Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 183

Dan and Alan talk 'Goodwin Games,' 'Motive,' 'Behind the Candelabra' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
After two lengthy podcasts last week outside of our normal Monday home, it's back to Monday for a much more business-as-usual Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We've got reviews of a bunch of summer dump shows that we don't particularly care about. We talk about HBO's "Behind the Candelabra," which we quite like. Because there were lots of lamentations last week, we talk about "New Girl." And we spend plenty of time on "Mad Men."
 
Next week, because of Memorial Day and the need to watch many episodes of "Arrested Development," we're probably going to podcast on Wednesday.
 
Here's today's breakdown:
"The Goodwin Games" (00:01:30 - 00:13:19)
"Motive" (00:13:20 - 00:22:35)
"Save Me" (00:22:37 - 00:34:20)
"Behind the Candelabra" (00:34:25 - 00:46:00)
"New Girl" (00:46:00 - 00:56:30)
"Saturday Night Live" (00:56:35 - 01:13:25)
"Mad Men" (01:15:45 - 01:44:00)

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

<p>The &quot;Nikita&quot; finale</p>

The "Nikita" finale

Credit: The CW

The 'Nikita' Season 3 finale sets the endgame in motion - How did it do?

Would Nikita kill the President or not?
Roughly once per season I like to check in on The CW's "Nikita."
 
It's a show I continue to watch largely because it's on on Fridays where I don't have any DVR conflicts, which isn't really a very good excuse for watching things unless you're a TV critic and a completist. And it's one of many CW shows that Sepinwall doesn't watch, so I like to keep vaguely in the loop, just in case it's urgent that somebody at HitFix know what's happening on "Nikita." It hasn't happened yet, but I keep waiting.
 
The third "Nikita" season wrapped up on Friday (May 17) with an episode I've already seen fans calling "shocking," but which left me really cold. I'd be contemplating dropping the show from my viewing roster, except that The CW has announced that "Nikita" has only a six-episode final season coming up at a TBD point next fall. I can stick it out for six more episodes, even if nothing about where the show is going seems especially interesting to me.
 
Click through for my thoughts on the finale and the season and then, assuming y'all have thoughts, you can chime in. If not? I'll know why I only write about "Nikita" once a year.
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 182

Dan and Alan talk upfronts, reality and 'The Office' finale

The

Happy Friday, Boys & Girls!
 
As promised, it's time for the week's second installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
After covering the first three upfronts on Tuesday's podcast, today it's CBS and The CW's turn. We also do an end-of-season installment of Dan's Reality Roundup and we talk for a goodly amount of time about "The Office" finale and the show as a whole. No, it's not a whole "Office"-dedicated podcast, but it's not a short segment. At all.
 
And we'll be back on Monday!
 
Today's breakdown:
CBS and The CW upfronts (00:00:55 - 00:30:10)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:30:40 - 00:49:00)
"The Office" (00:49:00 - 01:38:00)

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.

<p>Kree and Candice of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Kree and Candice of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Finale Results - The Winner Is...

Kree or Candice? Join as as we wade through over two hours of filler.

It's finale night on "American Idol." 

We're at the end. 

In a little over two hours, we'll know the winner between Kree Harrison and Candice Glover. 

Yup. 2:07. That's how long we're gonna have to wait. 

That's a lot of filler, so you might as well join the conversation below!

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<p>&quot;Survivor: Caramoan&quot; winner John Cochran</p>

"Survivor: Caramoan" winner John Cochran

Credit: CBS

Interview: John Cochran discusses his 'Survivor: Caramoan' win

This season's shutout winner discusses his path to victory
Say what you will about whether or not returning players have an unfair advantage within the game of "Survivor," I can say with certainty that returning players make the best "Survivor" exit interviews.
 
If you think back on past seasons, folks like Coach and Russell Swan and Jonathan Penner have been responsible for my favorite post-elimination conversations, while highlights this season have come from veterans like Corinne Kaplan, Malcolm Freberg (a great interview when he was a newbie as well) and the always excitable Phillip Sheppard. 
 
The last of this season's exit interviews is, of course, with the season's well-deserving winner, John Cochran. Over 39 days, Cochran laid low when he had to, orchestrated big moves when he had to and, in a shocker, won challenges when he had to. And, perhaps of equal importance, Cochran worked his strategy without alienating anybody, which was his downfall in his first season and which was the downfall of fellow Top 3 finishers Dawn and Sherri.
 
And, not surprisingly, this one is a good interview as well, as Cochran discusses his feelings about the acrimonious Final Tribal Council, his now-famous Harvard Law essay on the "Survivor" Jury System, his "bipolar" approach to the game and, as a student of "Survivor" the ranking of his win within the "Survivor" pantheon.
 
Click through for the full interview. And I left in the first part because, darnit, it made me happy...
 
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<p>Candice is bigger than Kree.</p>

Candice is bigger than Kree.

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Finale Performances - Candice versus Kree

'Idol' begins to wind down a tough season with an hour of singing

"American Idol" is not a show known for restraint so let us, as we do every year, give thanks that FOX is not attempt to wring two hours out of the finale's performance night. Yes, tomorrow night's finale will be two-plus hours of excruciating largess, but on Wednesday (May 15), we should be treated to an hour of performances from two reasonably good singers. That should be pleasant, right?

OK, then!

Bring on Candice Glover and Kree Harrison!

