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<p>Scott McNairy in &quot;Halt and Catch Fire.&quot;</p>

Scott McNairy in "Halt and Catch Fire."

Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 232: 'Hannibal' & 'Mad Men' finales and more

Dan and Alan also discuss new series 'Undateable,' 'Crossbones' and 'Halt and Catch Fire'


Time for a trans-Atlantic installment of the Firewall & Iceberg podcast, as Dan and I tried to navigate the challenges of him being in London (and in a hotel with questionable wifi). For the most part, it's workable, and at a certain point we decided we wanted to get it done because it would be our best and only real chance to discuss the "Hannibal" and "Mad Men" finales in a timely fashion, though we were more ambivalent on the three new shows being reviewed.

The rundown: 

"Undateable" (00:01:20 - 00:10:30)
"Crossbones" (00:10:30 - 00:17:20)
"Halt and Catch Fire" (00:17:30 - 00:25:20)
"Hannibal" finale (00:25:40 - 00:43:30)
"Mad Men" midseason finale - (00:43:35 - 01:05:30)
As always, send questions to 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, download the MP3 file, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.

There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 232

Dan and Alan discuss talk 'Crossbones,' 'Undatable,' 'Hannibal' and 'Mad Men'


Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls! Time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast!

I'm in London on work. The audio quality in the podcast sucks. Sorry. Deal with it. It was either that, or we didn't talk about "Hannibal" and "Mad Men" and the various new shows that, frankly, we don't especially care if you watch or don't watch, since they're either not especially good, or we haven't seen enough of them to know for sure. 

But we definitely wanted to talk about the "Hannibal" finale, which capped off a terrific season, and the "Mad Men" midseason finale, which was a spectacular ending to a small chunk of episodes that doesn't quite seem like a season or a half-season.

Here's today's breakdown:
"Undateable" (00:01:20 - 00:10:30)
"Crossbones" (00:10:30 - 00:17:20)
"Halt and Catch Fire" (00:17:30 - 00:25:20)
"Hannibal" finale (00:25:40 - 00:43:30)
"Mad Men" midseason finale - (00:43:35 - 01:05:30)

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 or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 


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


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TCA Awards Nominees include 'Breaking Bad,' 'True Detective' & 'Orange Is the New Black'
Credit: HBO

TCA Awards Nominees include 'Breaking Bad,' 'True Detective' & 'Orange Is the New Black'

The television critics also gave some love to 'The Americans,' 'Fargo' and 'The Good Wife'

A glut of great TV shows makes it hard to recognize every show worth of it, but the members of the Television Critics Association did our best in picking the nominees for this year's TCA Awards.

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'The Bachelorette' couldn’t watch her one-on-one date with the late Eric Hill

“The Bachelorette” couldn’t watch her one-on-one date with the late Eric Hill
"I remember that first date so vividly, and to be honest, I cannot bring myself to watch it back,” Andi Dorfman writes on her “Bachelorette” blog. PLUS: “Bachelorette” hits a series low on Memorial Day, and last night’s episode featured man-thongs.

Letterman to moderate a discussion on Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars”
“The Late Show” host will make a rare appearance outside the Ed Sullivan Theater on June 9 to discuss the web series with Seinfeld at the Paley Center for Media.

ESPN may sell soccer games to non-cable subscribers
The proposed plan would be the first time ESPN is selling an a la carte plan.

“Mad Men” creator wanted this year’s episodes to have the "sensation of a full season”
The last two episodes could’ve served as a series finale, and Matthew Weiner says that was intentional. — he didn’t want to leave any questions unanswered like he did at the end of Season 3. "The challenge for splitting the season up is that this is the half of something, but we also wanted it to feel like all of something,” he says. "Turning these seven episodes into the sensation of a full season was a challenge, but we just concentrated on the main characters, and that's the way it worked out, even though we had a lot of ground to cover.” PLUS: John Slattery weighs in on Roger Sterling's actions, Weiner is almost done writing the finale, “Mad Men” doesn’t work when it splits the seasons, could there be a happy ending?, a great show will gobsmack you with an out-of-nowhere plot twist or style choice, how much did each partner make?, this was one of the most remarkable and funniest episodes of “Mad Men,” one of “Mad Men’s” great tricks is making you nostalgic for old “Mad Men” episodes, and “Mad Men” finally embraced happiness.

