<p>Debra Messing and Christian Borle in &quot;Smash.&quot;</p>

Debra Messing and Christian Borle in "Smash."

Credit: NBC

'Smash' - 'The Callback': Being Marilyn Monroe

Karen and Ivy go down to the wire for the lead role, while Julia writes a letter

A review of tonight's "Smash" coming up just as soon as I get you to understand p orbitals...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 115: Grammys, 'Cougar Town,' 'Life's Too Short' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 115: Grammys, 'Cougar Town,' 'Life's Too Short' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss Netflix's 'Lilyhammer' and the improbable NBA story of Jeremy Lin


It's later in the day (or night) than usual, but we got in a Firewall & Iceberg Podcast just under the Monday wire. Dan and I talk a bit about the experience of watching last night's Grammys, review the return of "Cougar Town," the HBO debut of Gervais and Merchant's "Life's Too Short" and Netflix's original wiseguy-in-Norway series "Lilyhammer." We also answer some of your mail, which gives us a chance to check in on some freshman series we haven't discussed in a while, and also for me to gush over Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. (Apologies in advance for that segment.)

The line-up: 

The Grammys (00:00:45 - 00:15:35)
"Cougar Town" (00:15:40 - 00:29:50)
"Life's Too Short" (00:29:50 - 38:45)
"Lilyhammer" (00:38:55 - 00:51:10)
Listener Mail - "Person of Interest" (00:52:00 - 00:59:05)
Listener Mail - New shows we're sticking with (00:59:05 - 01:07:25)
Listener Mail - LINSANITY (01:08:15 - 01:20:45)
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.
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<p>Courteney Cox and friends on &quot;Cougar Town.&quot;</p>

Courteney Cox and friends on "Cougar Town."

Credit: ABC

Good show, bad title: 'Cougar Town' returns for season 3

Some examples of how the ABC comedy transcended its horrible name

"Cougar Town" season 3 makes a very belated debut tomorrow night at 8:30 on ABC, and the guerrilla marketing campaign being waged by creators Bill Lawrence, Kevin Biegel and their stars seems two-pronged in its goals: 1)To remind existing "Cougar Town" fans that the show still exists and will be back on Valentine's Day, and 2)To convince people who either gave up on the show after a handful of episodes, or who simply refused to watch a show called "Cougar Town," that it has nothing to do with its horrible, horrible title anymore. (Biegel explained to me last month why they unfortunately can't change it.)

I've written a lot over the last couple of years about the ways the show transformed itself from the story of Courteney Cox's Jules living up to the cougar archetype into the story of Jules becoming the unofficial leader of a collection of oddball friends and relatives who live on her cul-de-sac. As I wrote last week, it's an incredibly goofy, incredibly charming comedy about friends and family, about red wine and running gags and boredom, and while it's certainly not for everyone, it's for far more people than anyone might suspect from thinking it's about Courteney Cox having sex with younger guys.

But no matter how many words I write, a picture will be worth 1,000 of 'em, and a bunch of embedded videos will be worth even more. So I've gathered together a collection of scenes that I feel capture the show that "Cougar Town" became over time, and that should be a good barometer of whether you want to watch the season premiere tomorrow. Lawrence's sense of humor is idiosyncratic, not universal. But if you find yourself laughing at one or more of these clips, chances are you'll want to spend more time with the Cul-de-Sac Crew this season. (And, yes, the gang's nickname is also terrible, but more intentionally so.) 

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<p>Andrew Lincoln and Scott Wilson on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Andrew Lincoln and Scott Wilson on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'Nebraska': This guy walks into a bar...

The zombie drama returns with a strong beginning and ending and another flat middle

"The Walking Dead" is back from its mid-season hiatus. I posted an interview with producers Glen Mazzara and Robert Kirkman on Friday, and I have a review of tonight's episode coming up just as soon as I check the map...

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<p>Kevin Dunn as Marcus on &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Kevin Dunn as Marcus on "Luck."

Credit: HBO

'Luck' - 'Episode 3': Money laundering

Several stories go in circles this week

A review of tonight's "Luck" coming up just as soon as I answer a question with a question...

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<p>William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum on &quot;Shameless.&quot;</p>

William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum on "Shameless."

Credit: Showtime

'Shameless' - 'Can I Have a Mother': I learned it from watching you!

