<p>Famke Janssen in &quot;Hemlock Grove.&quot;</p>

Famke Janssen in "Hemlock Grove."

Credit: Netflix

Review: Netflix tries horror with 'Hemlock Grove'

HitFix
C-
Readers
A-
Werewolves, vampires and mad scientists co-mingle in silly, overstuffed Eli Roth joint

As Netflix pushes into the world of original programming, it's easy to see why the streaming video giant picked up certain series. "House of Cards" had a two-time Oscar winner as its star, David Fincher as an executive producer and a look and feel that automatically put Netflix into the discussion with HBO, AMC, etc. "Arrested Development" (which will debut on Netflix in May) is a show that, while never a hit on FOX, was beloved then and has been among the most popular titles in Netflix's library.

With "Hemlock Grove," whose 13-episode first season will be released in its entirety on Netflix on Friday, you have to squint a bit to see why it was chosen. Yes, it's a supernatural thriller larded with teen angst, which has value in the age of "Twilight" and "The Vampire Diaries." And it has a movie pedigree as well: Eli Roth is an executive producer and directed the pilot, and the cast includes Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott.

But it's also a mess: a horror series with a weirdly slow build (you don't even see the lead werewolf character transform until the end of the second episode), a mix of campy performances and competent ones, and just enough intriguing ideas to make me wish the entire thing was a lot better than it is.

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<p>An Italian fantasy with Marshall (Jason Segel)&nbsp;on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

An Italian fantasy with Marshall (Jason Segel) on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Romeward Bound'

Lily gets a job offer she tries to refuse, while Ted and Barney fixate on a woman in a big coat

A quick review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as my life turns into an angsty, existential Italian black-and-white movie...

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<p>Elisabeth Moss in &quot;Top of the Lake.&quot;</p>

Elisabeth Moss in "Top of the Lake."

Credit: Sundance

Series finale review: 'Top of the Lake'

In the mystery's conclusion, Robin gets answers but also more questions

Sundance just concluded its airing of "Top of the Lake," which I reviewed back in March. Now that it's all over, I have some spoiler-iffic thoughts on how everything resolved, coming up just as soon as there is no match for the tremendous intelligence of the body...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 177: 'Defiance,' 'Hemlock Grove,' 'Mad Men' & more

Dan and Alan also review HBO's 'Mary and Martha,' discus Roger Ebert's legacy and break down 'Cougar Town' and 'Go On' finales

The

In what we believe is our longest Firewall & Iceberg Podcast episode ever, Dan and I got busy with a mix of premieres (Syfy's "Defiance," Netflix's "Hemlock Grove"), looks back (last night's "Mad Men" plus the "Cougar Town" and "Go On" finales), mail, plus an overdue retrospective on the career and influence of the late, great Roger Ebert.

Please note: We recorded this earlier today, and were literally saying our goodbyes when I first saw news of the tragedy in Boston. Our usual banter reflects that ignorance. If you're not in the mood to hear us bicker right now, we understand.

The lineup:

"Defiance" (00:00:50 - 00:15:10)
"Hemlock Grove" (00:15:15 - 00:31:45)
"Mary & Martha" (00:31:45 - 00:39:00)
Roger Ebert (00:39:05 - 00:50:00)
Listener Mail - Lead-Ins (00:50:15 - 00:59:35)
Listener Mail - "Game of Thrones" aging (00:59:45 - 01:07:50)
"Cougar Town" finale (01:08:00 - 01:14:55)
"Go On" finale (01:15:00 - 01:27:45)
"Mad Men" (01:27:50 - 01:52:50)

 

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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

<p>AMC is moving &quot;Hell on Wheels&quot;&nbsp;to Saturdays.</p>

AMC is moving "Hell on Wheels" to Saturdays.

Credit: AMC

AMC moves 'Hell on Wheels' to Saturday

Will the mid-level Western do better away from the channel's signature night?

