Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
Latest castoff talks Corinne, Phillip and turkeys
If not for a major shift minutes before Tribal Council on Wednesday (April 10) night's "Survivor: Caramoan," not only would Michael Snow not have gone home, but his name probably wouldn't have been written down a single time.
The votes were supposed to go against Malcolm, but sensing a move to send her packing, Andrea urged her alliance to switch from a complicated, Favorite-alienating vote, to the seemingly more simple elimination of yet another Fan. And, indeed, it appears to have been easy enough to make that shift, as Michael departed the game with a blurred display of his middle finger and the kiss-off, "You Turkeys."
To some degree, Michael deserves credit for having made it past the Merge at all. He was the last Favorite standing from the three who made a straggling minority in the motley post-swap Bikal tribe, having watched Julia and best bud Matt go out earlier. And the writing was on the wall after last week's episode, in which Michael's fiercest ally, Corinne, was blindsided.
In his exit interview, Michael discusses the turkeys who voted him out, his relationship with Corinne and the one good thing about getting voted out early.
Will Lazaro go home or will we see the Judges' Save?
I thought I had it all figured out last week. I assumed that unless Lazaro Arbos went home, anybody left would receive the Judges' Save and be kept around. What I didn't count on was Lazaro finishing so high -- Top 3 and the producers probably know exactly how far up -- that the judges couldn't afford to keep Burnell Taylor for another week for fear of losing one of the five women in a double-elimination this week.
Instead, Burnell went home and we were treated to Lazaro's cover of "Close To You," which stands as one of the worst performances ever by a Top 10 finalist on "American Idol." I guess we would have been treated to that performance either way, though. Never mind.
But anyway... I'm started tonight's episode with the exact same assumption as last week: The only person going home tonight will be Lazaro. Any of the five women would get the Save.
Let's see how things play out...
An episode of heavy strategizing culminates in a wacky Tribal Council
Pre-credit sequence. When last we left our castaways, Corinne had just been unceremoniously blindsided. Now what? Monkey! Monkeys everywhere! It's like they've been waiting for Corinne to leave. Did Corinne eat monkeys? That would explain so much! "I look at last night as a victory," says Reynold, basically figuring even if his alliance fell flat, any time somebody other than him goes home, it's a win. Eddie and Reynold are beginning to recognize that they're female kryptonite, noting that any time a girl aligns with them, she goes home. Uh-oh. Stop cutting to Adorable Andrea. I don't like what you're implying, editors. "I am iron-clad with my guys, with Eddie and Malcolm," says Reynold, who decides that the time has come to flirt with Andrea. "I still have the only Idol that nobody else knows about," observes Malcolm. "They thought they cut off the head of the snake. They thought they killed the rebel leader, I guess. They don't know they missed yet," Malcolm says. I hope that's not foreshadowing. But I'm sure that between Andrea getting next to Poison Reynold and Malcolm's cockiness, something is sure to be foreshadowed.
It's a double theme night, as we get 12 performances
We're down to the Top 6 on "American Idol" and since the shows aren't getting any shorter, that means we're looking at a double-performance night. And with each singing going twice, we also have a pair of dueling themes.
We have that old "Idol" standby with Songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David -- I didn't have enough characters to get "Hal David" in this headline, but he's important, too -- and then we have the more ambiguous Songs I Wish I'd Written.
Wouldn't it have been cool if "Idol" had turned that second theme sideways and let any contestant with writing chops do a song they actually had written? Who amongst us wouldn't want to watch a full performance of Angie Miller's original? And I hear Janelle writes, too. Bring it on! Oh well.
On to the recap. Share your thoughts below...
Dan and Alan talk 'Da Vinci's Demons,' 'Shameless,' 'Justified,' 'Mad Men' and more
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! It's time for a busy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
With finales for "Shameless" and "Justified," premieres of "Veep," "Nurse Jackie" and "Da Vinci's Demons" and our first in-depth "Mad Men" discussion of the season, we went 90+ minutes and could have done much more except for scheduling restrictions.
It's unclear if next week's podcast is going to be delayed a day or two. We'll let you know when we know!
"Da Vinci's Demons" (00:01:10 - 00:18:00)
"Nurse Jackie" (00:18:15 - 00:28:45)
"Veep" (00:28:50 - 00:36:05)
"Justified" finale (00:36:40 - 00:48:35)
"Shameless" finale (00:48:40 - 01:03:30)
"Mad Men" (01:03:30 - 01:31:55)
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.
Also, we discuss why Peggy-Don 'shipping is just plain wrong
Across the six interviews I did with various stars of AMC's "Mad Men," I don't know if a single actual plot-point was spoiled. Matthew Weiner runs a tight ship.
The sixth interview probably could, in some hyper-sensitive circles, be considered a spoiler merely by the actor in question.
Yes, Elisabeth Moss is going to be back on "Mad Men" this season. I'm sorry if Peggy's presence in last season's finale didn't give that away, or if that fact was also unspoiled despite Moss featuring in both promotional images and trailers for the new season.
