<p>ABC&#39;s &quot;Mixology&quot;</p>

ABC's "Mixology"

Credit: ABC

TV Review: ABC's 'Mixology' is a toxic brew

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ABC thinks this will work after 'Modern Family.' ABC is wrong.

Never begin a relationship with a lie. 

That's not wisdom I got from watching ABC's new sitcom "Mixology," which actually preaches quite the opposite. "Mixology" strongly advocates that the best way to get laid involves some level of performativity or outright lying.

So maybe it's appropriate, actually, that "Mixology" begins literally every episode with a lie.

"This is the story of 10 strangers, one night and all the ridiculous things we do to find love," declares the opening voiceover to "Mixology."

My ass.

"Mixology" is as much about people on a quest for love as "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is about an archeologist on a quest for snakes. 

When you get down to it, "Mixology" is about 10 hateful people looking for sex, irrespective of the lack of chemistry between either the characters or the actors. Set across one night, "Mixology" is desperately invested in making you care whether or not sex will happen, but desperately uninvested in giving you any reason to care who it will happen between or why it will happen. "Mixology," thanks to its structure and its deadbeat assortment of characters, is about sex as horrifying and almost nihilistic inevitability.  

I've watched six episodes of "Mixology" and if it were a better show, you would think it might be attempting to subvert the pervasive practice of shipping among certain TV fans. Part of what makes certain shows popular is  audience members doing everything within their limited power to bring certain characters together, even if the rules of the show don't seem to be built around bringing those characters together. "Mixology," if it were actually intentionally subversive, might intentionally be functioning the opposite way.

Viewer: "But I don't WANT [Boring Man] and [Bitchy Girl] to get together."

"Mixology": "Tough. If they don't have sex at the end of 13 episodes, a nuclear bomb will be detonated in Valencia."

See, that's how you produce stakes in a show that has a ticking clock.

Will Jack Bauer save the West Coast from the rogue Secretary of State piloting a helicopter weighed down by Axe body spray canisters filled with herpes? I'll watch 24 hours of TV to make sure that doesn't happen.

Will 10 singles who probably tripped into a vat of Axe body spray, and may or may not be carrying herpes, get laid before the end of 13 episodes?  Somehow, I just can't bring myself to care. 

Maybe if "Mixology" were actually about characters finding love, rather than inevitably unsatisfactory -- a lot of booze is consumed -- humping, I could get behind that. "Romantic comedy" isn't my favorite genre, but when executed properly, I can often find enthusiasm. But romantic comedy is hard, because it really helps if you wish happiness, as opposed to misery, on at least one of the characters. 

No such luck here. 

So don't start with a lie. Nobody in "Mixology" could care less about love.

Now let's get down to an actual review, eh? I mean, I know that whenever I really, really hate something, y'all have to check it out, so you might as well know what you're checking out.

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'American Idol' Season 13 Finalists - The Boys talk to HitFix

'American Idol' Season 13 Finalists - The Boys talk to HitFix

Interviews with Ben, CJ, Sam, Dexter, Caleb and Alex

Last Thursday (February 20) night, "American Idol" narrowed its field from 20 down to the season's Top 13 and then, still gasping from the adrenaline rush of eliminations and jubilation, the Top 13 paraded up and down a blue carpet in Hollywood answering questions from reporters. 

I was on the spot with one of HitFix's ace videographers to brave the erratic blue carpet lighting and journalistic jostling and we were able to chat with all 13 of the finalists who will be performing together for the first time tonight.

Before Wednesday's episode begins, check out my interviews.

Up first? The six guys in the Top 13.

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<p>Peele and Key</p>

Peele and Key

Credit: Comedy Central

Key and Peele are coming to FX's 'Fargo'

Comedy Central stars will play FBI agents

In case you weren't already amused enough by the eclectic cast for FX's "Fargo," which features Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, Adam Goldberg, Glenn Howerton, Kate Walsh and more, the network announced on Wednesday (February 26) that Key & Peele are joining the cast.

Comedy Central stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele will join "Fargo" for a four-episode arc that lets them work together, playing a pair of FBI agents. 

