Happy 2014, Firewall & Iceberg fans! The podcast is back on Monday for this week only, simply because press tour starts later in the week and turns both our schedules upside down. It's a super busy week for premieres, and Dan and I dealt with eight different new and returning shows here, and we'll have another four tomorrow on the video show. The rundown:
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If there really aren't any new stories left to tell in fiction, then the only hope is that the same old tales are told interestingly. Sometimes, it's just a matter of finding a new approach, whether it's the haunting visual style of something like "Hannibal," or, going a bit further back, the melding of mob and psycho drama on "The Sopranos."
Sometimes, though, the only thing making the dusty clichés look pretty are the actors wearing them, which is the case for CBS' "Intelligence" and ABC's "Killer Women," which debut tomorrow night at 9 & 10 respectively. (Starting next week, "Intelligence" will air Mondays at 10.) Both are assembled whole cloth out of bits of other shows — many of them much better than these — and put all the weight on stars Josh Holloway (for "Intelligence") and Tricia Helfer (for "Killer Women").
A review of tonight's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I make a presidential joke...
"Community" is somehow back for a fifth season, and with Dan Harmon restored as showrunner after his year away. I reviewed the start of the season in general on Monday, and I have specific thoughts on tonight's two episodes coming up just as soon as I blame owls for how much I suck at analogies...
Happy Monday, boys and girls! It's the last Firewall & Iceberg video show of the year. After a week off due to technical difficulties, Dan and I are back to look ahead to some of 2014's most promising premieres before we get into specific talk about three premieres: "Community," "Downton Abbey" and ABC's "The Assets." (Aka, Firewall & Iceberg: Accent Cops!) Plus, we look back on some of our favorite episodes of shows that didn't make our respective top 10s.
The time breakdown:
- TV Previews 2014
As always, you can send us questions at email@example.com. There's also now a YouTube channel where you can subscribe to all upcoming Firewall & Iceberg videos, at https://www.youtube.com/show/firewalliceberg.
That the low-rated "Community" is returning to NBC on Thursday night at 8, for a fifth season, with creator Dan Harmon back at the helm a year after he was fired, defies all logic. But then, "Community" has never had much use for logic. The comedy — and the dysfunctional community college that provides its setting — has always operated by its own set of rules, consistently pulling off ideas that have no business working. At its best — and Harmon's first few episodes back get much closer to the show's peak than I was expecting — it is a marvelous contraption fueled equally by a love of pop culture and a commitment to character, that can do kitchen-sink realism one week and a stop-motion animated Christmas adventure the next.
HBO just aired the series finale of "Tremé" — you can read my review of the finale here — and as I often do when that show ends a season (or "The Wire" before it), I got on the phone with co-creator David Simon to talk about it.
But though we talked about a few specifics of the final season — for instance, what decisions he and Eric Overmyer had to make about how to work within a reduced budget that allowed them to make 5 episodes rather than the 10 or 11 of previous seasons — the conversation mostly veered into a discussion of where Simon finds himself at this stage of a critically-revered but commercially-unsuccessful career. As he notes at one point, he's now been a TV producer longer than he was a newspaper reporter, but he still isn't sure he quite belongs in the business — "I don't think I have demonstrated that I'm a particularly good fit for television" — and wonders if might leave HBO for another creative "insurgency," or leave the medium altogether.
So lots of that, and about the reactions to the series over the years, all coming up just as soon as I kill the rest of the day making myself pretty...
"Tremé" has come to an end. I had a lengthy interview with co-creator David Simon about the final season — but more, ultimately, about the past, present and future of his career — and I have a review of the series finale coming up just as soon as my shoes feel like science projects...