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<p>John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris and Frances Conroy in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris and Frances Conroy in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Mom and Dad'

What did everybody think of our return visit to the Farhampton Inn?

Last week's "How I Met Your Mother" was just good enough — or, at least, reminiscent enough of olde-time "HIMYM" — for me to delay my plan to step back from regular reviewing. "Mom and Dad," on the other hand, was pretty representative of season 9: lots of Farhampton Inn hijinks, lots of Marshall and Daphne in the car (albeit apparently bringing Daphne's time on the show to an end), lots of Barney being more sociopath than man. So I'll leave it to y'all to discuss the Beastie Boys homage, the Billy Zabka flashbacks, the Pineapple Incident callback and whatever else you'd like to about this one.

Next week: rhyming! Maybe I'll have more to say; but if not, there won't be hell to pay.

As for "Mom and Dad," what did everybody else think?

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<p><span class="tooltip" id="previewtooltip_7967752c588d4c4facfe4342ddd6b3a2" style="top: -118px; left: -481px; display: block;">Mark  Wahlberg mingles with  Charlize Theron and Peter Berg at AFI&nbsp;Fest premiere of &quot;Lone Survivor.&quot;<br />
</span></p>

Mark Wahlberg mingles with Charlize Theron and Peter Berg at AFI Fest premiere of "Lone Survivor."

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Off the Carpet: The Oscar season has never been so stuffed

Tons of events and a lot of great movies make this one to remember

I honestly didn't know my iCal application could hold this many events. The reminder jingle on my phone is going off constantly, jogging my memory of this shindig or that Q&A. The circuit has, in no uncertain terms, become unhinged with phase one glut, and it seems like it's only getting worse...depending on how you look at it.

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<p>Oddly, this is not a shot from Danny McBride's screen test to play the title role in 'Noah'</p>

Oddly, this is not a shot from Danny McBride's screen test to play the title role in 'Noah'

Credit: HBO/Fred Norris

Review: Kenny Powers sticks the landing and says goodbye in final 'Eastbound & Down'

The final season puts the perfect bow on one of our favorite TV characters

Why was I nervous?

The moment I went from thinking "Eastbound & Down" was fun to thinking it was sort of fiendishly brilliant was at the end of the first season, when the emotional climax of the entire run of episodes consisted of Kenny Powers putting someone's eye out with a baseball. It was played as a huge triumphant moment, complete with the best musical quote of the year, and it was so deeply unhinged that I couldn't believe anyone had convinced a network to air it.

This year, I've been writing about "Eastbound & Down" each week as it's been counting down to last night's final episode, and I found myself getting more and more anxious about the eventual fate of Kenny Powers. I should have relaxed, though, because this has been as confident a final season of television as "Breaking Bad" was, although far fewer people seem to have been caught up in the excitement of watching Danny McBride, Jody Hill, and David Gordon Green (along with the other great writers and performers involved this year) pitch a perfect game. After the way the third season resolved, it felt like anything was possible this year, and there was no way to predict what the guys would do to tie things up.

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<p>Saoirse Ronan at the Los Angeles premiere of &quot;How I Live Now.&quot;</p>

Saoirse Ronan at the Los Angeles premiere of "How I Live Now."

Credit: AP Photo/Richard Shotwell

Saoirse Ronan on 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and taking direction from Ryan Gosling

The 19-year-old Oscar nominee once harbored dreams of waitressing
Something seems different about 19-year-old Saoirse Ronan from the moment the camera lands on her delicate, determined features in Kevin Mcdonald's youth-in-peril drama "How I Live Now," and it's hard to place exactly what it is. It's not the questioning Transatlantic accent, though that takes some getting used to. That piercing, pale-eyed gaze is one we know well by now, and the same goes for her quietly assured performing presence -- both present and correct in this unusual, genre-melding adaptation of Meg Rosoff's acclaimed teen novel.
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'Breaking Bad's' Vince Gilligan will stay with Sony as part of a rich TV deal


"Breaking Bad's" Vince Gilligan will stay with Sony as part of a rich TV deal

Gilligan says of the eight-figure deal: "I'm happy to dance with the gal that brung me, as we say in the (grammar-impaired) South." PLUS: Watch "Breaking Bad" stars react to reading the final script.


