Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 111: Press tour, 'Alcatraz,' 'Rob,' 'The Finder' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 111: Press tour, 'Alcatraz,' 'Rob,' 'The Finder' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'Are You There, Chelsea?' and 'Napoleon Dynamite'


Welcome to the first of what should be two press tour editions of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which an ill Dan and I break down what's happened at TCA so far while offering reviews of several shows debuting over the next week.

The line-up: 

TCA Press Tour (00:00 - 31:15)
"Are You There, Chelsea?" (31:15 - 36:40)
"Rob" (36:45 - 41:50)
"The Finder" (43:10 - 50:20)
"Napoleon Dynamite" (50:20 - 55:40)
"Alcatraz" (55:45 - 01:05:00)
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 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.
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<p>Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph in &quot;Up All Night.&quot;</p>

Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph in "Up All Night."

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: 'Up All Night' does game night in Thursday move

Christina Applegate/Will Arnett sitcom celebrates New Year's in its new timeslot

From the moment NBC's primetime schedule was announced last spring, it seemed only a matter of time before "Up All Night" got moved to Thursdays at 9:30 in place of "Whitney." From the single camera format to Lorne Michaels' presence as a producer to the wattage of stars Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett, it just seemed a more obvious fit for Thursday nights. And when it debuted in the fall to solid reviews and better-than-expected ratings given its placement in NBC's no-man's-land Wednesday lineup, it seemed even more clearly destined to do the timeslot switcheroo with "Whitney."

Well, the move has finally happened, and "Up All Night" gets the post-"Office" timeslot this week. Though we're now a couple of weeks into 2012, this week's episode is called (and about) "New Year's Eve," and features Reagan and Chris spending the holiday night with their friends, including Ava and her new boyfriend Kevin. (Adding Jason Lee as Kevin was one of the smartest moves creator Emily Spivey has made to date, as it creates a more natural bridge between Reagan's work and home lives and allows Ava to appear more frequently on the home front.) 

In this clip from the episode - exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours - we are reminded of just how competitive Reagan can get, and also of how good Applegate is at playing crazy. Enjoy.

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<p>Charlie Sheen, seen here at his Comedy Central roast, stopped by press tour last night.</p>

Charlie Sheen, seen here at his Comedy Central roast, stopped by press tour last night.

Credit: Comedy Central

Press tour: Charlie Sheen 'not crazy anymore' as he talks 'Anger Management'

Sitcom star stays on message in discussing new show and 'Two and a Half Men'
Charlie Sheen spent the first few months after being fired from "Two and a Half Men" trying to win the PR battle through a series of bizarre interviews, tweets and stage shows filled with Sheen-y buzzwords about "winning," "goddesses," and "tiger blood." The Sheen who became the main attraction at last night's combined FOX/FX press tour party was still doing image rehab, but coming from a much calmer, more magnanimous place.
Surrounded by reporters, Sheen was in his element: happy and laid-back and entirely on message. Asked at one point what makes him different from the guy getting into all that trouble a year ago, Sheen laughed and said, "Well, I'm not crazy anymore! That was an episode."
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<p>Laura Prepon and Chelsea Handler in &quot;Are You There, Chelsea?&quot;</p>

Laura Prepon and Chelsea Handler in "Are You There, Chelsea?"

Credit: NBC

Review: Laura Prepon channels Chelsea Handler in 'Are You There, Chelsea?'

Handler plays her own sister as one of several confusing issues in an unfunny sitcom
NBC's new comedy "Are You There, Chelsea?" (Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.) is a riddle wrapped in an enigma drowned in Kahlua. Among the confusing issues:
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<p>Josh Lucas and Molly Parker in &quot;The Firm.&quot;</p>

Josh Lucas and Molly Parker in "The Firm."

Credit: NBC

'The Firm' - 'Pilot': The Firm 2: Die firmer?

What did everybody think of NBC's new legal drama?

