Inside TV+Movies with Daniel Fienberg

Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 12 - Two eliminations and Taylor Swift performs

Who got sent home after Wednesday's Diva Night performances?

<p>Carly Rose Sonenclar of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Carly Rose Sonenclar of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

After a weak Performance Wednesday on "The X Factor," I'm not sure if two eliminations on Thursday (November 15) night will be enough. We're just killing time on four or five acts at this point and any reprieve tonight may just mean that those survivors will have their Thanksgiving spoiled next week. Better to send them all home tonight and let those performers enjoy turkey.

I'm not sure which two will be tapped for elimination, but I'm pretty sure neither of them will be Carly Rose Sonenclar, so she's this week's recap cover-girl.

On to the full recap of eliminations and Taylor Swift after the break...

'Breaking Dawn' star Michael Sheen discusses Aro's laugh, Volturi bonding and his James Bond future

Powerful 'Twilight' vampire now sports a powerful mustache

'Breaking Dawn' star Michael Sheen discusses Aro's laugh, Volturi bonding and his James Bond future
In 2003, David Morrissey and Michael Sheen played Gordon Brown and Tony Blair in Stephen Frears and Peter Morgan's political drama "The Deal."
 
For some reason I find it funny that in the past two months I've talked with David Morrissey about hobnobbing with zombies on "The Walking Dead" and Michael Sheen about his latest tour of bloodsucking duty in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2."
 
There's nothing like an acclaimed British actor to add prestige to vampires, werewolves, zombies and more.
 
In "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," Sheen adds more than his respected pedigree. As Aro, telepathic leader of the vampire-ruling Volturi, Sheen adds impeccable menace and, once again, archly camp hilarity. 
 
In particular, Aro's laugh as become a weapon as finely honed as Jane's pain-infliction. That was the first thing I bought up when I sat down with the finely mustachioed Sheen, who explains the laugh's origin, even crediting franchise scribe Stephenie Meyer for assistance. 
 
In our conversation, we also discussed the off-camera bonding among the Volturi, his upcoming Showtime drama "Masters of Sex" [featured in this separate interview snippet] and, in jest one assumes, his James Bond future.
 
I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone. Expect one more as we get closer to Friday's (Nov. 16) premiere...

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Little Miss Perfect'

Loyalties are tested as Jonathan Penner scrambles once again

<p>Abi-Maria of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Abi-Maria of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS
Pre-credit sequence. I still don't understand Jonathan Penner's vote from last week's wacky finale. Let's see if we get an explanation as Dangrayne returns from booting Jeff Kent. Mike Skupin is the first to speak, calling it Tribal Council History, raving at Blair Warner stepping in to rescue him. Abi, though, is pissed off at everybody, sarcastically thanking Skupin for voting against her. He didn't. Penner, if you'll recall, did vote against Abi, and he doesn't deny it, saying he doesn't like to be kept in the dark on Plan Bs. Penner is, in fact, still trying to make sense of the overall vote. HAHA. We spent all that time last week trying to make sense of Penner's potentially passive aggressive vote to get Jeff Kent out? Nope. It turns out that he just didn't know the play. "So I'm the one who blew it by not voting for Pete?" Penner asks Man-Dana. He genuinely has no clue if he made a horrible mistake. That's really hilarious and I guess I appreciate his candor. Meanwhile, Blair Warner and Malcolm make bygones, though Blair Warner is feeling like in lying and betraying and breaking promises, she did herself a disservice. "You're just amazing," Blair tells Malcolm, thanking him for being magnanimous. "It's bigger than me," Blair Warner says of "Survivor." 
 

Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 12 - Songs of the Divas Performances

Yes, last week was also the Top 12, until it was 13

<p>How would Cece Frey respond to last week's close shave?</p>

How would Cece Frey respond to last week's close shave?

Credit: FOX

It seems like only a week ago that we sat down for Wednesday's "X Factor" Top 12 performances. 

