<p>Joss Whedon</p>

Joss Whedon

Credit: John Shearer/AP

Comic-Con 2013: Joss Whedon in Ballroom 20 Live-Blog

Will we get 'Avengers,' 'Dr. Horrible' and 'Firefly' teases?

Get ready for all-Joss all-the-time!

I already live-blogged the panel for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," in which almost nothing was revealed, but at least we saw the pilot.

And now, the "Buffy," "Avengers" and "Dr. Horrible" icon will be greeting the Ballroom 20 faithful for a solo panel on Friday (July 19) night and we'll be live-blogging the heck out of it. Or I will, though you can't spell "Whedon" without "We" or "Whe."

Keeping in mind that Joss talks in long, long sentences that almost never end where they seemed to be beginning, I apologize in advance for whatever I'm not able to catch perfectly.

Follow along!

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<p>&quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Comic-Con 2013: 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Live-Blog

Who will join Joss Whedon in talking about 'S.H.I.E.L.D.'?

It's an afternoon of Joss Whedon in Comic-Con's Ballroom 20. 

At 1:45, we have Joss and potential special guests for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Then at 6:15, we'll have a Dark Horse-sponsored All-Joss panel. I'll be live-blogging both... Don't worry!

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<p>Melissa Rauch of &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Melissa Rauch of "The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

15 things we learned from 'Big Bang Theory' at Comic-Con: Johnny Galecki as Princess Leia and more

Who came up with Amy's tiara? And Giant Jenga?
Long a favorite of Comic-Con crowds, "The Big Bang Theory" made it to the big time last year, with a Hall H panel. On Friday, "TBBT" was back in Ballroom 20, which was probably a function of what was initially described as an actor-free Inside The Big Bang Theory Writers' Room panel.
 
As the start of an epic day of Ballroom 20 programming, even without the prospect of stars, "Big Bang Theory" produced a loud and enthusiastic room. And, of course, the panel wasn't truly star-free. Melissa Rauch did a fine job of moderating and she was joined by one of her fellow actors early in the panel. 
 
I didn't live-blog this one, but here are some things I learned:
 
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<p>&quot;Dexter&quot;</p>

"Dexter"

Credit: Showtime

Comic-Con 2013: 'Dexter' Live-Blog

Miami's favorite serial killer says farewell to Comic-Con

"Dexter" has become a Comic-Con staple in recent years with fans flocking to Ballroom 20 to ask Michael C. Hall the same questions about his own Dark Passenger and Jennifer Carpenter the same questions about swearing.

In its final Comic-Con adventure, "Dexter" will be attempting to stir up excitement after a weak day of movies in the cavernous Hall H.

Click through for my full live-blog...

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<p>&quot;The X Files&quot;</p>

"The X Files"

Credit: FOX

Comic-Con 2013: 'The X-Files' Reunion Live-Blog

Scully, Mulder and many of the show's writers get together with fans

Yes, the "Psych" fans were Psycho.

Sure, the "Sherlock" producers gave fans a lot to investigate.

But for thousands of people who lined up at San Diego Comic-Con's Ballroom 20 on Thursday (July 18), the big-ticket panel was the triumphant return of FOX's "The X-Files."

Follow along for as many highlights as my little fingers are able to transcribe.

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<p>Josh Holloway of &quot;Intelligence&quot;</p>

Josh Holloway of "Intelligence"

Credit: CBS

Comic-Con 2013: 'Intelligence' team embraces 'Six Million Dollar Man' comparisons

It turns out Josh Holloway isn't good with computers
In my own thinking about CBS' midseason drama "Intelligence," I've tended to compare it to "Chuck," with Josh Holloway playing a buffed out government agent with a microchip that allows him full access to the Internet. 
 
At the "Intelligence" Comic-Con panel that kicked off the year's Ballroom 20 lineup on Thursday (July 18) morning, the moderator opted to eschew "Chuck" comparisons to ask if this new thriller was like an updated version of the '70s classic "The Six Million Dollar Man." 
 
