The 'Watchmen' and 'Little Children' star teases what's in store for Guerrero
Perhaps due to the decade-plus that he spent away from the industry, Jackie Earle Haley has packed a lot of achievements into the delayed second act of his career.
He's been nominated for an Oscar, starred in an adaptation of the most revered comic book ever, worked with multiple award-winning filmmakers and helped to reinvent one of the horror's most feared characters. He's currently working as a regular on a network TV show.
I've talked to Haley at Comic-Cons, TCA press tours, in full "Nightmare on Elm Street" makeup and on the luxurious lawn of a suburban Vancouver mansion and the "Breaking Away" and "Watchmen" star has never been less than humble, accommodating and friendly, which isn't as easy as it sounds under some of those conditions.
The aforementioned Vancouver mansion was the scene for the season's second episode of "Human Target" and Haley caught me up on his hopes for Season 2, the changes to the show and the importance of keeping his character, Guerrero, mysterious.
Full interview after the break...
'Rome,' 'Luther' veteran joins 'Human Target' for Season 2
I had a great conversation with new "Human Target" co-star Indira Varma on the FOX action-drama's Vancouver set back in August, but somehow I mostly remember how cold she seemed.
It was one of those days that starts off chilly and cloudy and ends up in the '80s by noon, but she sat down across from me in one thick jacket and half-way through the interview, she replaced it with an even thicker coat, one that might almost count as a parka.
Even as she was rubbing her hands together, Varma put on a good show of not being frigid, showing exactly the composure and confidence American audiences would expect from the British actress best known for her turn as Niobe on HBO's "Rome" or her appearance on the London episodes of "Bones."
Varma joins the cast of "Human Target" for its premiere on Wednesday (Nov. 17) night, part of the show's minor Season Two tinkering.
Click through for our full conversation, transcribed minus the shivering...
TBS' new college comedy is like many college comedies you probably liked more
It wasn't intentional, but I spent a lot of the past year rewatching Judd Apatow's short-lived FOX comedy "Undeclared." I did a partial rewatch back in December when "Undeclared" came in at No. 21 on my list of TV's Best of the Decade. And then Sepinwall and I did a full revisiting of the series during the summer as a way to fill podcasting time during the sluggish programming weeks.
I've also continued to do periodic catch-up marathons on ABC Family's "Greek," which I can never be bothered to watch when it's actually on TV, but which makes for surprisingly perfect in-flight iPhone viewing on cross-country journeys.
Although college-set TV shows and movies have always been less prevalent than their high school-set siblings, it's a genre I adore. I happily followed Rory Gilmore to Yale, made it through most of the run of "Saved by the Bell: The College Years," followed the West Beverly gang through their time at California University ("Go Condors!") and I haven't missed an episode of "Hellcats." Even if I accept "Animal House" as the genre's cinematic pinnacle, I can be perfectly happy watching solid ("Drumline"), so-so ("Revenge of the Nerds") or even sub-mediocre (Sorry, "PCU" and "Stomp the Yard" and too many others to count) entries in the genre.
It's hard to deny that high school is terrain that has been more diversely mined by storytellers than college. There are cliches aplenty in the high school genre, but perhaps because there are more of them, it's easier to let certain fields go fallow before replanting the cliches and starting again. With college comedies, if you don't find a point-of-view or some sort of differentiating factor, all you're doing is dredging from a very shallow well of cliches.
That brings me to TBS' "Glory Daze," which premieres on Tuesday (Aug. 16) night. It's not bad enough for me to get worked up about its ineptitude, but its creative laziness and unapologetically derivative trappings make it impossible to endorse.
Click through for more thoughts...
Who is Ames and what will the new character add to S.2 of 'Human Target'?
Janet Montgomery has been difficult to miss in 2010.
In a single week this summer, Montgomery made her first appearance as E's assistant Jennie on "Entourage," popped up on my "The League" premiere screener as fantasy football advice-dispensing stripper Ambrosia and was cast in a key role in the second season of FOX's "Human Target."
Then in August, the first trailer was released for Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," featuring Montgomery in a supporting part, and one day later, I found myself on the Vancouver set of "Human Target," discussing the 25-year-old British actress' busy year.
Ambitious British assistant to sport-loving American exotic dancer to friendly ballerina to ragamuffin thief trying to go straight with the help of Christopher Chance and company? That's a breakthrough year.
Before "Human Target" returns on Wednesday (Nov. 17) click through for my full interview with Montgomery from that August set visit...
The Botwins experience the nightmare of modern airline travel
As he's discussed himself and we discussed on the podcast, Sepinwall tuned out of "Weeds" a while back, so you can't expect him to do a "Weeds" finale blog post.
I know I'm not a good substitute, but just in case anybody has any thoughts on tonight's sixth season finale, I'm happy to instigate a conversation. After all, I'm a "Weeds" apologist. Some people see "Weeds" the way it is and say, "Why aren't you Season Two?" I see "Weeds" as it could be and say, "What did we get from Season Six?"
