Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall
Dan and Alan also review the new season of 'Parenthood'
It's a late-week Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, thanks to Dan's international travels (which we discuss briefly at the start), in which we start looking ahead to next week's premieres of "The New Normal," "Parenthood" and "Sons of Anarchy" while also looking back to the "Breaking Bad" finale and to pilots that recast performers — not always for the better. As we warn you near the end, the next podcast may also not be on Monday, but we'll get to "Boardwalk Empire" and friends eventually.
(Also, for those wondering, here's this week's theme song, which is damn catchy.)
"The New Normal" (00:03:40 - 00:22:10)
"Parenthood" (00:22:15 - 00:34:30)
"Sons of Anarchy" (00:34:30 - 45:50)
Listener Mail on pilot changes (00:45:55 - 00:56:25)
"Breaking Bad" (00:57:15 - 01:22:45)
How much do Gilligan and his writers know about the series finale? And was Mike too sloppy?
Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston in a scene from the "Breaking Bad" mid-season finale.
There have been times when Vince Gilligan has known from the start of a "Breaking Bad" season exactly how it was going to end (the plane crash of season 2), and other times where he and his fellow writers have had to improvise (they realized midway through season 3 that the Cousins were too dangerous to plausibly hang around forever, and as a result killed them off and made Gus into the new big bad).
As Gilligan and his writing staff have begun work on the final 8 episodes of the AMC drama, they're taking an approach that's a little from Column A and a little from Column B, where they have an idea of what's going to be happen but are open to changing that idea if something better comes along.
I spoke with Gilligan about planning the ending of the series, and also about several of the key developments of the first half of this final season, up through the final images of Sunday's mid-season finale.
Kaling created and stars in the new FOX sitcom
Mindy Kaling in "The Mindy Project."
is not exactly Kelly Kapoor, the character she's played for the last eight seasons of "The Office" (where she also served as a writer over that time). She's much smarter and more articulate and, at first glance, less vindictive. Nor is Kaling exactly Mindy Lahiri, the OB/GYN character she plays on the upcoming FOX sitcom "The Mindy Project,"
which she created and stars in. (It debuts on September 25, but the pilot is already streaming on Hulu
.) But Kaling shares with her two alter egos an obsession with pop culture in general and romantic comedy in particular — she spends much of "The Mindy Project" pilot getting into trouble for assuming that life works exactly like a Meg Ryan movie — and an enthusiastic, fast-talking style.
I spoke with Kaling at the TV critics press tour about the new show, the old show, how "The Mindy Project" evolved from a "Bridget Jones"-style love triangle in the pilot to something else, being an Indian-American woman fronting (and producing) her own sitcom, and more.
Walt and Lydia build up the business in the last new episode of 2012
Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad."
A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" — the last episode of 2012 — coming up just as soon as I get Queen for a Day and a 5K...
The Doctor, Rory and Amy reunite to take on a familiar set of foes
Karen Gillan and Matt Smith in "Doctor Who."
"Doctor Who" is back for a new season, and I have a review of the premiere, "Asylum of the Daleks," coming up just as soon as I have an escape plan where I survive 4 seconds longer...
A happy accident at 'The Tonight Show' leads to a huge opportunity
Garry Marshall and Louis C.K. in "Louie."
A quick review of last night's "Louie" coming up just as soon as I review a remote control right before murder-suiciding my whole family...
A scheduling accident led to the role of a lifetime
Jonathan Banks as Mike on "Breaking Bad."
Jonathan Banks has had a long, varied career, but he's never had a better role. He's done drama. He's done comedy. He's played good guys (most notably as FBI Agent Frank McPike on "Wiseguy") and heavies. But he's never had a role as nuanced, as memorable, as his gig on "Breaking Bad" as cop-turned-fixer Mike Ehrmantraut.
(Spoilers coming up immediately if you haven't seen this week's episode.)
Dan and Alan also answer your mail
It's an Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week, as Dan and I review a miniseries (A&E's "Coma"), a busted pilot that somehow aired (FX's "Outlaw Country"), "The Newsroom" finale, and another episode of "Breaking Bad," while also finding an excuse to analyze both "Boy Meets World" and "Charles in Charge."
"Coma" (00:00:40 - 00:12:05)
"Outlaw Country" (00:12:10 - 00:25:50)
"The Newsroom" (00:25:50 - 00:45:00)
Listener Mail - Devolving Characters (00:45:20 - 00:54:00)
Listener Mail - "Survivor" returnees (00:54:00 - 01:00:40)
"Breaking Bad" (01:00:40 - 01:25:30)
Will reacts badly to the magazine article, and Don has a proposal for Maggie
Jeff Daniels and Terry Crews in "The Newsroom" season finale.
A review of "The Newsroom" season finale coming up just as soon as I show you my recipe for beef stew...
Mike plots his exit strategy, but Walt doesn't want Jesse to go
Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut in "Breaking Bad."
A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I want to live in a world without Coca-Cola...