It's Marvel TV time at Comic-Con, with an hour-long panel that promises to feature Jeph Loeb plus still-unnamed castmembers from both "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" and "Marvel's Agent Carter." The question is, will Marvel stop with just the two ABC dramas, or will they start trying to build excitement for the four upcoming Netflix series by, say, bringing in "Daredevil" stars Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll for surprise appearances? (Woll has a long and impressive history of Comic-Con cosplay, including stints as Hit Girl and Axe Cop, so I wouldn't be shocked in the least if she came dressed as Elektra — or Daredevil, for that matter.) And will Loeb be as bombastic as in his usual interviews, or will he acknowledge how rough so much of "Agents of SHIELD" season 1 was before "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" finally gave the show direction?
Based on traditional ratings alone, NBC's "Hannibal" is among the least-watched shows on the traditional broadcast networks. But its reputation among the sorts of fans who come to Comic-Con has grown with each passing year. Two summers ago, it was just one half of a Bryan Fuller-focused panel (which also focused on his attempt to reboot "The Munsters" as "Mockingbird Lane") in a very small room. Last summer, it moved to a slightly bigger room to accommodate Fuller and Hugh Dancy. This year, even without Dancy or Mads Mikkelsen or Laurence Fishburne, "Hannibal" has graduated to the big time, taking over the Convention Center's mammoth Ballroom 20 for a panel subtitled "Embrace the Madness," featuring Fuller, director David Slade, writer/producer Steven Lightfoot, longtime Hannibal Lecter producer Martha DeLaurentiis, and supporting players Caroline Dhavernas, Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams, and moderated by Jonathan Ross.
A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as we speak in the universal language of pain...
Road trip? Road trip! Press tour is over, and Comic-Con is about to start, which means it's time for everyone's (least?) favorite Firewall & Iceberg Podcast of the year, recorded inside Dan's car as we drove from LA to San Diego. There is singing! There is a missed toll booth incident! There is Dan's annual excitement at passing the San Onofre nuclear power plant! And so much more! And along the way, we preview Comic-Con, close out press tour, review WGN's "Manhattan," check back in on "Halt and Catch Fire," wrap up "Orange Is the New Black" season 2, briefly discuss Dan's irrational hatred of Weird Al's "Word Crimes," and discuss Richard Linklater's "Boyhood." Lots and lots and lots o' stuff.
There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.
"Salem," WGN's first original scripted drama, is an unapologetic piece of trash, perhaps best summed up by the scene in the pilot where a naked Janet Montgomery — playing an actual Salem witch in a way that weirdly justifies all of the religion-fueled paranoia of the period — lets a toad suckle at a nipple on her thigh. While a channel's first scripted show isn't always representative of what follows, they tend to create expectations for what's to come, and it would have been easy to assume that WGN's plan was to lean heavily on campy genre fare.
But "Manhattan," WGN's second original drama (it debuts Sunday night at 9), is as far in tone and ambition and quality from "Salem" as the New Mexico desert of 1943 is from 17th century Massachusetts. At a minimum, it suggests you shouldn't assume anything about whatever the channel's going to do next.
We've come to the end of this trip through "Orange Is the New Black" season 2. Thoughts on the final three episodes, and season 2 as a whole, coming up just as soon as I buy a banjolele on Craigslist...
One of FXX's promos for the channel's upcoming premiere of every "The Simpsons" repeat ever — not to mention a new website/app called Simpsons World that will allow fans to watch any episode, or clip, at any time — features a post-apocalyptic America where the world has fallen apart because people are too busy watching old "Simpsons" scenes to do anything else.
As expected, FX has ordered a new season of "Fargo." And, as expected, it'll follow the "American Horror Story"/"True Detective" model of starting over from scratch.
A review of tonight's "The Leftovers" coming up just as soon as I stop copping you...