<p>The Strain</p>

The Strain

Credit: FX

Review: Guillermo del Toro's FX vampire thriller 'The Strain'

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
CDC doctors try to contain an outbreak of undead origins

Guillermo del Toro is the kind of filmmaker who leaves me wanting more — just not always in the best way. Whether he's adapting someone else's work with the "Hellboy" films, or inventing his own stories with something like "Pan's Labyrinth," del Toro leaves no hallucinatory stone unturned, no burst of inspiration unexplored. I've often walked out of his movies impressed by the depth and breadth of the creativity on display, yet frustrated at how little time there was to thoroughly explore it all. I wouldn't want to take away the big budgets and fancy effects work that he can apply to something like "Pacific Rim," but I've been itching for a while to see what del Toro might do with an ongoing television series, where he could drill down deep and expand each concept to its fullest, rather than rushing to fit them all into two hours.

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<p>The Americans</p>

The Americans

Credit: FX

Emmys 2014: Too many great shows, not enough spots, and some dumb choices

Lots of nominations for 'Breaking Bad,' 'Fargo,' et al, but where's the love for 'The Americans' and Tatiana Maslany?

It should be easy to feel sympathy for Emmy voters in 2014. There is more good television now than ever before, available in more places (including non-traditional streaming video outfits like Netflix and Amazon) than ever before. There is abundant category confusion, where a show like "Shameless" can jump from drama to comedy after presenting its bleakest season ever, where "True Detective" can be considered as a drama series while "American Horror Story" is a miniseries even though the two shows have the same basic structure, where the fourth season of "Tremé" has to be considered a miniseries because it didn't produce enough episodes to qualify elsewhere, where voters are asked to consider what Jim Parsons does on "Big Bang Theory" in the same context of what Louis C.K. does as an actor on "Louie."

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<p>The Bridge</p>

The Bridge

Credit: FX

Season premiere review: 'The Bridge' - 'Yankee'

Sonya makes a new friend, Marco catches fire, and Eleanor Nacht announces her presence

A review of "The Bridge" season 2 premiere coming up just as soon as I defend my Rush t-shirt...

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<p>Halle Berry in Extant</p>

Halle Berry in Extant

Review: Halle Berry returns from space in CBS' 'Extant'

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
A familiar but effective sci-fi/horror story

A couple of months ago, NBC aired a two-part remake of "Rosemary's Baby" that was completely lacking in suspense, pacing, anything new to say with the material or any reason to exist save for the brand name and the excuse to give Zoe Saldana a pixie haircut. The original film is such a classic that, even if it should never be excused from being remade, at least requires some genuine thought before attempting, which no one involved with the NBC version bothered to try. 

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<p>Oprah Winfrey</p>

Oprah Winfrey

Your guide to the TCA press tour

The ins and outs of the semi-annual gathering of the nation's TV critics

Right about now, the lights should be on in the Beverly Hilton ballroom for the very first panel of the summer 2014 Television Critics Association press tour. I'm not due to arrive at tour until sometime tomorrow, but Fienberg and other members of the TCA should be there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the start of the 16-day event (which, for many people, will run straight into the start of Comic-Con).

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<p>The Bridge</p>

The Bridge

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'The Bridge' finds more consistency in season 2

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
But is the cop drama set on the El Paso/Juarez border better now that the serial killer arc is done?

For most of its first season, FX's "The Bridge" seemed as caught between two worlds as its two heroes, who worked opposite sides of the El Paso/Juarez border. In one world, the show was stuck adapting the serial killer story from the original Scandinavian "Bron," and not providing a particularly inspired take on an overdone subject. In the other world, "The Bridge" was having a lot of fun looking at the weird culture along that border, and in establishing the bond between Texas cop Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) and her Mexican counterpart Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir). The second show was much more interesting than the first, but the first show kept swallowing the second one whole. 

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<p>The Leftovers</p>

The Leftovers

Credit: HBO

Review: 'The Leftovers' - 'Penguin One, Us Zero'

Kevin begins to question his sanity, Laurie indoctrinates Meg, and Tommy goes on the run

A review of tonight's "The Leftovers" coming up just as soon as the entire cast of "Perfect Strangers" disappears...

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<p>Orange Is the New Black</p>

Orange Is the New Black

Credit: Netflix

Review: 'Orange Is the New Black' - 'Comic Sans/Appropriately Sized Pots'

Cindy and Rosa get the flashbacks, while Piper tries to get a furlough

Continuing our periodic look at "Orange Is the New Black" season 2, I have thoughts on episodes 7 & 8 coming up just as soon as I'm in an M. Night Shalamalama movie...

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<p>Seinfeld</p>

Seinfeld

'Seinfeld' at 25: How the show about nothing became a huge hit

Revisiting the NBC comedy's improbable journey from busted pilot to juggernaut

Earlier this week, a former NBC sitcom made headlines by improbably returning from the dead, thanks to a website most people didn't even know was in the streaming video business. But the story of how "Community" will live again on Yahoo isn't nearly as far-fetched as the tale of another NBC Thursday sitcom, which few of the executives at the network understood, which was considered too weird and self-referential to ever succeed, and which — unlike "Community," the little cult engine that could — actually turned into the most popular show on television.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 237: 'Extant,' 'The Bridge' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 237: 'Extant,' 'The Bridge' & more

Dan and Alan also talk some more about the return of 'Community' and the death of 'HIEROGLYPH'!

The

Happy Wednesday, boys and girls! Time for the last cross-continental Firewall & Iceberg Podcast for a bit, as I'll be in Los Angeles next week for the Television Critics Association press tour, then in San Diego for Comic-Con, and Dan and I will be recording some video and/or audio shows from the same room for a few weeks. Before my travels begin, we dealt with a couple of next week's drama premieres, answered your questions — including some more talk about "Community" and "HIEROGLYPH!" to follow yesterday's video discussion — and moved on to a pivotal episode of "Friday Night Lights" season 2, featuring both a trip to Mexico and the introduction of the mysterious Santiago.

The rundown: 

"Extant" (00:01:35 - 00:11:35)
"The Bridge" (00:11:40 - 00:20:00)
Listener Mail - "Hieroglyph" and shows that never aired (00:20:30 - 00:29:00)
Listener Mail - "Community" and shows with strange journeys (00:29:05 - 00:37:15)
Listener Mail - Swag (00:37:20 - 00:44:40)
"Friday Night Lights" Season 2 (00:44:45 - 01:03:50)
 
 
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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