When I wrote last week about the improbable problem of too much good TV, several of you noted that the problem is compounded by just how much of it gets concentrated on Sunday nights between 9 and 11. That's the night that HBO made its signature, and Showtime, AMC and others have followed. The new era of On Demand, streaming and multiple plays throughout the week makes this less of an issue for some, but if you like to talk about your favorite shows the day after they air — and if a lot of them air on the same night at the same time — it gets tricky.

AMC has already tried expanding beyond Sundays by moving its reality TV bloc to Thursday nights(*), and today the channel announced its first scripted move away from Sundays in quite some time, as the third season of "Hell on Wheels" will air on Saturday nights at 9, starting August 3.

(*) Which once upon a time was the home of "Mad Men," before AMC executives decided to move in on HBO's turf starting with the second season.

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<p>Elisabeth Moss as Peggy on &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy on "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Mad Men' - 'The Collaborators'

Don and Pete's affairs get complicated, while Stan gives Peggy a tip

A review of tonight's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I have your wig ready, ma'am...

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<p>Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Game of Thrones' - 'Walk of Punishment'

Tyrion gets a new job, Dany makes a deal and Jaime suffers in captivity

A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I have a mill instead of my enemy's head on a spike...

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<p>Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith in &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

Jenna-Louise Coleman and Matt Smith in "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

Review: 'Doctor Who' - 'Cold War'

The Doctor and Clara try to save a Soviet sub crew from a vengeful Martian warrior

A quick review of last night's "Doctor Who" coming up just as soon as I sing "Hungry Like the Wolf"...

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<p>&quot;Nurse Jackie&quot;&nbsp;star Edie Falco.</p>

"Nurse Jackie" star Edie Falco.

Credit: Showtime

'Nurse Jackie' star Edie Falco embraces change for season 5

Showtime dramedy will have a new showrunner in 'Dexter' vet Clyde Phillips
For most of her TV career, Edie Falco has benefited from continuity. Tom Fontana was the boss on “Oz” the entire time she was there. David Chase ran “The Sopranos” from first minute to last. And for the first four seasons of Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” Falco reported to writer/producers Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius.
 
But Wallem and Brixius left after the hospital dramedy’s fourth season, and have been replaced by former “Dexter” showrunner Clyde Phillips.(*) With the fifth season set to debut on Sunday night at 9, I talked with Falco about adjusting to a new boss, where Jackie’s head is at now that all her secrets are out in the open, and what her expectations are for whenever the series ends — especially given how her last show concluded.
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<p>Tom Riley is Leonardo da Vinci in &quot;Da Vinci's Demons.&quot;</p>

Tom Riley is Leonardo da Vinci in "Da Vinci's Demons."

Credit: Starz

Review: Starz's 'Da Vinci's Demons' turns Leonardo into an action hero

HitFix
C+
Readers
B+
Feels like a late '90s syndicated drama with a bigger budget (and Starz nudity)

Starz doesn't exactly have a consistent brand identity — other than a fondness for nudity at any and all opportunities — but since former HBO chief Chris Albrecht took over, there's been a more overt attempt to resemble his old employer. Neither "Boss" (since canceled) nor "Magic City" (returning this summer) have been in a class with the best of what Albrecht greenlit at HBO, but they've at least felt like the kinds of shows he would have approved in the early-mid '00s: cinematic gloss, anti-heroes caught between good intentions and criminal realities, award-baiting performances, etc.

"Da Vinci's Demons," which debuts tonight at 10 (after the series finale of Starz flagship "Spartacus"), is not that. Created by David Goyer (who co-wrote the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, but who has also been responsible for a number of forgettable TV shows like "FlashForward"), it doesn't resemble Albrecht's old HBO output so much as it does '90s syndicated action dramas like "Xena: Warrior Princess" — albeit made on a much bigger budget and with lots of Starz-approved language and nakedness. (You will never look at a certain "Downton Abbey" castmember the same way again after their cameo here.)

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