Elisabeth Moss and Peggy, Don Draper's favorite protegee, will be back on "Mad Men" this season.
Of course, you may have been fooled last spring when Peggy took a new job offer and abandoned Don and then Moss gave a number of interviews saying that she didn't know what was next for Peggy and that her fate was in Weiner's hands.
In this interview, Moss admits to perhaps a wee bit of lying last spring and discusses how Weiner told her about what was coming next for Peggy. We talked about the "Mad Men" culture of secret keeping and then we had a long back and forth about why it's strange people have to keep asking if Don and Peggy are eventually going to hook up.
Click through for the full conversation
She jokes 'I don't know what the hell I'm doing most of the time'
Back in January, if you'll recall, I interviewed January Jones
in Park City, Utah about her Sundance Film Festival premiere "Sweetwater" and I got to break the news of the "Mad Men" Season 6 premiere date to her.
At the time, although she hinted we'd get more Betty Francis this season, she couldn't tell me anything about what was coming up for Season 6.
Jones still wouldn't have been able to tell me anything when we sat down last month for a pre-premiere conversation, so we spent most of the time looking back and discussing the physical transformation Betty underwent last season. Here, Jones discusses her initial discomfort with the prosthetics and her fears about being used as a prop, as well as the ways in which the experience improved her acting.
Before talking to Jones, I had spoken with John Slattery, who wished he'd gotten to direct her more and said, "She has a way of making it look like it's all really happening in real time while we're shooting it and it's sorta wild to watch." So I made sure to talk with Jones about the immediacy of her process.
It's an interesting conversation and it won't spoil anything for you, so click through for the full interview...
Emmy favorite also talks about directing his second episode
When I sat down with Jon Hamm two weeks ago to chat about Sunday's (April 7) Season 6 premiere of "Mad Men," my first question was about the sense that as the show gets deeper into the '60s, Don Draper's polished image has begun to fray around the edges.
At that moment, Hamm seemed a little frayed himself. Yes, he still looked dashing enough to do a magazine photo shoot or walk a red carpet, but he was also clearly fighting off an unpleasant cold. After a day of interviews, his voice was raw and he was bundled up as if it were a January day in Manhattan, rather than a March day in Los Angeles, complete with a scarf that could be described as nothing less than jaunty.
Like a trooper, Hamm weathered my 10 minutes of questions, which marked the end of his interview schedule for the day. He had a good answer for my question about Don's fraying and also about the increased emergence of Dark Don in recent seasons. He talked about the process of directing his second episode.
And although you won't get any concrete spoilers out of anybody associated with Matt Weiner's Emmy-winning drama, Hamm dropped some hints about aspects of Don's past that may return or be explained this season.
Click through for the full Q&A.
Wednesday's blindside still stings for the 'Gabon' Favorite
Depending on whether or not you count Brandon Hantz's self-immolation as a formal "Survivor" elimination -- he was voted off, but not at a real Tribal Council -- it had been a long time since a Favorite went home in this second "Fans vs. Favorites" installment.
And if everything had gone according to plan, another fan was going to be sent packing on Wednesday's (April 3) episode. It seemed as if everybody had a tacit agreement that Sherri was going to be departing next, which worked out for several of the myriad secret alliances bubbling up post-Merge.
But then Corinne Kaplan told her increasingly insecure buddy Dawn about a not-so-hypothetical hypothetical situation in which she was joining with several of the Fans to turn around after Sherri's elimination and vote Phillip out. Remembering her failures in her own season, Dawn told Cochran about Corinne's plan and soon everybody knew and suddenly Corinne went from seemingly pulling all the strings to being blindsided.
Just another week on "Survivor."
In this week's exit interview, the always quotable "Survivor: Gabon" veteran discusses the pain of being blindsided, her confusion at Dawn's flip, her frustration at Erik's wishy-washy vote and being frazzled by Phillip's craziness.
Click through for the full Q&A...
Or has Don Draper's former adversary matured at all?
By now, you've probably read Denise Martin's Vulture interview
with a wonderfully animated Vincent Kartheiser, in which the "Mad Men" star shared his opinions on Twitter and bill-shredding, while also flicking paper footballs at his interrogator.
I had a different kind of interview with Kartheiser. In our conversation, the "Angel" veteran talks about Pete Campbell's development from Don Draper's dangerous wunderkind adversary to his current incarnation, a differently discontented man with a receding hairline, a double-chin and a growing realization that he's no longer the youngest man in the room.
Kartheiser talked about how his own maturation process hasn't always mirrored Pete's and he discussed a physical transformation that includes shaving back that hairline.
Throughout the interview, Kartheiser was tearing pieces of paper into one-inch-wide strips and the ripping sounds are frequently audible on my recording. It was only after hearing my colleague's story that I realized those strips were likely nascent paper footballs.
No projectiles were aimed in my direction. But I think it's an interesting interview anyway...