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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 108 - Best of 2011

Dan and Alan go through the year's TV highlights


Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.
It's time for our special Best of 2011 Podcast.
In this podcast, Alan and I discuss our Top 10 lists for the 2011 calendar year. Alan's Top 10 list is already up. Mine isn't. So I guess that makes it a surprise! Mine'll be up in video form in the next day or two.
Then, after a long discussion of the year's highlights, we spend a good chunk of time on the finale of "Homeland." It's a nice and extra-long podcast, which'll make up for the fact that next week's podcast -- Worst of 2011!!! -- also won't go up before Tuesday. 
As a caveat, I say "s***" once during this podcast. While that would barely earn this podcast a PG rating, we know some of you listen with impressionable youngsters. Or something.
Today's basic breakdown:
TV's Best of 2011 (04:15 - 01:13:00)
"Homeland" finale (01:13:15 - 01:31:00)

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.] 

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

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Ozzy Lusth talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

Ozzy spills on Coach, Cochran and whether he's done with 'Survivor'
When you get deep enough into "Survivor," every little mistake is a Million Dollar Mistake, even when you're widely regarded as one of the best challenge players in the game's 23-season history.
For Ozzy Lusth, the third time was very nearly the charm. 
After withstanding two tours of duty on Redemption Island, Ozzy returned to the game, won his first Immunity challenge back and stood one challenge away from facing an overwhelmingly Savaii-heavy Jury just itching to vote for him.
And the challenge seemed perfectly tailored to Ozzy's strengths, a puzzle that could only be completed after a five-tier obstacle course. After completing the obstacle course with a predictably big lead, it was the puzzle that stymied Ozzy. Instead, Sophie finished the puzzle, won Immunity, secured Ozzy's eventual Jury vote and won the prize Ozzy hasn't been able to take home.
In our exit interview, Ozzy discussed his America's Player consolation prize, his feelings about Coach and Cochran and his thoughts on someday playing "Survivor" for a fourth time.
Click through for the full Ozzy interview and check back over the next few days for my exit interviews with Coach, Albert and Sophie...
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<p>Claire Danes of &quot;Homeland&quot;</p>
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Claire Danes of "Homeland"

Credit: Showtime

HitFix Interview: Showrunner Alex Gansa discusses the 'Homeland' finale

What happened? What didn't happen? And what's coming up next?
Showtime's "Homeland" wrapped up its acclaimed first season on Sunday (December 18) night, just days after snagging a slew of Golden Globe nominations, including Best Drama Series and nods for stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. 
Of course, it's become the de rigueur rite of passage that any and all drama finales must instigate blog wars over whether or not they went far enough or delivered closure enough. You can follow that heated discussion over on Sepinwall's recap.
On Monday, I got on the phone with "Homeland" showrunner Alex Gansa, who co-created the drama (based on an Israeli format) with fellow "24" veteran Howard Gordon. 
We discussed the explosive (and in some cases not-so-explosive) finale, where "Homeland" is headed in Season Two and what it means to have guts when determining the fate of characters.
Click through for the interview, which obviously includes spoilers...
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<p>&quot;Survivor&quot; host Jeff Probst</p>
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"Survivor" host Jeff Probst

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' Finale - 'Loyalties Will Be Broken'

Would Coach or Ozzy get Redemption? Or would somebody else win?
Blind melon. We begin on Redemption Island, where Brandon arrives to greet the predictably snoozy Ozzy. "I got blindsided," Brandon explains, admitting that it hurt to get stabbed in the back by his closest friend. Then Brandon gives Ozzy a partial explanation for that alleged blindsiding. "He wasn't blindsided. He gave up the freakin' Immunity necklace," Ozzy says aptly, calling Brandon's strategy "a blind faith game." This is the smartest and most analytical Ozzy has ever seemed.
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<p>Edna of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Edna of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Edna Ma talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

