<p>American Crime</p>

American Crime

Credit: ABC

Review: John Ridley aims high with ABC's 'American Crime'

Oscar winner's reach sometimes exceeds his grasp in ambitious limited series

Even before he won an Academy Award for "12 Years a Slave," John Ridley had an interesting, eclectic career. He's written for sitcoms ("The John Larroquette Show") and dramas ("Third Watch") and even produced Wanda Sykes' talk show. A decade before "Empire," he created a hip-hop industry drama for UPN called "Platinum." As a novelist, he's written science-fiction ("Those Who Walk in Darkness"), pulp ("Everybody Smokes in Hell") and historical fiction ("A Conversation with the Mann"), among other genres. Whether by design, opportunity, or simply a sense of restlessness — one of the most vivid characters in any of his books is Brain Nigger Charlie from "The Drift," a hobo who can no longer relate to the anchored middle-class existence from which he descended — Ridley has avoided being pigeonholed in a business that tries to do that with everyone, and particularly with artists of color.

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Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'The Hunt': And Raylan makes three?

Winona returns, and Boyd takes Ava to his daddy's cabin

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I'm an alcoholic porn addict with a full tank of gas...

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<p>Marvel&#39;s Agents of SHIELD</p>

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD' - 'Aftershocks': Hunter vs. Hunter

Skye deals with her new powers, the group mourns Tripp, and Coulson plots revenge

"Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" is back from its winter hiatus, and I have a review of tonight's episode coming up just as soon as I pass around the talking stick...

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<p>Michael McKean</p>

Michael McKean

Credit: AMC

'Better Call Saul' co-star Michael McKean: 'I have to treat it like it's real'

On being a 'Breaking Bad' fan, playing straight in a comedy, and skipping the 'SNL' reunion

Last night's "Better Call Saul" gave us more insight into the condition that Jimmy McGill's brother Chuck suffers from. But an interview today with actor Michael McKean only muddied the issue.

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Credit: USA

Firewall & Iceberg, Episode 270: 'American Crime,' 'Dig,' Kimmy Schmidt' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'The Returned,' ABC's Marvel shows, and discuss Leonard Nimoy


Happy Tuesday, boys and girls! There are so many new shows debuting over the next week, that we didn't have time to watch them all for today's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, so you won't hear us making fun of "CSI: Cyber" or grappling with "Broadchurch" season 2. Still, there was a lot to talk about, including one show we both liked, one show we split on, and some others that were... less good. And we opened the show with a tribute to Mr. Spock himself, the late, great Leonard Nimoy. Enjoy.

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Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart sets up for post-'Daily Show' career in WWE by taking on Seth Rollins?

This was pretty great: outgoing "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart appeared on last night's "Raw" to get into it with WWE heel Seth Rollins, first ripping him apart verbally, then deploying his soccer skills when Rollins was distracted. 

Stewart hasn't said yet what his next job will be after the current one ends, but he sure seems like he could have a great future in pro wrestling.  

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<p>Better Call Saul</p>

Better Call Saul

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Better Call Saul' - 'Alpine Shepherd Boy': Electric company

Jimmy solicits new business, while Chuck and Mike both receive unwanted visitors

A review of tonight's "Better Call Saul" coming up just as soon as I'm the one with the sex toilet...

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<p>Kristen Schaal in Last Man on Earth</p>

Kristen Schaal in Last Man on Earth

Credit: FOX

'Last Man on Earth' co-star Kristen Schaal comes out as the last woman on Earth

After keeping the role a secret for a year, Schaal wants people to like Carol

For the longest time, the biggest question about FOX's "The Last Man on Earth" was how literally we should take the title. Would Will Forte's title character be the last human on earth after a virus wiped out everyone else, or simply the last male of the species?

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<p>Secrets and Lies</p>

Secrets and Lies

Credit: ABC

Series premiere talkback: 'Secrets and Lies'

What did everybody think of the new ABC mystery miniseries?

Neither Dan nor I wound up writing a review of ABC's "Secrets and Lies." We did discuss it on this week's second podcast, though, and weren't impressed either by Juliette Lewis' unintentionally comical performance as the cop, or by the gimmick of telling the show from Ryan Phillippe's point of view, even though we won't find out whether he's actually the killer until the end of the series. (Maybe it played better in the Australian original, but here it feels like the kind of surprise-over-substance choice that plagues too many serialized mystery/suspense shows.)

For those of you who watched tonight's two-hour premiere, what did you think? Are you intrigued by the mystery? Are you imagining Kate McKinnon's Juliette Lewis impression? And will you watch again?

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<p>Battle Creek</p>

Battle Creek

Credit: CBS

Series premiere talkback: 'Battle Creek'

What did everybody think of the Vince Gilligan-created cop show?

I published my review of CBS' "Battle Creek" on Friday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think? Did the pilot — whose script went largely unchanged from the version Vince Gilligan wrote a dozen years ago — feel like the work of the man who created "Breaking Bad," and/or who wrote some of the best "X-Files" episodes ever? Did you enjoy the rivalry between Dean Winters and Josh Duhamel? Did you want more from all the second and third banana Battle Creek cops? And will you watch again?

Have at it. For what it's worth, the voice of the show doesn't change radically in the other episodes, even though David Shore is running things while Gilligan is otherwise occupied with "Better Call Saul," and there's also the sort of improvement you like to see in a new show as the creative team gets used to the actors and the characters and figures out their strengths and weaknesses.

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