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<p>Dawn and Sherri of &quot;Survivor: Caramoan&quot;</p>

Dawn and Sherri of "Survivor: Caramoan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Dawn Meehan and Sherri Biethman talk 'Survivor: Caramoan'

The losing finalists discuss their lack of Jury respect
In my recap of the "Survivor: Caramoan" finale, I pretended that Dawn Meehan had finished second, beating Sherri Biethman.
 
That wasn't really true, of course. Dawn and Sherri received the same number of votes, which was "zero" as John Cochran rolled to a commanding victory.
 
The result was easy to predict after one of the most lopsided Final Tribal Councils in the show's history. Dawn was forced to defend being both strategically tough, but also emotional. Sherri was forced to defend her mere presence in the Top 3. And Cochran was asked what animal his game most resembled. It was rather strange.
 
I've said this all along: In my own opinion, Dawn deciding to split off from best-bud Corinne and expose that burgeoning sub-alliance was the biggest single move in the game. You may disagree. I also think that Sherri's ability to wrangle Shamar for exactly long enough to pick off Allie and Hope destabilized the Fans alliance with the greatest potential strength and reshaped everything that followed. You may disagree. 
 
In Dawn & Sherri's joint exit interview, they discuss why it was so hard for them to convince the Jury of their value and how long it took them to become Zen about not winning. We also talked more about the impact of gender and age in the "Survivor" endgame and I think some of the perspectives, particularly Dawn's answers, are quite interesting.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 181

Dan and Alan talk upfronts, 'How I Met Your Mother' finale and more

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls. 
 
This is looking like a two-podcast week and here's the first. 
 
With upfronts for NBC, FOX and ABC on our dance card, we had plenty to talk about, but then we also had finales for "Community" and "How I Met Your Mother," as well as "Mad Men." 
 
So... Yeah. Busy busy!
 
Expect the second podcast on Friday, probably, when we'll be able to talk about CBS and The CW, plus the series finale of "The Office" and... maybe some other stuff.
 
Today's breakdown:
NBC, FOX and ABC Upfronts (00:03:10 - 00:51:30)
"Community" finale (00:51:45 - 01:00:40)
"How I Met Your Mother" finale (01:00:45 - 01:16:20)
"Mad Men" (01:16:55 - 01:44:20)

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.

<p>Eddie and Erik of &quot;Survivor: Caramoan&quot;</p>

Eddie and Erik of "Survivor: Caramoan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Erik Reichenbach and Eddie Fox talk 'Survivor: Caramoan'

The season's 5th and 4th place finishers discuss their experience
"Survivor: Caramoan" ended its season on Sunday (May 12) night with a satisfying winner, a loopy Final Tribal Council and surprises that started within seconds of the start of the episode.
 
Viewers didn't make it through the first commercial break before Favorite Erik Reichenbach collapsed on the path leaving Tribal Council and had to be pulled from the game. It was a move that was simultaneously shocking, but not wholly surprising, given that Erik had suffered an existential crisis in the previous episode and practically wished for an injury to free him from his "Survivor" shackles and the mocking coconuts.
 
Erik's abrupt departure made EMT Eddie Fox the least likely member of the Final 4, since he had been targeted almost from the beginning, when he was part of the Pretty Person's Alliance. Instead, episode after episode passed with Eddie being targeted, but then spared in favor of alternative targets and bigger blindsides.
 
Eddie's relief was short-lived and he was the last person sent home before the Final 3.
 
My last batch of "Survivor" exit interviews were broken into three groups. In this first interview, Erik & Eddie discuss the strategy that read as under-the-radar or passive, they discuss the pressure "Survivor" puts on Alpha Males and they also explain why they went after Sherri so hard at Final Tribal. Tomorrow I'll have the season's joint second/third place finishers. And then on Wednesday (or maybe Thursday, depending on scheduling) I'll have a relatively long chat with the season's winner.
 
Click through for Erik & Eddie's exit interview...
 
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<p>&quot;Survivor&quot; host Jeff Probst</p>

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Caramoan' Finale - The winner is...

The season finale begins with a shocker, but how would it end?
Pre-credit sequence. It's Night 36 and Erik's head is killing him. Dawn thinks that Erik is just stunned by Brenda's elimination, but no. Erik's head is spinning. Jeff Probst and Dr. Joe show up to examine Erik, which leads Dawn to suspect something may be genuinely wrong. She's a clever one, Dawn is. Dr. Jen takes Erik's blood pressure and Dr. Joe suggests that Erik may be in a starvation state and he worries that not enough blood is getting to Erik's head. They're going to give Erik an IV and, remarkably, Eddie is the one who can explain what's happening. Eddie, you see, is an EMT. This is the smartest Eddie has looked all season. Yay, Eddie. I guess. Dr. Joe doesn't want Erik to crash any further and he officially pulls Erik from the game. Holy Cow. "This game just got rocked again," Probst says. "I don't know what tomorrow's gonna bring," says a dazed Cochran. Everybody comes and says good-bye. "I wouldn't want to share this with anyone else," Cochran tells Erik, adding that he didn't come to make friends, but he made a friend in Erik. Sniffle. They have three days left and Probst warns them that no relief is coming. "This opens the door hugely for me," says Eddie, whose place in the Top 4 is wildly unexpected and weird. This is going to cause endless "What ifs," most particularly, "What if Erika had bailed seconds *before* Tribal Council? Would that have saved Brenda? Etc...
 
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