Perhaps because he was bracing for "Chuck" questions, "Intelligence" creator Michael Seitzman was fairly receptive to Lee Majors-based comparisons.
 
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HitFix's 2013 Emmy Nomination Predictions

HitFix's 2013 Emmy Nomination Predictions

All of the predictions in 10 major categories
Last month, as Emmy nomination ballots went out, Sepinwall and I did our annual handicapping. Sepinwall discussed his personal favorites in each of 10 major categories, while I broke down the favorites and leading contenders. On Thursday (July 18) morning, we'll see how right I was and how happy Sepinwall gets to be.
 
I haven't changed any of my formal predictions since last month. These were the first six slides in each gallery, even if I have serious reservations about a few of them -- Jenna Fischer? Hmmm... -- now. 
 
Check out the predictions and head to HitFix tomorrow morning for our full Emmy nomination coverage:
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<p>&quot;We Are Men&quot;</p>

"We Are Men"

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men'

It could be worse. That's the high praise on this Monday comedy.

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"We Are Men" (CBS)
Airs:Mondays at 8:30 p.m.
The Pitch: "Sex and the City" for sad, desperate middle-aged men. So... "Entourage" in its later years.
Quick Response: New TV Season Pet Peeve: People who compare "We Are Men" to "Happy Endings," just because both shows begin with a guy being ditched at the altar, even though the scene in "We Are Men" is explicitly a referencing "The Graduate" and "We Are Men" has nothing particular in common with "Happy Endings" otherwise. I lead this blurb with that essentially meaningless annoyance because there's hardly any point in saying anything about "We Are Men." It's there. And by causing me almost no discomfort or pain, it's better than "Partners," which tanked in this slot last year. It's better than "Dads," which has a similarly disconnected sensibility regarding homosocial friendship. And it's better than the legion of Mancession comedies which several networks, mostly ABC, tried and failed with a couple years ago. So what I'm saying is that I was prepared to be annoyed or offended by "We Are Men" and, instead, I was merely bored. Victory! Tony Shalhoub seems amused to be playing a sleazy letch at this point in his career and who am I to begrudge Tony Shalhoub's self-amusement? Jerry O'Connell seems amused to be wandering around in a banana hammock in several scenes and who am I to begrudge the fat kid from "Stand by Me" wanting to show off that he's still the kinda stud-muffin who can marry a former super-model? Kal Penn seems a bit uncomfortable and I'm not sure how I'd describe his character, but he may just be easing back into TV after his brief period sorta-kinda working for the Obama Administration, so perhaps he'll find something to amuse him by the fourth or fifth episode. And then there's Christopher Smith, who is playing what absolutely would have been the Josh Cooke role two or three years ago and I want to warn him that shows that contain A Josh Cooke Role usually suffer A Josh Cooke Fate, which is speedy cancellation. But I forgot he was there, which is at least as much a factor of his not having much of a character as his not giving much of a performance. The fact is, I kinda like the backdrop of a "Quality furnished short-termed housing" complex in Tarzana and I don't hate the core trio not counting Chris Smith (who I also don't hate, but who I really have no opinion on). The pilot, though, is a random hodge-podge of leering and "rules," plus stuff with Fiona Gubelmann, who you know I love, but who won't have anything to do going forward. So... Whatever.
Desire To Watch Again: One more episode. Period. When it turns out that it's yet another "The guys try to fix Carter up on a date" snooze, I'll be done, even though this is a time slot in which I notoriously give shows too many chances.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

 

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<p>Michael Ealy of &quot;Almost Human&quot;</p>

Michael Ealy of "Almost Human"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human'

