<p>Krista of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'</p>

Krista of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Krista Klumpp talks 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

'Survivor' bootee discusses why she trusted Russell and more
Krista Klumpp's CBS "Survivor" bio contains what ended up being a telling quote.
 
Asked which "Survivor" contestant she's most like, Krista replied, "I thought I was most like Natalie White because we had such similar backgrounds, but I expect to play the game with a little more edge."
 
When she gave that quote, the 25-year-old pharmaceutical rep had no way of knowing that she was going to find herself on a tribe with Russell Hantz, the man responsible for taking Natalie White to the Finals and ultimately responsible for her winning the million dollar prize. 
 
While hitching herself to Russell's vicious, cutthroat star proved to be a good move for Natalie, Krista wasn't as lucky. When the Zapatera tribe successfully picked off the notorious villain, they immediately targeted his two allies, voting off first Krista and then Stephanie.
 
Krista's "Survivor" fate was sealed this week with a Redemption Island loss to Matt, leading to an exit interview the following morning.
 
Click through...
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<p>Kate Winslet of 'Mildred Pierce'</p>

Kate Winslet of 'Mildred Pierce'

Credit: HBO

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 65

Dan and Alan talk 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Bob's Burgers' and the 'Big Love' finale

The

 

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls. 
 
Things are getting busy in TV Land -- not to be confused with getting busy *on* TVLand, because we're not really sure what's up with "Hot in Cleveland" -- so this week's podcast is jam-packed and things will only get more jam-packed in weeks to come.
 
On this week's docket: Discussion of the series finale of "Big Love" and the show's overall legacy, a review of HBO's "Mildred Pierce" miniseries, a review of Syfy's "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen," some words on "Bob's Burgers" and even a couple pieces of Listen Mail to answer.
 
Here's the breakdown:
"Bob's Burgers" -- 01:17 - 08:30
"Marcel's Quantum Kitchen" -- 08:30 - 18:20
"Mildred Pierce" -- 18:20 - 32:25
Listener Mail (stuff about supporting characters and plausibility of sketch comedy and sports on scripted shows) - 32:30 - 46:00
The series finale of "Big Love" - 46:00 - 01:03:55

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>Kristina of 'Survivor'</p>

Kristina of 'Survivor'

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Kristina Kell talks 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Latest 'Survivor' bootee isn't a big fan of Former Federal Agent Phillip
Kristina Kell was finally sent packing on this week's "Survivor: Redemption Island," but her departure had been a foregone conclusion for a month now.
 
Despite finding a hidden Immunity Idol without a clue early in her "Survivor" run, Kristina never had any security. Instantly targeted as a threat by the cautious Boston Rob, Kristina found herself in a wobbly alliance with mercurial Francesca and erratic Phillip. Although she wasn't voted out at that first Tribal Council after Phillip outed her Idol, it was only a matter of time. The next Tribal Council her Idol was flushed out of the game and then she was dispatched to Redemption Island, where she ran into Matt, a burgeoning Duel buzzsaw.
 
I caught up with Kristina this week to talk about Boston Rob's impact on her game and about her true feelings for Phillip. She held very little back.
 
Full interview after the break...
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<p>Marc Singer of 'V'</p>

Marc Singer of 'V'

Credit: ABC

A few thoughts on the casualty-filled 'V' finale

Can't we just have Morena Baccarin's Anna killing humans next season?
In its second season finale on Tuesday (March 15) night, "V" made a full transition from science fiction to slasher, offering the first glimmer of hope for the creatively challenged series in many a moon.
 
It's not that complex, mythology-rich sci-fi can't survive on the small screen. Just look at "Fringe," though "survive" may be a slightly overstatement for what the FOX series is doing on Fridays. But you need look no further than the on-life-support status of "V" and NBC's "The Event" to realize something that maybe TV development executives don't quite get about sci-fi: It's hard. 
 
You have to have writers capable of creating jargon-packed dialogue that simultaneously makes sense and moves the plot forward, while also not insulting members of your audience who make the attempt to process and appreciate the genre underpinings. The dialogue also has to be smooth enough to avoid crippling your show's cast, which pre-supposes you have a cast good enough to sell that dialogue in the first place. Both "V" and "The Event" have displayed that no matter how many reasonably capable actors you can somehow lure, even the most intelligent or likable of actors can become a blathering idiot and a one-dimensional puppet if abused by weak writing.
 
It's hard to do sci-fi.
 
Doing a slasher film, even on TV, is much easier. If you're going down that genre path, you need only two things: A good villain and ample fodder. You don't watch a "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Saw" film rooting for humanity's finer nature to prevail. Screw that. You want carnage and you want to be reassured that even if Freddy Krueger or Jigsaw seem to be in trouble, everybody involved in the production knows that viewers will be rooting for the bad guy and any supposed hero is totally disposable. 
 
