<p>Nate Torrence of 'Mr. Sunshine'</p>

Nate Torrence of 'Mr. Sunshine'

Credit: ABC

HitFix Interview: Nate Torrence talks 'Mr. Sunshine'

Star discusses his ABC comedy, plus his 'Studio 60' and commercial work
Like many TV viewers, I first noticed Nate Torrence in a commercial.
 
But was it his national spot for Capital One? Or another national ad for Volkswagen? Or spots for Golden Grahams? Or Enterprise Rent-A-Car? 
 
There was definitely a period where practically every ad break seemed to feature Torrence in some live-wire capacity, which can be a difficult box to escape from. Torrence's has made a full transition thanks to a regular role on Aaron Sorkin's short-lived "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," as well as scene-stealing turns in features like "Get Smart" and "She's Out of My League."
 
Torrence can currently be seen reuniting with "Studio 60" colleague Matthew Perry on ABC's new comedy "Mr. Sunshine," in which he plays Roman, the goofy, endlessly enthusiastic estranged son of Allison Janney's arena owner Crystal.
 
"Mr. Sunshine" premiered last Wednesday to solid numbers after "Modern Family" and I chatted with Torrence earlier this week about his character, about moving past "Studio 60" and, yes, about the commercial work which established his early career.
 
Click through for the full interview...
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<p>Oscars hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway</p>

Oscars hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway

Credit: ABC

HitFix Interview: Bruce Cohen and Bruce Vilanch tease the Oscars

What will James and Anne do? And how will it be different from the Globes?
If you watch any ABC programming at all, you probably know that James Franco and Anne Hathaway are in the midst of extensive training for their gig hosting the 2011 Academy Awards on Sunday, February 27.
 
The youthful hosts may be doing Oscar curls and preparing for speedy bathroom breaks and potential wardrobe malfunctions, but they're hardly the only ones preparing for the ceremony. 
 
On Tuesday (Feb. 15), I grabbed a few minutes of phone time with the Oscar telecast's extremely busy head writer Bruce Vilanch and with Bruce Cohen, who will be producing along with Don Mischer.
 
The conversation should mostly whet your appetite for the February 27 telecast on ABC, providing a hint of what to expect from the two hosts, as well as how the tone of the Oscars will differ from last month's Ricky Gervais-hosted Golden Globes.
 
Click through...
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<p>Forest Whitaker of 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior'</p>

Forest Whitaker of 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior'

Credit: CBS

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 60

Dan and Alan talks Grammys, 'Mad Love,' 'Suspect Behavior' and more

The

 

Happy Monday, Niños y Niñas!
 
Time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
We have lots to talk about this week, including reviews of CBS' "Mad Love" and "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior," a peek-in on ABC's "No Ordinary Family," plus some thoughts on the return of "Survivor," Sunday's Grammys and the phenomenon of stunt casting.
 
Here's the breakdown:
The Grammys -- 01:00 - 08:30
"Mad Love" -- 08:30 - 20:15
"No Ordinary Family" -- 20:20 - 28:20
"Survivor: Redemption" --  28:25 -  39:00
"Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" -- 39:20 - 52:00
Reader mail/Stunt-casting -- 52:00 - 01:02:10
 

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...

 

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<p>Kyle Chandler of 'Friday Night Lights'</p>

Kyle Chandler of 'Friday Night Lights'

Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 59 - 'Friday Night Lights' Finale Edition

Dan and Alan discuss the series run of 'Friday Night Lights' for the duration

The

 

Happy, but melancholy Thursday, Boys & Girls!
 
It's time for a special All-"Friday Night Lights" Finale installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
There's no need for a time breakdown because all 84 minutes of this podcast are dedicated to the world of Dillon (East & West) high school football and its surrounding drama. 
 
If you haven't seen the "FNL" finale, which aired on Wednesday on DirecTV, DO NOT LISTEN. Whatever there is to spoil, we spoil it. Just wait until you've watched on DVD or NBC or whatever viewing option best fits your fancy.
 
And a special "Thanks!" to all of the readers who sent in questions for the podcast. The response was overwhelming and the questions were pretty fantastic. We must have answered 10 or 15 of them during the podcast and I'm sure several others inspired us in tangential conversations. 
 
