<p>Richard Madden of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Richard Madden of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

HitFix Interview: Richard Madden talks 'Game of Thrones'

HBO's King in the North discusses the evolution of the TV Robb Stark
When I chatted with him last week in a Santa Monica conference room, The King in the North was satisfied.
 
No, Robb Stark hadn't avenged his father's death, nor reunited with his sisters. He hadn't consolidated power in Westeros and taken his place on the Iron Throne.
 
He'd simply found out that the cookie he thought contained marshmallows, actually contained white chocolate chips. And that was satisfactory. 
 
In truth, it's very easy to tell Scottish actor Richard Madden apart from his character on HBO's "Game of Thrones." His hair is shorter. His wardrobe goes beyond furs and armor. Oh, and Madden's also prone to laughing and joking, which hasn't been a part of Robb Stark's emotional range lately. Who has time to smile when, as you may have heard, winter is coming.
 
As "Game of Thrones" moves deeper into its second season, things are getting darker and darker in war-torn Westeros and Robb Stark is moving into uncharted territory. Robb's exploits are largely discussed second-hand in George R.R. Martin's "A Clash of Kings," but to keep Madden in the fold, series showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss chose to depict moments that were only referred to in passing before.
 
In our conversation -- the cookies only came into play at the end -- Madden discusses Robb's evolution, the honor of having scenes added to keep him around and his season-by-season approach to reading Martin's novels.
 
[Note: There are some minor spoilers in this interview. They're very minor, but if you want to remain pristine, tread with caution.]
 
Click through for the full interview...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Leif of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Leif of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Leif Manson talks 'Survivor: One World'

The latest bootee discusses being wishy washy and sleeping in a crate
In writing his name down on Wednesday's (April 18) "Survivor: One World," Chelsea faulted Leif Manson for being wishy washy. 
 
That may confuse some viewers, because in some cases, Leif's "Survivor" sin appeared to be staying too devoted to harmful alliances, like when he kept faith with Colton, even as the season's primary villain was calling him a munchkin or an Ooompa Loompa either to his face or behind his back.
 
In truth, though, Leif's real "Survivor" crime was just being a man in a season that started with a Men vs Women split, but has become a rout, with five consecutive men sent home for various reasons.
 
In his "Survivor" exit interview, the 27-year-old phlebotomist discusses being wishy washy, his relationship with Colton and how he came to find himself sleeping in a crate.
 
Click through... 
 
Read Full Post
<p>Joshua Ledet of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Joshua Ledet of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 7 Results - Down to Six?

LMFAO and Kris Allen perform before this week's elimination

The Judges' Save is off the table, so we know that somebody's going home on Thursday night.

Smart money says that Elise Testone is doomed. One could also make an easy argument for Hollie Cavanagh's ouster. But that's why the play the games on the field, to use the sports cliche. Will America throw a curveball for the second straight week?

And, for the record, I'm using a picture of Joshua Ledet not because I'm completely confident he's safe or because I loved his rendition of my favorite song ever, but because that's a fantastic red jacket and it deserves a few more minutes of recognition. 

Click through for the full live-blog...

Read Full Post
<p>Jeff Probst played auctioneer on Wednesday's &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Jeff Probst played auctioneer on Wednesday's "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: One World' - 'I'm No Dummy'

It's Eight versus Troyzan, but will that be enough?
Pre-credit sequence. Jay is gone and Troyzan returns to Tikiano camp aware that he's almost certainly next in line. "It is what it is. Nothing personal," Sabrina tells Troyzan. "Take it as a compliment," Christina tells him. Troyzan tries stirring up aggravation around the fire and ends up in a shouting match with Alicia. "I don't see why he's upset with me. I didn't vote for him," Alicia says truthfully, albeit with a caveat. "I'm totally pissed off," Troyzan says, vowing that when he gets pissed off, he gets fired up and he vows to win every Immunity from now on. "This is just Troyzan versus everybody else," he announces. 
 
Read Full Post
<p>A new picture of the same &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 7</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

A new picture of the same "American Idol" Top 7

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 7 Performances - Take Two

After last Thursday's Save, the 'Idol' singers tackle two songs apiece

It's a night of Doubt Deja Vu on FOX's "American Idol."

For the second straight week, we're getting performances from this season's Top 7, following last week's shocking elimination and not-so-shocking save of Jessica Sanchez. And after we hear performances from the Top 7, we're gonna turn right around and hear another set of performances from the Top 7.

Yup. "Idol" is figuring we're gonna fit in 14 performances tonight. 

Could be crazy. 

Click through...

Read Full Post
<p>Stupid dream sequences</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Stupid dream sequences

Credit: The CW

'Ringer' finale offers a fitting end to a disappointing season

Fans probably didn't get what they wanted, but what else is new?
I've said this to a number of people, so I might as well say it to you, Dear Readers:
 
I've watched every episode of The CW's "Ringer," but if I'd thought there was the slightest chance that the show could be renewed, I'd have quit watching months ago.
 
That sounds counter-intuitive and I know it doesn't line up with conventional wisdom about serialized TV from fans who have been burned so frequently that they refuse to tune in to any show without some assurance that it will be moving forward, that questions will be answered and resolution reached.
 
Nope. I kept watching "Ringer" because I knew The CW would air every episode, but it simultaneously felt like there was little risk of a not-particularly-cheap drama drawing barely over a million viewers would get a second season. I figured that if I could read those signs, the "Ringer" showrunners could read those signs and that, facing the end of the line after 22 episodes, the writers could figure out the story they really wanted to tell, condense it and take viewers to a satisfactory conclusion.
 
