It came out of left field"
The surprise big-name actor from this week's episode says he got a call from Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, the writer/director of "Granite State." "They said in their own private conversations they had used my name and asked if I was available," he says. "They could not have been nicer to me. What good guys." PLUS: Why the "Breaking Bad" finale will disappoint, how to escape from handcuffs using a paperclip, it's a Dean Norris vs. Derek Hough dance-off, writer/director Peter Gould talks about filming this week's episode, the vacuum repair number is real, Anna Gunn has dreamed about "Breaking Bad," Walter White watches Jeff Daniels win an Emmy8, "Lost's" Damon Lindelof compares Heisenberg to Batman, and "Breaking Bad" podcast reveals that part of the bar scene had to be reshot after a plane ran over the film after it was flown to L.A.

Apple refunds "Breaking Bad" fans who were charged separately for both halves of Season 5.
iTunes sold the first half under the name "Season 5" and the second half under "The Final Season."

Shonda Rhimes: I welcomed a new baby to my family, but didn't adopt
"This time," the "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" honcho explains, "I had my baby via gestational surrogacy."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus flips out for Jimmy Kimmel
Watch her coffee shop temper tantrum. PLUS: Emmy's accidental cameo guy makes a cameo on Kimmel, and Paul McCartney performed 15 songs for Kimmel on Hollywood Blvd.

In defense of Jeff Daniels' Emmy upset victory
Don't confuse Aaron Sorkin with Daniels' "Newsroom" performance.

Kaley Cuoco's sister earned a blind audition for "The Voice"
Briana Cuoco was with her "Big Bang" sister when she got a surprise from Carson Daly. PLUS: Cee Lo Green has a henna tattoo on his head.

"Homeland's" "Abu Nazir" explains how to play a Hollywood terrorist
Watch Navid Negahban's video for Funny or Die.

Amber Tamblyn on joining "Two and a Half Men": "You binge eat a lot"
The sitcom-filming process, Tamblyn learned, is totally different from making a TV drama.

Julianne Hough will be back on Dancing" as a guest-judge

She'll fill in while Len Goodman works on "Strictly Come Dancing" in the UK.

Emmy In Memoriam controversy: Jonathan Winters over Larry Hagman?

The Emmy controversy could've been avoided if certain stars weren't elevated over others -- and giving short shrift to Hagman was simply inexcusable.

James Spader loves everything about his "Blacklist" character, "which was very little"
"I think that was the point," he says. "I loved how little you learned, and yet my reaction to reading him in the script was acute, you know? It was based on no knowledge." PLUS: "The Blacklist" makes the best use of Spader's creepy-crawly qualities.

John Slattery to appear in the "Arrested Development" movie
Mitch Hurwitz says he plans to have the "Mad Men" star reprise his Dr. Norman role.

"Sons of Anarchy" creator takes on conservative columnist over school shooting controversy
Brent Bozell accused FX of milking a fictional Catholic school shooting for commercial gain. To which Kurt Sutter responded: "Anyone with half-a-cup of brain cells can filter out the noise of your conservative bellowing and hear the truth – it’s all about your own political agenda."

CNN visits ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption"
"Reliable Sources" looked at the importance of an on-air fact-checker like Tony Reali.

So far, Cristin Milioti appears to be the right pick for "HIMYM"
In last night's two-episode premiere, she seemed like somebody who could easily be part of the gang. PLUS: Milioti considers herself "very lucky," and why this final season should've been "How I Met Your Father."

Watch the "Bonnie & Clyde" trailer
The four-hour miniseries airing on Lifetime, History and A&E in December stars Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger.

See Craig Ferguson's new opening sequence
"The Late Late Show" opening with Craig, Geoff and Secretariat.

CBS teams with Twitter
CBS will use Twitter to advertise a large number of shows and products.

Does "Mom" waste Anna Faris?
Faris seems to be part of a trend this season of actresses being above the material. This also applies to Sarah Michelle Geller, Rebel Wilson and Megan Hilty. PLUS: Allison Janney elevates "Mom," and it turns out "Mom" has brains.

Dylan McDermott was skeptical of "Hostages," too
"I think everybody has the same reservations about the show, which I don't mind, because it keeps the intrigue of the show," he says. "My theory was, 'Let's get through the first season and see how it goes.'" PLUS: "Hostages" is a treasure trove of dumb, and McDermott isn't right for the role.

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