Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 190

Dan and Alan talk 'House of Cards,' 'The Shield, 'Hill Street Blues' and more

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls! It's time for this week's installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
Despite not reviewing a single new show, we somehow still managed to get over 90 minutes this week. That includes a lot of time on our Summer Pilot Rewatch segment on "Hill Street Blues" and "The Shield" some Listener Mail and, because I finally got around to finishing it, a segment reflecting on the full run of "House of Cards."
 
No clue how the podcast got so long despite the paucity of new stuff, but that won't be a problem next week with "Orange Is The New Black," "Camp," "The Bridge" and "The Newsroom."
 
And, in honor of the return of Aaron Sorkin's new show, next week's Pilot Rewatch... "The West Wing." 
 
Here's today's breakdown:
Listener Mail - "Kitchen Confidential" (00:02:45 - 00:10:10)
Listener Mail - What "Under the Dome" means (00:10:10 - 00:15:20)
Listener Mail - Favorite Guest performances (00:15:25 - 00:33:30)
"House of Cards" (00:33:50 - 55:30)
Summer Pilot Rewatch: "Hill Street Blues"/"The Shield" (00:55:35 - 01:33:00)

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>Justin Timberlake of &quot;Runner, Runner&quot;</p>

Justin Timberlake of "Runner, Runner"

Justin Timberlake dishes on the set of 'Runner, Runner'

Star talks R-ratings, character changes, Puerto Rico and more
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - The cast and crew of "Runner, Runner" have found an oasis in the otherwise downtrodden La Perla neighborhood. 
 
Up a steep hill -- I shudder to think of how the heavier parts of production navigated the tight and inclined alleyways of an area not designed for car or truck travel -- in what appears to just be the backyard of one of the area's nicer -- "Nicer" being a relative term -- the film has constructed a restaurant. In the background, extras pretend to eat and converse and make signs of mimed laughter, all having a terrific time sotto voce. Even further back, some patrons gyrate, dancing to music that isn't there. 
 
The relative silence is an accommodation for stars Justin Timberlake and Gemma Arterton. They're trying to have an important conversation, darnit. Timberlake's Richie, a former college student who becomes wrapped up in the murky world of off-shore gambling and online poker, and Arterton's Rebecca, a somewhat mysterious woman with ties to this semi-legal world, are having a getting-to-know-you dinner. They may be flirting. She may be trying to con him. He may be trying to work her for information. They may be flirting and conning and working all at once.
 
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<p>Gemma Arterton and Justin Timberlake of &quot;Runner, Runner&quot;</p>

Gemma Arterton and Justin Timberlake of "Runner, Runner"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Set Visit: 'Runner, Runner' weathers storms and slums in Puerto Rico

Justin Timberlake/Ben Affleck thriller opens in September
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Nestled between the historic city wall of Old San Juan and a rocky promontory into the Atlantic, La Perla is one of the more picturesque ghettos in the world. 
 
Originally build up in the late 19th century as a place-of-exile for variably non-desirable aspects of San Juan society -- cemeteries, housing for former slaves, refuges for the homeless and a slaughterhouse -- La Perla developed a reputation for crime and danger, an image built partially on fact and partially on the neighborhood's intended isolation from the main city. Today, asking San Juan natives about La Perla can get either graphic stories of violence, police apathy and DEA raids or else blank stares. 
 
But, like I said, there's beauty here and not just from the white-capped waves breaking on the shore, or even the Santa Maria Magdalena Cementery, in which the dead have a place of honor, a flower-studded outlook onto the ocean, and the living need only tip-toe through the eastern side of La Perla's gates to pay tribute to their departed loved ones.
 
The houses, stacked one on top of the other, crawling up the hill as if hoping for egress themselves, are vibrantly colored, creating a mosaic of purples and yellows and hot pinks. The architecture is diverse as well, with traditional archways sharing space with vast walls of block glass, a remnant of '80s style that leads me to pretend abodes were once the residences of towering criminals brought down by Crockett and Tubbs, never to return again. Rusted satellite dishes teeter atop the corrugated green roofs, but otherwise it could be almost any year in La Perla. Poverty is timeless. 
 