The more fool me.
 
Tuesday (April 17) night's "Ringer" finale, tamely titled "I'm the Good Twin," played as a brazen and irritating plea for a second season from a show that has done nothing, in terms of either quality or ratings, to earn any kind of reprieve from The CW.
 
I can imagine the show's fans -- there are a couple dozen of them out there -- getting stirred up to beg for another season, but that's only because the finale accomplished almost none of the things it hypothetically could have accomplished. While it left many things unresolved, I'm not sure that the pending issues for an imaginary season two are all that interesting, but that's all that fans were given.
 
More after the break...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Nary and Jamie of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Nary and Jamie of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Jamie & Nary talk 'The Amazing Race'

The federal agents talk tent-building and teacher-playing
There are two very different approaches to touting your credentials as a federal agent on a reality TV show.
 
There's The Phillip Sheppard Method: The "Survivor" contestant announced his credentials as a former federal agent so early and so often and with such outspoken enthusiasm that his fellow contestants either doubted his background or doubted his sanity. He made it to the end of the season in part because Boston Rob knew he couldn't possibly win and carried him along.
 
Then there's The Jamie & Nary Method: The "Amazing Race" team decided they were going to tell their competition that they actually worked as teachers, rather than as federal agents. This strange plan sprung a leak when another team, border agents, began to suspect them of being in law enforcement. This led to fighting and variably passive aggressive hostilities, but not much else.
 
Jamie Graetz & Nary Ebeid were able to weather their difficulties with Art & JJ, but the federal agents were unable to overcome a multi-hour deficit and a Speed-Bump on last Sunday's (April 15) Leg of "The Amazing Race."
 
It was still a solid run for Jamie & Nary, who made it through more than half of the Race without internal bickering and definitely came out of FederalAgentGate looking saner than Art & JJ.
 
In their exit interview, Jamie and Nary discuss the strategy behind their professional obfuscation as well as the difficulties of the tent-building challenge that ultimately proved to be their undoing.
 
Click through for the full interview...
 
Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

 

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 124

Dan and Alan talk 'Veep,' 'Justified' and 25 Years of FOX

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
It's another busy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
This week, we talk about the "Justified" finale and Sunday's busy "Mad Men." We also review HBO's excellent "Veep" and chat about 25 Years of FOX. 
 
And because that wasn't enough? Mail!
 
Next week's gonna be a bit lighter in terms of content, so mail is always appreciated. And maybe it'll be time for some sports talk...
 
Here's the podcast breakdown:
25 Years of FOX (00:00:40 - 00:22:00)
"Veep" (00:22:00 - 00:31:50)
Listener Mail - Ashley Judd's "puffy face" article (00:32:10 - 00:38:20)
Listener Mail - "The Office"/"Parks & Rec" (00:38:25 - 00:45:45)
Listener Mail - "Suburgatory" Emmy chances (00:46:00 - 00:50:30)
"Justified" finale (00:51:35 - 01:04:50)
Sunday's "Mad Men" (01:04:50 - 01:20:30)
 

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>Brendon and Rachel of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Brendon and Rachel of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Let Them Drink Their Haterade'

Speed-Bumps, Double U-Turns and 'bamboons'... Oh my!
When "The Amazing Race" wins its inevitable Emmys and people rant about the lazy and predictable choice that voters have made, I usually rush to the show's defense.
 
My argument is always that even if I sometimes prefer seasons of "Top Chef" or "Survivor" or "American Idol," the production scope of "Amazing Race" is on a totally different scale and that the show's technical excellence, particularly when it comes to editing, should never be underestimated.
 
I say that as a way to be nice and complimentary before getting to this:
 
Sunday (April 15) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" was an egregiously poorly edited episode of television. It was 40+ minutes of poor pacing and character choices, lousy continuity and confusing narrative progression. Tension was generated in perplexing ways and then defused. Finally, because of equally poor Race architecture, the editors had to practically give up, as the Leg was determined by a couple uninteresting tasks that were wedged into the last four minutes of the episode.
 
Blech.
 
More after the break, but I really don't know how much effort I feel like putting into this...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin on &quot;Castle&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin on "Castle"

Credit: ABC

HitFix Interview: Adam Baldwin talks reuniting with Nathan Fillion on 'Castle'

This Monday's episode is a 'Firefly' reunion for Mal and Jayne
Nearly a decade has passed since Adam Baldwin played the hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne on FOX's criminally short-lived "Firefly."
 
Since that time, Baldwin hasn't exactly been absent from the small screen. He was a regular on "The Inside" and "Day Break." He did guest appearances on shows including "Angel" and "Stargate SG-1." There was also that little five-season run as John Casey on "Chuck," one of the few shows capable of giving "Firefly" a run when it comes to pure cult dedication. 
 
But for all of those credits in the intervening years, there's still something instantly and specifically pleasing about seeing ABC press stills of Baldwin sharing the frame with Nathan Fillion on this Monday's (April 16) "Castle." 
 
In Monday's episode, titled "Headhunters," Baldwin plays a gritty detective named Ethan Slaughter. There aren't many actors who can get away with playing a character named Detective Slaughter, but with Baldwin, it seems only fitting. 
 
I chatted with Baldwin last week about reuniting with Fillion. I don't think you're going to be able to mistake the respect that exists between these two. 
 
Click through for the full interview...
 
Read Full Post