<p>Common of &quot;Hell on Wheels&quot;</p>
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Common of "Hell on Wheels"

Credit: AMC

TV Review: AMC's 'Hell on Wheels'

HitFix
C+
Readers
C+
New Western is the least successful of AMC's new drama originals
Look, nobody's going to question that Emily Thorne has cause to seek vengeance on ABC's "Revenge." Her father was pretty royally screwed over by what seems to have been a cabal of 40 or 50 members of the Hamptons' elite.
 
What I do question, however, is Emily's urgency. Yeah, for a week or two she was doing a pretty good job of giving her enemies indigestion, spoiling their marriages or bankrupting their hedge funds. But the for the past few weeks, Emily has barely been revenging at all. I can't blame her for deciding that prancing around the beach in a bikini, going to upper crust galas and getting mixed up in a love triangle are a good deal more fun than  revenging. 
 
This goes and proves my long-held theory that the best revenge is carried out in unpleasant places where distractions are minimal. Drop Emily Thorne in the Hamptons and it's gonna take her months to complete all of her required revenging. Drop her in Mississippi and she'd have slaughtered the entire conspiracy from A-to-Z before noon and then just moved on with her life as a sexy young billionaire. 
 
Perhaps that's why I'm feeling comfortable with Cullen Bohannon's ability to carry out his revenge with relative expediency.
 
Played by Anson Mount, Cullen is the hero of AMC's new drama "Hell on Wheels," a Wikipedia-infused "'Revenge' on Rails" masquerading as a history lesson on the construction of the Union Pacific. Cullen isn't belabored by blue collar crushes or finding the perfect bandage skirt to match his skin tone. He isn't wasting time decorating his green screen adjacent home or monitoring his stock portfolio. Heck, all indications are that Cullen isn't even getting distracted by necessities like bathing. In the traveling cesspool of sin and commerce known as Hell on Wheels, Cullen's monomaniacal. 
 
But clarity of purpose doesn't necessarily make for a great show and "Hell on Wheels" makes the mistake of premiering with a truly weak pilot episode at exactly the time some critics and many viewers are eager to take AMC to task for perceived hubris and artistic abandonment. Although there are signs of improvement in subsequent episodes, that pilot is going to be really difficult for even patient audiences to sit through. And even from there, I can't exactly tell you that "Hell on Wheels" gets good, just that it gets better.
 
More after the break...
 
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<p>&quot;Hell on Wheels&quot;</p>
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"Hell on Wheels"

Credit: AMC

HitFix Interview: 'Hell on Wheels' creators Joe and Tony Gayton discuss their AMC Western

'Deadwood' comparisons, history-bending, Native Americans and more...
"Hell on Wheels" creators Joe and Tony Gayton are tired of having to compare their new AMC Western to HBO's late, lamented "Deadwood," or at least tired of having to differentiate it. 
 
It's an association that I'll confess that Sepinwall and I made in our podcast last week and an association that's popped up in more than a few reviews I've read. 
 
In a wide-ranging interview, the Gaytons address the "Deadwood" issue, but they also go into depth on how they view their post-Civil War drama, touching on how the new series deals with historical accuracy, treatment of Native American characters and why they chose to tell the tale of the Union Pacific rather than the Central Pacific. It's more an interview about what "Hell on Wheels" is than what it isn't.
 
Premiering on Sunday (November 6) night, "Hell on Wheels" features Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon a Confederate veteran who finds himself working on the Union Pacific while looking to avenge his wife. In that quest, he meets original characters like the recently emancipated Elam (Common) and real figures like Thomas "Doc" Durant (Colm Meaney).
 
This interview contains some minor spoilers, but it may also answer some of the questions you're asking yourself after watching the "Hell on Wheels" pilot.
 
So either check out the full transcript now, or feel free to drop back in on Sunday night...
 
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Watch: Producers John and Morgan Langley talk 'Cops'

What would producers do if cops ever came for THEM?
I'll admit it: I don't usually write about "Cops" and I don't usually watch "Cops," but last month I had a really fun sit-down with "Cops" executive producers John and Morgan Langley.
 
This interview isn't particularly timely, since "Cops" premiered back in September -- due to baseball and "America's Most Wanted" pre-emptions, it feels like I've been waiting for six weeks to post -- and my intro question pertains [very loosely] to that premiere, but most of the interview is everygreen and I think it's really funny in places. 
 
I feel like I could have talked to John and Morgan for hours, because even though "Cops" isn't a show I regularly DVR, it's a phenomenon that's fascinating, especially with the show in its mind-boggling 24th season.
 
In this interview, we talk about the "Cops" phenomenon and I also get to ask the key pressing question: What would the Langleys do if the cops came for THEM. 
 
Find out that answer and more in this interview...
<p>Anson Mount of &quot;Hell on Wheels&quot;</p>
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Anson Mount of "Hell on Wheels"

Credit: AMC

HitFix Interview: Anson Mount talks 'Hell on Wheels'

AMC's new Western hero talks Clint Eastwood, Common and more
"Dude, I wasn't just thinking of Eastwood, I was stealing from Eastwood," Anson Mount laughs when I ask about the iconic Western influences on his revenge-minded central character in the new AMC drama "Hell on Wheels."
 
That's never a bad place to start.
 
