<p>Mr. Thistleton of &quot;Prep &amp; Landing: Naughty vs. Nice&quot;</p>
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Mr. Thistleton of "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice"

Credit: ABC

HitFix Interview: Chris Parnell talks 'Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice' and 'Suburgatory'

'SNL' veteran talks animation, holiday favorites and reuniting with Ana Gasteyer
You've all heard the song: Santa Claus, he who is coming to town, is making a list and checking it twice and you may also have heard that he's able to ascertain the difference between people who are naughty and people who are nice.
 
But what if Santa Claus no longer had a reliable system for differentiating between good children and bad children?
 
That's the timeless conundrum explored in ABC and Disney's "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice," sequel to 2009's "Prep & Landing," which won four Emmys, including Outstanding Animated Program.
 
The new special features many of the characters from the original, but also introduces a slew of new characters, including Mr. Thistleton, creator of the vast database that enables Santa to find out who's naughty and also who's nice.
 
Voicing Mr. Thistleton is "Saturday Night Live," "Archer" and '30 Rock" veteran Chris Parnell, who's rapidly becoming an ABC favorite with "Naughty vs. Nice" and a recurring role on the network's freshman comedy "Suburgatory."
 
Click through for my conversation with Parnell, who talks about holiday classics, Disney magic and reuniting with Ana Gasteyer...
 
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<p>Jeremy and Sandy of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Jeremy and Sandy of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'We Are Charlie Chaplin'

Wire-walking, shoe-making, costume-wearing and a shocking conclusion
Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron" is set in a 2081 in which all Americans have been mandated equal by virtue of a series of Constitutional amendments. The truly exceptional are equipped with handicaps, while the mediocre are sometimes elevated to positions far above their natural abilities, all in the name of this equality.
 
The world of "Harrison Bergeron" has nothing to do with the world of CBS' "The Amazing Race" and the results of Sunday (December 4) night's "Amazing Race" really weren't analogous to anything in "Harrison Bergeron." 
 
And yet, "Harrison Bergeron" came to my mind immediately as Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode ended and I looked at the last line of my notes, which read "Sometimes it sucks to be better than everybody else." 
 
That was my takeaway from Sunday's episode, though clearly there are better takeaways like, "You can only get away with being careless and not-so-bright for so long on a Race that occasionally rewards attention-to-detail," but that theme was ultimately less relevant than the first.
 
Sunday's episode was about the triumph of entirely accidental teamwork and the results came through a circumstance I'm pretty sure we've never seen before on "The Amazing Race."
 
Click through for a discussion of Sunday's episode...
 
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<p>Whitney Duncan of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Whitney Duncan of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Whitney Duncan and Dawn Meehan talk 'Survivor: South Pacific'

More discussion of Cochran's flip and Coach's Cult
Another week, another "Survivor: South Pacific" exit interview with the tattered remnants of the formerly strong Savaii tribe.
 
As was the case with Jim & Keith two weeks ago, my latest exit interview is a twofer of evicted castaways who left the game grumbling about John Cochran and his apparently unsuccessful defection into the temporary warmth of Coach's Cult.
 
In this interview we've got frequently insecure Mormon college professor Dawn Meehan and not-especially-bashful country crooner Whitney Duncan, who had some of the harshest (most pixelated) words for Cochran after his flip-flop.
 
What do the two newest Jury members have to say about Cochran, Coach and Ozzy?
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
 
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<p>Tom Hardy of &quot;The Take&quot;</p>
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Tom Hardy of "The Take"

Credit: Encore

TV Review: Encore's 'The Take'

HitFix
C+
Readers
A
Tom Hardy fights a thin script and derivative direction in this British mini
You and your cadre of in-the-know film-loving buddies may love and revere Tom Hardy.
 
Hollywood agrees, setting up Hardy's Next Big Thing status with upcoming movies like "This Means War" and a sure-to-be-showy supporting turn in next summer's "The Dark Knight Rises."
 
Most Americans don't have the faintest clue who Tom Hardy actually is. 
 
Yes, he's the guy from "Inception" who isn't Leonardo DiCaprio, who wasn't on "Third Rock From the Sun," who wasn't a villain in "Batman Begins" and who wasn't the girl from "Juno." That's a thin layer of recognition, but it's nebulous.
 
For a few minutes, it looked like "Warrior" might be Hardy's breakout. Word out of early screenings was rapturous and a small circle of critics was briefly convinced that if "The Fighter" could earn Oscars and blockbuster status last year, the time might be perfect for a blue collar MMA "Rocky." Perhaps the decision to position "Warrior" for credibility, rather than visceral thrills led to a box office take somewhat short of what "The Smurfs" pulled in by the end of its first afternoon.
 
But if you missed Hardy's spectacularly creepy performance in "Meadowlands" (or "Cape Wrath," as it was called before Showtime decided American audiences couldn't handle such an awesome title), or his spectacularly psychotic performance in "Bronson," or his memorable, but spectacularly brief, performance in "RocknRolla," you haven't run out of chances to be the last person on your block to "discover" Tom Hardy.
 
If you can wait a couple more weeks, Hardy has one of the showier supporting performances in Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," an evocative slow-burn adaptation of the John Le Carre espionage classic. But it's a good enough movie and its cast is ridiculously deep enough that Hardy only registers as an afterthought. 
 
