<p>Megan Hilty and Will Chase in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Megan Hilty and Will Chase in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

'Smash' - 'Enter Mr. DiMaggio': Joltin' Julia

Various creative problems come to the forefront in a bumpy third episode

A review of tonight's "Smash" coming up just as soon as I can hear it in the O's...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 116: 'Downton Abbey,' 'On Freddie Roach,' reality TV & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 116: 'Downton Abbey,' 'On Freddie Roach,' reality TV & more

Dan and Alan also answer your questions on pilot season, Ann Perkins and Jeremy Lin

The

It's a slow week in television, relatively-speaking (no major premieres, at least), which makes for an eclectic Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, where talk of the Dowager Countess of "Downton Abbey" rubs up against discussion of boxing trainer Freddie Roach, Ann Perkins' love life, pilot season, and, of course, new podcast mainstay Jeremy Lin (but only kinda-sorta).

The line-up: 

"Downton Abbey" (00:01:30 - 00:21:00)
"On Freddie Roach" (00:21:00 - 00:29:30)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:29:30 - 00:44:10)
Listener Mail - Pilots (00:45:55 - 00:59:10)
Listen Mail - Linsanity and Asian Representations (00:59:10 - 01:07:00)
Listener Mail - Critically acclaimed shows we don't acclaim (01:07:00 - 01:13:45)
Listener Mail - The Ann Perkins Problem (01:13:50 - 01:18:40)
Listener Mail - FOX's truncated schedule (01:18:50 - 01:22:25)
 
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.
<p>The cast of &quot;Downton Abbey&quot;&nbsp;in the Christmas finale.</p>

The cast of "Downton Abbey" in the Christmas finale.

Credit: ITV

Season finale review: 'Downton Abbey': Christmas in February

Some happier endings in the season-ending Christmas special, but was it good as a whole?

PBS just finished showing the second season of "Downton Abbey" (U.K. viewers saw the finale back at Christmas). I reviewed most of the season in non-specific terms in early January, and promised to weigh in with more details — and an opportunity for you to discuss the same — after it had all finished airing here in the States. That time has come, and I have various thoughts on both the finale and the season coming up  just as soon as I have a loader...

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<p>Steven Yeun in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Steven Yeun in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'Triggerfinger': We need to talk about Shane

Some strong thriller scenes at the start, but when are the people going to become interesting?

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I go get some flowers and candy for my prisoner...

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<p>Kerry Condon as Rosie in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Kerry Condon as Rosie in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

'Luck' - 'Episode 4': The father, the son and the holy goat?

A transcendent racing sequence takes the drama to another level

A review of tonight's "Luck" coming up just as soon as I call eight hours ahead to push 15 minutes...

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<p>&quot;The Simpsons&quot;&nbsp;500th episode.</p>

"The Simpsons" 500th episode.

Credit: FOX

'The Simpsons' - 'At Long Last Leave': Here's to 500 episodes!

Will the Simpsons have to leave Springfield forever?

We've had a lot of fun preparing for "The Simpsons" 500th episode over the last few days, with you guys choosing your favorite episodes, quotes and (non-Simpson family) characters. Now it's time to discuss episode 500 itself, with a quick review coming up just as soon as I spend $800 on dragon insurance...

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<p>Lionel Hutz, one of the many men and women who made &quot;The Simpsons&quot;&nbsp;great.</p>

Lionel Hutz, one of the many men and women who made "The Simpsons" great.

Credit: FOX

People of Springfield: Who's your favorite non-Simpson 'Simpsons' character?

Can you pick one and only one citizen of America's greatest city?

On Friday, I asked you to pick one — and only one — episode of "The Simpsons" as your favorite ever. Yesterday, the challenge was to pick one — and only one — "Simpsons" quote as your favorite.

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<p>Your humble critic's favorite &quot;Simpsons&quot;&nbsp;quote comes from season 6's &quot;A&nbsp;Star is Burns.&quot;</p>

Your humble critic's favorite "Simpsons" quote comes from season 6's "A Star is Burns."

Credit: FOX

Pick only one favorite 'Simpsons' quote? That's unpossible!

What one line of dialogue stands out above the rest from 499 episodes?

Okay, so yesterday's post in which I challenged everyone to name their favorite episode of "The Simpsons" — and only one episode, with no lists, no runners-up or other equivocating — drew a lot of interest. And with the 500th episode airing tomorrow, I'm going to make it even tougher on you guys with today's challenge: 

Pick your favorite quote from "The Simpsons." 

Again, pick only one.

Yes, only one.

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<p>Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis in &quot;Life's Too Short.&quot;</p>

Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis in "Life's Too Short."

Credit: HBO

Review: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's 'Life's Too Short' comes to HBO

HitFix
C+
Readers
B
'The Office' duo underwhelm with yet another celebrity-related mockumentary
When Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's showbiz satire "Extras" was coming to the end of its second and final season on HBO, Gervais told me that he felt he and Merchant had, between that show and the original "The Office," done as much as they could with the notion of people who will do anything to be famous.
 
"We're never going to do anything to do with media again," he told me, explaining that they were probably going to be done with it after "The Office," until they realized their newfound celebrity gave them a chance to do one more story on a higher level featuring cameos from their new pals. "It seemed right. We were fresh to it and we thought we had a fresh approach to it. We never would have done it if we couldn't find a new angle. There's no point in telling someone something twice. It's worth exploring the same themes -- relationships, wasting your life -- all of those things are worth because they're fundamental. It's not like humans have moved on, you know, 'We're going to give up relationships.' But we've pretty much, that's our Picasso blue period -- that's our fame period."
 
As it turned out, Gervais and Merchant weren't quite done with their fame period, after all. That second season of "Extras" was followed by a Christmas special that repeated some of the satiric points they had made on in the regular episodes, albeit at greater length and with more of a dramatic bent. And now the two have created "Life's Too Short," yet another mockumentary about a man — little person actor Warwick Davis (the lead Ewok in "Return of the Jedi" and Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter films, among other roles), playing a debased version of himself — willing to suffer endless humiliation to hang onto his incredibly modest level of celebrity. (The first season already aired in the UK, and it debuts Sunday night at 10:30 on HBO.)
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<p>&quot;The Simpsons&quot;&nbsp;as they looked nearly 500 episodes ago.</p>

"The Simpsons" as they looked nearly 500 episodes ago.

Credit: FOX

Best. Episode. Ever? Pick your 'Simpsons' favorite

As the show prepares to air its 500th episode, what's the one you love best?

"The Simpsons" airs its 500th episode this Sunday night. "At Long Last Leave," like many latter-day "Simpsons" outings, features a story we've seen variations on several times before (including in "The Simpsons Movie"), but also features many funny jokes that affirm my belief that I'm happier to live in a world that keeps giving us new "Simpsons" episodes (especially when they are occasionally as great as "Holidays of Future Passed") than I will be in the one where that inevitably stops. The couch gag in particular is marvelous, and actually made me choke up a bit. 

The show has been on so long, has passed so many anniversaries, that I've run out of deep thoughts to say about the series at this latest milestone. So instead, I will borrow a suggestion from Time's Jame Poniewozik, who took the occasion of the 500th episode to both declare his own favorite "Simpsons" episode ever ("Homer's Enemy," which I've never liked) and to invite viewers to do the same.

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