<p>When reached for reaction to news of the &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;&nbsp;renewal, all Hodor had to say was &quot;Hodor!&quot;</p>

When reached for reaction to news of the "Game of Thrones" renewal, all Hodor had to say was "Hodor!"

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Game of Thrones' for season 3

New season will deal with at least part of "A Storm of Swords."

HBO has had a pretty consistent pattern, especially with its dramas, of renewing shows the Tuesday after their premieres. So once we knew last week that "Game of Thrones" had returned to a series-high 3.9 million viewers (6.3 million if you count people who watched repeats later in the evening), every TV reporter in the country began waiting for the renewal press release to come in.

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<p>What life in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother&quot;&nbsp;could have looked like in 2009.</p>

What life in "How I Met Your Mother" could have looked like in 2009.

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Trilogy Time': Han shot first

The guys' "Star Wars" tradition provides an amusing trip down memory lane

A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as we share a cab to our separate decoupage classes...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 123: 'Girls,' 'NYC 22,' 'Mad Men' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 123: 'Girls,' 'NYC 22,' 'Mad Men' & more

Dan and Alan also review ABC's 'Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23' and answer your mail

The

After a few weeks with mega-jumbo Firewall & Iceberg Podcast installments, this week's is a trifle shorter, owing in part to fewer new shows debuting and in part on Dan's desire to please his dad (a podcast listener without ample free time) while staying with him this week for Passover. Still, we had time to offer unleavened opinions on "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23," "NYC 22," the terrific "Girls" and last night's "Mad Men," in addition to asking a few pieces of your mail.

The line-up: 

"Don't Trust The B---- in Apt. 23" (00:01:10 - 00:14:45)
"NYC 22" (00:14:45 - 00:23:40)
"Girls" (00:23:40 - 00:39:15)
Listener Mail - David Simon Disapproves (00:39:30 - 00:48:15)
Listener Mail - Impact of outside feelings (00:48:15 - 00:54:10)
"Mad Men" (00:54:10 - 01:15:30)
 
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.
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<p>Can a trip to Ricky's Tacos help Jason Isaacs solve the big &quot;Awake&quot;&nbsp;mystery?</p>

Can a trip to Ricky's Tacos help Jason Isaacs solve the big "Awake" mystery?

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: On 'Awake,' Britten gets a drive-through clue

Could a taco run provide an answer to one of the show's biggest mysteries?

Last week's "Awake" was the first episode of the series that NBC hadn't sent out to critics in advance, and as a result it was the first episode I didn't get around to reviewing, because it took me several days to see it. But "That's Not My Penguin" was perhaps the show's strongest episode so far, making the shrinks vital to the series again by pointing out just how unhealthy Britten's situation is if we believe that one of the worlds isn't real. 

Thus far, Kyle Killen and Howard Gordon have put aside any doubts about the creative viability of the concept. This all may come crashing down eventually, but right now they're doing a fantastic job of juggling, and I can't wait to see what they do next. 

And if you're as engaged by the show as I am, then you don't have to wait until Thursday night at 10 for at least a taste of the next episode, titled "Ricky's Tacos," as we have a clip — exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours — from early in the episode in which a trip to the drive-through offers an unexpected clue for Detective Britten.

Enjoy, and I'll do my best to get to this one in a timelier fashion.

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<p>Christina Hendricks and Christine Estabrook in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

Christina Hendricks and Christine Estabrook in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' - 'Mystery Date': Nightmares and dreamscapes

The night is dark and full of terrors for Don, Joan, Peggy and Sally

A review of tonight's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I start with the whole world and eventually check my apartment...

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<p>Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' - 'The Night Lands': Make love, not war

Theon goes home, Tyrion makes a move and Arya makes a friend

A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I've got armor on...

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<p>Lena Dunham on the set of HBO's &quot;Girls.&quot;</p>

Lena Dunham on the set of HBO's "Girls."