After ineptly attempting to make viewers care with and root for a rag-tag bunch of wretchedly written, poorly portrayed freedom fighters for the better part of 22 episodes, "V" surrendered on Tuesday night and just admitted what's been blatantly obvious since the premiere: Morena Baccarin's Anna is the show. Period. And she isn't just the show. She's the freakin' hero of the show. If that makes Humanity and The Fifth Column the villains on "V"? So be it. I'm not sure that there's a single human character on the show that I don't view as cannon fodder and it was almost courageous of the "V" writers to admit that over 22 episodes, they'd shaped The Fifth Column into the most useless resistance force ever.
 
And no, I'm not *actually* convinced that the things I enjoyed about Tuesday's "V" finale were in any way intentional on the part of the writers, but I found a way to enjoy the finale, so that's the interpretation I'm taking away.
 
More thoughts on the finale after the break... Spoilers coming, obviously.
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<p>Pee-wee and Chairy</p>

Pee-wee and Chairy

Credit: HBO

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 64

Dan and Alan talk 'Parks and Recreation,' Pee-wee and answer some mail

The

 

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
Come in and pull yourself up a chair. It's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg podcast.
 
With lots and lots of new things premiering in the weeks to come, this is probably our last Reader Mail-centric podcast for a while. Along the way, we talk about HBO's Pee-wee Herman filmed show, chat about "Parks & Recreation" and "Shameless" and we discuss antiquated sweeps periods, the importance of promotional goodies in press kits and semi-arbitrary basic cable rules for standards and decency.
 
Lots to talk about!
 
Here's the breakdown:
"Parks & Recreation" -- 01:10 - 09:50
"The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway" -- 09:50 - 18:05
Listener Mail - The Sweeps System -- 18:20 - 24:43
Listener Mail - "Shameless"  -- 24:55 - 35:05
Listener Mail - Media kits and promotional items -- 35:10 - 45:15
Listener Mail - Out-of-synch pop culture references -- 45:15 - 49:45
Listener Mail - Basic cable language/nudity -- 49:50 - 58:30
Listener Mail - Fictional characters on "The Amazing Race" -- 58:40 - 01:02:40

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>'Freaks and Geeks'</p>

'Freaks and Geeks'

'Freaks and Geeks' highlights from PaleyFest2011's 'Undeclared'/ 'Freaks & Geeks' reunion

What did the castmates say about the absent James Franco?
After the "Undeclared" half of Saturday (March 12) night's "Undeclared"/"Freaks & Geeks" reunion at the William S. Paley Television Festival, there was a brief intermission, followed by the triumphant return of Iris Apatow.
 
"Is everybody having a good time?" she asked. "Would you like to watch the last 'Freaks and Geeks' or the 'Real Housewives of New Jersey'?"
 
The crowd voted for "Discos and Dragons," which was probably a relief to Iris, who may not actually have had access to any entry from the "Real Housewives" family.
 
"We're so proud of the show and so depressed that none of us will ever do anything as good again," Judd Apatow said, leading things off.
 
As a contrasting perspective, series creator Paul Feig said, "I'm in awe and shocked that we were able to make 18 episodes."
 
Highlights of the "Freaks and Greeks" PaleyFest Panel after the break... As many as I can remember, since it's 3:30 a.m. now...
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<p>'Undeclared'</p>

'Undeclared'

Credit: FOX

'Undeclared' highlights from PaleyFest2011's 'Undeclared'/ 'Freaks & Geeks' reunion

Jason Segel jokes, Charlie Hunnam's video message and more...
Attendees at the William S. Paley Festival scored a daily double on Saturday (March 12) night.
 
A typical PaleyFest event is scheduled for 7:00 and by the time the preliminary videos and introductions are over, it's close to 7:30. You show an episode of a drama series and that's 44 minutes. The moderator introduces the panel and each person associated with the series basks in the adulatory glow. Since the panels then end between 9 and 9:15, you're lucky if you get 45 minutes for questions from the moderator and from the audience combined.
 
Saturday's event was listed as "Freaks and Geeks"/ "Undeclared" Reunion, but what fans actually got was an "Undeclared" reunion, complete with an aired episode and a 45-minute Q&A, followed by a break and then a "Freaks & Geeks" reunion, complete with an aired episode and an hour Q&A. Instead of walking out at 9:10, the audience rolled out at 10:35. Other than those with dinner reservations or plans to meet family arriving this evening from out-of-town, it's doubtful that there will be any complaints.
 