Leaving aside the grotesque paraphrasing of Bobby Kennedy there, I thought this was a strong season of "Weeds," but I also found a way to talk myself into liking the past two seasons as well. If you expect "Weeds" to be the snarky comedy that it used to be, with the different variations on the Malvina Reynolds theme song and the broad ironies of suburban life? Well, you probably turned away from "Weeds" a long time ago. If you viewed the show as a journey from one point in the pilot, to an extremely different place 70-plus episodes later? Well, Season Six made that journey literal, forcing all of the show's remaining characters to examine how far they've traveled.
A few more thoughts after the break and then y'all can share any opinions you might have...
Dan and Alan talk 'Glory Daze,' 'Human Target,' 'Terriers' and more
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls. Time for an eclectic installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
We've got a review of a new cable show ("Glory Daze"), a review of a new webseries ("Backwash"), a review of a returning show we already reviewed ("Human Target"), a few random words on "How I Met Your Mother," a roundup of reality shows that Alan doesn't watch but I do and then a long segment urging people, once again, to watch FX's "Terriers."
Somehow, even without any Reader Mail, it became a long podcast...
"Glory Daze" -- 01:00 - 12:25
"Backwash" -- 12:25 - 21:05
"Human Target" -- 21:10 - 33:45
"How I Met Your Mother" -- 33:45 - 38:55
Reality TV Round-Up -- 39:00 - 53:00
"Terriers" -- 53:10 - 01:06:45
And here's the podcast...
Nicaragua's Fake Grandmaster discusses his recent elimination
On "Survivor," when you have a target on your chest, you can only escape elimination for so long, even if you're an expert strategist. Sometimes it takes a full-blown Grandmaster to remain in the game.
Unfortunately, Marty Piombo was only a Grandmaster in the confusing mistruth he told to seemingly air-headed Fabio.
The 48-year-old technology executive may be remembered as the smartest strategist on "Survivor: Nicaragua," but he won't win the million dollars. Marty orchestrated the early ouster of Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson, assembled a powerful alliance in his Espada tribe and then, when the tribes were reassembled and he found himself in a minority, he managed to scurry and keep himself in the game for several extra episodes, making it to the Merge and to the Jury before being voted out on Wednesday's (Nov. 10) episode.
HitFix caught up with Marty to talk about voting out The Coach, his Tribal Council nemeses Jane and NaOnka and why it helped him to tell Fabio he was a Chess Grandmaster.
Click through for the full interview...
Dan and Alan talk 'Conan,' 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Burn Notice' and more
Happy Tuesday, Boys and Girls. It's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast time!
We delayed this week's podcast by a day so that we could discuss Conan O'Brien's TBS show with the benefit of having seen at least one episode of "Conan."
So we talk "Conan," the return of USA's "Burn Notice" and, after I spent the whole weekend catching up on "Sons of Anarchy," we talk about the third season struggles of that FX show.
We also answer reader mail questions about good and bad accent work and good and bad TV series pacing.
The premiere of "Conan" -- 01:40 - 11:15
The return of "Burn Notice" -- 11:20 - 16:20
Reader Mail (accents and pacing) -- 16:30 - 32:25
"Sons of Anarchy" -- 32:30 - 49:20
And here's the podcast...
What would Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies and company contribute?
When you're doing red carpet interviews at a premiere, you know you're only going to have a couple minutes with anybody who stops to talk to you. You also know that you'll want more time than that with some people and less time with others.
It's an environment where a fun roundup question -- a standard question for everybody -- is always handy. So when I hit the "Walking Dead" premiere in Hollywood two weeks ago, my roundup question was this one: In the event of an actual zombie apocalypse, what skills do you, personally, possess that would make you a valuable asset for survivors in the aftermath?
I'm not saying it's the best question in the world, but posed to stars Andrew Lincoln and Sarah Wayne Callies, in addition to a variety of supporting actors, producers and premiere guests like David Zayas and R.J. Mitte, there were some good responses, cobbled together here by HitFix's Alex Dorn.
Also check out my interviews with "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman and my chats with Lincoln and Callies.
Latest 'Survivor' bootee talks dirt squirrels, NaOnka and failed alliances
I didn't expect to find myself missing Alina Wilson on "Survivor: Nicaragua," but after talking to the show's latest castoff, that may end up being the case.
Alina never fully recovered after finding herself on the low side of a number alliance on the original La Flor tribe, but she somehow managed to stave off elimination long enough to make the Merge and long enough to make the season's jury. And after a season of deluded or simply confused eliminated contestants, Alina came across as smart, funny and candid about her time in the game.
I got no evidence of the "dirt squirrel" Benry ranted against while casting his final vote.
Click through Alina's thoughts on aligning with Shannon, NaOnka's food-stealing and what it means to be a dirt squirrel...