Credit: HBO

Ask Alan: Shows not on disc/streaming, 'Ray Donovan' & the legacy of 'Oz'

Does HBO's first drama get enough credit all these years later?

Time for another installment of Ask Alan, where I try to offer rapid-fire answers to your questions about TV. As always, you can send questions — the more concisely-worded the better — to askalan@hitfix.com.

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<p>The Player</p>

The Player

Credit: NBC

What did everybody think of 'The Player' premiere?

Is it the better of NBC's two 'Strike Back' alum shows, or even dumber than 'Blindspot'?

I published my review of NBC's "The Player" earlier today. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think? If you're a "Strike Back" fan, did this seem a good use of Philip Winchester? (Also, do you still need getting used to him using his real accent?) If you're a Wesley Snipes fan, how did you feel he was deployed? Does the idea of a conspiracy by wealthy people to predict and gamble on crime seem fun, or an unnecessary (and silly) complication to watching Alex Kane kick ass and take names? Did it seem more or less stupid than "Blindspot"? And will you watch again?

Have at it. I can see this one as something I watch in the background for a few weeks; if nothing else, I'm curious to see what happens when "Strike Back" director Michael Bassett comes in to shoot one of these. (I believe his episode is the fourth.)

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<p>Heroes Reborn</p>

Heroes Reborn

Credit: NBC

What did everybody think of the 'Heroes Reborn' premiere?

Did it remind you of the best or worst of 'Heroes' original recipe?

I published my review of "Heroes Reborn" yesterday. Now it's your turn. For those who watched the two-hour premiere, what did you think? Did it remind you of the more fun early days of "Heroes," or the more non-sensical later seasons? Did you like any of the new characters, or were you longing for HRG to be reunited with more familiar faces? Whose new powers were most interesting? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

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Credit: FOX

Firewall & Iceberg, Episode 301: Emmys, 'Heroes Reborn' & more

Dan and Alan also reviews 'The Player,' 'Quantico,' 'The Grinder' & 'Grandfathered'

Happy Thursday, boys and girls! Time for what is, as of now, the penultimate installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. We pondered turning the whole show into a meta commentary on famous penultimate TV episodes, with me howling "WHERE'S WALLACE?" and Dan going shopping for model trains, but ultimately we decided to go business as usual and save any sentimentality or silliness for next week's show. (If there are things you'd like to hear us talk about in that episode, now is the time to ask.) I even neglected to congratulate Dan on reaching his 300th episode of F&I, after we celebrated my own last week. Bad Alan. Very bad Alan.

As a result, we talked for a while about the Emmys and then touched on some more new shows, this time working without the "Sanford & Son" theme to restrict our time.

Not sure whether we'll be back on our regular Tuesday slot next week, since there are a lot of things we could potentially watch, but we will be there at some point, one more time.

The rundown:

Emmys (00:00:50 - 00:21:50)
"Heroes Reborn" (00:21:50 - 00:35:20)
"The Player" (00:35:30 - 00:46:30)
"Quantico" (00:46:30 - 00:56:55)
"Grandfathered (00:56:55 - 01:02:45)
"The Grinder"  (01:02:50 - 01:10:40)
Listener Mail - First Show Cancelled (01:11:00 - 01:18:10)

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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<p>The Player</p>

The Player

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'The Player' may be too dumb for its own good

But it's still the better of the two new shows featuring a 'Strike Back' star

This fall, Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester both find themselves starring in profoundly stupid new shows for NBC.

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<p>Shonda Rhimes</p>

Shonda Rhimes

Credit: ABC

Shonda Rhimes knows when and how 'Scandal' ends. She's just not telling.

Some insight from TV's most powerful showrunner

Of all the TV creators I've met over the years, two have consistently stood out as the most challenging to interview: David Chase and Shonda Rhimes. There's never been any hostility, but they stand apart from their showrunner brethren in their insistence on answering only the questions they want to answer, and only if it's asked in a way they find acceptable. Many showrunners have learned the PR trick of responding to a question they don't like by answering a different question altogether, but Rhimes and Chase will simply announce their disagreement with the premise of the question, or their lack of interest in answering it. (Chase, for instance, hates to explain the meaning of any one "Sopranos" scene or episode too much, while Rhimes all but shuts down whenever she's asked about either upcoming storylines or her legacy as an African-American female producer.) You have to stay on your toes and be ready to radically change course at a moment's notice if they're not interested in where you're trying to take the conversation.

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<p>You&#39;re the Worst</p>

You're the Worst

Credit: FXX

Review: 'You're the Worst' - 'Born Dead': Not a party; it's an intimate get-together

Gretchen tries to reunite with her old friends, while Lindsay wants to make Paul jealous

A review of tonight's "You're the Worst" coming up just as soon as I'm in a war with an autistic kid from Sweden who keeps blocking me on Instagram...

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Credit: FOX

Cookie's back! What did everybody think of the 'Empire' season premiere?

Chris Rock as a cannibal gangster (maybe)? Marisa Tomei as a money woman? Cookie in a gorilla suit?

I wrote about the new season of "Empire" yesterday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned into the season 2 premiere tonight, what did you think? A lot of you shared my concerns about the first season finale's rapid-fire, nonsensical plotting; did this feel like a good course correction, or more of the same gibberish? Too much music, or not enough? Too much Cookie, or not enough? How did you feel about Chris Rock's appearance, and did you notice any traces of the largely-excised cannibalism subplot about his character? And did a summer away break whatever spell "Empire" cast over you last winter, or were you just excited to have Cookie back insulting Boo Boo Kitty again?

Have at it. Not planning on weekly reviews, but I'll check in periodically as episodes warrant.

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<p>Morris Chestnut in Rosewood</p>

Morris Chestnut in Rosewood

Credit: FOX

What did everybody think of 'Rosewood'?

Did you know that Morris Chestnut's character is a private pathologist?

I had no time to review "Rosewood," though Fienberg and I discussed it on last week's podcast. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think? Did you notice that Morris Chestnut's character was a private pathologist? Did you think Chestnut and Jaina Lee Ortiz had good chemistry together, or was their relationship just a tired rehash of "Castle," "Elementary," etc., etc., etc.? Do you feel the show got enough mileage out of Rosie being a private pathologist that they didn't just make him an independently wealthy maverick coroner for the city of Miami? Did the first case interest you? Were there not enough shots of Chestnut's torso, too many, or just the right amount? How do you feel about the phrase "private pathologist"? And will you watch again?

Have at it. Given how irritating I found Rosie, I don't expect to be watching additional episodes of this one, except maybe to see what they do with Lorraine Toussaint, who was shoe-horned into a pre-existing subplot from the original version of the pilot.

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<p>Jack Coleman in &quot;Heroes Reborn.&quot;</p>

Jack Coleman in "Heroes Reborn."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Heroes' stumbles back to life with 'Heroes Reborn' miniseries

HRG is back, along with the same mistakes that sank the original series

"Heroes Reborn" begins — as it all but certainly had to — with a philosophical monologue. Noah Bennett (Jack Coleman), aka HRG, aka the most popular "Heroes" character returning for a major role in this sequel miniseries, is considering all that's happened to the world since the original series ended, and the strained relationship he has with daughter Claire.

"When you look back at the things you've done, the decisions that you've made" Noah ponders, "the last thing you want to feel is regret. Am I right?"

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