<p>John Slattery in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

John Slattery in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Mid-season finale review: 'Mad Men' - 'Waterloo'

Cutler tries to push Don out, Peggy gets a big opportunity, and man walks on the moon

A review of the "Mad Men" mid-season finale coming up just as soon as I have to talk to people who just touched the face of God about hamburgers...

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen as &quot;Hannibal.&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen as "Hannibal."

Credit: NBC

Season finale review: 'Hannibal' - 'Mizumono'

Hannibal plans his escape, Jack makes a stand, and Will and Alana see a familiar face

A review of the "Hannibal" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I move your punctuation mark...

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<p>&quot;The Normal Heart.&quot;</p>

"The Normal Heart."

Credit: HBO

Review: In HBO's 'The Normal Heart,' Ryan Murphy gets in the way

Great performances by Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matthew Bomer and others clouded by 'Glee' creator's direction

What makes Ryan Murphy such a frustrating storyteller is that he has very obvious and impressive strengths, which he then seems to go out of his way to obscure with his very obvious weaknesses. He has great passion for socially relevant drama, for instance, but his point tends to get lost in the ADHD style that eventually plagued "Glee," "Nip/Tuck" and everything else he's done in television. ("American Horror Story," his biggest current hit, at least started out with ADHD, so there was no letdown later when things unraveled.) He works well with actors as both a writer and director, giving them meaty material and pulling excellent performances out of them, but then makes various other choices that distract from those performances.

That "The Normal Heart" — an adaptation of Larry Kramer's 1985 play about the early days of the AIDS crisis — has finally been turned into a film that will air on HBO on Sunday at 9, after decades of sitting in development hell, is a testament to Murphy, who bought the rights with his own money and assembled a cast fronted by Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts. The film wouldn't exist without his belief in it. And yet I wish almost anyone else had directed it.

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<p>Not Great Bob! &quot;Mad Men&quot; and Bob Benson</p>

Not Great Bob! "Mad Men" and Bob Benson

Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 231

Dan and Alan also discuss the genius of 'Review' and the latest 'Mad Men'


It's another Thursday for the Firewall & Iceberg podcast, because we wanted to be able to discuss "The Americans" finale in a relatively timely fashion, in addition to our usual "Mad Men" breakdown, some more finale talk with "The Good Wife," and a belated review of Comedy Central's brilliant "Review." Due to holidays, travel, etc., we're not sure what day of the week the next podcast may be, but we'll have plenty to discuss there.

Also, I don't often plug the video show in the podcast post, but I'd strongly suggest watching — or even listening to while you have other windows open — the last segment from this week's show, in which Dan and I play Canceled TV Show Trivia.

The rundown: 

"Review" (00:01:05 - 00:11:20)
"The Good Wife" finale (00:11:55 - 00:26:30)
"The Americans" finale (00:27:20 - 00:43:20)
Listener Mail - TV show ownership (00:43:30 - 00:49:05)
Listener Mail - "Mad Men" comparisons (00:49:10 - 00:56:55)
Sunday's "Mad Men" (00:56:55 - 01:15:20)
As always, send questions to firewalliceberg@hitfix.com. 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, download the MP3 file, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.

There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.

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'The Americans' producers on the sex, murder and wigs of season 2
Credit: FX

'The Americans' producers on the sex, murder and wigs of season 2

What made this season even stronger than the first?

FX’s period spy drama “The Americans” went to a new level this season, going from a very good show to one of the very best on television by delving deeper into the emotional, moral and even sexual implications of two KGB spies pretending to be American spouses for decades and raising kids all the way. The season finale was devastating in the way it paid off the arcs about family, about whether FBI Agent Stan Beeman would betray his country to save Nina, and more. I reviewed the finale here, and I interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields about the season, coming up just as soon as you tell me where your corkscrew is…

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<p>the americans</p>

the americans

Credit: FX

Season finale review: 'The Americans' - 'Echo'

Philip and Elizabeth find out who killed Jared's family, while Stan makes a decision about Nina

"The Americans" just concluded its second season in spectacular fashion. I interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields about season 2, and I have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as I want to punch you in the face if you say one more thing about nonviolent resistance...

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<p>Oliver Platt in &quot;Fargo.&quot;</p>

Oliver Platt in "Fargo."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Fargo' - 'Buridan's Ass'

A blizzard causes lots of problems in a particularly bloody episode

A review of tonight's "Fargo" coming up just as soon as God tells me not to park here...

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<p>&quot;The Night Shift.&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift."

Credit: NBC

Firewall & Iceberg Show, episode 15: 'Gang Related,' 'The Normal Heart' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss 'The Night Shift,' 'I Wanna Marry Harry' and this season's canceled shows

Happy Tuesday, boys and girls! Time for a lively Firewall & Iceberg Show, in which we review some promising summer offerings (FOX's "Gang Related" and HBO's star-studded "The Normal Heart"), some dire ones (NBC's "The Night Shift" and FOX's "I Wanna Marry Harry") and play Canceled TV Show Trivia to commemorate the end of the TV season. Even if you're not a big fan of the video show thus far, I'd ask you to take a look at that last segment (or listen to it while you have other windows on your computer open), as it's one of the more fun things we've done since this started.

Looks like we'll be podcasting on Thursday this week, so we can discuss "The Americans" finale without having to wait a week (or more). And it's unclear when or if there will be a video show next week due to holidays and travel.

The run-down:

00:00- 05:35- Gang Related
05:35- 11:17- The Normal Heart
11:17- 16:35- Night Shift
16:35- 19:53- I Wanna Marry Harry
19:53- 32:47- Cancelled Shows

As always, you can send us questions at firewalliceberg@hitfix.com. There's also now a YouTube channel where you can subscribe to all upcoming Firewall & Iceberg videos, at https://www.youtube.com/show/firewalliceberg.

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Credit: FX

Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 2 & 3'

Jane has trouble at school, Louie gets closer to his neighbor, and a familiar face returns

A review of tonight's "Louie" episodes coming up just as soon as my hydrogen collection is awesome...

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<p>&quot;The Good Wife.&quot;</p>

"The Good Wife."

Credit: CBS

Season finale review: 'The Good Wife' - 'A Weird Year'

A technical glitch at Lockhart Gardner causes opportunity and friction at Florrick Agos

A quick review of "The Good Wife" season finale — and thoughts on season 5 as a whole — coming up just as soon as I quit and go live in New Zealand...

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