Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
Haggis, whiskey, kilts and bagpipes come into play in Scotland
I feel, and I'm sure that 18th Century Scottish poet Robert Burns would agree with me, that people who don't like haggis are fundamentally untrustworthy.
Sure, you can hear what haggis is and get a little freaked out. If you're a wimp. I mean, haggis isn't anymore terrifying as a concept than most sausage products and it's a good deal less sketchy than most hot dogs that regular folks nosh on all the time. But if you want to hear "It's offal stuffed in a sheep's stomach and get freaked out? I guess that's fine.
But once you have bite of haggis, steaming, meaty and rich, if you make a face and call it "awful"? Sorry. You're just not entitled to the finer things in life.
In that spirit, I'd like to say that leaving aside which team did or didn't actually get eliminated in Sunday's (April 28) "Amazing Race," Derby Moms Mona and Beth have been eliminated from my heart. And they were never actually in my heart, since through 10 Legs, I remain incapable of telling them apart or giving any minor differentiating detail about their personalities, either as individuals are a pair.
No, I'm intolerant of haggis intolerance.
[Full recap after the break.]
Always quotable Favorite talks Three Amigos, The Specialist and more
Malcolm didn't fare nearly as well on "Survivor: Caramoan." The X Factor among the returning Favorites, Malcolm had only two weeks between his seasons and he wasn't the dominating force he was the first time around. He also never had the strong alliance he had the first time around, when he paired with eventual winner Denise from the first day. Instead, he found himself forming an minority alliance with Alpha Males Reynold and Eddie, who were outsiders in the Fans tribe from the start.
Still, despite never having a power position or any real traction, Malcolm made things interesting. Malcolm found two Hidden Immunity Idols and used both of them in a dramatic move to take Phillip "The Specialist" Sheppard out of the game. That came one week after Malcolm got Reynold to hand him another Idol in an ultimately unnecessary attempt to shake up the game.
Regrets? Malcolm's got a few and, as always, he shares them with good humor.
Click through for discussion of the Three Amigos, The Specialist and his between-seasons conditioning strategy...
What's the prognosis for 'Nikita,' 'Hannibal,' 'Parks and Recreation' and more?
Welcome, dear readers, to what is always the largest photo gallery of the year. Apologies, as always. I hope the effort put into the text somewhat compensates for the clicking.
And it could have been even bigger. By waiting as long as I did to put this gallery together -- It's actually a few days earlier than last year's gallery
, which was a surprise to me -- CBS was able to renew nearly everything, The CW was able to renew most of its no-brainers and FOX was able to guarantee additional seasons of things like "Raising Hope" and "The Mindy Project."
It could have been much bigger. If a show was pulled with episodes remaining, you can assume it's cancelled. So "Cult"? Dead. "666 Park Avenue"? Hopefully those unaired episodes will pop up this summer, but for now? Dead. Ditto with "Zero Hour." "Do No Harm"? Dead. No slides for any of those. And I didn't include slides for shows like "Emily Owens, MD" and "The Last Resort," which did air all of their episodes, but won't be back.
"Dancing with the Stars" will be back, but it doesn't have a slide, because I don't care. There are a couple of reality shows like that, probably. "Biggest Loser"? Sure it'll be back if NBC wants, but whatever.
Anyway, let's get down to business. Check out the full BubbleWatch 2013 gallery, which goes in order by network, starting with ABC....
Does 'Idol' have a surprise up its sleeve to keep things interesting?
For weeks now, "American Idol" fans have been wondering how the competition plans to handle what appears to be an extra week of programming beyond what could be justified by an elimination-per-episode pace.
Will we get a two-week finale?
Will we have a Non-Elimination Episode?
Will we get a Save that isn't followed by a Non-Elimination Episode?
The latter possibility would *seem* to be out of the question unless "Idol" is changing the Save rules without warning.
So will Angie Miller, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison or Amber Holcomb actually be going home on Thursday? Or are we going to be treated to performances from Lee Dewyze and Stefano Langone, followed by some trickeration.
Click through and follow the excitement.
