Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Louie and Janet seek professional help, while Louie tries to advance things with Amia

A review of tonight's two "Louie" episodes coming up just as soon as I don't drink lemonade for two years...

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<p>Yvonne Strahovski in &quot;24: Live Another Day.&quot;</p>

Yvonne Strahovski in "24: Live Another Day."

Credit: FOX

Review: '24: Live Another Day' - '3:00 PM - 4:00 PM'

The good guys finally get on the same page, but is it too late to matter?

A review of tonight's "24: Live Another Day" coming up just as soon as I tell you how to open a socket...

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Funeral Plans for 2013-2014's Network TV New Series Casualties

Funeral Plans for 2013-2014's Network TV New Series Casualties

Saying farewell to 'Dads,' 'Mixology,' 'Trophy Wife' & more

The TV business is built on the idea that most shows will fail, but when you get to the end of a given broadcast network TV season (the latest one ended last Wednesday), it can still be startling to realize just how wasteful it can be. A year ago, the five broadcast networks ordered around 50 new shows. Of those, a dozen were renewed for next season, nearly three times as many were canceled, two will never air and the rest were pushed into this summer, some as part of genuine pushes for year-round programming (FOX's "Gang Related"), some just being dumped where they can cause the least damage (CBS' "Reckless"). There were two different failed shows about prolonged hostage crises in and around Washington D.C. starring one half of Derbel McDillett; both failed.. There were returns to television for the likes of Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox; ditto. There were lazy and obnoxious FOX comedies that failed ("Dads") as well as funny and heart-warming FOX comedies that failed ("Enlisted" and "Surviving Jack"). It's a brutal business.

How many of the shows ordered at this year's upfronts will still be standing when next May swings around? It's going to be ugly, I imagine. But before we push into the summer season, and then start dealing with the fall newbies, it's time for what's become our annual HitFix tradition: making funeral plans for all the new network shows that were born and died at some point in the 2013-14 TV season. Bow your heads, and let's begin.

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<p>John Slattery in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

John Slattery in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Mid-season finale review: 'Mad Men' - 'Waterloo'

Cutler tries to push Don out, Peggy gets a big opportunity, and man walks on the moon

A review of the "Mad Men" mid-season finale coming up just as soon as I have to talk to people who just touched the face of God about hamburgers...

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<p>Mads Mikkelsen as &quot;Hannibal.&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen as "Hannibal."

Credit: NBC

Season finale review: 'Hannibal' - 'Mizumono'

Hannibal plans his escape, Jack makes a stand, and Will and Alana see a familiar face

A review of the "Hannibal" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I move your punctuation mark...

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<p>&quot;The Normal Heart.&quot;</p>

"The Normal Heart."

Credit: HBO

Review: In HBO's 'The Normal Heart,' Ryan Murphy gets in the way

HitFix
B
Readers
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Great performances by Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matthew Bomer and others clouded by 'Glee' creator's direction

What makes Ryan Murphy such a frustrating storyteller is that he has very obvious and impressive strengths, which he then seems to go out of his way to obscure with his very obvious weaknesses. He has great passion for socially relevant drama, for instance, but his point tends to get lost in the ADHD style that eventually plagued "Glee," "Nip/Tuck" and everything else he's done in television. ("American Horror Story," his biggest current hit, at least started out with ADHD, so there was no letdown later when things unraveled.) He works well with actors as both a writer and director, giving them meaty material and pulling excellent performances out of them, but then makes various other choices that distract from those performances.

That "The Normal Heart" — an adaptation of Larry Kramer's 1985 play about the early days of the AIDS crisis — has finally been turned into a film that will air on HBO on Sunday at 9, after decades of sitting in development hell, is a testament to Murphy, who bought the rights with his own money and assembled a cast fronted by Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts. The film wouldn't exist without his belief in it. And yet I wish almost anyone else had directed it.

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<p>Not Great Bob! &quot;Mad Men&quot; and Bob Benson</p>

Not Great Bob! "Mad Men" and Bob Benson

Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 231

Dan and Alan also discuss the genius of 'Review' and the latest 'Mad Men'

The

It's another Thursday for the Firewall & Iceberg podcast, because we wanted to be able to discuss "The Americans" finale in a relatively timely fashion, in addition to our usual "Mad Men" breakdown, some more finale talk with "The Good Wife," and a belated review of Comedy Central's brilliant "Review." Due to holidays, travel, etc., we're not sure what day of the week the next podcast may be, but we'll have plenty to discuss there.

Also, I don't often plug the video show in the podcast post, but I'd strongly suggest watching — or even listening to while you have other windows open — the last segment from this week's show, in which Dan and I play Canceled TV Show Trivia.

The rundown: 

"Review" (00:01:05 - 00:11:20)
"The Good Wife" finale (00:11:55 - 00:26:30)
"The Americans" finale (00:27:20 - 00:43:20)
Listener Mail - TV show ownership (00:43:30 - 00:49:05)
Listener Mail - "Mad Men" comparisons (00:49:10 - 00:56:55)
Sunday's "Mad Men" (00:56:55 - 01:15:20)
 
As always, send questions to firewalliceberg@hitfix.com. 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>the americans</p>

the americans

Credit: FX

Season finale review: 'The Americans' - 'Echo'

Philip and Elizabeth find out who killed Jared's family, while Stan makes a decision about Nina

"The Americans" just concluded its second season in spectacular fashion. I interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields about season 2, and I have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as I want to punch you in the face if you say one more thing about nonviolent resistance...

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'The Americans' producers on the sex, murder and wigs of season 2
Credit: FX

'The Americans' producers on the sex, murder and wigs of season 2

What made this season even stronger than the first?

FX’s period spy drama “The Americans” went to a new level this season, going from a very good show to one of the very best on television by delving deeper into the emotional, moral and even sexual implications of two KGB spies pretending to be American spouses for decades and raising kids all the way. The season finale was devastating in the way it paid off the arcs about family, about whether FBI Agent Stan Beeman would betray his country to save Nina, and more. I reviewed the finale here, and I interviewed producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields about the season, coming up just as soon as you tell me where your corkscrew is…

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<p>Oliver Platt in &quot;Fargo.&quot;</p>

Oliver Platt in "Fargo."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Fargo' - 'Buridan's Ass'

A blizzard causes lots of problems in a particularly bloody episode

A review of tonight's "Fargo" coming up just as soon as God tells me not to park here...

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