The latest 'Survivor' castoff discusses Upolu's lack of end-game strategy
The run of bitter Savaii "Survivor: South Pacific" exit interviews is finally over.
After a month of speaking to castaways still grumbling about John Cochran and his game-changing flip-flop, it's finally time to change gears and talk to the members of the now-cannibalizing (not literally, but in a voting sense) Upolu tribe.
Up first is Edna Ma, the 35-year-old anesthesiologist who found herself in sixth place on the Upolu totem pole and was voted out two weeks ago. On this week's episode, the diminutive Edna faced off against Ozzy in a Redemption Island Duel built around the completion of consecutive puzzles. 
Although it was a challenge that seemed to give Edna a fighting chance against the physically stronger Ozzy, it ended up being the latest in a string of Duel victories for the All-Star. 
In her exit interview, Edna discusses the Duel, her frustrations with her fellow castaways and the first night piece of bad luck that doomed her. We barely mentioned Cochran at all.
Click through...
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<p>Burrito Josh of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Burrito Josh of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Semifinals Results Live-Blog - Who went home?

Would Marcus, Chris, Burrito Josh or Melanie be heading home?

It never fails. Every week we gather together on Thursday and I say that we're on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty and every week something gets in the way and Marcus Canty survives.

But tonight, we're TOTALLY on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty, aren't we?

Let's find out...

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Credit: ABC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 107

Dan and Alan talk Golden Globe noms, 'Enlightened' and 'Life and Times of Tim'


Happy, sleepy Thursday, Boys & Girls.
As promised, it's a bonus mid-week installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. In this slightly-shorter-than-normal installment, we talk Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award nominations, the recently completed first season of "Enlightened" and the upcoming third season of "The Life and Times of Tim."
No sports. Or very little sports, at least.

Today's breakdown:
Golden Globes/SAG Awards breakdown (00:00 - 33:30)
"Enlightened" (33:33 - 41:45)
"The Life and Times of Tim" (41:45 - 49:00)

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.] 

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<p>Coach consults his alliance</p>
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Coach consults his alliance

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'Then There Were Five'

The Lord works in hilarious ways at the Te Tuna tribe
Pre-credit sequence. Te Tuna returns to camp. They're down to five. For some reason, everybody is feeling good, even though the cannibalization is coming. At Brandon's urging, the Upolu Prayer Circle is convened to thank the person who did this for them. Yup. Good ol' JC. John Cochran! What? this was GOD'S doing? "The alliances within the alliances are going to be revealed. The real game begins tonight," Coach declares. Albert has plans. He seems to be sharing those plans with Sophie, but in reality, he's hoping to pull off "the biggest blindside of the game." Albert's next target? Sophie.
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<p>The &quot;X Factor&quot; Top 4</p>
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The "X Factor" Top 4

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Final 4 Performances Live-Blog

It's Semifinal Night for Marcus, Chris, Melanie and Burrito Josh

It's the season's penultimate "X Factor" performance show. Sniffle.

Sunrise, sunset and all that good stuff.

Click through for a full live-blog of the performances by Marcus Canty, Melanie Amaro, Burrio Josh and Chris Rene...

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<p>Ernie and Cindy of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Ernie and Cindy of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Ernie & Cindy talk 'The Amazing Race'

This season's champs discuss their winning run and plans for the million
Congratulations to Ernie Halvorsen and Cindy Chiang, the winners of the 19th installment of "The Amazing Race."
It was a wire-to-wire victory for the engaged couple, who snagged a useful Express Pass by winning the Race's first Leg and snagged a million bucks by winning the Race's last Leg. 
Well, it was kinda "wire-to-wire."
In-between, Ernie & Cindy only won a single Leg and they needed to utilize a U-Turn to get that victory. But even without individual triumphs, they stayed in the chase by always remaining with the lead pack. Through the entire season, they never finished worse than fifth, a record of impressive consistency that paid dividends when Snowboarders Andy & Tommy, the season's dominant team, were eliminated in the season's penultimate episode.
Ernie & Cindy responded by running an error-free concluding Leg in Atlanta, reaching Phil Keoghan at the final Pit Stop with room to spare.
Clip through for our full interview, discussing their in-Race pre-marital counseling, the closeness of this season's teams and the altruistic hopes for their winnings...
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