<p>You don't want to defy the rules around here, do you?</p>

You don't want to defy the rules around here, do you?

Six simple rules for commenting on my blog: the sequel

A few guidelines for keeping things civil here at What's Alan Watching?

When I first got the offer to join HitFix, I made sure that I would have the authority to keep enforcing the commenting rules from my old blog, which had gone a long way to making this a very smart, very civil community without a lot of the abuses you tend to see on most internet forums. And for the most part, everyone in the new community has played along.

As I said back in the Blogspot days, most of you are wonderful, smart, funny, and add so much to the discussion that other critics frequently express their envy about the quality of the comments here. It's not an understatement to say you guys are just as important as I am to what makes this place special, and often times more. And I want to continue keeping it that way.

Lately, though, things have been getting testy, and I've had to delete a fair number of comments that have crossed the line in one way or another. And it occurs to me that while I frequently refer to the rules when I punt a comment, I've never actually published a full version of them on this site. And given that I've been at HitFix for almost a year and a half, that's long overdue. So after the jump, here are the six rules you've got to obey in order to keep playing in this particular sandbox, mostly copied over from the original blog, but with a few tweaks to acknowledge some recent offenses.  They're not hard - most of them, in fact, can be loosely translated as "Don't be an asshole" - but the anonymity of the Internet makes it easy to forget to do them.

Read Full Post
<p>The video game-playing dudes of &quot;Man Up!&quot;&nbsp;are, from left, Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler and Chris Moynihan.</p>

The video game-playing dudes of "Man Up!" are, from left, Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler and Chris Moynihan.

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC's forgettable 'Man Up!'

HitFix
C-
Readers
C-
The middle chapter of ABC's masculinity trilogy lacks a clear voice or good jokes

I spent most of this summer trying to figure out what was in the water at ABC's comedy development offices that resulted in the network ordering three different sitcoms - "Last Man Standing," which debuted last week, "Man Up!," which debuts tonight at 8:30, and "Work It," which will hopefully debut sometime half past never - about the difficulty of being a man in 21st century America. I wondered who was so convinced this was a topic much on the hearts and minds of comedy viewers, and also why a network that is so heavily aimed at female viewers would bother with three male-centric shows - even if one of them features the men dressing up as women. (To balance that out, "Work It" features a cast of female characters who are too stupid to live, let alone recognize that their new co-workers are really two guys built like defensive backs.)

Mostly, though, I wondered - especially given the lame-to-horrible execution of the three shows - whether there was actual entertainment value and laughter to be found in exploring this topic.

Read Full Post
<p>Cobie Smulders and Kal Penn on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Cobie Smulders and Kal Penn on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Mystery vs. History': I gots ta know!

Ted tries to stay off the internet with his latest love interest

 A quick review of tonight's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I compare my baby to the chupacabra...

Read Full Post
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 99: 'Boss,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Pearl Jam 20' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 99: 'Boss,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Pearl Jam 20' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'Man Up!' and answer your mail

The

Before we get to this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, I need to issue an apology for inadvertently playing Dane Cook to Fienberg's Louis CK and appropriating one of his jokes without realizing I had done it. (For those wondering, it's the "Happy Endings" drinking game one during the "Once Upon a Time" segment, which Dan reminded me after the fact he had made on Twitter a few days ago.) All hail Dan, all shame me.

As for the rest of the episode, no more "Breaking Bad" discussion, but plenty of reviews, listener mail, and even a brand-new sponsor! The line-up: 

"Man Up" -- 02:15 - 13:15
"Pearl Jam Twenty" -- 13:15 - 21:35
"Boss" -- 21:40 - 32:45
"Once Upon a Time" -- 32:45 - 42:40
Listener Mail: Showrunners winging it -- 42:50 - 48:30
Listener Mail: Unintended meaning -- 48:40 - 52:45
Listener Mail: Critic aggregator sites -- 52:50 - 57:15
Listener Mail: Baseball's impact on FOX -- 57:20 - 01:04:00
 
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>Clay and the rest of the &quot;Sons of Anarchy&quot;&nbsp;will ride again in a fifth season, thanks to FX's renewal.</p>

Clay and the rest of the "Sons of Anarchy" will ride again in a fifth season, thanks to FX's renewal.

Credit: FX

FX renews 'Sons of Anarchy' for season 5

Motorcycle club drama remains FX's highest-rated series

FX has, unsurprisingly, renewed "Sons of Anarchy" for a fifth season.

The motorcycle club drama remains the cable channel's highest-rated series and is having its most-watched season yet. To date, season 4 is averaging 5.8 million viewers overall, and 3.9 million viewers in the 18-49 year-old demographic, which are up 30% and 26%, respectively, over season 3.

“Everyone at FX is very grateful to Kurt Sutter, his many writing, directing and producing collaborators and his masterful cast for making such a compelling and beautifully crafted show,” FX president John Landgraf said in a statement.  “It is no small challenge to bring the themes of a great, ancient play like 'Hamlet' into a wholly original television setting and to tell this complex story in a way that is both riveting and accessible to a broad audience.   The fans know how beautifully 'SOA' meets this challenge, and we thank them for their loyal and passionate viewership.”

Sutter has said he envisions a seven-season arc for the series, making the current season the midway point. And with this renewal (more a contractual formality than anything else), the show is getting closer to fulfilling that vision.

<p>Julianna Margulies on &quot;The Good Wife.&quot;</p>

Julianna Margulies on "The Good Wife."

Credit: CBS

'The Good Wife' - 'Feeding the Rat': An innocent man

Alicia's case is a dud, but office politics at Lockhart Gardner remain compelling

A review of last night's "The Good Wife" coming up just as soon as I'm in line to be the next baseball commissioner...

Read Full Post
<p>Jessica Brody (Morena Baccarin)&nbsp;thinks about her husband on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Jessica Brody (Morena Baccarin) thinks about her husband on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'Clean Skin': Let's get a taco

Brody's home life seems better but gets worse, while Carrie struggles to protect her asset

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I torpedo your briefing...

Read Full Post
<p>Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies)&nbsp;and Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride)&nbsp;hide from &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;&nbsp;in the season 2 premiere.</p>

Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride) hide from "The Walking Dead" in the season 2 premiere.

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'What Lies Ahead': Deer, Jesus

Rick and friends head out on the highway but get stuck in a traffic jam

"The Walking Dead" is back for its second season. I already published my advance review of the season, and I have a few specific thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I keep the sun on my left shoulder...

Read Full Post
<p>Mickey (Paul Sparks), Jimmy (Michael Pitt)&nbsp;and Richard (Jack Huston)&nbsp;visit a potential new partner on &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Mickey (Paul Sparks), Jimmy (Michael Pitt) and Richard (Jack Huston) visit a potential new partner on "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire' - 'What Does the Bee Do?': Strokes and slaps

Chalky and Richard highlight a revenge-fueled episode

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" review coming up just as soon as there are Creamsicles in my icebox...

Read Full Post
<p>Mose (Mike Schur)&nbsp;made a triumphant return to &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Mose (Mike Schur) made a triumphant return to "The Office."

Credit: NBC

'The Office' - 'Garden Party': The host with the most

A beloved recurring character returns, but is Andy carrying enough of the comic load as the new boss?

A review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I tell you about the Goat Package...

Read Full Post