Anyway, if you like this type of podcast, we'll probably do it again in the future when one of our favorites departs. This May? An All-"Chase" Finale Firewall & Iceberg!
 
Here's the podcast. If you're an "FNL" fan, we hope you enjoy!
 
 

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...

 

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<p>'Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy'</p>

'Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy'

Credit: History

TV Review: History's 'Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy'

Larry doesn't quite have the ignorance-to-enlightenment balance right
I admire Daniel Lawrence Whitney more than I like Larry the Cable Guy. 
 
Larry the Cable Guy is the comedy circuit sensation and "Cars" vocal star, but Daniel Lawrence Whitney is the ridiculously savvy self-promoter who realized that by crafting an entirely affected blue collar image he could become a zillionaire. Obviously it's reductive to say that Larry the Cable Guy is popular because of his fake accent, his designer sleeveless flannels and his assortment of baseball caps. There's no doubt that his material has also struck a chord with a large swath of the population and ignoring that material and its resonance would be doing Larry a great disservice. Still, I watch Larry the Cable Guy and what he does feels only slightly different from the lower income white equivalent of performing in blackface. It's not like Larry the Cable Guy is really some rich banker's son from Vermont, but he's become richer than that banker's son through some mighty aggressive pandering.
 
And Larry the Cable Guy hasn't made his money by pandering to me, which is almost certainly to his benefit. 
 
Suddenly, though, Larry is popping up on the History Channel with a new show called "Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy," which premieres on Tuesday (Feb. 8) night. In terms of venue, this is probably Larry venturing out of his comfort zone, though he hasn't changed his persona at all to cater to a History Channel audience (whatever that happens to mean). "Only in America" is a Larry-centric travelogue and if you like Larry, you'll probably like "Only in America." And if you don't? Well, Larry isn't making accommodations to you. Best case scenario, your reaction will be something along the lines of, "Well, it wasn't as bad as I expected."
 
I watched the first two episodes of "Only in America" and I don't suffer through two hours of programming if I'm not going to at least write a few words, so click through...
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<p>Timothy Olyphant of 'Justified'</p>

Timothy Olyphant of 'Justified'

Credit: FX

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 58

Dan and Alan talk Super Bowl, 'Justified,' 'Mr. Sunshine' and more

The

 

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
Time for the week's first of two Firewall & Iceberg Podcasts.
 
As we teased last week, we've got a "Friday Night Lights" finale podcast going up on Thursday. I haven't edited a couple pieces together yet, but it's going to be roughly 75 minutes of nothing but "Friday Night Lights." We covered a ton of grounds, because y'all asked a ton of great questions.
 
But first? It's our post-Super Bowl episode, with a discussion of Sunday's commercials and halftime show, some chatter about "Glee," some chatter about the return of "Raising Hope" and then reviews of FOX's "Traffic Light," ABC's "Mr Sunshine" and the second season premiere of FX's "Justified."
 
Here's the breakdown:
The Super Bowl commercials and halftime: 01:20 - 23:45
"Glee" - 23:45 - 32:10
"Raising Hope" - 32:45 - 38:00
"Traffic Light" - 38:00 - 42:45
"Mr. Sunshine" - 42:45 - 47:40 
"Justified" - 47:45 - 58:30
 
 

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 here's the podcast...

 

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<p>We think this man is rooting for the Green Bay Packers. But we could be wrong.</p>

We think this man is rooting for the Green Bay Packers. But we could be wrong.

Credit: David J. Phillips/AP

Live-Blogging Super Bowl XLV - Commercials, football and more

HitFix celebrates the Packers and Steelers by live-blogging the ads

The Game: Super Bowl XLV.

The Teams: The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.

The Beer: Blue Moon, for some reason.

The Dip: French Onion.

The Rooting Bias: Go Packers, though I'm not gonna get worked up about it.

The Commercial-driven Live-Blog: After the break...

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<p>The cast of FOX's 'The Chicago Code'</p>

The cast of FOX's 'The Chicago Code'

Credit: FOX

TV Review: FOX's 'The Chicago Code'

Shawn Ryan's cop drama is network TV's best midseason show
Part of me wonders if The Powers That Be on FOX's "The Chicago Code" wouldn't just as soon get predominantly negative reviews for their midseason drama.
 