Frank's mother pays a visit, and Fiona tries to double date with Steve

I'm not reviewing "Shameless" every week, but tonight's episode was particularly strong, and I have some thoughts on it coming up just as soon as I'm married, but only legally...

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<p>Kevin Smith (center)&nbsp;and the cast of AMC's &quot;Comic Book Men,&quot;&nbsp;including good friend Walter Flanagan (right), who manages Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash.</p>

Kevin Smith (center) and the cast of AMC's "Comic Book Men," including good friend Walter Flanagan (right), who manages Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash.

Credit: AMC

Interview: Kevin Smith talks 'Comic Book Men'

Director's career comes full circle with new AMC reality show about his comic shop
Kevin Smith owes his career to comic books. When he needed the money to finance his low-budget debut film "Clerks," he sold his entire comic book collection to the owner of his favorite local shop, Comicology. And when Comicology's owner decided to get out of the business a few years later, he offered to sell the store to the now rich and successful Smith, who bought it, renamed it Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, and put the management in the hands of his good friend Walter Flanagan. In its current location on Broad Street in Red Bank, it's become a tourist attraction and as much of a memorabilia museum from Smith's movies as it is a place to buy the latest issue of "Superman."
Now Flanagan, and the Stash, are the subject of a reality TV show, "Comic Book Men," debuting on AMC tonight at 10, and showing how Flanagan and friends Bryan Johnson, Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen deal with the customers and the business.
I spoke to lifelong comic book fan — and, on occasion, comic book author — Smith about his own history with comic shops, how and why he came to own this one, his expectations for the show and why Walt didn't want to be Snooki.
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<p>Amy Acker guest starred on tonight's &quot;Grimm.&quot;</p>

Amy Acker guest starred on tonight's "Grimm."

Credit: NBC

'Grimm' - 'Tarantella': Along came a spider

'Angel' alum Amy Acker plays the Monster of the Week

"Grimm" has surprised me a bit by still being on NBC's schedule this late in the season. It's not that I hated the show (as you can see in my initial review), but simply that it didn't seem remarkable enough to survive on Friday nights, on NBC, opposite a couple of pre-established sci-fi/fantasy shows in "Fringe" and "Supernatural." But it actually opened to pretty good numbers (especially by NBC standards), and while the ratings have dipped since the premiere, it still handily beats the other two genre shows each week.

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<p>Mary Steenburgen and Alec Baldwin on &quot;30 Rock.&quot;</p>

Mary Steenburgen and Alec Baldwin on "30 Rock."

Credit: NBC

'30 Rock' - 'Hey, Baby, What's Wrong?': I need tungsten to live! Tungsten!

On Valentine's Day, Liz and Criss go to Ikea, Jack and Avery's mother bond and Pete helps Jenna

A review of last night's hour-long "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as Mickey Rourke tests his catapult on me...

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<p>Robert Kirkman surrounded by his zombie pals from &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Robert Kirkman surrounded by his zombie pals from "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'The Walking Dead' producers Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara

After peaceful first half, season two will close with things 'at a full boil' on the farm
"The Walking Dead" returns from a brief mid-season hiatus on Sunday night at 9 on AMC. Ratings-wise, the post-apocalyptic zombie drama remains an enormous hit for AMC, with its viewership actually increasing after the already successful first season. Creatively, though, there have been some bumps, with most of the season's first half taking place during a relatively idyllic — or, as some viewers have put it, dull — stretch on a rural farm that's been largely untouched by the zombie plague.
On top of that, there was the abrupt departure of showrunner Frank Darabont midway through the season, which left his number two man, "The Shield" alum Glen Mazzara, in charge of things. I spoke with Mazzara and Robert Kirkman — who created "The Walking Dead" comic book and has been a writer on the TV series from the beginning — about where things stand for Rick Grimes and friends as we head into the home stretch, about some of the complaints about the relative peace of Herschel's farm, the timing of Darabont's exit and more.
Also, one word of warning for those who have watched the show but not read the comics: at one point in the interview, Kirkman brings up a character who died early in the comic but is still alive on the show, and one who suffered the opposite fate in the transition from page to screen. I've generally discouraged discussion of events in the comic that have yet to happen on the show, but in this case it's a situation where if it does eventually happen on the show, the context will have to be very different, so I left it in the transcript. If you don't want to know, don't click through.
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