Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 232

Dan and Alan discuss talk 'Crossbones,' 'Undatable,' 'Hannibal' and 'Mad Men'

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Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls! Time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast!

I'm in London on work. The audio quality in the podcast sucks. Sorry. Deal with it. It was either that, or we didn't talk about "Hannibal" and "Mad Men" and the various new shows that, frankly, we don't especially care if you watch or don't watch, since they're either not especially good, or we haven't seen enough of them to know for sure. 

But we definitely wanted to talk about the "Hannibal" finale, which capped off a terrific season, and the "Mad Men" midseason finale, which was a spectacular ending to a small chunk of episodes that doesn't quite seem like a season or a half-season.

Here's today's breakdown:
"Undateable" (00:01:20 - 00:10:30)
"Crossbones" (00:10:30 - 00:17:20)
"Halt and Catch Fire" (00:17:30 - 00:25:20)
"Hannibal" finale (00:25:40 - 00:43:30)
"Mad Men" midseason finale - (00:43:35 - 01:05:30)

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 or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 

 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

 

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<p>The &quot;MasterChef&quot; judges</p>

The "MasterChef" judges

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: '24,' 'Bachelorette' lead a slow Memorial Day Monday split

'MasterChef' is down from last summer's premiere

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 26, 2014.

FOX's "24: Live Another Day" and the premiere of "MasterChef" were down from last week and last summer respectively, but still helped FOX lead Monday night among young viewers, while ABC's "The Bachelorette" helped that network win overall despite its own week-to-week drops.

Want to know what was up from last week on Memorial Day? CBS' "Friends with Better Lives" was up, at least overall, though it was down in the key demo, as was NBC's return for "American Ninja Warrior."

There were lots of ugly numbers on Monday. Let's get to them...

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<p>&quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot; winner Tony</p>

"Survivor: Cagayan" winner Tony

Credit: CBS

Interview: Tony Vlachos talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

The season's winner on Trish, Idol-finding and Russell Hantz

The most memorable player in any give "Survivor" season is more a function of editing than of outwitting, outplaying and outlasting, so it stands to reason that there's absolutely no reason why the Sole Survivor should also be the Most Memorable Survivor.

When it comes to "Survivor: Cagayan," however, there will be no doubt: It was the season of Tony Vlachos.

The Jersey Cop build alliances, tore alliances apart, schemed, conspired, swore on loved ones, swore on his badge, found Idols, used Idols and bluffed with Idols. He also wasn't quiet about his domination of the game. Tony wore a target on his chest for 39 days and other players either chose to work with him, chose to vote other people out first or actively, in the case of Woo, carried Tony with him.

Woo's decision to bring Tony rather than Kass with him to Final Tribal will be debated as long as people debate "Survivor," but for a while it looked like a good move. The Jury was angry at Tony and one castaway after another stood up and criticized him and the spat vitriol at him. The Final Tribal concluded with 4th place finisher Spencer making a long, passionate speech in Tony's favor, but right up until the reading of the votes, it looked like it might be close.

It was not close.

Tony beat Woo 8-1, with only Tasha favoring Woo. 

I had a ton of questions for Tony, but a couple really long answers left me unable to ask a few good ones. Oh well. Tony's answers are thoughtful and, for the most part, do a good job of restating his convincing case as the season's dominant player and character.

Check out the full Q&A...

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<p>FOX&#39;s &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

FOX's "Gotham"

DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Monday Nights

'Gotham' and the maybe-or-maybe-not triumphant return of Katherine Heigl mix things up

[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]


MONDAY NIGHTS

8:00 p.m.
ABC: "Dancing with the Stars"
CBS: "The Big Bang Theory" and "2 Broke Girls," "Mom"
The CW: "The Originals"
FOX: "Gotham"
NBC: "The Voice"

9:00 p.m.
ABC: "Dancing with the Stars"
CBS: "Scorpion"
The CW: "Jane the Virgin"
FOX: "Sleepy Hollow"
NBC: "The Voice"

10:00 p.m.
ABC: "Castle"
CBS: "NCIS: Los Angeles"
NBC: "The Blacklist"/"State of Affairs"

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'Maleficent' star Elle Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting

'Maleficent' star Elle Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting

Why was Aurora from 'Sleeping Beauty' her Disney favorite

Elle Fanning's appreciation for Aurora, the heroine of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," began in childhood and, at least initially, was based on the superficial similarity.

"Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite princess," Fanning told me last week, explaining that the shared long, blonde hair created immediate kingship.

Now, the 16-year-old Fanning is getting closer-than-ever with Aurora, playing the impressionable young princess opposite Angelina Jolie's title character in Disney's "Maleficent."

"Maleficent" gets to the root of the wicked (or just misunderstood?) sorceress' animus toward Aurora, while delivering many of the moments that "Sleeping Beauty" fans will expect.

"There would be some days where literally I'd get into my costume and I'd sleep all day," Fanning laughs.

In our conversation, Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting, but also the key to expressing wonderment at magical worlds that are represented only by tennis balls or strings of light on-set. 

