Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg
Teams head pho pho away to Vietnam
Well, I guess you pulled a fast one this time, "The Amazing Race," but I don't think you'll be able to get away with that again.
Sunday (March 17) night's "Amazing Race" installment was able to maintain at least a modicum of tension to the very end due to the producers' [correct] sense that viewers at home wouldn't necessarily know the show's rules. We the exact same situation ever to be repeated in a later episode, there's no way that that episode could be edited this same way, because we're all wiser now.
So... Thanks for the "Amazing Race" rules lesson, "The Amazing Race."
More after the break...
Don't expect any apologies from the latest 'Survivor' bootee
You probably aren't expecting any apologies from "Survivor: Caramoan" castmember Brandon Hantz after the events featured on Wednesday's (March 13) episode.
And you won't get any in this exit interview.
On Wednesday's episode, after threatening all season long to raise ruckus at camp if things went against him, Brandon poured out his tribe's beans and rice, upended furniture and got into several shouting matches with Phillip Shepard. This led the Favorites tribe to decide to forfeit the next Immunity challenge in an effort to get out from under Brandon's dark cloud, which prompted an unprecedented battlefield Tribal Council moderated by host Jeff Probst and devolving into another Brandon-Phillip shouting match.
In his exit interview, I asked Brandon if he felt regret or the need to apologize. He does not. I asked if he felt any concern about making his teammates including Andrea and Dawn cry. Half-and-half. I asked if he felt the other castaways were in any danger. He does not.
Anyway, you can judge Brandon's words for yourself.
Full Q&A after the break...
Sundance doc really shouldn't be compared to 'Fog of War'
When I reviewed "The World According to Dick Cheney" at the Sundance Film Festival after my second viewing of the Showtime documentary, I mentioned the conversation I'd had at the TCA Press Tour with director R.J. Cutler and how out-of-synch our perceptions of the movie -- a film I really like -- seemed.
At Sundance, I bumped into Cutler and while he was [mostly] pleased with my [mostly] positive review
, he didn't remember our chat as being so fueled by disagreement.
Going back over the interview transcript in advance of the Friday, March 15 premiere of the very intriguing "The World According To Dick Cheney," I take the blame for most of the head-butting. I had two pages full of questions and the one I led with was built around a personal assumption and, perhaps as a result, I didn't get past that first question on my sheet.
In setting me straight, Cutler discusses what drew him to Cheney and what fascinated him about the exhaustive interviews the former Vice President sat for. He also discusses why "The World According To Dick Cheney" is absolutely, positively not "Fog of War."
Click through for the full Q&A...
Results, plus Bon Jovi and Phillip Phillips take the 'Idol' stage
In recent years, "American Idol" voters have followed a similar pattern: Get to the Finalists and then start picking off the women. In a season that the judges and most reasonable viewers would agree has been dominated, thus far, by the female singers, will things be any different?
After all, without a White Boy With Guitar, who will voters flock to?
Let's see what we can learn!
Everything goes to hell
Pre-credit sequence. The Fans return to camp. Laura is gone and Shamar is gone and Matt thinks this will be a turning point. "The game got simplified," Reynold says. Sherri is emotional at losing Laura, who reminded her of her daughter. "It was a point of division," says Reynold, claiming that he's glad he doesn't have his Idol anymore. "I hope you don't think I was taking jabs at you guys and your alliance," Reynold tells the rest of the tribe, but Matt and Mike know that there's another Idol out there and Reynold could find it again and be a threat again. Or something. As we know from CBS' relentlessly spoiler-y promotion, all of this stuff with the Fans is going to be totally irrelevant.
It's our first Wednesday Performance Night for the Finalists
I don't fully understand Wednesday (March 13) night's "American Idol" theme... But I'm concerned anyway.
Music of the American Idols? Really?
Let's see how this goes...
Why the heck didn't they use the Express Pass?
If you watched C-SPAN last week, you learned a lot about the important role of filibustering in American democracy.
And if you read my "Amazing Race" exit interview with John Erck and Jessica Hoel, you can learn a lot about the important role of filibustering in conversations with reporters.
John & Jessica had one of the most notorious Legs in "Amazing Race" history on Sunday, going home with the all-powerful Express Pass still in the pocket, having misread the competitive circumstances at both sides of a Detour and then at a Roadblock.
I had many questions about John & Jessica's Race, which started with them winning the first Leg and ended in ignominy, but if you look at the transcript, you'll see that two of their answers took up the majority of our interview time. Both of those epic answers are very illuminating into what their mindset was in that last Leg and why they made the decisions they made, but those two answers kept me from discussing things like the random stranger they started working with when they went to the wrong house at the start of the Detour, John's repeated insistence that he has a strong eye for detail, what, if anything, the Leg told them about the way they relate as a couple or what they'd thought about Phil's "Oy vey" response.
So it goes!
Check out the full Q&A below...
Angie, Devin, Lazaro, Curtis and more share their hopes and dreams
The annual "American Idol
" Finalists party is one of my favorite red carpet events to cover. It's simultaneously wildly chaotic and yet efficient, as publicists take great pains to make sure reporters get a few minutes with each of the singers. And, let's be honest, you don't need a 30-minute sit-down with each of these kids. It's just a good chance to get in a few key questions like...
And... Since Paul Jolley
is the only contestant capable of continuing the "Idol" White Boy With Guitar winning streak... Can Paul actually play the guitar?
And... What's Devin Velez
's mother gonna do the first time one of the judges criticize him?
Click through the interview gallery -- they're all very brief -- for these answers and more! It'll make you just a bit more in-touch with the Top 10 when they perform on Wednesday (March 13) night.
Dan and Alan talk 'Survive and Advance,' 'Justified,' 'SNL' and more
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
Time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Last week, we had nothing to talk about, but it ended up being our longest podcast ever.
This week, we had very little to talk about, so we kept things short, or at least relatively short. We answered some mail, caught up on "Justified," chatted about the state of "Saturday Night Live" and whatnot.
Next week? Much busier!
30 For 30's "Survive and Advance" (00:01:30 - 00:11:35)
"Justified" check-in (00:11:45 - 00:29:15)
"Saturday Night Live" check-in (00:29:15 - 00:39:30)
Listener Mail: Pilot casting (00:39:45 - 00:45:45)
Listener Mail: DVR impact on advertisers (00:45:50 - 00:50:20)
Listener Mail: Rotten Tomatoes for TV (00:50:40 - 00:53:35)
Listener Mail: "Walking Dead" and spoiler-y "Previously on" segments (00:53:35 - 00:59:40)
Sports Blather (00:59:50 - 01:04:50)
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.
Monkeys and mental blunders domination a fun episode
I was already in the tank for Sunday (March 10) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" before it began. Based on the monkey-heavy teaser and the title "I Love Monkeys!" there was precious little chance that I would have negative things to say about at least one portion of this Leg, which counts as a major plus in a season that has been initially lackluster.
Fortunately, not only did the Leg get off to a very strong start thanks to the promised-and-delivered monkeys, but it also closed well, with a concluding 20 minutes positively glutted with mind-boggling decisions and interpretations that left me yelling at the screen with frustration, confusion and amusement.
In the middle? Yes, there was yet another weak Detour that contributed heavily to the end-of-Leg drama, but didn't amount to much as challenges themselves. That wasn't so good. But even if I'd just been ambivalent on the rest of the episode, the end-of-hour Phil-ism would have pushed it into positive territory. In this case, it made a "good" episode "very good."
Recap after the break...