<p>Hollywood Week on &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Hollywood Week on "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 Live-Blog - Hollywood Round, Part 1

Auditions are over... Let the madness begin!

I'm feeling OK about Season 12 of "American Idol" so far. How about y'all? 

No, I haven't felt like the audition episodes suggested talent unparalleled in the show's history, but it seemed like there was some talent. And, more importantly, it felt like the new judging panel had personality and a particular chemistry, even if that chemistry was vaguely toxic. After two years with Wacky Cypher Steven Tyler and Sexy Cypher Jennifer Lopez, I'll even endorse the cringe-worthy tension between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, plus the "How the heck did I come to be stuck in the middle of this?" benign coolness of Keith Urban. 

How will that chemistry evolve in Hollywood? Let's find out!

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<p>Dominic Monaghan of &quot;Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan&quot;</p>

Dominic Monaghan of "Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan"

Credit: BBC America

Interview: Dominic Monaghan talks BBC America's 'Wild Things' and the lizard he wants next

What makes a good or bad nature show for the 'Lost' star?
It's tempting to look at BBC America's "Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan" and compare his new creepy, crawly adversaries to creatures that Dominic Monaghan has battled in scripted projects like "Lost" and "Lord of the Rings" and "X Men Origins: Wolverine."
 
That would be an inappropriate comparison.
 
Yes, "Wild Things" finds Monaghan face-to-face with reticulated pythons, ultra-poisonous spiders, venom-spewing beetles and, nastiest of all, terrestrial leaches. And yes, some viewers would, if they found themselves in Monaghan's shoes, be using those shoes to squish more than a few of his new co-stars.
 
But for Monaghan, these creatures and critters aren't objects of fear and disgust. They're subject to respect and admiration and, assuming nothing strangles him or nothing poisonous bites him, each of the wild things opens a pathway for education. 
 
I sat down with Monaghan at the Television Critics Association press tour a couple weeks back to talk about "Wild Things," which is part nature documentary, part extreme travelogue and part exploration into the fascinations and passions of one actor-and-enthusiast. 
 
It's an in-depth interview about one of the pleasant TV surprises of the spring. Click through for the full conversation... 

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 168

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 168

Dan and Alan talk Super Bowl, 'Monday Mornings,' 'Community,' 'Smash' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! 
 
I hope your post-Super Bowl hangovers have passed, because it's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
In this week's podcast, we talk extensively about the Super Bowl, including the commercials, the halftime show and the blackout. We talk about Monday's premiere of the TNT's "Monday Mornings," as well as the variably successful returns of NBC's "Smash" and "Community" and AMC's "The Walking Dead."
 
And we dedicate much more time to the "30 Rock" finale, including answering a handful of Listener Mail queries. 
 
Here's the breakdown:
Super Bowl XLVII (00:00:55 - 23:20)
"Monday Mornings" (00:23:20 - 00:35:10)
"Smash" (00:35:10 - 00:46:40)
"Community" (00:46:40 - 00:56:15)
"The Walking Dead" (00:56:20 - 01:03:10)
Listener Mail - Kareem's Thoughts on "Girls" (01:03:30 - 01:09:45)
"30 Rock" finale (01:09:45 - 01:37:10)

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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<p>Super Bowl XLVII!!!!</p>

Super Bowl XLVII!!!!

Credit: AP

Super Bowl XLVII Live-Blog - The commercials, the trailers and maybe some football

Forget the 49ers and Ravens, follow the game beyond the game

Welcome to HitFix's Super Bowl XLVII live-blog. 

Unlike last year, when I grew increasingly tense and frustrated at the Patriots' inability to put the Giants away (and ensuing defeat), I don't have an extreme rooting interest in Sunday's (Feb. 3) Big Game. I was born in the Bay Area and half-rooted for the 49ers growing up (half-rooting for the Saints as well), so that's where I'm rooting tonight. But I won't get worked up either way.

So click through and follow my full Super Bowl live-blog, which will mostly ignore the football and concentrate on the big commercials and trailers and whatnot.

Weight in and critique the advertisements!

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Jason Isaacs talks 'Sweetwater,' Lucius Malfoy and returning to TV

Jason Isaacs talks 'Sweetwater,' Lucius Malfoy and returning to TV

Sundance interview includes much discussion of sympathetic villains
PARK CITY, UTAH - Jason Isaacs is an extremely nice guy who makes an extremely evil guy when circumstances require.
 
The "Awake" and "Brotherhood" star was battling a near-total vocal outage when we talked at last month's Sundance Film Festival, but he fought through the hoarseness to discuss his dark turn in "Sweetwater."
 
In the Miller Brothers' not-exactly-Western, Isaacs plays self-appointed prophet Josiah, who rules a small frontier fiefdom with the alleged word of God and an iron fist. A man of faith, Josiah is also heavily invested in worldly goods, including land, multiple wives and a band new mahogany desk from British Honduras. This all causes him to run afoul of the initially passive, but increasingly vengeful, Sarah (January Jones).
 
Josiah is not a good guy, but to hear Isaacs describe him, he's not exactly a bad guy either. Then again, Isaacs has a deep and abiding sympathy for Lucious Malfoy, the dastardly Death Eater he played in the Harry Potter franchise.
 