Then the producers decided to Melanieamaro Diamond White back into the competition, giving us a Top 13, at least until Jason Brock was sent packing last Thursday night.

So now? Back to 12 again! Click through for the full recap...

How do Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone go from talking 'Twilight' to 'Joey' and 'We Bought a Zoo'?

The conversation starts with action scenes and goes in unusual directions

How do Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone go from talking 'Twilight' to 'Joey' and 'We Bought a Zoo'?
I'm going to insist that you watch this interview with Kellan Lutz and Jackson Rathbone all the way to the end. 
 
Yes, the two members of the "Twilight" Cullen family have a lot to say about "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" and actually getting to take part in some serious action for the first time in the franchise.
 
The bulk of the interview is, in fact, focused -- without any real spoilers -- on The Scene We Can't Discuss from "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the scene that distinctly isn't a part of Stephenie Meyer's book, specifically how they decided upon the appropriate fighting styles for Emmett and Jasper. 
 
But at the very end of the interview, we discussed what possible spinoffs built around their characters would be like and Rathbone's initial answer, and the pause as Lutz realizes the somewhat absurd reference his co-star was making, is kinda priceless. And unlike a lot of things from these "Twilight" interviews, I get the feeling that this isn't a conversation they had several dozen times during the junket day. 
 
Check it out!
 
I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed. Expect more as we get closer to Friday's (Nov. 16) premiere...

'Breaking Dawn' stars Elizabeth Reaser and Nikki Reed talk spinoffs for their 'Twilight' characters

What were the last days on set like for the actresses playing Esme and Rosalie?

'Breaking Dawn' stars Elizabeth Reaser and Nikki Reed talk spinoffs for their 'Twilight' characters
Much has been made of the closeness shared by the actors who made up the Cullen family in the "Twilight" franchise and certainly sitting down with Elizabeth Reaser and Nikki Reed, it's possible to get the feeling that reporters are just passing in and out of a lengthy, ongoing conversation between two close friends.
 
In my portion of that long, ongoing conversation, Reaser and Reed discuss their respective last days of shooting on "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" -- One of them rushed to the airport immediately, while the other one stuck around and shared some emotions with a co-star -- and the final grace notes for Esme and Rosalie that they wish the film had had time for.
 
And, because Hollywood bean counters probably aren't going to be ready to bid adieu to the cash cow that is the "Twilight" franchise, Reaser shares her version of a perfect "Twilight" spinoff around her character, which sounds like something Stephenie Meyer should get to work on immediately.
 
I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Expect more as we get closer to Friday's (Nov. 16) premiere...

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 157

Dan and Alan talk 'Catfish,' 'Crossfire Hurricane' and catch up on a few shows

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 157

The
Happy Monday, Boys & Girls. 
 
It's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast Time!
 
We didn't review Ken Burns' "Dust Bowl" or History's "Mankind" this week. Sorry.
 
We did, however, review HBO's "Crossfire Hurricane" and MTV's "Catfish." Plus, we dropped in on a wide array of shows, including "Boardwalk Empire," "Dexter" and "Go On," plus our obligatory discussion of this week's "Homeland."
 
WARNING: Next week, we will not be podcasting, due to Thanksgiving and whatnot. NO PODCAST. We'll be back the following week with the usual stuff, likely on Tuesday.
 
Here's today's breakdown:
"Catfish: The TV Show" (00:02:35 - 00:14:50)
"Crossfire Hurricane" (00:14:50 - 00:24:20)
"Go On" (00:24:20 - 00:31:30)
"Boardwalk Empire" (00:31:30 - 00:42:20)
"Dexter" (00:42:25 - 00:52:40)
Listener Mail - "Mockingbird Lane" (00:52:55 - 00:58:20)
Listener Mail - TV stars in movie ensembles (00:58:20 - 01:03:40)
"Homeland" (01:03:40 - 01:23:15)

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.

