<p>Kathleen Robertson of &quot;Boss&quot;</p>
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Kathleen Robertson of "Boss"

Credit: Starz

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 99

Dan and Alan review 'Boss,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Man Up' and more


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
Time for Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 99.
We have no "Breaking Bad" to discuss this week. So sad.
We do, however, have reviews for a slew of new shows, including Starz' "Boss" and ABC's "Man Up" and "Once Upon a Time." We also answer mail and some of that mail touches on... "Breaking Bad." Whew.
Here's the breakdown:
"Man Up" -- 02:15 - 13:15
"Pearl Jam Twenty" -- 13:15 - 21:35
"Boss" -- 21:40 - 32:45
"Once Upon a Time" -- 32:45 - 42:40
Listener Mail: Showrunners winging it -- 42:50 - 48:30
Listener Mail: Unintended meaning -- 48:40 - 52:45
Listener Mail: Critic aggregator sites -- 52:50 - 57:15
Listener Mail: Baseball's impact on FOX -- 57:20 - 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>&nbsp;Liz and Marie, or perhaps Marie and Liz, no definitely Liz and Marie of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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 Liz and Marie, or perhaps Marie and Liz, no definitely Liz and Marie of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'This Is Gonna Be a Fine Mess'

The teams head to Phuket and face a difficult Detour
I guess I should give thanks to Wednesday's baseball rain delay for pushing "The X Factor" to Sunday and allowing me the rare opportunity to check out "The Amazing Race" in HD for the first time this season (and maybe only the second or third time in total).
"The Amazing Race" still looks fantastic in HD and I wonder if the HD shift was at least partially responsible for bringing Jerry Bruckheimer back into the winners' column at the Emmys last month. This week's episode included a scratching monkey, beautiful floating cities and fetching (but still indistinguishable) sunburnt Twins Liz and Marie, all in HD. The Detour task with the windblown rainbow umbrellas was also made for high definition.
So yeah, either this recap is going to be all about the beauty of "The Amazing Race" in HD, or I'm going to be force to spend a while grumbling, because we've had four episodes this season and only two of them have ended with a team (or teams) going home.
Yup. It was another Non-Elimination Leg. Even if it saved a team that I like looking at, you'll have to forgive me if I'm not enthused.
Full recap after the break...
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<p>Enrique Iglesias and Nicole Scherzinger of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Enrique Iglesias and Nicole Scherzinger of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - 'Judges' House #2' Live-Blog

More performances from France, Malibu, The Hamptons and Santa Barbara

FOX really isn't making it easy to keep up with the schedule for "The X Factor." Sunday (October 16) night's episode is the episode that was really supposed to air on Thursday, except that Thursday's episode was really Wednesday's episode due to playoff baseball. But you know how "X Factor" really airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays? Well, this week it'll air on Tuesday, because the World Series is airing on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Does that all make sense? Don't worry. Expect oodles of reminders during Sunday's episode, which'll be live-blogged after the break...

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<p>Stacey and &quot;Survivor&quot; host Jeff Probst</p>
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Stacey and "Survivor" host Jeff Probst

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Stacey Powell of 'Survivor: South Pacific'

Straight-talking mortician has more to say about Benjamin and his alliance
Before her Duel on Wednesday (October 12) night's "Survivor: South Pacific," Stacey Powell must have sensed she was heading home, so the 44-year-old Texas mortician decided to go out with a bang.
In the latest in which has become a quickly established tradition of Pre-Duel Rants, Stacey exposed her tribe's core alliance, revealing Coach as the strategic ringleader. But Stacey refused to refer to "Coach," repeatedly calling him "Benjamin," much to Jeff Probst's amusement. [Coach's subsequent in-camp temper tantrum proved that Stacey had smartly targeted a sore spot.]
Stacey's actual loss in the Duel with Christine wasn't nearly as memorable, but perhaps Stacey is best remembered for an admirable effort in the strength competition that preceded her eventual elimination, an effort that remains a clear point of pride.
In our exit interview, Stacey and I discussed Benjamin, Brandon and the failings in her social game.
Click through for the full interview...
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<p>Rihanna and L.A. Reid of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Rihanna and L.A. Reid of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - 'Judges' House #1' Live-Blog

Rihanna and other surprise mentors join our judges

It's Thursday (October 13) night, but it's time to settle in for Wednesday night's episode of FOX's "The X Factor," an introduction to the Judges' House round of mentorship. Simon Cowell has great sway at FOX, but he isn't powerful enough to stop the rain or to prevent weather-based preemptions in the American League Championship Series.

So let's get down to business and maybe we'll see all the fun ways in which "The X Factor" is different from "The Voice"... Click through for the full live-blog.