Moderated by Judd Apatow, both panels featured nearly every imaginable cast member from their respective shows and stars who couldn't attend sent video messages. Anybody who has dug into the respective DVD sets for these two classics already knew what happens when you put a group of them in a room together. There were jokes, anecdotes and mockery aplenty.
 
That also means that many of the best parts of both panels came as asides and casual exchanges, the sort of moments best dealt with in highlight bullet-points, rather than in some grand recap of the two panels together, where I try to fabricate a thesis that goes deeper than, "Here are two of the best shows in TV history. Neither one lasted a full season. Everybody loves them now."
 
So click through for the highlights from the "Undeclared" panel, followed by "Freaks & Geeks" highlights in a second post...
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<p>Russell Hantz of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'</p>

Russell Hantz of 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Russell Hantz talks 'Survivor: Redemption Island'

Notorious villain praises Boston Rob and Matt, savages his tribe
Russell Hantz didn't come to his third "Survivor" tour of duty as a changed man. 
 
No, he didn't bury any machetes or burn any socks on "Survivor: Redemption Island," but he immediately engendered hostility with his tribe's other Alpha males, forged bonds with the youngest and cutest of his fellow castaways and if he'd just convinced one player to flip to his side, he could have been off on another long, probably fruitless run. 
 
But stubborn Julie didn't flip. Not only did Russell fail to make it to the finale for the first time in his "Survivor" career, not only was he voted out of the game for the only time in his "Survivor" career, but he was the first player from his tribe eliminated. Ouch. Then, vowing revenge against his entire tribe, Big Evil Russell went to Redemption Island and was swiftly vanquished by Prince Valiant Matt. Ouch.
 
When I last talked to Russell, it was in the aftermath of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" and the guy was rather bitter. Talking to him after this latest ouster, Russell was bitter, but also... logical. 
 
Check out my full interview after the break and tell me if the guy wasn't making sense on a few key things... 
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<p>A scene from the 'Greek' finale</p>

A scene from the 'Greek' finale

Credit: ABC Family

A few thoughts on the series finale of 'Greek'

ABC Family's college dramedy wraps its four-season run
For nature, spring is a time of renewal. For TV, spring is a time of renewals, but also of cancellations. Fans spend a lot of time saying "Good-Bye" each spring as favorite shows end their runs, sometimes abruptly and sometimes on their own terms. 
 
The result is that some shows get gala send-offs and other shows get more intimate farewells. We'll dedicates weeks of interviews and columns and podcasts to the departure of something like "Friday Night Lights." We'll devote introspection and discussion to the last episodes of something like "Big Love." We'll ponder the significance of the waning moments of a low-rated network show that hovers on the bubble, shows that may or may not return.
 
But not every show gets an extensive celebration. Not every show gets a parade. In certain pockets of the Internet, Monday's series finale of ABC Family's "Greek" received loving recognition. In other corners, it's something that never happened at all. 
 
And you know? That's probably fair. "Greek" was a show that served a key purpose in the evolution of the ABC Family brand, but it's also a show the network largely left behind several years ago, with fairly low ratings to match. You could argue that "Greek" probably had at least one bonus season, if not two and that, like "Friday Night Lights" to some degree, it ended several seasons and half-seasons with what could have just as easily been series finales if they'd needed to be. "Greek" was a fine show, but not a great show. But it was also never a show that I thought of as a guilty pleasure. 
 
I liked "Greek" and the finale that aired on Monday (March 7) matched the series perfectly: It broke no new ground, but it respected and rewarded loyal viewers, offering a few laughs and a couple sentimental sniffles along the way.
 
A few thoughts on the "Greek" finale after the break and then I'll open the floor to see if folks have any comments...
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<p>Virginia Madsen of 'The Event'</p>

Virginia Madsen of 'The Event'

Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 63

Dan and Alan talk 'The Event,' 'American Idol' and answer some mail

The

 

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
Time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We're a bit all over the place this week. We talk about the return of NBC's "The Event," the finale of "Greek" and spend a lot of time discussing "American Idol." We're both pretty confident y'all will think we spent too much time on "American Idol," but we aren't going to be doing it as a weekly segment this season, so it may be a while before we talk about "Idol" in any depth.
 
We also answered a quartet of Listener Questions.
 
Here's the breakdown:
 
The return of "The Event" -- 00:40 - 10:54
The finale of "Greek" -- 11:00 - 15:00
"American Idol" -- 15:05 - 34:00
Listener Mail - TV scores -- 34:30 - 39:30
Listener Mail - Detrimental supporting characters -- 39:30 - 46:00
Listener Mail - What interests us in pilots -- 46:10 - 50:15
Listener Mail - The fate of "Mad Men" -- 50:15 - 55:35

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...