Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 159

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 159

Dan and Alan talk 'Walking Dead,' 'Boardwalk Empire' and 'Boy Meets World'

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
Not much is new this week, but it's still a busy week on The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. In addition to reviewing a new 30 For 30 doc, talking about the finales of "The Walking Dead" and "Boardwalk Empire" and unpacking a frustrating episode of "Homeland," we also answered four pieces of Listener Mail, including our much-anticipated discussion of "Girl Meets World." You're welcome!
 
Oh and as we mentioned in the podcast, this week's opening music is "Tell Me," the first song on the new album by Numbers and Letters, fronted by HitFix's Katie Hasty. Woot! Download the song here.
 
And here's today's breakdown:
"You Don't Know Bo" (00:01:15 - 00:10:10)
Listener Mail - Young performers and the Emmys (00:10:30 - 00:21:15)
Listener Mail - "Girl Meets World" (00:21:15 - 00:32:30)
Listener Mail - "Under the Dome" (00:32:40 - 00:37:10)
Listener Mail - Slow-playing cancellations (00:37:15 - 00:44:15)
"Boardwalk Empire" (00:44:30 - 00:59:20)
"The Walking Dead" (00:59:20 - 01:09:58)
"Homeland" (01:10:00 - 00:1:24:15)
 

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>The Beekman Boys</p>

The Beekman Boys

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Not a Well-Rounded Athlete'

The teams take the long way to Spain as the finale looms
We all did the math on this one, didn't we?
 
There was one Non-Elimination Leg that saved The Beekmans.
 
There was a second Non-Elimination Leg that [briefly] saved the Rockers.
 
And the "Amazing Race" season had only two episodes remaining. 
 
Yes, I suppose it's *possible* that next Sunday's two-hour finale could have included a Non-Elimination Leg, but we've already had one in-episode NEL this season, plus you need to have some achievement/milestone to keep people watching a two-hour finale -- Heck, "Survivor" seems to save a half-dozen eliminations for the finale each season.
 
So... Yeah. That was inevitable and mostly not worth discussing.
 
A truly uninspired recap of a truly uninspired "Amazing Race" episode after the break.
 
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<p>Jeff Probst snuffs Jonathan Penner's torch on &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Jeff Probst snuffs Jonathan Penner's torch on "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Jonathan Penner talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

The third time wasn't the charm for this returning favorite
As "Survivor" contestants go, Jonathan Penner is one of a kind. 
 
Yes, there have been other three-time "Survivor" players and of the three-time players, Penner presumably goes down as one of the least accomplished within the game itself, right? He finished seventh in "Survivor: Cook Islands," was medically evacuated from "Survivor: Micronesia" and just earned a repeat seventh place finish for "Survivor: Philippines."
 
But how many of those three-time players can also say that they were nominated for an Oscar (for the short "Down on the Waterfront") and part of the inciting event that launched the sitcom classic "The Nanny"? 
 
Only Penner.
 
In addition, Penner has gained a reputation as a "Survivor" strategist and quotable talking head that goes well beyond whether or not he ever won the million bucks.
 
That Penner made it to seventh place on "Survivor: Philippines" is a minor miracle, since he was on a tribe with former MLB star Jeff Kent, who immediately announced it was his mission in the game to send all of the returning players home. But thanks to an Immunity Idol and some savvy dealing, Penner outlasted Kent, at least by a few days. 
 
And he could have lasted even longer except for two things: First, much maligned Abi chose Wednesday's episode to put forth her first effort of the season, winning Immunity when her elimination was a foregone conclusion otherwise. And second, Penner refused to make any Final 4 deals within his Top 6 alliance and by failing to lock down the vote of former "Facts of Life" character Blair Warner, he allowed her to become part of a different foursome, leaving him on the outside and heading home.
 
In a lively exit interview, Penner discusses his colorful Tribal Council exit, his simultaneous understanding and misreading of Blair Warner and handicaps Abi's chances as a "Survivor" villain. He also talks about the possibility of a fourth run on "Survivor" in the future.
 
It's a good interview. Click through...
 
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<p>Abbie and Ryan of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Abbie and Ryan of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Abbie & Ryan talk 'The Amazing Race'

Frankfurt and U-Turn talk with the latest eliminated team
In order to make it home for Sunday night's installment of "The Amazing Race," I had to make a tight flight connection at a German airport, sweating it out through international customs and racing across terminals to catch my Lufthansa plane. 
 
In that respect, I understand what "Amazing Race" contestants Abbie Ginsberg and Ryan Danz were going through.
 
The key difference: I made it to my gate and my plane departed successfully, which allowed me to watch Abbie & Ryan struggle in a German airport for the second time in three weeks, as travel inconveniences and a U-Turn by chums James & Jaymes led to their elimination.
 
Two other differences: I was making my connection in Munich and Abbie & Ryan were in Frankfurt, while I was returning from a vacation and they were racing for $2 million.
 
By virtue of winning the season's opening "Amazing Race" Leg, the competitive dating duo had a chance to be the first "Amazing Race" team to double the show's standard $1 million prize. And, for several Legs, it looked like they might dominate the course, finishing first or second in five of the first six Legs before the two travel disasters eventually did them in.
 
In their "Amazing Race" exit interview, Abbie & Ryan talk about the free coffee at the Frankfurt airport, the reason for their frustration at Jaymes & James' U-Turn decision and their ongoing confidence that they were dominating the controllable elements of the Race.
 