Check out the full interview above.

"Maleficent" opens on Friday, May 30. 

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TV Ratings: FOX's NASCAR coverage leads Sunday as deceased 'Believe,' 'Crisis' dip
Credit: AP

TV Ratings: FOX's NASCAR coverage leads Sunday as deceased 'Believe,' 'Crisis' dip

NBC can be relieved that 'American Dream Builders' is over

Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 25, 2014.

The first Sunday of TV's summer delivered predictably low numbers across the board, with FOX's coverage of the Sprint Cup in Concord dominating the night in all measures. 

Not-so-shockingly, despite a near-total lack of competition, NBC wasn't able to attract any new eyeballs to the already-cancelled-trinity of "American Dream Builders," "Believe" and "Crisis."

And otherwise, Sunday was a dud.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Woo of &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Woo of "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Yung 'Woo' Hwang talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

Second place finisher expected the final vote to be closer

Martial arts instructor Yung "Woo" Hwang hoped that his integrity would be worth a million dollars in last week's "Survivor: Cagayan" finale.

After a relatively uneventful 38 days in the game, Woo scored a key victory in the season's Final Immunity Challenge, which left him to decide whether he wanted to go to the Final Jury against Kass, presumably easily beatable, or Tony. Although there was the sense that Tony had played this season's most aggressive game, Woo made the surprising decision to take his Brawn alliance-mate to the end. Or perhaps it was BECAUSE there was a sense that Tony had played the season's most aggressive game. 

Put in position to make a game-changing decision for the first time this season, Woo decided he wanted to rest his laurels on Honor, taking Tony because Tony deserved to go to the end and Kass didn't, or so he said. 

After some signs of bitterness at the Final Tribal, the Jury ended up agreeing with Woo's opinion, but not his strategy and, by a vote of 8-1, they gave Tony the Sole Survivor status. 

In his exit interview, Woo discusses his slight surprise at Tony's margin-of-victory, his possible social failings and the highlight of his season, a Reward win that included bringing school supplies to local children.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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<p>&quot;Madam Secretary&quot;</p>

"Madam Secretary"

Credit: CBS

DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Sunday Nights

How will 'Madam Secretary' and FOX's live-action comedies change things?

[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]

SUNDAY NIGHTS

7:00 p.m.
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos"
CBS: "60 Minutes"
FOX: "The OT," "Bob's Burgers"
NBC: NFL Pre-Game

8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Once Upon a Time"
CBS: "Madam Secretary"
FOX: "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
NBC: Sunday Night Football

9 p.m.
ABC: "Resurrection"
CBS: "The Good Wife"
FOX: "Family Guy," "Mulaney"
NBC: Sunday Night Football

10 p.m.
ABC: "Revenge"
CBS: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"/"CSI: Cyber"
NBC: Sunday Night Football


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<p>Kass of &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Kass of "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Kass McQuillen talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

How would Man-Kass have done? And what about Woman-Tony?

If you read my interview with "Survivor: Cagayan" 4th Place finisher Spencer Bledsoe, you saw one approach to the "Survivor" experience. Spencer was circumspect, critical of his strategy and admitted that he would have voted for Tony, the season's winner, over himself.

Today's exit interview, with 3rd Place finisher Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen, takes a different approach. Kass thinks she played the same game as Tony only with a different gender, she thinks Spencer and the other losing castaways were arrogant and she thinks that the "Survivor" finale live vote suggesting Woo would have easily beaten her was "revisionist." 

Kass thinks there's a double-standard when it comes to female "Survivor" players, particularly for moms, and she's confident that a male version of Kass would have won the season. 

And I'm not saying that she's wrong. In fact, on much of it, she's probably right.

In our sometimes contentious exit interview, Kass discusses the performance of Man-Kass, takes exception to the use of the word "goat" and isn't especially pleased with the nickname "Chaos Kass" either. I got a bit bogged down in trying to point out things about her social game and I apologize for what was a much-too-long digression about her decision to flip off the departing Trish in front of the whole Jury.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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<p>Friday&#39;s &quot;Hannibal&quot; finale</p>

Friday's "Hannibal" finale

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Hannibal' finale adds a few viewers on a tight Friday

'What Would You Do?' premiere, 'Blue Bloods' among Friday leaders

Fast National ratings for Friday, May 23, 2014.

The first Friday of the summer featured a tie among young viewers and nearly a three-way tie overall. The few notables included a tiny overall bump for the "Hannibal" finale, an OK premiere for ABC's "What Would You Do?" and "Blue Bloods" attracting the night's biggest audience

On the negative side, whatever small audience The CW miniseries "Labyrinth" had in its first part dwindled in its second and FOX's encores continued to barely even get a sampling on Fridays.

NOTE: It was a slow Friday and all Fridays will likely to continue to be slow until September. As a result, I won't be doing Friday Fast Nationals through the summer, which has been by general policy over the years. If anything notable airs on a Friday, I can always check in. Normally I would have stopped after last Friday, but I wanted to make sure I finished out the "Hannibal" season.

On to the numbers...

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