Perhaps that's why Encore has scheduled the American premiere of the British miniseries "The Take" for this month: "The Take" is offers the fully immersive Tom Hardy experience. It takes less than four hours to watch the entire series and when it's over, there's really no way to talk about anything or anybody other than Hardy. I don't think that speaks particularly well for "The Take" as an overall television experience, but if you've looked at Hardy and had "What's the big deal?" doubt -- meaning you definitely haven't seen "Bronson" -- this should clear things up.
 
A few words on "The Take," which premiered on British TV back in 2009, after the break...
 
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<p>Marcus Canty performed on Thursday night's &quot;X Factor&quot;</p>
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Marcus Canty performed on Thursday night's "X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Results Live-Blog - Another Double Elimination

America and the judges cut the 'X Factor' field to the Top 5

Are we ready for another "X Factor" double-elimination?

I'm not sure if I am. Yes, I know exactly which two performers I'd eliminate this week -- Chris and Marcus, I'm looking mournfully at you -- but I don't expect that they're the two singers America is likely to eliminate, resulting in almost inevitable disappointment.

Using this picture of Marcus is a spoiler risk. I understand that. His chances of departing are fairly high. But it's such a colorful and lively picture that I had to use it. 

Click through for my live-blog of tonight's elimination proceedings, including a performance by British rapper Tinie Tempah, who I couldn't pick out of a lineup. 

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Watch: Tina Majorino teases her 'Bones' return

FOX's animated 'Napoleon Dynamite' will premiere in January
When I sat down for my video conversation with Tina Majorino back in September, it was actually to discuss her return as Deb in the FOX animated adaptation of her Sundance smash "Napoleon Dynamite."
 
However, the "Veronica Mars" and "Big Love" veteran had just completed a visit to "Bones," reprising her role as Special Agent Genevieve Shaw.
 
Majorino first played Shaw last season in the episode "The Hole in the Heart" and her second episode, "The Male in the Mail" will air on Thursday (Dec. 1) night on FOX. 
 
Entirely coincidentally, FOX also finally announced today that "Napoleon Dynamite" has a premiere date, specifically Sunday, January 15. 
 
I'll run the rest of my interview with Majorino a little closer to the "Napoleon Dynamite," but while she wasn't all that specific about "Bones," she was endearing enough that I really wanted to run the clip.
 
So check it out...
 
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<p>Rick of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Rick of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'Cult Like'

Once again, Cochran finds himself scurrying to upset the apple-cart
Pre-credit sequence. The Te Tuna tribe arrives back at camp after eliminating the last of the Savaii stragglers (unless you count Cochran). Coach warns that it's time for his happy little cult (not his words) to begin devouring itself. Edna's a little worried. Cochran's a little more worried. "After surviving another night, I am aware that the family could turn on me at any moment," Cochran says, even dropping a "Helter Skelter" reference.
 
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<p>Drew of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Drew of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Top 7 Michael Jackson Night Live-Blog

Facing another double-elimination night, none of the acts are ready to beat it

We're down to the Top 7 on "The X Factor" and this season has taken a very predictable shape.

Paula Abdul's three Groups are all gone.

Nicole Scherzinger's Over-30s have been trimmed down to only Burrito Josh.

Both Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid have their full complement of Girls and Boys remaining, so expect the frenemies to continue their not-so-passive-aggressive bickering from across the Pepsi-laden judges' table.

On the bright side, "The X Factor" won't attempt to stretch the seven contestants out across two hours.

On the dark side, that newly freely 30 minutes will be used for the premiere of the dismal sitcom "I Hate My Teenage Daughter." My recommendation? Enjoy "X Factor" and then head over to ABC for a "Happy Endings" repeat that features a really hilarious Penny storyline.

Click through for the full recap of Michael Jackson Night...

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<p>Bill &amp; Cathi of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Bill & Cathi of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Bill & Cathi talk 'The Amazing Race'

From near-elimination to 5th place, the 'older' Racers share secrets
While Bill and Cathi Alden were the last team to reach Phil Keoghan in September's season premiere of "The Amazing Race," it looked like they were going to be the latest in a long line of "older" teams to make early exits from the CBS favorite.
 
Instead, the 60-something married grandparents were spared by the first Non-Elimination Leg of the "Amazing Race" season and rather than falling to the back of the pack again, Bill & Cathi went off on a run of solid legs that took them all the way to the Top 5.
 
Yes, Bill & Cathi were eliminated on Sunday's (Nov. 27) episode, but not before winning a slew of admirers, including Keoghan, their fellow Racers and one Belgian weightlifting judge, who was especially impressed with Bill's wiry physique. 
 
Whether climbing rock walls, churning butter or carrying beds on their backs, Bill & Cathi never seemed like anything less than the equals of their younger rivals.
 
Bill & Cathi discuss their "Amazing Race" experience after the break...
 
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<p>&quot;I Hate My Teenage Daughter&quot;</p>
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"I Hate My Teenage Daughter"

Credit: FOX

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 104

Dan and Alan review 'Neverland,' 'Teenage Daughter,' 'The Exes' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls.
 
After two weeks without reviewing anything new, we're back in reviewing mode with a new TV movie, a new miniseries and two new comedies this week. 
 
Woo!
 
We also discuss the fall finale of AMC's "Walking Dead" and debate what constitutes a "valuable" player in the National League.
 
This week's breakdown:
"Innocent" (04:00 - 14:30)
"I Hate My Teenage Daughter" (14:40 - 25:40)
"The Exes" (25:45 - 33:30)
"Neverland" (33:30 - 41:00)
A few words on "Arrested Development" and Netflix (41:00 - 47:20)
Random Sports Blather (47:20 - 54:30)
"The Walking Dead" (54:30 - 01:05:20)

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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