Set in 1865 along the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, "Hell on Wheels" is also the story of Cullen Bohannon (Mount), a former Confederate out to avenge his wife's death. He's a violent, tormented guy who finds himself in the midst of the lawless traveling town that gives the show its name.
 
Mount previously toplined a string of short-lived network shows that ranged from highly respected (ABC's "Line of Fire") to instantly forgotten (The WB's "The Mountain") all while getting seasoned for his first cable vehicle.
 
Earlier this week, I caught up with the impressively candid Mount, who was in Savannah for their local film festival, via phone to talk about this dark new role.
 
Click through for the complete interview...
 
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<p>Christine of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Christine of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Christine Markoski talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

What was it like spending two weeks on Redemption Island?
For most the pre-Merge segment of this season, there were effectively three tribes: There was the Upolu tribe, featuring the returning Benjamin "Coach" Wade. There was the Savaii tribe, featuring Ozzy Lusth. And finally, there was the Redemption Island tribe, which was basically Christine Markoski and whoever happened to be visiting her. 
 
After initially describing Coach as "temporary" and putting a target on her back, Christine was the second player voted out this season, but she followed torch-snuffing by going on run that saw her win five consecutive Duels.
 
Christine's run of Duel supremacy was so impressive that it prompted Ozzy to voluntarily get voted out just to beat her on Redemption Island, despite Christine's not-so-secret hostility towards her former Upolu mates. 
 
Regardless of the logic behind his decision, Ozzy's move didn't backfire and he defeated Christine on Wednesday's episode.
 
In our exit interview, Christine talked about making Redemption Island home, Ozzy's gamble and whether she'd still call Coach "temporary" if she had a do-over.
 
Click through...
 
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<p>Rachel Crow performed on Wednesday (November 2) night's &quot;X Factor&quot;</p>
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Rachel Crow performed on Wednesday (November 2) night's "X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Results - Who went home first?

America's votes trim the field to 11 on a live Thursday show

This is somewhat uncharted territory for "The X Factor," since American viewers have no idea what a Thursday hour-long elimination show is going to look like on FOX's new hit talent show. 

Our hunch? It'll look a lot like an hour-long "American Idol" results show. But let's find out for sure...

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<p>Cochran of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Cochran of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'Double Agent'

Would Ozzy's big gamble pay off?
Pre-credit sequence. "You just witnessed 'Survivor' history," Cochran celebrates as Team Formerly Ozzy returns to camp. Nobody else is nearly as excited by Ozzy's gamble and they're all sitting around the fire rationalizing their decision. Keith is especially grumbling, grunting something about how he doesn't live his life with other people fighting his battles, as if what Ozzy had done was all about Cochran, rather than Ozzy's own bloated sense of self-worth. "Prepared to be the villain?" Keith asks. Cochran, intrigued by the chance to play a double-agent, insists he is and he's so ready to be the bad guy that he paraphrases "Scarface." "First you get the egomaniac returning player voted out. Then you get his Idol. Then you get the million dollars," Cochrane says, not even bothering with a subpar Pacino.
 
Full recap of Wednesday's (November 2) "Survivor" after the break...
 
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<p>Melanie Amaro of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Melanie Amaro of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Top 12 Performances Live-Blog

America votes tonight, but who shined for the judges

It's nearly voting time on FOX's "The X Factor," which means it's also time to fill out your bracket for HitFix's "X Factor" Prediction Game. It's too late to get the bonus points for this week, but it's not too late to enter to possibly win an iPad2.

But enough plugging, y'all... Let's get down to the live-blog/recap/review of Wednesday's (November 2) "X Factor"...

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<p>&nbsp;Anson Mount of &quot;Hell on Wheels&quot;</p>
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 Anson Mount of "Hell on Wheels"

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 101

Dan and Alan review 'Hell on Wheels,' the new season of 'Bones' and more

The

Happy Halloween, Boys & Ghouls. Time for Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 101.
 
I'm not sure how this podcast became as long as it did, but we certainly had plenty to talk about, with "Hell on Wheels," the return of "Bones" and PBS' "Page Eight." We also did another installment of Dan's Reality Roundup and a few random segments, including a ratings update.
 
New week isn't gonna be nearly as full, so send e-mails.
 
This week's breakdown:
"Bones" -- 1:55 - 8:25
"Page Eight" -- 8:30 - 17:00
FX getting into Charlie Sheen -- 17:10 - 27:00
"Hell on Wheels" -- 27:05 - 41:40
Recent Ratings Overview -- 41:45 - 53:45
Dan's Reality Roundup -- 53:45 - 01:14:30 
Listener Mail: Women watch football too -- 01:14:35 - 01:19:45

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 here's the podcast...
<p>Justin and Jennifer of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Justin and Jennifer of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'We Love Your Country Already, It Is Very Spacious'

It's off to Africa for tobacco hauling, sewing and a village overnight
Oh, come on.
 
No. Seriously. 
 
We're all fans of "The Amazing Race" here, right? 
 
I hope so. I recap the show because I'm a fan. I assume you read the recaps because you're a fan. 
 
So, fan-to-fan... Level with me: Is there anybody out there who is happy with the structural choices made for this season's "Amazing Race"?
 
Anybody?
 
Click through, cuz there's gonna be grumbling.
 
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