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

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'Taste the Victory'

Pig-eating, herpes-joking and blindsiding on 'Survivor'
Normally I've been waiting until Pacific Time to recap "Survivor" this season, but with baseball postponing FOX's "The X Factor," I get to dispatch "Survivor" on the early side tonight.
Click through for the full recap...
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<p>Kaylani and Lisa of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Kaylani and Lisa of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Kaylani & Lisa talk 'The Amazing Race'

The Vegas Girls talk Twitter, clue-reading and their brief 'Race' run
For a team that only competed on "The Amazing Race" for only three episodes, Kaylani Paliotta and Lisa Tilley had a memorable journey.
The Las Vegas-based former showgirls finished near the back of the pack in the season's first leg, but they got a disproportionate amount of premiere-night screentime after Kaylani dropped her passport at a gas station and had to rely on the kindness of Twitter-wielding strangers to retrieve the key document.
The following week, as team after team failed to notice a key clue at an Indonesia orphanage, Kaylani & Lisa were one of only three pairs with the eye-for-detail necessary to complete the task properly.
Of course, that advantage lasted only as far as this past Sunday's (October 9) episode, when a difficult Roadblock sent Kaylani & Lisa to an emotional elimination, with a crying Kaylani earning host Phil Keoghan's reassurance that she hadn't disappointed her young daughter back home.
In our exit interview, Kaylani & Lisa discussed their standout "Amazing Race" moments...
Click through for a full transcript...
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<p>The cast of ABC's &quot;Last Man Standing&quot;</p>
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The cast of ABC's "Last Man Standing"

Credit: ABC

TV Review: ABC's 'Last Man Standing'

ABC decides to target men with a dreadful new Tim Allen sitcom

ABC, a network with no actual interest in male viewers, is launching what might generously be called "The Lamentation of the 21st Century Male, A Symphony in Three Quickly Cancelled Movements."

The first movement, premiering on Tuesday (October 11) night is the Tim Allen sitcom "Last Man Standing." It isn't funny. The second movement, premiering next week, is the ensemble "Man Up," which is less unfunny than "Last Man Standing," but still not likely to win any passionate fans. The symphony, which deserves to remain unfinished, may or may not wrap up with the cross-dressing disaster "Work It," which could stay permanently on the shelf without disappointing or surprising a single TV critic.
It's a fundamentally weird thematic block. 
Outside of Saturday football and the legitimate crossover appeal of something like "Modern Family," men aren't even afterthoughts at ABC. They're total non-factors. If the Contemporary American Male is feeling alienated and disenfranchised, it has nothing to do with the alleged "mancession," an economic blip that has been statistically irrelevant for over a year. It has to do with networks like ABC. 
If there's any network on TV that I wouldn't trust to develop a comedy about the plight of the American Male, it would be The CW, but ABC would be a close second. 
[Note: The Modern American Male hasn't actually been emasculated or disenfranchised. Trends are fun to jump upon and embellish, but perish the thought anybody should take any of the silliness spewed in "Last Man Standing," "Man Up" and "Work It" seriously.]
So a network that doesn't know (or care) what men like or want to watch on TV is attempting to make a TV show (or three) about how men feel neutered by contemporary American society? 
And it's somehow surprising that all three upcoming ABC "Manliness Comedies" don't have a clue what they want to be or who they want to be for?
"Last Man Standing" is either a show aimed squarely at men who would never watch a show like "Last Man Standing," or else it's a show aimed at people who like to laugh contemptuously at the kind of man featured in "Last Man Standing." That is to say that "Last Man Standing" actually hasn't the faintest idea whether or not it's making an earnest statement about the state of modern masculinity or if it's mocking people who might make such statements earnestly. As a result, I don't know if the joke is on society or on the main character, but the joke is probably on the audience looking for any sort of targeted mirth at all.
More on "Last Man Standing"...
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Credit: AMC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 98

Dan and Alan review 'Walking Dead,' 'Last Man Standing' and talk 'Breaking Bad'


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls. 
It's time for the season's final "Breaking Bad"-centric installment of The Firewall & Iceberg podcast.
Starting next week, the podcast will cease to have any kind of reliable structure.
It's a tragedy, really.
So expect plenty of "Breaking Bad" finale talk, but first we've got a slew of reviews including looks at the new seasons of "Bored to Dead" and "The Walking Dead," plus random conversations about early cancellations and our favorite recent "Simpsons" episodes.
This week's breakdown:
"Bored to Death" -- 01:00 - 8:30
"Enlightened" -- 8:30 - 20:15
"Last Man Standing" -- 20:20 - 27:00
"The Walking Dead" -- 27:00 - 36:40
Cancellations -- 37:00 - 45:30
"The Simpsons" renewal -- 45:00 - 01:00:30
"Breaking Bad" finale - 01:00:30 - 01:24:44

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>Amani and Marcus of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Amani and Marcus of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Don't Lay Down on Me Now'

From rice fields to an ancient temple, the teams find lots to do in Indonesia
Sunday (October 9) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" was an odd one, wasn't it?
Part of me is annoyed by the amount of sharing that went on at the Roadblock and the fact that I couldn't begin to explain to you exactly why the eliminated team was eliminated.
But most of me wants to celebrate an episode that was competitive throughout, where the results were in doubt until the last second, and a leg that ended with an emotional moment that I really wouldn't have predicted ahead of time.
So "Don't Lay Down on Me Now" was certainly my favorite "Amazing Race" episode so far this season, but who has time to over-analyze Sunday's installment when there's a "Breaking Bad" finale starting in 20 minutes?
Apologies, kids, but there's gonna be a rushed-through recap after the break. Priorities!
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