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Girls' producers Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner

The 'Tiny Furniture' director talks about her comedy of sexual misadventure in Brooklyn
When I first sat down to watch HBO's new comedy series "Girls," I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't at that point seen the movie "Tiny Furniture," which, like "Girls," was written by, directed by and starring Lena Dunham. The actors were mostly unknowns, and though Judd Apatow was attached as a producer, I assumed with his feature career he wasn't going to be nearly as hands-on as he was with "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" a decade ago.
 
But the series — in which Dunham plays Hannah Horvath, a wannabe writer struggling with work, sex, friendship and money in Brooklyn — wowed me from the start. I'll have a review closer to the premiere (next Sunday at 10:30), but by the time I was done with the first three episodes I knew I wanted to talk to Dunham, and with her showrunning partner Jenni Konner, whose career started as a writer on "Undeclared."
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<p>David Simon.</p>

David Simon.

Credit: AP

Interview: David Simon doesn't want to tell you how to watch 'The Wire'

Though he'd probably still prefer you get to the end of a season before passing judgment

As you know if you've been reading me for more than five seconds, I think "The Wire" is the best drama to ever air on television. I'm also an enormous fan of the rest of David Simon's oeuvre, all the way from his book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," all the way up through "Tremé," which will be back on HBO this fall.

 
But I was very disheartened to read yesterday's New York Times interview with Simon, in which he seemed to suggest there was a right and a wrong way to watch his shows, and he disapproved of anyone doing it the wrong way. This passage seemed particularly contentious, to both myself and a lot of people I follow in Twitter, be they fellow TV critics or other TV showrunners who are fans of "The Wire."
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<p>&quot;Nurse Jackie&quot;&nbsp;(Edie Falco)&nbsp;is on the defensive to start season 4.</p>

"Nurse Jackie" (Edie Falco) is on the defensive to start season 4.

Credit: Showtime

Review: Showtime's 'Nurse Jackie' faces consequences in season 4

HitFix
B+
Readers
B+
Edie Falco dramedy much improved after shaking things up
For the two-plus seasons I watched "Nurse Jackie," it was a show with a tremendous lead performance by Edie Falco, a bunch of well-etched supporting characters played by Merritt Wever, Anna Deavere Smith and Peter Facinelli (among others) and a reliably black comic sensibility that could deftly turn on a dime for more serious moment. But it was also a show that, like Jackie — a painkiller addict concealing her addiction, an extramarital affair and any number of other secrets — stubbornly, proudly in denial of the need to change things up even a little. Consequences seemed to hurtle at Jackie with regularity, but they were always quickly dodged.
 
After a while, that refusal to shake things up and force Jackie to deal with the wreck her life had become forced me to quit the show cold turkey. After I left, things got even worse on the no-consequences front, as last season's finale (which I later watched on a "Even you won't believe they did this" recommendation from a friend) went out of its way to tease anyone who thought comeuppance was coming. On the personal front, right when Jackie was on the verge of confessing her adultery to husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa), he admitted an affair to her, allowing her to hypocritically reclaim the moral high ground, while at work, Ms. Akalitus (Smith) threw Jackie's drug test in the trash to protect her.
 
But sometime between that finale and the fourth season premiere (Sunday at 9 p.m.), "Jackie" co-creators Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem appear to have had a moment of clarity and realized that if their show kept running in place, it would suffer a slow, mediocre death. "Nurse Jackie" season 4 is all consequences, all the time — and is much, much more satisfying overall as a result.
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<p>Scott Adsit as Pete Hornberger in &quot;30 Rock.&quot;</p>

Scott Adsit as Pete Hornberger in "30 Rock."

Credit: NBC

'30 Rock' - 'Nothing Left to Lose': Smell the love

Tracy regains his sense of smell, Jenna pranks the writers and Jack mentors Pete

A quick review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I quote myself talking to Bruce Willis...

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