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<p>Blake Shelton, Carson Daly and Shakira share a moment on &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

Blake Shelton, Carson Daly and Shakira share a moment on "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Low 'NCIS,' solid 'About a Boy' encore lead Tuesday while few play 'Mind Games'

'Glee' is off to a weak Tuesday start for FOX

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

CBS had its least-watched Tuesday of originals this season, but still captured the night overall with ease. Meanwhile, "The Voice" and solid encore performances for the pilots of "About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher" led NBC to victory among young viewers.

CBS' overall win broke a long streak for NBC, which had dominated primetime since the Olympics.

It was a weak Tuesday premiere for "Glee," which couldn't even approach the "Dads"/"Brooklyn" demo numbers from the fall.

Early returns also weren't great for ABC's "Mind Games." Some people will eagerly report that "Mind Games" did, at least, top last month's premiere for "Killer Women," but given that that drama launched with a sluggish "Trophy Wife" lead-in, "Mind Games" had a fairly robust two-hour "Bachelor"  priming the pump.

Finally, it was another big week for "Supernatural" and an OK week for "The Originals," though after spending the fall as near-equals, "Supernatural" has opened up a big lead. Most of that "Supernatural" advantage appears to be in male demos, so The CW probably isn't worried (especially with "The Originals" already renewed). ["Supernatural" also beat "Glee" in all young male demos.]

On to the numbers...

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 221

Dan and Alan talk 'Hannibal,' 'Americans,' 'Mixology' and much more

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!
 
We were supposed to do a Firewall & Iceberg Video Show today and a podcast tomorrow, but instead technical problems set in and so... All Podcast! We know. You're very sad. 
 
That means that we have reviews of NINE new and returning shows in this podcast. And we've got a couple shows we love! And a couple shows we hate! It really runs the gamut. 
 
And we talked just a little about the late, great Harold Ramis. Just because.
 
Here's today's breakdown:
Harold Ramis (00:01:25 - 00:05:00)
Weird NBC Moves (00:05:00 - 00:15:00)
"Mind Games" (00:15:15 - 00:21:50)
"Game of Arms" (00:21:50 - 00:27:40)
"Mixology" (00:27:40 - 00:35:15)
"The Americans" (00:35:20 - 00:42:30)
"The Red Road" (00:42:30 - 00:51:10)
"Vikings" (00:51:15 - 00:55:19)
"Hannibal" (00:55:20 - 01:03:30)
"Bates Motel" (01:03:35 - 01:08:25)
"Those Who Kill" (01:08:35 - 01:16:30)

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.

 

<p>Megan Boone plays dress-up on &quot;The Blacklist&quot;</p>

Megan Boone plays dress-up on "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: No Olympics? No problem, as 'Voice,' 'Blacklist' lead NBC Monday

'How I Met Your Mother' is strong, 'The Following' is weak
Fast National ratings for Monday, February 24, 2014.
 
Even without Winter Olympics coverage from Sochi, NBC extended its recent run of ratings domination with a big return for "The Voice" and an easy hourly win for "The Blacklist."
 
Without the Olympics, "The Bachelor" was able to regain some of its lost audience, which also boosted overall viewership for "Castle." 
 
CBS' comedy lineup came back with a solid "How I Met Your Mother" number, but much lower numbers for the rest of the Monday block, which were down double-digits.
 
The return of original programming meant another drop for FOX's sputtering "The Following," which is now well below lead-in "Almost Human" overall and tied with the freshman drama in the key demo.
 
And, finally, "Star-Crossed" was down a tiny bit from last week's premiere, settling in right at the usual "Hart of Dixie" number.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Poor Bopper!</p>

Poor Bopper!

Credit: CBS

Interview: Bopper discusses his 'Amazing Race: All-Stars' medical exit

Why is Mallory his 'perfect double'?

"The Amazing Race" has had twists that sent teams home before leaving Los Angeles, but no Racer has ever gone less distance than William "Bopper" Minton.

 

Sunday (February 23) night's "Amazing Race: All-Stars" premiere began with a sad twist for Team Kentucky. 