Lady Gaga's "SNL" appearance fails to boost album sales
The two singles she performed Saturday also didn't get a bump on the singles chart.


"Idol" winner is covered in blood on "CSI"

Check out Jordin Sparks' cameo, airing on Wednesday.


Jay Leno sued for accusing a woman of bestiality
The "Tonight Show" segment "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda" falsely implied that flight attendant Louann Giambattista had sexual relations with a rat, according to her lawsuit.


JFK documentaries deliver big ratings to PBS
PBS showed Kennedy docs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. PLUS: See a schedule of JFK anniversary programming.


Preview Leslie Knope's "Parks and Rec" game with Indianapolis Colts

This week's episode was filmed before wide receiver Reggie Wayne's season-ending injury.


FX developing "Desperadoes"
The six-hour miniseries will chronicle the Dalton Gang's crime spree in the 1890s.

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<p>Justin Bieber with R. Kelly</p>

Justin Bieber with R. Kelly

Listen: Justin Bieber and R. Kelly duet on new song, 'PYD'

It doesn't stand for what you may think it does

Lady Gaga isn’t the only one making music with R. Kelly. In his latest  #musicmonday offering, Justin Bieber and the singer come together for “PYD.” No, that doesn’t stand for “Pretty Young Ding” (sorry, bad Michael Jackson joke). It stands for “Put You Down.”

However, “Put You Down” doesn’t refer to putting an animal to sleep or saying something bad about someone, in Bieber-speak it means laying some love on his lady...whether he’s “putting you down” in every room in the house or on a plane or train or roof or balcony. It’s Bieber meets R-rated Dr. Seuss.

Kelly comes in about midway through the slow jam. “I’ve been doing forensics on your body in this club and I can tell by how you’re walking your body ain’t been touched the right way,” Kelly sings.

It’s meant to be sexy, but it all felt a little too much like a The Lonely Island sketches with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake as the badly-clothed douchbags from "Dick in a Box" and "Motherlover."  Can’t you see it?

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Taylor Swift and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody in 'The Last Time' video: Watch
Credit: Big Machine

Taylor Swift and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody in 'The Last Time' video: Watch

Sweeping ballad from 'Red' gets a live music clip. Which version do you like better?

The Last Time,” a duet with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and Taylor Swift, is one of “Red’s” stand outs, in part because it sounds like it could come straight off a Snow Patrol album.

It doesn’t have quite the atmospherics of “Set the Fire to the Third Bar,” a tune from Snow Patrol’s “Eyes Open” album featuring Martha Wainwright, but it has the same moody build of any number of Snow Patrol tunes.

Instead of a conceptual clip, the Terry Richardson-directed video features Lightbody and Swift performing the song live in concert. They keep their backs to each other for much of the song keeping in tune with the feeling of alienation of the lovers in the song, but the payoff comes at 3:28 when Lightbody smiles at Swift so sweetly, it will melt your heart.

it doesn’t seem as though the song is being serviced as a single, so this is more likely a goodie for fans who weren’t able to see Swift in concert or weren’t the night this was filmed on a concert stop in Sacramento, Calif. in August. It was the one and only time that Swift has performed the song live.

Below the official video, which was released today, is a fan shot video from the concert which I actually like better, other than the fact it's missing the cute close up.  Which do you like better? 

And speaking of Swift,  Jody Rosen wrote a love letter of an article to Swift in the current issue of New York"  magazine. The well-written, fun piece doesn't tread much new ground for long-time fans, but Swift talks about the next album some more and how she'll work with Max Martin and Shellback first to get the structure of the album, before moving on to other producers.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 211

Dan and Alan discuss 'Getting On,' 'Walking Dead' and The Future

The

It's time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg. 
 
For this week? We're business-as-usual.
 
Next week, however, things may start to change. We kick off this podcast by explaining the shape of things to come.
 
Then we review HBO's "Getting On" and BBC America's "Doctor Who" telefilm "An Adventure in Space and Time." We did a Dan's Reality Round-Up and talked about the latest resurrection of "The Killing." We used listener mail to discuss Sunday's "The Walking Dead" and also talked about FXX and "Orange Is The New Black."
 