Although there's a strong law enforcement presence on the outside of the wall, I talk to denizens who say that the police mostly leave La Perla on its own, though those stories don't jibe with stories that speak of recent attempts at a cultural renaissance in the neighborhood, which has also been an enclave for "artistic types" over the years.
 
It's August of 2012 and, at this moment, La Perla is positively swarming with a different assortment of artistic types, specifically a Hollywood movie production. Directed by Brad Furman ("The Lincoln Lawyer") and starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Gemma Arterton, the online gambling thriller "Runner, Runner" has taken over. 
 
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<p>Maggie Gyllenhaal</p>

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

'White House Down' star Maggie Gyllenhaal discusses the indie/blockbuster divide

What would the 'Secretary' star prefer to shooting a rocket launcher in a sequel?
WASHINGTON, DC - Despite a resume that includes "World Trade Center" and "Mona Lisa Smile" and "Monster House" and a little sleeper called "The Dark Knight," ones instinct is to associate Maggie Gyllenhaal more with smaller films like "Sherrybaby" or "Secretary."
 
I sat down with Gyllenhaal at the Beltway junket for her new studio offering "White House Down" and asked if the indie/blockbuster binary is one that journalists harp on, or if it stays in her mind as well.
 
Gyllenhaal tells me why this was a logical project for her to choose, but when I suggested she may want to fire a rocket launcher in a hypothetical sequel, she suggested something very different she'd rather do instead.
 
I've already posted the TV-centric portion of my Gyllenhaal sit-down in which she strongly hinted she might be interested in a small screen project, just days before Sundance Channel officially announced her miniseries "The Honourable Woman."
 
"White House Down" in now in theaters. You can also check out my chats with director Roland Emmerich and stars Jamie Foxx & Channing Tatum.
Outstanding Comedy Series - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Outstanding Comedy Series - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

What will replace 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' in the field?
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" is gone! And that would be really great if you happened to be a new show in the running for the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy, except that there aren't any new shows that are even semi-viable contenders, unless you include "Arrested Development" as a new show, which you probably shouldn't. 
 
I predicted two changes in this category, but it could just as easily only be the one.
 
Check out my full slate of candidates...

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 189

Dan and Alan talk 'Dexter,' 'Ray Donovan' and Summer Pilot Rewatch

The

Happy Friday, Boys & Girls!
 
We really meant to have this second Firewall & Iceberg Podcast installment up earlier in the week, but do to my schedule, time kinda slipped away. Apologies!
 
In this installment, we review Showtime's "Dexter" and "Ray Donovan," answer a wee bit of mail and discuss this week's Summer Pilot Rewatch double-bill of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." 
 
Next week's Summer Pilot Rewatch is a double dose and Sepinwall can add the proper link to this post if he has the time! UPDATE: Alan here! For next week, we're doing "Hill Street Blues" (note: Hulu has placed the first two episodes together as one video, so you can stop around the 48 or 49-minute mark, when the pilot clearly ends) and "The Shield."
 
Here's today's breakdown:
"Dexter" (00:01:15 - 00:13:00)
"Ray Donovan" (00:13:00 - 00:27:30)
Listener Mail - Best New Shows (00:27:45 - 00:34:55)
Listener Mail - What counts as TV? (00:35:00 - 00:44:40)
Summer Rewatch: "The Dick Van Dyke Show"/"Mary Tyler Moore" (00:44:45 - 01:04:20)

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

'White House Down' director Roland Emmerich talks American symbolism and his thriller's message

'White House Down' director Roland Emmerich talks American symbolism and his thriller's message

'ID4' helmer also discusses how 'Anonymous' recharged his batteries
WASHINGTON, DC - Roland Emmerich is a virtuoso when it comes to wreaking havoc on the White House.
 
In "Independence Day," he stayed an alien attack on the White House. 
 
In "2012," he unleashed the apocalypse on it. 
 
And now, in 2013, he's turning terrorists loose on the White House, but at least he's left the White House with a last line of defense: The President (Jamie Foxx) and an aspiring secret service agent (Channing Tatum). 
 