In our Sundance conversation, Isaacs discusses the fine art of playing villains without thinking of them as villains. He also talks about his love for Apple products and -- this will be exciting for fans of the short-lived "Awake" -- his desire to get back into TV this year. In fact, he says he's weighing several TV offers. 
 
Check out the full interview above...
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January Jones discusses wreaking vengeance in the Sundance film 'Sweetwater'

January Jones discusses wreaking vengeance in the Sundance film 'Sweetwater'

'Mad Men' star was already comfortable with firearms
PARK CITY, UTAH - In hiatuses from her Emmy nominated role as Betty Draper on "Mad Men," January Jones has somewhat unexpectedly gravitated towards a brawny brand of films. 
 
She messed with Liam Neeson's head in "Unknown." She displayed mutant powers in "X-Men: First Class." She set off Nicolas Cage's vigilante streak in "Seeking Justice."
 
In The Miller Brothers' 1880s-set not-quite-Western "Sweetwater," which premiered out-of-competition at last month's Sundance Film Festival, Jones' character makes all of those other roles look like so many Mothers Theresa.
 
Initially, Jones' Sarah is just a milquetoast frontier wife, but when tragedy hits her family, she goes on an escalating spree of revenge that leads her closer and closer to Jason Isaacs' Josiah, a prairie prophet with grand aspirations and delusions. Were this justice being meted out by a Clint Eastwood "Man With No Name," we wouldn't blink, but when it comes from a character who's a corset-wearing daughter of a prostitute, it becomes a revisionist discourse just waiting to happen.
 
Up in Park City during the Festival, I chatted with Jones about this role reversal and about the chance to play this sort of badass female lead. We talked about her native comfort with firearms and horseback-riding and about underplaying opposite flamboyant performances by co-stars Isaacs and Ed Harris. [I already posted the brief side conversation in which I was able to tell Jones the premiere date for the sixth season of "Mad Men," which she promises will feature a little more Betty.]
 
Check out the interview above.
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<p>Halie Hilburn and Oscar on &quot;American Idol&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Halie Hilburn and Oscar on "American Idol" 

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 Live-Blog - Final Auditions

We're off to Hollywood next week on 'Idol'

One of the great things about missing the first two weeks of "American Idol" audition recapping is that I'm not even vaguely burnt out on "Idol" auditions even thought they're reaching their end on Thursday (January 31) night.

Excellent!

I'm not actually sure where tonight's auditions are emanating from, so this is gonna be a big mystery. 

Sit back and enjoy the auditioning action...

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<p>Former &quot;Glee Project&quot; contestant Matheus Fernandes auditions for &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Former "Glee Project" contestant Matheus Fernandes auditions for "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 Live-Blog - Long Beach and San Antonio Auditions

The judges head to Texas and LA-adjacent for more bickering

OK, "American Idol" Season 12... Let's do this!

First off, thanks to HitFix's Liane Bonin Starr, who did a terrific job of recapping while I was spending my evenings watching obscure documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival. If you loved Liane's recaps more than mine, feel free to complain and I'll force her to add "Idol" to her recapping plate full-time.

Til then, for the 11th straight season (I didn't have a venue for recaps in Season One, plus the Internet wasn't really recapping "American Idol" back then), I'm ready to spend some quality time with Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest and lament the passing of such favorites as Dunkleman, British Guy, Ditzy Girl, Angry Songwriter Girl, The Fish From "Finding Nemo," The Mummified Remains of Steven Tyler and The Co-Star of "Parker." 

But let's see what Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman's Husband have to say about "American Idol" auditions from Long Beach and San Antonio... Shall we?

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<p>Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright of &quot;House of Cards&quot;</p>

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright of "House of Cards"

Credit: Netflix

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 167

Dan and Alan talk 'House of Cards,' 'The Americans' and much more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
After taking last week off, we're back for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We didn't miss any new shows in our absence, but we did miss the series finale of "Fringe" and the season (hopefully not series) finale of "Parenthood." So we talked about those. We also reviewed FX's "The Americans," NBC's "Do No Harm" and the first two episodes of Netflix's "House of Cards." We also pre-eulogize NBC's "30 Rock" on the eve of its series finale. We may check back in on "30 Rock" next week after Thursday's finale, so if there's anything retrospective you want from us, feel free to ask.
 
It's a full podcast and next week's podcast also seems likely to be busy!
 
Today's breakdown:
Sundance (00:00:50 - 00:4:30)
"The Americans" (00:04:40 - 00:15:55)
"Do No Harm" (00:15:55 - 00:29:20)
"House of Cards" (00:29:25 - 00:51:30)
"30 Rock" Pre-Finale Retrospective (00:51:35 - 01:10:25)
"Fringe" Finale (01:10:50 - 01:21:20)
"Parenthood" Finale" (01:21:25 - 01:35:25)
"The Office" (01:35:30 - 01:41:50)
 

 

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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<p>Jennifer Lawrence</p>

Jennifer Lawrence

Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013 Live-Blog

Will the actors help clarify the Oscars picture?

Welcome to Sunday (January 27) night's Screen Actors Guild Awards, one of the only 10 or 20 times per year that Hollywood gathers together to salute itself. 

On the TV side, we're just anticipated yet another "Modern Family"/"Homeland" celebration. 

But on the movies side, this remains one of the most wide-open Oscars races in years and it maybe up to the SAG voters to led some clarity. Click through for the full live-blog and join the conversation!

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