This isn't going to be one of those "Do critics really matter?" reviews, because the answer to that question is, "Of course critics matter, our voices are clearly the most importantest in all the world and we should remain gainfully employed whether we work on the Internet or on those paper things you can still get in some cities." Duh.
 
But as much as Shawn Ryan may have enjoyed reading kindly reviews for FX's "Terriers" -- It made my Top 5 for 2010 and dozens upon dozens of other Top 10 lists --  those reviews didn't exactly bring in the sort of audiences that would get the show a second season on Tulsa Public Access, much less on FX. We miss you, "Terriers."
 
And as much as FOX probably appreciated that the last time the network premiered a new drama on Mondays at 9 p.m. after "House," some critics -- myself included -- called it the best new network pilot of the fall, not only did it not turn "Lone Star" into a hit, it didn't get "Lone Star" past two episodes. In theory, we miss you, "Lone Star," though with only two episodes as a sample size, it's hard to miss you all that much.
 
So maybe FOX and Shawn Ryan would appreciate a little reverse psychology? Maybe this would be a perfect opportunity to cover up my true enthusiasms for "The Chicago Code" to write a harsh, negative review. It might make me feel guilty and disingenuous, but I also can't help but feel that all of the vitriol I spewed about "Harry's Law" was responsible for making it NBC's first semi-hit in months, either directly or karmically.
 
Let's give this a try:
 
"The Chicago Code" is pretty much like every cop show out there. The writing isn't at all distinctive and the use of Windy City locations doesn't help produce any sort of flavor for the series, which could pretty much be set anywhere. The performances are all forgettable, especially Delroy Lindo, who most certainly isn't one of the most charismatic small screen villains in some time. I'm definitely not clamoring to see additional episodes of "The Chicago Code," because it definitely isn't the best midseason show you'll see on network TV. Definitely.
 
Got that, casual TV viewers? This elitist critic says that "Chicago Code" really isn't the kind of show you'll like, or at least that's the view from my jade tower (ivory is so 1995). I'm ever-so-sorry if hearing that makes you suspect it might be exactly the sort of show that you'd love and I'm ever-so-sad that I'm just one man and there's nothing I can do to prevent you from individually tuning in and drawing your own conclusions. If you've gotta tune in and check it out yourself, you've gotta do it.
 
Now I'll kindly ask those anti-critic casual viewers not to click through for more extended thoughts on "Chicago Code."
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<p>Delroy Lindo of 'The Chicago Code'</p>

Delroy Lindo of 'The Chicago Code'

Credit: FOX

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 57

Dan and Alan review 'The Chicago Code' and answer a pile of reader mail

The

 

We're back, Boys & Girls!
 
Time for the triumphant (or semi-triumphant) return of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
After a one-week hiatus while I was standing in line in the snow at the Sundance Film Festival, the podcast is back, albeit with a somewhat odd podcast this week. With no new premieres, we pushed "The Chicago Code" up a week and reviewed that. It's stuck in a sandwich made up of things we missed last week and a solid 30 minutes of listener mail.
 
Next week? LOTS of premieres, plus the "Friday Night Lights" series finale to discuss.
 
But for this week?

The breakdown:
Two-week catchup (including Sundance, Charlie Sheen and recent awards shows) - 00:01:20 - 00:20:00
"Chicago Code" - 00:20:00 - 00:29:00
Listener Mail (with spoilers), including:
Shows that hit peaks in later seasons - 00:31:00 - 00:36:25
Shows that damaged themselves with unresolved finales - 00:36:30 - 00:44:45
Importance of International Value - 00:45:00 - 00:47:40
Character Deaths - 00:47:40 - 00:55:55
Will Ferrell coming to "The Office" - 00:56:00 - 01:04:00
 

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.]

 
And here's the podcast...

 

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<p>Mila Kunis on the SAG Awards red carpet</p>

Mila Kunis on the SAG Awards red carpet

Credit: AP

Live Blogging the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Who will take home the Actors? Follow along at home...

Click through for the full live-blog of the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards...

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