Judge Judy earns $47 million for 52 days of work a year
“People take comfort in order,” Judy Sheindlin, now 71, says of her popularity. “I also move swiftly, as opposed to a justice system and a government that is slow and meandering.”

“24: Live Another Day” premiere gets a huge DVR boost
The two-hour premiere was up 42% with Live+7 numbers accounted for.

“Justified”/“The Americans” boss to develop a WWII drama set in Nazi-occupied Paris
Graham Yost is developing the Alex Kershaw novel, "Avenue of Spies," for WGN America. It tells the true story of how an American-born doctor and his family helped the French Resistance.

Chelsea Handler asks Joel McHale about the “Late Late” rumors
“Boy, did it cause a stir in the entertainment community,” he says of his photo with Les Moonves.

Will Ferrell, Clint Eastwood, “Scandal” president Tony Goldwyn will be among the Tony presenters
Also presenting: Wayne Brady, Zach Braff and Bradley Cooper.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ billionaire dad: “I couldn't tell she was going to be a star”
The “Veep” star and her father, William Louis-Dreyfus, went on “Today” this morning to talk about selling his private art collection to benefit the nonprofit Harlem Children’s Zone.

George Clooney’s wedding may take place at the “Downton Abbey” castle
“Downton” star Hugh Bonneville, who was part of Clooney’s” Monuments Men,” helped arrange a private visit for the actor.

“48 Hours” to get an extra Monday airing
CBS has ordered new episodes for several Mondays this summer.

Happy 50th birthday, Adam Carolla!
Jimmy Kimmel’s former “Man Show” sidekick and “Catch a Contractor” star today enters his 50s.

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<p>&quot;The Night Shift.&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'The Night Shift' brought down by its obnoxious doctor hero

And what's up with that publicity photo?

Years ago at the Ledger, I did an occasional feature called "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words" where, in lieu of writing a review of some terrible show or TV-movie, I would simply select a publicity still that in some way captured its terribleness, thus allowing me to devote my time to writing about something better.

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<p>The &quot;MasterChef&quot; judges</p>

The "MasterChef" judges

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: '24,' 'Bachelorette' lead a slow Memorial Day Monday split

'MasterChef' is down from last summer's premiere

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 26, 2014.

FOX's "24: Live Another Day" and the premiere of "MasterChef" were down from last week and last summer respectively, but still helped FOX lead Monday night among young viewers, while ABC's "The Bachelorette" helped that network win overall despite its own week-to-week drops.

Want to know what was up from last week on Memorial Day? CBS' "Friends with Better Lives" was up, at least overall, though it was down in the key demo, as was NBC's return for "American Ninja Warrior."

There were lots of ugly numbers on Monday. Let's get to them...

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President Obama to make his debut on 'Live with Kelly and Michael'

President Obama to make his debut on “Live with Kelly and Michael"
The president won’t actually visit the ABC morning show. Instead, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan will visit him in the White House Blue Room.

“Mad Men” creator defends, explains the midseason finale: "I never thought it would happen, actually”
"I don't want to do it all the time," says Matthew Weiner says of using dream sequences and hallucinations, "but it is the language of the show. It's as old as the flashback." PLUS: The series finale is “set in stone."

“True Detective” Season 2 will be set in California with 3 leads
“Right now, we're working with three leads,” says creator Nic Pizzolatto. "It takes place in California. Not Los Angeles, but some of the much lesser-known venues of California and we're going to try to capture a certain psychosphere ambience of the place, much like we did in season one.”