'Twilight' star Taylor Lautner calls his 'Breaking Dawn' imprinting a 'complicated and touchy thing'

Author Stephenie Meyer was on-set to help make sense of things

'Twilight' star Taylor Lautner calls his 'Breaking Dawn' imprinting a 'complicated and touchy thing'
No aspect of Stephenie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" was subject to more scrutiny than the little matter of Jacob Black's "imprinting," which simultaneously cleaned up the "Twilight" saga's central love triangle, while simultaneously opening another can of potentially icky worms.
 
How the "Twilight" film franchise would handle the "imprinting" and how star Taylor Lautner would handle the strange turn of events has been one of the biggest questions for fans leading up to the Friday, November 16 release of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2."
 
Naturally and predictably, it was my first question for Lautner when I sat down with him a couple weeks ago. While he admits that imprinting is a "complicated and touchy thing," he credits Meyer's presence on set with helping him understand how to portray imprinting without coming across as problematic. 
 
In the conversation, Lautner also discusses working with young Mackenzie Foy and, in my favorite part of the interview, he goes into depth on what each of the franchise's four directors brought to their respective films. 
 
I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Expect more as we get closer to the premiere...

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Off To See The Wizard'

Merely getting to Moscow causes serious complications for some teams

<p>Jaymes and James of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Jaymes and James of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS
Oh, "The Amazing Race." 
 
You so crazy! 
 
And yet... You also so predictable!
 
Sunday (November 11) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" was, for the most part, the best episode of the season. By a lot. It featured exactly the sort of travel intrigue that I usually relish, exactly the sort of genuinely challenging, but also amusing, tasks that I normally endorse and, in Moscow, one of those locations that's probably in my Top 5 of dream destinations. It also included both semi-amusing bickering between teams, but also ample warm-hearted unity between teams.
 
Total success, right?
 
And yet. 
 
And yet...
 
Comrade-in-arms Andy from RealityBlurred.com tweeted enthusiasm for the episode at 8:40 and I responded, "Unless/Until the episode gets ruined by an NEL, it's a pretty good Leg so far..."
 
Darn you, "The Amazing Race," for making me so distrustful of you, for making me so certain that if there's an ending to be blundered, you'll find a way to blunder it. Emmy winning juggernauts shouldn't have so much difficulty sticking the landing, but "The Amazing Race" does and watching Sunday's episode, I never felt for a second like there was going to be a satisfying resolution.
 
Click through for the full recap...
 

'Breaking Dawn' star Michael Sheen explains what drew him to Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'

Sheen will follow his vampire role by playing sex expert William Masters

'Breaking Dawn' star Michael Sheen explains what drew him to Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'
It's going to be a busy week of interviews for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2."
 
I've already posted my interviews with stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, but over the days leading up to the "Twilight" franchise's climax, you can expect to see conversations with Taylor Lautner, director Bill Condon and the Cullen pairings of Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed, plus Michael Sheen.
 
Sheen and I discuss his fantastic mustache before the video started rolling and I complimented him on his fantastic red velvet jacket afterwards and I had plenty of questions about his final film playing ageless vampire Aro, but I also made sure to ask a couple questions about Sheen's upcoming Showtime drama "Masters of Sex."
 
"Masters of Sex" stars Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as noted human sexuality scholars William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Michelle Ashford adapted the pilot from Thomas Maier's "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, The Couple Who Taught America How To Love." I haven't seen the pilot, but the clips Showtime has screened for critics look like an intriguing mixture of emotional drama and kinda wacky dark, sexual comedy. 
 
In this little snippet from the Sheen interview, he discusses what drew him to the part and how he thinks the tone will develop once production begins in January.
 
Oh and the mustache is just for fun. It's not for "Masters of Sex." Yeah. I'm disappointed, too.
 
Stay tuned for all of this week's "Breaking Dawn" interviews.

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