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On this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, Dan and I come to an unexpected consensus on the CW's Canadian import "The L.A. Complex" (I'll have a written review posted tomorrow morning), do our periodic Dan's Reality Round-Up segment, answer a bunch of mail (including a lot of "Girls" discussion), check in on "Mad Men" like usual but also devote a few minutes to recent developments on "Game of Thrones." Busy busy busy.
The auteur: Jacques Audiard (French, 59 years old)
The talent: Though Audiard has never been averse to working with actors on the French A-list, his latest represents his shiniest star collaboration to date, with Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard taking top billing -- the Hollywood adoptee's first lead role in a French-language feature since 2009's "The Last Flight." Audiard's male leads, in recent years, have been rather imaginatively chosen, and this one is no exception: Matthias Schoenaerts may still be an unfamiliar name to many, but the hulking, impressive Belgian actor made a major impact in last year's Oscar-nominated "Bullhead," for which he won several festival awards. The supporting cast featueres another notable Belgian, actor-director Bouli Lanners, and relative newcomer Celine Sallette, Cesar-nominated for last year's Cannes entry "House of Tolerance."
UPDATE APRIL 23: In a Tweet posted last week, Waits' team announced that these forthcoming late-night TV appearances are off, for the moment: "Tom is postponing his appearances on Letterman and Fallon and will reschedule at a later date TBA"
ORIGINAL REPORT APRIL 9: Tom Waits is trotting out his songs from "Bad As Me" for the first time since the album release with a couple of performances lined up on national television.
The veteran songwriter head to the "Late Show With David Letterman" on April 24 and to "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" the next night on April 25. He'll be sitting down for an interview with each, too, which might prove to be just as entertaining as the songs themselves.
He's visited with Letterman before, but this will be a first for "Fallon"; considering that host's rivalries, I'd expect a stop-off at "The Colbert Report," or maybe just a return to "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart.
Waits has yet to announce any tour dates behind "Bad As Me," but this may signal that organizing may just be ramping up for a trek. He only played eight shows in support of his 2006 album "Orphans," then took up a much more complete itinerary two years later. He's known to play with the dates surrounding his album releases, and in a series of stops that don't always land in major cities.
These performances may also answer the question of: if Waits were to tour, what cracker-jack band would he take with him? During the 2008 Glitter and Doom tour, it was with backers like Vincent Henry on woodwinds, his son Casey Waits on drums, Omar Torrez on guitar/banjo, Patrick Warren on keyboard and Seth Ford-Young on bass. On this record, Casey was all over the thing and Warren was on half; Ford-Young, Henry and Torrez are nowhere to be found; andclassic collaborators like Marc Ribot and special guests like Keith Richards and Flea abounded.
This is all speculation of course. Waits may be already hard at work on something else as soon as the cameras hit "stop."
Fiona Apple has been performing new track "Every Single Night" at many of her tour stops this spring, and now the song is officially available to stream.
As previously reported, "Every Single Night" features a refrain of a disturbed war cry, "I just want to feel / everything." Apple's voice is mixed and recorded so close, like fractured and delicate china, her breaths moving over spare plunks and chiming keyboard parts. This is no "single" in the traditional sense, but it carries a lot of weight and personality. Again, the songwriter proves that one of her biggest strengths is her vulnerability.
A review of tonight's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I buy you a backscratcher...
The last time we saw these housewives they were slugging it out on the third season reunion show.
It was Teresa versus... everyone else. Caroline, Melissa and Kathy still held grudges over Teresa's mudslinging cookbook (and unspecified subsequent events). Relationships had become so strained that Jacqueline couldn't even attend the reunion. But they couldn't "go there" and fill us in on what happened because they were in the midst of shooting season four.
That was quite an advance teaser for what's to come. But first, we'll have to settle for the set up. The season premiere opens four months before that dramatic reunion showdown...
A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as I make the continent of Africa on your arm...
Did we really need three hours for this year's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" reunion? Based on what happened in the final hour, apparently not.
Some key topics were touched on, including NeNe's new gig on "Glee" and more indecent behavior from Marlo. But most of this either could've been shoved into a supersized second half of the reunion, or saved for online exclusives.
So, what did we learn?
I posted my review of HBO's "Veep" on Friday morning. Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as V-POTUS? If you're a fan of Armando Iannucci's UK work, did this stack up, or did you miss the presence of Malcolm Tucker? Were any "My Girl" fans scarred by seeing Ann Chlumsky in this kind of role? How do you feel Tony Hale did? And, most importantly, are you going to watch again?
Though I enjoyed this show a lot, I'm not planning to do weekly write-ups of it. Not only are Sundays a complete bear, but the three episodes I've seen are all very much of a piece, and I doubt I'd have interesting/different things to say each week, even if my time was less constrained.
So have at it, and I'll check back in either later in the season if they do an unusual episode, or else at the very end.
A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as mathematicians rule the world...