I posted my review of NBC's "The Firmsequel earlier this week. Now it's your turn. Did this feel like a worthy successor to either the John Grisham book or Tom Cruise movie? Did Josh Lucas make a good Mitch McDeere? Did the presence of both Callum Keith Rennie and Tricia Helfer make you wonder whether this new firm is some kind of elaborate Cylon plot? Did you care at all about the case involving the kids and the vengeful father? And do you intend to continue watching when the show moves to Thursdays at 10 later this week?

Have at it.

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<p>Kristen Bell, Don Cheadle and Ben Schwartz in &quot;House of Lies.&quot;</p>

Kristen Bell, Don Cheadle and Ben Schwartz in "House of Lies."

Credit: Showtime

'House of Lies' - 'Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments': Grease is the word

What did everybody think of the new Showtime comedy?

I posted my review of Showtime's "House of Liesearlier this week. Now it's your turn. Those of you who had watched the online version of tonight's premiere episode didn't seem to enjoy it very much, though some were willing to give the show more time given the presence of Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell and Ben Schwartz. How did those of you who just saw it tonight feel? Will you stick around a while? 

Any and all plot/joke discussion is now kosher. Have at it.

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<p>Frank (William H. Macy)&nbsp;uses his youngest son in the &quot;Shameless&quot;&nbsp;season 2 premiere.</p>

Frank (William H. Macy) uses his youngest son in the "Shameless" season 2 premiere.

Credit: Showtime

'Shameless' - 'Summertime': The running woman

Debbie runs a daycare, Frank runs from a debt, and Fiona just runs

I posted my review of the early part of "Shamelessseason 2 earlier this week. Now it's your turn. How did you feel about the shift from winter into summer? Were any of the 5 fans of "Lone Star" happy to see James Wolk? Did you miss Steve? Did Frank reach a new low with what happened with Liam? And would you, like me, not object to an ongoing story arc where Fiona returns to track & field full-time? 

In terms of ongoing coverage plans, my feeling from last year and from what I saw of these first four episodes is that "Shameless" is a show better served by me dipping in and out on and only writing something if an episode is notably different from the ones before or after. That said, I'm going to be watching the whole season, so I may do weekly (or bi-weekly) open threads for the episodes, depending on the level of interest.

What did everybody else think of the premiere? 

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<p>Even Hugh Laurie doesn't know if &quot;House&quot;&nbsp;will be back next season.</p>

Even Hugh Laurie doesn't know if "House" will be back next season.

Credit: FOX

Press tour analysis: FOX has 'Fringe,' 'House,' 'Terra Nova' decisions to make

Many shows have their fates up in the air as we head into the season's second half

There are press tour executive sessions full of announcements about renewals and cancellations, hirings and firings - news, in other words. Then there are sessions like the one FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly just conducted, in which he left the fate of many shows and people - including "House," "Fringe," "Terra Nova," Ryan Seacrest and "X Factor" host Steve Jones - up in the air, while only clarifying the future (or lack therefor) of "Allen Gregory," which is kaput.

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<p>Nick Offerman wrote an upcoming &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;episode.</p>

Nick Offerman wrote an upcoming "Parks and Recreation" episode.

Credit: NBC

Interview: Nick Offerman on writing a 'Parks and Recreation' script

Which of Ron Swanson's co-workers did he most enjoy writing for?
At NBC's press tour party last night, I ran into Nick Offerman from "Parks and Recreation," who mentioned that he had written an upcoming episode for the show (the 18th out of 22 for the season). Given that Offerman, like Ron Effing Swanson, seems to be superhumanly competent at everything else, the idea of him writing a script for the show intrigued me. So we talked for a few minutes about how this happened, his writing experience, his secret dreams for writing Ron Swanson, and which other character he most enjoyed writing for.
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<p>On &quot;Chuck,&quot;&nbsp;Casey (Adam Baldwin)&nbsp;doesn't appreciate Verbanski's gift.</p>

On "Chuck," Casey (Adam Baldwin) doesn't appreciate Verbanski's gift.

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Kept Man': The spy who cared for me

Verbanski returns for Casey, Sarah has a scare, and Jeffster are onto something
A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I drop some bombs on Edwardian convention...
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