Whitney Houston’s family may sue over Lifetime’s biopic
The Houston family wants to make its own movie, and reportedly feels Whitney is too big for a TV movie.

Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg recap “Game of Thrones” while stoned
Watch them smoke out while recapping the HBO series.

David Schwimmer helps NYPD officers solve a stabbing case
The “Friends” star’s surveillance video captured the aftermath of a three-person brawl.

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<p>Robert Morse in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

Robert Morse in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner on singing, dancing and writing the series finale

How he wanted this half-season to feel like 'all of something'

On "Mad Men," we've seen Don and Peggy and company work on plenty of weekends and holidays. On Memorial Day of 2014, it was "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner's turn to spend the holiday getting things done, as he was supposed to finish the script for the series by the end of the day. He took a quick break to talk to me about the seven episodes of season 7 — including Sunday's eventful, musical mid-season finale — and about what it feels like to be so close to the finish line. That's coming up just as soon as an old man starts talking about Napoleon...

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<p>&quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot; winner Tony</p>

"Survivor: Cagayan" winner Tony

Credit: CBS

Interview: Tony Vlachos talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

The season's winner on Trish, Idol-finding and Russell Hantz

The most memorable player in any give "Survivor" season is more a function of editing than of outwitting, outplaying and outlasting, so it stands to reason that there's absolutely no reason why the Sole Survivor should also be the Most Memorable Survivor.

When it comes to "Survivor: Cagayan," however, there will be no doubt: It was the season of Tony Vlachos.

The Jersey Cop build alliances, tore alliances apart, schemed, conspired, swore on loved ones, swore on his badge, found Idols, used Idols and bluffed with Idols. He also wasn't quiet about his domination of the game. Tony wore a target on his chest for 39 days and other players either chose to work with him, chose to vote other people out first or actively, in the case of Woo, carried Tony with him.

Woo's decision to bring Tony rather than Kass with him to Final Tribal will be debated as long as people debate "Survivor," but for a while it looked like a good move. The Jury was angry at Tony and one castaway after another stood up and criticized him and the spat vitriol at him. The Final Tribal concluded with 4th place finisher Spencer making a long, passionate speech in Tony's favor, but right up until the reading of the votes, it looked like it might be close.

It was not close.

Tony beat Woo 8-1, with only Tasha favoring Woo. 

I had a ton of questions for Tony, but a couple really long answers left me unable to ask a few good ones. Oh well. Tony's answers are thoughtful and, for the most part, do a good job of restating his convincing case as the season's dominant player and character.

Check out the full Q&A...

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"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

Credit: NBC

'Real Housewives of Orange County': Who ruined the hoedown?

It's hard to choose just one woman to blame for the mess

So Heather did put together a pretty fabulous shindig to show off how much money she has. It all went pear shaped pretty quickly and ended in tears and contusions, but on the bright side everyone got onion rings out of it. For an event on "The Real Housewives of Orange County," that's not bad. 

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Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Louie and Janet seek professional help, while Louie tries to advance things with Amia

A review of tonight's two "Louie" episodes coming up just as soon as I don't drink lemonade for two years...

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"The Bachelorette"

"The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelorette': It's all downhill after the strip show

One bachelor ruins his chances with a boneheaded decision

As we all know, "The Bachelorette" contestant Eric Hill passed away earlier this year, and it definitely casts a pall over the show that no amount of creative editing can take away. I had hoped that perhaps Andi wouldn't find him attractive on that first night so that we (and she) wouldn't get too attached. Too often the only way to get off this show with your dignity somewhat intact is to either win the whole thing or go home that first night. Along the way there's just too much opportunity to get into a fight with an idiot bunkmate, say the wrong thing to the Bachelorette, or get blotto drunk (they really push the booze on these shows). But not only did he make the cut, he clearly made an impression. 

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