Today's breakdown:
Explanation of Things To Come (00:01:00 - 00:05:40)
"Getting On" (00:05:40 - 00:17:55)
"An Adventure in Space and Time" (00:17:55 - 00:27:45)
Dan's Reality Round-Up (00:27:45 - 00:45:15)
The resurrection of "The Killing" (00:45:15 - 00:54:05)
Listener Mail - "Walking Dead" (w/spoilers) (00:54:25 - 01:07:30)
Listener Mail - FXX (01:07:35 - 01:16:45)
Listener Mail - "Orange Is The New Black" awards classification (01:16:50 -  01:23:05)

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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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 211

Dan and Alan announce plans for the new Firewall & Iceberg video show and answer your mail

The

Happy Monday, boys and girls — for the last time. No, the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast isn't going away, but it is moving to later in the week, as a logistical piece of next week's launch of the Firewall & Iceberg video show. Dan and I explain how things will work at the top of an eclectic show that includes a review of a new HBO show, a look at the "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary, Dan's Reality Round-Up and more.

The rundown:

Explanation of Things To Come (00:01:00 - 00:05:40)
"Getting On" (00:05:40 - 00:17:55)
"An Adventure in Space and Time" (00:17:55 - 00:27:45)
Dan's Reality Round-Up (00:27:45 - 00:45:15)
The resurrection of "The Killing" (00:45:15 - 00:54:05)
Listener Mail - "Walking Dead" (w/spoilers) (00:54:25 - 01:07:30)
Listener Mail - FXX (01:07:35 - 01:16:45)
Listener Mail - "Orange Is The New Black" awards classification (01:16:50 -  01:23:05)

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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

 
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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A self-deprecating Lady Gaga is a likable Lady Gaga

A self-deprecating Lady Gaga is a likable Lady Gaga

Her humanity shines through during her 'SNL' stint

Is the joke on Lady Gaga? This weekend while hosting and performing on “Saturday Night Live,” she repeatedly poked fun at herself. And guess what? It made her likeable again.

She started the self-deprecation early. In her opening monologue (loved that flapper dress!), she shamelessly baited the audience for “cheap applause,” and then launched into a re-worked version of her hit “Applause” as a Broadway-style number. She went over the top, giving it up for teachers and first responders and even poked fun at her pants-eschewing self. Ending it with “New York, New York” was perfect.

The wink and nods continued throughout the show. As Karen, the nerdy Genius Bar employee and guest on “Waking Up with Kimye”  she opined, “people who try too hard with their outfits are  hiding something,” and then stared wide-eyed into the camera with the ever-so-slightest hint of a grin on her lips.

In “The Worst Cover Songs of All Time” sketch she performed “Born This Way” as her cover of Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” playfully referencing the similarities between the two songs, and in a slightly cringe-inducing sketch, she played an older version of herself who no one remembered as having been famous.

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<p>Jason&nbsp;Sudeikis (left)&nbsp;and Will&nbsp;Forte in probably one of my favorite &quot;SNL&quot;&nbsp;sketches of their era</p>

Jason Sudeikis (left) and Will Forte in probably one of my favorite "SNL" sketches of their era

Credit: AP Photo

Will Forte talks 'Nebraska' with fellow 'SNL' alum Jason Sudeikis

On the nature of truth in drama with two of the funniest guys around

LOS ANGELES — Paramount brought out some artillery on behalf of "Nebraska" star Will Forte Sunday afternoon as the actor's fellow "Saturday Night Live" alum Jason Sudeikis moderated a post-screening Q&A with the Best Supporting Actor hopeful for a capacity audience filled with mostly Screen Actors Guild members.

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<p>Russell Tovey, Frankie J. Alvarez and Jonathan Groff on the set of HBO's &quot;Looking.&quot;</p>

Russell Tovey, Frankie J. Alvarez and Jonathan Groff on the set of HBO's "Looking."

Credit: Instagram.com/HBOLooking

Is HBO's 'Looking' the great gay TV series some of us have been waiting for?

Trying not to get too hyped about the new series

When it comes to "gay" TV shows, I tend to keep my expectations low. Lord knows there are more than enough gay men and women working in Hollywood today ( just behind the camera, of course) so you'd think we'd have a long line of quality shows to look back upon. Sadly, that hasn't been the case. There have been lots of well written and wonderfully conceived gay characters, but specific TV shows?  Not so much.

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