 

Bopper, a fan favorite who cheered for partner Mark through an arduous, health-testing Bollywood challenge in their first season, began experiencing internal pain the night before the Race was set to begin, was diagnosed with an inflamed pancreas and was told he shouldn't Race. Instead, Mark was paired, seemingly out of nowhere, with fellow Kentuckian Mallory, making her third appearance on the show, but her first without father Gary.

 

That's the narrative as presented by "The Amazing Race" on Sunday.

 

On Monday morning, I talked with Bopper about his medical condition, how he handled it and how the show handled it. Bopper explained his recent perfect storm of catastrophes and his relief that Mark was able to continue without him. He also noted why Mallory was the closest the show could find to another Bopper.

 

Click through for the full conversation.

 

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<p>Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads going into the last lap of the Daytona 500</p>

Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads going into the last lap of the Daytona 500

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Sochi Olympics Closing, Dayton 500 pace Sunday

Golf-pushed 'Amazing Race' premiere is underwhelming for CBS
Fast National ratings for Sunday, February 23, 2014.
 
Coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi concluded NBC's two-plus weeks of primetime sweeps on Sunday night, combining with a preview of the comedy "Growing Up Fisher" to give the network wins in all measures.
 
NBC had slightly more competition than expected on Sunday, as FOX's coverage of the Daytona 500 was delayed by rain and stretched into the entirety of primetime for the East Coast and well into primetime in the West, pushing FOX to second in most measures. NASCAR, in fact, managed to push FOX within 0.1 of NBC in young male demos, though NBC's overall win was comfortable. 
 
Against that tough competition, it's no wonder that Sunday's other notable piece of new programming, the 24th premiere of "The Amazing Race," was sluggish, though even that was impacted by sports, with a 13-minute golf delay on the right side of the country.
 
On to the numbers, which will be less-than-exact in the case of FOX and CBS.
 
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<p>Bopper and Mark of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Bopper and Mark of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' Premiere - 'Back in the Saddle'

After an initial shocker, the teams head to China
Season 24 of "The Amazing Race" started on Sunday (February 23) night with an episode that inverted the show's ideal momentum. There was a shocking, sad and emotional twist before we got to the opening credits, but then 50 minutes later, the episode concluded without any cursory effort at creating suspense or tension. 
 
And the editors couldn't have created tension even if they wanted to, as the "All-Stars" season began with a purely designed Leg featuring two needle-in-a-haystack -- not especially big haystacks, either -- plus a Roadblock that failed to inject even an iota of difficulty into the game. 
 
For a season that was already plagued by skepticism regarding the "favorite" status of several of the team selections, this was not an ideal premiere, now was it?
 
I'd love to have more to talk about from Sunday's hour, but it wasn't well-suited for recapping, either. 
 
I'll do my best after the break, but at a certain point, I'm probably just gonna stop to go watch "True Detective."
 
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Ryan Seacrest, Harry Connick Jr. talk on the 'American Idol' Top 13 blue carpet

Ryan Seacrest, Harry Connick Jr. talk on the 'American Idol' Top 13 blue carpet

Randy Jackson also discusses his new mentor role
On Thursday (February 20) night, as soon as I finished recapping the "American Idol" Top 13 results, I rushed up to Fig & Olive in Beverly Hills for the season's Top 13 party.
 
On the traditional blue carpet, I talked with all 13 of the finalists, 12 of the 13 in 1-on-1 interviews, about they challenges they're going to face this season and the challenges they've already faced. [Special kudos to Team HitFix's daring cameraman for braving the blue carpet's strange and erratic lighting system.]
 
In addition, many of the show's decision-making bigwigs came and talked to reporters in groups of four or five. We got host Ryan Seacrest, who I asked about the season's more substantive judging panel, and mentor Randy Jackson, who I asked about the itch of watching "Idol" performances without judging for the first time. We also got Harry Connick Jr., who I asked about raising the level of the discourse on the judging panel. [Keith Urban's few minutes fell victim to the problematic lighting, while Jennifer Lopez whizzed by my side of the carpet like she was a speed skater.]
 
Check out highlights from those three interviews above.
 
Stay tuned for my Top 13 interviews before next Wednesday's show!