Michael Ealy and Karl Urban could lift this about sci-fi familiarity

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Almost Human" (FOX)
Airs:Mondays at 8 p.m. in November
The Pitch: It's "Blade Runner" by way of "Fringe" and then every other sci-fi thing ever.
Quick Response: Let's just say that J.H. Wyman has a wide range of sci-fi influences at work in "Almost Human" and you won't feel like any of them are woven together with any subtlety. But sci-fi pastiche is a storied art, so just because you can look at this futuristic buddy cop drama and precisely isolate which parts of the DNA came from "Total Recall" and which parts came from "Blade Runner" and which parts came from "Aliens" doesn't mean this is exactly theft, per se. It's just heavily inspired by other versions of the near future in which technology has run amuck and it's getting harder and harder to tell people from machines. If nothing else, this is a brighter, flatter, less fatalistic vision than anything that might have been directly imagined by Philip K. Dick. Instead, this comes through the aesthetic filter of Wyman's work on "Fringe," right down to the familiarity of the act-break structure, the tone of the unfolding mythology and, particularly, every single musical cue. I would say that the show probably feels too "Fringe"-y at times, because it has all of the nervous ticks of "Fringe," but without the fun outlandishness and epic scope. Dunno how to explain. This is still relatively ambitious sci-fi on a network TV budget and while "Almost Human" definitely doesn't look like it was made on a cinematic budget, it doesn't look cheap. The effects are reasonably solid and the conception of futuristic urbanity is reasonably, albeit limitedly, realized. Karl Urban is well-cast for particular brand of rugged skepticism. You'd be disappointed in me if I didn't mention that there's absolutely no reason why his character has to be American and that the accent does him no favors but, in the balance, I think Urban absolutely has what it takes to be a very good TV leading man. More proven on the small screen is Michael Ealy, who I think may well end up being the real reason I watch this show. He's playing an android specifically programmed to have human feelings, but there's something very tantalizingly alien about his performance that perhaps perfectly embodies the unease of the Uncanny Valley. He's playing his character just a click "off" and it works well. The pilot seems to rush through several stages in the partnering dynamic, but I think Urban and Ealy have good chemistry. Lili Taylor and Mackenzie Crook have a decent scene or two. Minka Kelly has some dialogue in her first scene and promptly gets forgotten.
Desire To Watch Again: I just can't get excited about anything this derivative, even if Urban and Ealy's relationship/bickering might be slightly fresh. I'm vaguely interested in this world, but not nearly so interested in the Big Mysteries that the pilot thinks I should care about. I'm curious to see how future episodes feel and are paced, but I'm also pretty sure I could check out on this in a hurry. [Full disclosure: There is no drama pilot on any network for fall or midseason that I'm so fully invested in immediately that I'm not prepared to check out on it in a hurry.]

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 192

Dan and Alan talk Cory Monteith, 'Sharknado,' Emmys and Comic-Con

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
It's Firewall & Iceberg time, even if there aren't many new shows to review this week. 
 
We review "Axe Cop" and "High School USA," the first entries in FOX's new HDHD block and we discuss "The X-Files" as part of our Summer Pilot Rewatch, but we also preview Comic-Con and the Emmy Nominations, which are this week's big events.
 
Oh and yes... We talk about the majesty that is "Sharknado."
 
Of course, the podcast starts on a somber note with the tragic passing of "Glee" star Cory Monteith. Apologies for the inevitably harsh transition between that and "Axe Cop," but... That's just how it had to be done.
 
Next week's Summer Pilot Rewatch (or maybe two weeks from now... schedules are weird) will be "My So-Called Life." On the podcast, Alan says it's on Netflix. He lied. But it is on Hulu.
 
Anyway...
 
Today's breakdown:
Cory Monteith (00:00:55 - 00:12:30)
"Axe Cop" and "High School USA" (00:12:40 - 00:21:05)
Emmy preview (00:21:00 - 00:35:10)
Comic-Con preview (00:35:15 - 00:43:00)
"Sharknado!" (00:43:10 - 00:59:05)
Summer Pilot Rewatch: "The X-Files" (00:59:05 - 01:18:00)

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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