Click through for the full conversation
 
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<p>Diamond White of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Diamond White of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 8 - Two eliminations and Alicia Keys performs

But mostly? Burrito Josh returns to the 'X Factor' stage!

It's nearly time for Burrito Josh!

That's why we're all watching Thursday (November 29) night's "The X Factor," right? Burrito Josh!

He was like Vino Alan, only instead of tattoos everywhere, he had a huge beard! And instead of entertaining the troops for a living, he MADE BURRITOS!

Oh right. Alicia Keys is gonna perform also.

Oh right. We're sending home two musical acts.

OK, fine. Let's get down to business...

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<p>Malcolm and Abi of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Malcolm and Abi of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Hell Hath Frozen Over'

With her back against the fall, could Abi become a warrior?
Pre-credit sequence. I'm not going to miss Pete [an uninteresting exit interview]. Will anybody from Dangrayne? Abi will! It's The Morning After and she's whining about the "brutality" of Tribal Council. She declares that their behavior towards her wasn't "cute." [Monkey!] Denise says that Abi's next to go, unless she "miraculously" wins Immunity, but since she wanted to introduce that possibility, she might as well tell us who would be the next target in the event of said miracle. That'd be Jonathan Penner. That's what we so often call "foreshadowing," kids. 
 
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<p>Tate Stevens of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Tate Stevens of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 8 - Performances

Like tentacles on an octopus, the eight perform

I was out of the continent last week and, thus, missed both Wednesday and Thursday installments of "The X Factor." 

Somehow, the roar of buzz failed to inform me that Beatrice Miller and Arin Ray were sent home until now. I'm not shocked. Beatrice was incredibly talented, but her insecurities were worsening as the glare of the spotlight grew brighter. This show wasn't helpful to her. I think we'll see her again in a few years, but it's not an insult to say some people shouldn't be forced to become stars at 13. And as for Arin, he was only an OK version of an archetype that doesn't do all that well on FOX singing competition shows. 

So it goes.

We've got performances from the Top 8 coming up tonight. I have no clue how the time will be filled beyond that. Lots of Khloe Kardashian-Odom reading cue-cards?

Let's find out!

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<p>Pete's torch is extinguished on &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Pete's torch is extinguished on "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Pete Yurkowski talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

Was his strategy of 'creating chaos' worthwhile in the end?
I wasn't around to recap last Wednesday night's eventful episode of "Survivor: Philippines," but due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I was still able to have my weekly exit interview and chat with Pete Yurkowski about his torch-snuffing.
 
In one of those reversals of fortune that happen three or four times every "Survivor" season, Pete went from atop a seemingly powerful majority alliance to out-of-the-game over a two-episode span. First he helped minimize the Tandang domination by voting against long-time rival RC, then he lost a tenuous ally when Mike Skupin flipped on Artis. And finally Pete was forced to beg for Skupin's support when it became clear that primary target Abi's Immunity Idol made him the next player on the block.
 
Pete's attempts to convince other players that Malcolm, holding an Idol himself, would be better blindside fodder amounted to nothing when host Jeff Probst spent a full Tribal Council dwelling on the collective antipathy towards Abi.  
 
In a conversation marked by long pauses and frequent dodges, Pete discussed his relationship with Abi, his dislike of Skupin and whether or not his own attempts to generate random chaos ended up doing more harm than good. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 158

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 158

Dan and Alan talk 'The Hour,' 'Treme,' 'Revolution' and more

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!
 
After taking last week off for Thanksgiving, we're back with another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
In this week's podcast, Sepinwall and I review the new season of BBC America's "The Hour," talk about the finale of "Treme" and the midseason finale of "Revolution" and discuss two weeks of "Homeland." We also answered a few pieces of Listener Mail. Oh and Alan talks a little bit about a certain new book you might have heard of.
 
Next week's podcast could be light, so feel free to send more mail and we'll get to some of it!
 
Here's today's breakdown:
Alan's Book (00:00:50 - 00:07:10)
"The Hour" (00:07:15 - 00:16:05)
Listener Mail - "Last Resort" cancellation (00:17:05 - 00:26:35)
Listener Mail - female TV stars in movie ensembles (00:27:00 - 00:30:35)
Listener Mail - Skippable "Cheers" seasons (00:30:35 - 00:32:30)
"Revolution" (00:32:50 - 00:43:05)
"Treme" (00:43:10 - 53:30)
"Homeland" (00:53:35 - 01:16:22)
 

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>Jaymes and James of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Jaymes and James of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Fishy Kiss'

The teams head to Amsterdam where a Double U-Turn looms
Sunday (November 25) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" was simultaneously very simple and yet very complicated, wasn't it?
 
None of the tasks completed during the episode were especially difficult, but there were definitely a lot of them. We had a Roadblock and a Detour and a Fast-Forward, plus there was a Double U-Turn. And then, as if that weren't enough, we got several layers of travel drama. 
 
There was such a myriad-assortment of busy-ness that there were three or four majority contributing factors to the week's elimination, even though none of them had to do with success or failure at any challenge. 
 
The result was that this was a third straight week in which "The Amazing Race" delivered a strong episode, despite major structural problems. 
 
Then again, when was the last time "The Amazing Race" delivered three straight episodes of this caliber? 
 
It's been a while, so I guess I won't quibble.
 
[On to the recap after the break. Apologies if any of this is scattered. I'm on an 11-hour flight returning from a vacation and it's already two or three in the morning in my head...]
 
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