Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 100: 'Chuck,' 'Beavis & Butt-Head,' 'Grimm' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 100: 'Chuck,' 'Beavis & Butt-Head,' 'Grimm' & more

Dan and Alan celebrate their 100th podcast the way they did the 99 before it: lots of reviews


Happy Monday, and welcome to the 100th episode of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast - or, as we discuss early on, what could be considered either the 99th or 101st. Either way, if you were expecting a special anniversary installment with lots of cool things - or even better-than-normal production values - then clearly you have not been paying attention. Instead, Dan and I decided to treat this one like the 99 (or 98, or 100) before it and just offer reviews, banter, questions from you guys, etc.(*)

(*) Though we did finally use one of our favorite theme song candidates, as our one bit of celebration, even though it has nothing to do with the shows being discussed. One of these years, we'll get an honest-to-gosh theme song. 

The line-up: 

"Beavis & Bull-head" and "Good Vibes" -- 03:20 - 20:40
"Chuck" -- 20:35 - 28:00
"Grimm" -- 28:05 - 35:40
"Allen Gregory" -- 35:45 - 46:46
Listener Mail - "Reed Between the Lines" -- 46:50 - 56:15
Listener Mail - NBC football promotion -- 56:15 - 01:03:30
Listener Mail - Remakes of "Misfits" etc -- 01:03:30 - 01:07:30
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 and/or 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>Damian Lewis in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'Semper I': You're in the picture

When the cameras go away, Carrie has to find other ways to watch Brody

A review of last night's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I put out some soap flakes...

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<p>Jack Huston as Richard Harrow in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Jack Huston as Richard Harrow in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Gimcrack & Bunkum': A walk in the woods

Richard Harrow gets a rare spotlight in the season's strongest episode to date

 A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I kill Mary Pickford...

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<p>Rick (Andrew Lincoln)&nbsp;and Hershel (Scott Wilson)&nbsp;on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Hershel (Scott Wilson) on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'Bloodletting': I'm just a country doctor...

Rick gets unexpected help as he tries to keep Carl alive

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I take your idiocy under advisement for later...

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<p>Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla in &quot;Once Upon a Time.&quot;</p>

Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla in "Once Upon a Time."

Credit: ABC

'Once Upon a Time' - 'Pilot': No more happy endings

What did everybody think of ABC's new fairy tale drama?

I posted my review of ABC's "Once Upon a Time." Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of the first of this season's two dramas about fairy tale characters come to life? Were you more engaged by the fairy tale flashbacks or the scenes in present day? Did you like watching Dr. Cameron hang out with Bobby Draper 3.0? Do you just wish ABC had powered through with trying to adapt "Fables," or would that have been untenable? And do you plan to keep watching?

Have at it.

<p>Pearl Jam in a publicity still for &quot;Pearl Jam Twenty.&quot;</p>

Pearl Jam in a publicity still for "Pearl Jam Twenty."

Credit: PBS

'Pearl Jam Twenty': Long players

What did everybody think of Cameron Crowe's rock documentary?

One of the highlights of the summer press tour for me was an unplanned one. I was coming back from a party, and Fienberg told me that PBS was doing a late-night screening of "Pearl Jam Twenty," the Cameron Crowe-directed documentary about the band's tumultuous two decades that debuted last night as part of the "American Masters" series.(*) I had writing to do, and/or sleep to catch up on, but I figured I'd go for a half hour, get a sense of what questions to ask at the press conference the next morning, and then call it a night.

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<p>Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer)&nbsp;gives a speech on &quot;Boss.&quot;</p>

Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) gives a speech on "Boss."

Credit: Lions Gate

'Boss' - 'Listen': Ears to you

What did everybody think of Kelsey Grammer's new Starz drama?

I posted my review of Starz's "Bossyesterday. (And Fienberg published his earlier this evening.) Now it's your turn. How did you feel about Kelsey Grammer's performance, Gus Van Sant's very stylized direction, the glimpses we saw of (fictionalized) Chicago politics, the supporting characters, the disease and all the rest? Too many speeches? Not enough speeches? How are you feeling about eyeballs right about now? And ears, for that matter?

Under more optimal circumstances, I would be doing full-length reviews of each "Boss" episode, but I think I'm at critical mass in that area right now (especially with "Chuck" returning on Fridays starting next week). So for the time being, the plan is to set up quick talkback posts like this one, perhaps touching on a specific part of the episode I'm curious about reaction on, but mainly a place where those who are watching can discuss it. The three episodes I've seen are very much of a piece, but if it turns out there's one coming that feels notably better or worse than the others, I might got a bit longer with that one.

Anyway, have at it, and we'll see how this goes over the coming weeks. What did everybody else think?

<p>Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin)&nbsp;and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas)&nbsp;in &quot;Once Upon a Time.&quot;</p>

Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) in "Once Upon a Time."

Credit: ABC

Review: Fairy tales come to life in ABC's 'Once Upon a Time'

Snow White, Prince Charming and friends are trapped in modern-day America

ABC's "Once Upon a Time" (Sunday at 8 p.m.) is one of two new shows this season in which fairy tale characters start appearing in modern-day America, with NBC's fairy tale crime procedural "Grimm" debuting next Friday. Every TV season brings with it at least one set of weird dopplegangers like this - this one actually has several ("Mad Men"-era dramas, and sitcoms about the death of masculinity) - but the abundance of fairy tale stories seems less surprising than most.

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<p>Anna Torv on &quot;Fringe.&quot;</p>

Anna Torv on "Fringe."

Credit: NBC

The Peter Bishop principle: Checking in on 'Fringe' season 4

Has the new status quo been worth the trouble to introduce and explain it?

We're at the start of that awkward post-premiere, pre-sweeps period of the TV season where networks start sprinkling in repeats(*), which means there's no new "Fringe" tonight. But that gives me an excuse to offer some overall thoughts on the first four episodes and how I'm feeling about the season to date, coming up just as soon as I get all my ideas from watching "The Matrix" fight scenes...

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<p>Kelsey Grammer in &quot;Boss.&quot;</p>

Kelsey Grammer in "Boss."

Credit: Lions Gate

Review: Kelsey Grammer is mesmerizing in Starz's 'Boss'

Sitcom alum goes very convincingly dramatic as corrupt Chicago mayor

Between "Cheers" and "Frasier," Kelsey Grammer spent 20 years playing pompous, erudite, clumsy psychiatrist Frasier Crane. In the history of live-action American primetime television, no one has ever played a character for more years (though "Gunsmoke" star James Arness, who shares the year record with Grammer, played Matt Dillon for many, many more hours). Television is a business where you tend to get typecast by executives and viewers if you play the same character for 3 or 4 years, and where the big stars are usually asked to play a similar character the next time they come up to bat. (Check out Tim Allen as a crankier, meaner Tim Taylor on "Last Man Standing," for instance.)

Given the staggering duration of the Frasier character, it would be easy for Kelsey Grammer to spend the rest of his career playing variations on that theme: Frasier is a librarian! Frasier is an overly-educated auto mechanic! And, in fact, that's more or less what he did after "Frasier" ended, first with "Back to You" (Frasier is a local TV news anchor!) and then "Hank" (Frasier is a destitute ex-CEO!), both of them canceled after a single season.

With "Boss," the new Starz drama that debuts Friday night at 10, no one will be having the Frasier is the mayor of Chicago! reaction. Same man, same familiar face and stentorian voice, but the performance and show are worlds removed from the role that made him rich, famous and a four-time Emmy winner.

And in this case, that's a very good thing.

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