The 'Survivor' auction leads to brains and peanut butter and a clue
Pre-credit Sequence. How will things change in the aftermath of the elimination of The Fun Sponge? Will fun magically reign? There's a bat in the trees and the Alphas are gloating. "With the execution of The Specialist Phillip Sheppard, I think Stealth R Us hopefully is going to fracture," Malcolm says. "If those six people stick together, I don't have a chance in this game," Malcolm adds. "The stability has been rocked out of the game," Erik says, relieved that he's finally allowed to talk to people Phillip didn't want him talking to. Erik figures that he has the ability to switch to whatever alliance he wants to. He's got options! And if there's anything more exciting that Erik deliberating on his options, I can't wait to see it.
Amber, Angie, Candice and Kree are getting closer to the end
We're down to four on "American Idol" - Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison.
I don't have a clue what that means in terms of the upcoming elimination schedule. It confuses me. It's the sort of thing that would keep me up nights, were insomnia not already doing the job.
Wednesday (April 24) night's show will apparently feature a pair of themes -- One Hit Wonders and Personal Choice -- as well as a pair of duets.
Click through and follow along as the magic happens.
Dan and Alan talk 'Rectify,' Amazon pilots and more
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
It's time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
With only one new show premiering this week -- Sundance's exceptional "Rectify" -- this was going to be a short podcast. But then we watched four of the Amazon.com comedy pilots and suddenly it became a long podcast, albeit not as long as last week's.
Funny how that happens.
"Rectify" (00:00:50 - 00:14:55)
Amazon pilots including "Zombieland," "Onion News Empire," "Browsers" and "Alpha House" (00:15:00 - 00:43:15)
Listener Mail: Changing episodic structure (00:43:35 - 00:51:05)
Listener Mail: Successful summer dumps (00:51:45 - 00:57:00)
"Suburgatory" finale (00:57:00 - 01:12:35)
"Mad Men" (01:12:40 - 01:36:10)
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 as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
The teams head to Germany and prove they know nothing about the Cold War
Sunday's (April 21) installment of "The Amazing Race" was definitely one of those Legs that would be much more fun for the people participating than for those of us sitting at home on our couches.
I realized that as Joey from Team YouTube made his way through the Roadblock, which basically asked one player from each pair to navigate the "American Horror Story" opening credits, which were set up in the back of a Berlin bar.
Joey, as he does, kept emitting high-pitched squeals of pleasure and he insisted that this was the best Roadblock in "Amazing Race" history. I'm sure it was amusing for the people actually doing it, because they kept comparing it to being high, but for me sitting at home, it was just a confusing, seizure-inducing mixture of blinking neon, arbitrary fright masks and other exposed oddities edited together without any sense of physical space. I don't have a clue how easy or hard the labyrinth was to traverse, nor a clue how long it was taking anybody to do. A couple people were making it look hard, but I don't know what they were doing wrong. And because the maze was obviously at least somewhat small and limited, there was no opportunity for anybody to gain or lose an advantage.
From the perspective of a dude sitting at home on his couch watching on TV and hoping to enjoy the drama of The Race, it was a dreadful Roadblock. From the perspective of a shrieking YouTube sensation? Awesomesauce.
[More after the break...]
The Specialist talks Malcolm, Brandon, Boston Rob and Stealth R Us
Phillip Sheppard makes a lot of sense.
The former federal agent, who dominated much of the screentime in this "Survivor: Caramoan" season with his Stealth R Us alliance-building, his increasingly heightened conflicts with Brandon Hantz and his ongoing devotion to Boston Rob, was voted out on Wednesday (April 17) night's episode in a Tribal Council shocker.
Phillip's certitude has never wavered in his two "Survivor" seasons and it isn't a surprise that he sees Malcolm and the Alphas' big Tribal Council move as a validation of his strategic strength, rather than a condemnation of his "militaristic" dictatorship.
It also isn't surprising that my question about whether or not he regretted any of his interactions with Brandon led Phillip to basically answer a different question.
But a lot of what Phillip had to say in his exit interview makes a fair amount of sense.
Click through for the full conversation...
Which of the women received the fewest votes?
Having dispatched with five underwhelming men, it's time for America to get down to the more difficult business of picking a winner from this extremely solid all-female Top 5. I could look at all of the remaining singers and make an argument for how they might score the "Idol" crown, but I could also easily list weaknesses for all five.
It's anybody's game. Let's get down to recapping!