<p>Sarah Jones and Sam Neill in &quot;Alcatraz.&quot;</p>

Sarah Jones and Sam Neill in "Alcatraz."

Credit: FOX

'Alcatraz' - 'Pilot/Ernest Cobb': We have to go back!

What did everybody think of FOX's new J.J. Abrams drama?

I posted my review of FOX's "Alcatraz" this morning. Now it's your turn. On the J.J. Abrams continuum (whether or not you want to include non-sci-fi stuff like "Felicity" and/or stuff he was only tangentially involved in like "Six Degrees" and "What About Brian?"), where does this rank? Were you engaged by the two cases investigated by the team? Happy to see Jorge Garcia playing such a Hurley-esque character? Is Sarah Jones a compelling lead? Did the final moment of the second episode excite you or make you shrug? 

Have at it. As I said in the review, I imagine I'll check back later in the season to see if it's gotten any less formulaic.

<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;creator Matthew Weiner hugging star Elisabeth Moss at AMC's party at the Television Critics Association press tour.</p>

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner hugging star Elisabeth Moss at AMC's party at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Credit: AP

Interview: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner previews season 5

It's 'every man for himself' when Don Draper and friends return on March 25
PASADENA - "Mad Men" will return on Sunday, March 25 with a two-hour episode that the show's creator Matthew Weiner called a "movie." Parts of it are structured like two episodes that will air on the same night, but both hours were directed by "The Suitcase" director Jennifer Getzinger, and Weiner tried to outline it so it would work as one big piece.
That's a splashy return for a show that's been off the air since October of 2010, and to get the press ready, AMC brought Weiner and virtually the entire "Mad Men" cast (from Jon Hamm on down to Jay R. Ferguson, who plays sexist art director Stan Rizzo) to press tour Saturday night for a meet-and-greet cocktail party. As always, the actors were on lockdown about what they could say about the new season (Christina Hendricks flinched at the notion of even hinting about what Joan's maternal side is like), so I eventually went straight to the source and spent a few minutes talking with Weiner and another reporter (whose questions are mixed in with mine) about what season 5 is about in terms of theme, if not plot.
Read Full Post
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 112: Press tour, 'Justified,' 'Touch' & 'Unsupervised'

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 112: Press tour, 'Justified,' 'Touch' & 'Unsupervised'

Dan and Alan also discuss the Golden Globes


Press tour is over, but before I left the warmth of California, Dan and I recorded another Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, running down the second half of the tour, reviewing several shows debuting over the next week and a half (the podcast is taking next week off while Dan goes to Sundance), and we even got on Skype later in the evening to talk briefly about a frustrating Golden Globes telecast.

Also, apologies for the various football-related interjections during the podcast. Giants-Packers was on in the background, and I couldn't help myself in a couple of spots.

The line-up: 

Press Tour Week Two (00:00 - 44:35)
"Justified" (44:40 - 51:40)
"Unsupervised" (51:40 - 57:15)
"Touch" (57:20 - 01:06:00)
The Golden Globes (01:06:45 - 01:15:00)
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 at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
<p>Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia head to &quot;Alcatraz.&quot;</p>

Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia head to "Alcatraz."

Credit: FOX

Review: FOX's 'Alcatraz' mixes time travel with drab police procedural

J.J. Abrams goes back to an island, but again hedges his bets
J.J. Abrams came to the TV critics press tour the other day to promote "Alcatraz," his new sci-fi/crime drama that FOX is debuting tonight at 8. A reporter asked Abrams about how the show - in which 300 inmates who vanished from the famous prison in 1963 begin popping up in the present day to cause mayhem - might try to balance the Prisoner of the Week stories with ongoing storytelling about what exactly caused this bit of time-traveling wackiness.
Read Full Post
<p>Ricky Gervais was a disappointment in his third go-around as Golden Globes host.</p>

Ricky Gervais was a disappointment in his third go-around as Golden Globes host.

Credit: NBC

Golden Globes review: Ricky Gervais a timid host, broadcast tedious

A few funny speeches, but a tough three hours to sit through

Ricky Gervais came out to host the 2012 Golden Globe Awards and tried to again paint himself as a rebel undermining the system from within. And yet even he could go so far with that angle, what with this being his third time as host, and what with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association asking him back after he spent last year's telecast gleefully ripping most of the movie stars in the room.

"Now, the Hollywood Foreign Press have warned me if I insult any of you," Gervais explained, "they'll definitely invite me back next year as well."

Read Full Post
<p>Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)&nbsp;and his brother Kip (Aaron Ruell)&nbsp;fight it out in the animated series' debut.</p>

Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) and his brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) fight it out in the animated series' debut.

Credit: FOX

'Napoleon Dynamite' The first rule of fight club...

What did everybody think of FOX's animated spin-off of the movie?

I posted my review of FOX's "Napoleon Dynamite" yesterday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched, what did you think? Was it an improvement on the film? A step down? Did you still feel attached to the characters so many years later? And what did people who hadn't seen the movie - or, like me, didn't like the movie - make of it all?

Have at it.

<p>Don Draper (Jon Hamm)&nbsp;and the rest of the &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;gang will be back in March.</p>

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and the rest of the "Mad Men" gang will be back in March.

Credit: AMC

AMC sets 'Mad Men' & 'The Killing' premiere dates

Don Draper will return a week before the Seattle detectives
What has been rumored for weeks is official today: "Mad Men" season 5 will begin on Sunday night, March 25 - and, as a bonus, the season premiere will be two hours long. (The premiere will air from 9-11 p.m., while the show's usual timeslot will be Sundays at 10.)
Read Full Post
<p>Karen Gillan as Amy Pond on &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

Karen Gillan as Amy Pond on "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

Press tour: Karen Gillan on leaving 'Doctor Who' and starring in 'We'll Take Manhattan'

She'll segue from playing Amy Pond to iconic '60s model Jean Shrimpton

PASADENA - Karen Gillan came to press tour to discuss her new TV-movie "We'll Take Manhattan," but as often happens at this event, the first question for her was about her more famous role on "Doctor Who," which she will leave sometime during the British sci-fi series' next season.

Read Full Post
<p>Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)&nbsp;and his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez)&nbsp;in animated form.</p>

Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) and his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) in animated form.

Credit: FOX

Review: 'Napoleon Dynamite' turns animated for FOX

Does the cartoon format wind up humanizing Napoleon, Pedro and friends?

The first thing I should say about "Napoleon Dynamite" the FOX animated series is that I hated "Napoelon Dynamite" the 2004 live-action film.

I found the movie airless, joyless and seemingly so full of contempt for its outcast characters - including Jon Heder as the oblivious title character - that I only got to the end because I kept hoping to see what it was that had made it such a beloved cult object in some circles.
I say this for two reasons. First, because if you're among those who love the movie, you may as well stop reading, because I'm not approaching the show (it debuts Sunday night at 8:30) from the same perspective. It's close enough in tone and style - and features the entire returning cast and creators Jared and Jerusha Hess - that if you still have affection for Napoleon, Pedro and company after all these years, I imagine you'll enjoy them in animated form.
But second, I say all of this because I assumed that, given my antipathy for the source material, I would hate "Napoleon Dynamite" the series just as much - and I didn't. I don't even know that I would go so far as to say I liked it, but the transition to animation works wonders with these characters and their rural Idaho world.
Read Full Post
<p>Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah on &quot;Chuck.&quot;</p>

Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah on "Chuck."

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. Bo': Double rainbow

Bo Derek complicates a mission, and Sarah makes two huge decisions

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I'm wearing a fake dreadlocked ski hat...

Read Full Post