As you can tell, the actual White House remains unscathed and, in our discussion at the "White House Down" junket, Emmerich talks about his understanding of the symbolic value of the presidential residence and the seat of executive power. He also discusses the importance of the film's undercurrent of caution regarding the military-industrial complex.
 
I also asked Emmerich about the impact of finally getting to do his Shakespeare conspiracy thriller passion project "Anonymous" and how it recharged his creative batteries. 
 
Check out the full interview above, as well as my chat with Foxx and Tatum.

"White House Down" is now in theaters.
Outstanding Drama Series - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Outstanding Drama Series - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Can 'Homeland' repeat in a swamped category?
You know how Oscars voters have fudged their Best Picture fields in recent years with nine or 10 nominees? This might be a great year for Emmy voters to contemplate a similar cheat. All six of last year's nominees are eligible again this year and, if you ask my opinion, the *worst* of the shows last season was "Homeland," which happens to be the defending champion and a lock to return. But what does that mean for "House of Cards" or "The Americans" or "Hannibal" or "Rectify" or former nominees like "The Good Wife" or "Dexter"? There are some years I might have predicted a buzz-y show like "Scandal" might have a real shot, but that's pretty much impossible to argue in this field.
 
Sigh. We need 10 nominees. Or 20.
 
Check out my full slate of candidates...
<p>Monica Potter early last season on &quot;Parenthood&quot;</p>

Monica Potter early last season on "Parenthood"

Credit: NBC

Interview: 'Parenthood' star Monica Potter discusses her Emmy-worthy season

Conversation also includes bald caps, uncertain fates and more
It was mid-April when I sat down with Monica Potter at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena to talk about the most recent season of "Parenthood," specifically about the tremendously played cancer arc for her character, a powerful piece of acting that has many people talking Emmy.
 
Most of our conversation was about the choices Potter made in depicting Kristina's struggles and the gratification that comes from feeling like a job had been done well. We talked about all of the crying she got to do and she explained her decision to go with a bald cap for Kristina's post-chemo hair, rather than shaving her head. 
 
We also discussed the fact that "Parenthood" was, at the time, on the bubble and the hopes for a renewal. I meant to transcribe the interview immediately to support the Save "Parenthood" campaign, but then NBC renewed  the show less than a week late and that became moot and I decided to save the interview for the pre-Emmy nomination period. 
 
The ballot deadline is June 28 and whether or not you have a vote, I still think it's a good conversation about what was one of the season's finest performances.
 
Click through for the full Monica Potter Q&A.
 
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'White House Down' star Maggie Gyllenhaal sure sounds interested in TV

'White House Down' star Maggie Gyllenhaal sure sounds interested in TV

Peter Sarsgaard's 'The Killing' gig starts the conversation
WASHINGTON, DC - In "White House Down," Maggie Gyllenhaal has what, for her, is a relatively unusual role.
 
As Special Agent Finnerty, Gyllenhaal is a tough-as-nails secret service agent whose task of protecting the president (Jamie Foxx) is complicated by a large-scale attack on the White House when she happens to be temporarily off-duty. It's a big summer blockbuster and, like most reporters, I made sure to talk with the indie favorite about that change of pace, but I also wanted to briefly talk with her about another possible change of pace, specifically the potential offered by TV.
 
I'll post the "White House Down" portion of the interview in the next couple days, but towards the end of the conversation, I used Gyllenhaal's husband Peter Sarsgaard, currently working a juicy gig on AMC's "The Killing" as a transition point. 
 
As you can tell, it sounds like Gyllenhaal is a fan of the medium and, after doing HBO's "The Corrections" pilot, it sure sounds like she's interested in (and possibly close to) exploring small screen options.
 
You'll hear at the end that the interview handlers tried to stop the interview due to time, but she made sure she at least finished her answer.
 
Check out the interview chunk above and you can join me in keeping an ear out for that hypothetical TV project Gyllenhaal can't discuss.
 
And remember that "White House Down" opens on Friday, June 28.