Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 221

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 221

Dan and Alan also review 'The Red Road,' 'Vikings,' 'Bates Motel' and lots of other mid-season premieres


Hey, so remember how the Firewall & Iceberg video show was going to return this week, and there was so much to talk about that even a video show and a podcast would barely be enough to contain it all? Well, technical difficulties scotched the video show's relaunch, which pushed this week's podcast up a day and also forced us to compress a lot of material into it (and dump other things, like a planned "True Detective" segment). With any luck, all the glitches will be worked out for next week, but in the meantime this is a review-heavy podcast, full of stuff we really liked, stuff we really hated, and a few things that fell in between.

The rundown: 

Harold Ramis (00:01:25 - 00:05:00)
Weird NBC Moves (00:05:00 - 00:15:00)
"Mind Games" (00:15:15 - 00:21:50)
"Game of Arms" (00:21:50 - 00:27:40)
"Mixology" (00:27:40 - 00:35:15)
"The Americans" (00:35:20 - 00:42:30)
"The Red Road" (00:42:30 - 00:51:10)
"Vikings" (00:51:15 - 00:55:19)
"Hannibal" (00:55:20 - 01:03:30)
"Bates Motel" (01:03:35 - 01:08:25)
"Those Who Kill" (01:08:35 - 01:16:30)
As always, send questions to 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>Keri Russell in &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Keri Russell in "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'The Americans' takes a leap in season 2

Some minor fine-tuning takes period spy drama from very good to great

"The Americans," FX's Cold War drama about KGB spies posing as a married couple in Ronald Reagan's America, had the poor timing to arrive as a very good new show near the start of what turned out to be an incredible year. Had it debuted in a different period — even a year or two earlier — it would have set a very high bar to clear for all that followed and been a constant point of comparison. But there was just so much quality TV in 2013 that it kept slipping behind other work, even though it had so much to recommend it. When I did my best-of rankings for the year, I wound up putting it 18th, simultaneously kicking myself for doing so while struggling to argue that I preferred it to the previous 17.

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<p>On &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;Robin and Lily try to cure Barney's hangover.</p>

On "How I Met Your Mother," Robin and Lily try to cure Barney's hangover.

Credit: CBS

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Rally'

The gang tries to get Barney over his wedding day hangover

Tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" kicked off the final six-episode stretch of the series' run, and did so in a way that focused as much on the gang's past and future as their present at the Farhampton Inn, including glimpses of Marshall's campaign for New York Supreme Court justice, young Marvin's first day of college and a big night for Ted and the Mother. And, if nothing else, the stuff in the present had a lot of bacon.

So what did you guys think? An entertaining trip through time, or more of the same dopiness of this final season? Did the kiss and/or the Weekend at Barney's gags live up to the years of build-up? Have at it.

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<p>Steve Zahn in &quot;Mind Games.&quot;</p>

Steve Zahn in "Mind Games."

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's 'Mind Games'

In which 'Lone Star' and 'Awake' creator Kyle Killen tries to do something more commercial

"Mind Games," the new ABC drama that debuts tomorrow night at 10, opens with a scene where brilliant psychologist Clark (Steve Zahn) tells his brother Ross (Christian Slater) that when they pitch their new business idea to an investor, they should lead with their weaknesses.

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<p>Father-son bonding in &quot;Growing Up Fisher&quot;&nbsp;with J.K. Simmons and Eli Baker.</p>

Father-son bonding in "Growing Up Fisher" with J.K. Simmons and Eli Baker.

Credit: NBC

Series premiere talkback: 'Growing Up Fisher'

What did everybody think of the new NBC comedy?

I never had a chance to write a review of "Growing Up Fisher," the other comedy NBC decided to preview after the Olympics this weekend, but I also didn't have a lot to say about it. (I had plenty to say about "About A Boy," however.) J.K. Simmons is among our more likable actors (and incredibly funny if given good material), and there's probably a version of the show oriented around him as a blind lawyer that could be amusing. This faux-"Wonder Years" approach (or, since it's set in the present, with Jason Bateman narrating from the future, faux-"HIMYM" approach) doesn't really work, though, in that the kids are forgettable and Jenna Elfman's character is actively grating. (And I say that as someone who's often liked Elfman in the past.) 

For those of you who tuned in tonight after the closing ceremonies from Sochi, what did you think? Did you laugh? Did you find the blind jokes (many of them based on creator D.J. Nash's father) clever or offensive? Did you like the family? The dog? And will you watch again? 

Have at it.

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<p>On &quot;Girls,&quot;&nbsp;Patti Lupone gives some advice to Hannah (Lena Dunham).</p>

On "Girls," Patti Lupone gives some advice to Hannah (Lena Dunham).

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Girls' - 'Incidentals'

Patti LuPone advises Hannah about Adam's first Broadway gig

A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as Kristin Chenoweth passes out because I forgot to feed her...

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<p>Danai Gurira as Michonne on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Danai Gurira as Michonne on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Claimed'

Rick has some unwelcome guests, while Glenn gets to know Abraham and Eugene

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I have something to say about your extremely comfortable and attractive shirt...

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<p>On &quot;True Detective,&quot;&nbsp;the 2012 cops (Michael Potts and Tory Kittles)&nbsp;seek answers from Maggie (Michelle Monaghan).</p>

On "True Detective," the 2012 cops (Michael Potts and Tory Kittles) seek answers from Maggie (Michelle Monaghan).

Credit: HBO

Review: 'True Detective' - 'Haunted Houses'

Rust and Marty come to blows, and the cops bring in a new witness

A review of tonight's "True Detective" coming up just as soon as I need you to tie my shoes for me...

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<p>Benjamin Stockham and David Walton in &quot;About A&nbsp;Boy.&quot;</p>

Benjamin Stockham and David Walton in "About A Boy."

Credit: NBC

Series premiere talkback: 'About A Boy'

What did everybody think of the TV version of the Nick Hornby book and Hugh Grant movie?

I published my review of NBC's "About A Boy" on Thursday. Now it's your turn. For those who tuned in tonight for the special post-Olympics preview, what did you think? If you're a fan of the book or movie, did you like seeing most of the events compressed into a half-hour episode? If you're new to these characters and this story, how did it play to you? Do you like David Walton? Minnie Driver? Young Benjamin Stockham? Given how much ground the pilot covered, do you feel like there's more story to tell in later episodes? And will you watch again when the show settles in on Tuesdays at 9?

Have at it.

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Will either of the Petrelli brothers return for "Heroes Reborn"?
Will either of the Petrelli brothers return for "Heroes Reborn"?
Credit: NBC

That 'Heroes' reboot you never wanted is coming to NBC in 2015

'Heroes Reborn' will bring back original creator Tim Kring, for reasons unknown

There is nostalgia, there is thinking outside the box, and then there is NBC's hilariously ill-conceived plan to bring "Heroes" back from the dead for a new miniseries to air sometime next year.

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