<p>Scott McNairy in &quot;Halt and Catch Fire.&quot;</p>

Scott McNairy in "Halt and Catch Fire."

Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 232: 'Hannibal' & 'Mad Men' finales and more

Dan and Alan also discuss new series 'Undateable,' 'Crossbones' and 'Halt and Catch Fire'

The

Time for a trans-Atlantic installment of the Firewall & Iceberg podcast, as Dan and I tried to navigate the challenges of him being in London (and in a hotel with questionable wifi). For the most part, it's workable, and at a certain point we decided we wanted to get it done because it would be our best and only real chance to discuss the "Hannibal" and "Mad Men" finales in a timely fashion, though we were more ambivalent on the three new shows being reviewed.

The rundown: 

"Undateable" (00:01:20 - 00:10:30)
"Crossbones" (00:10:30 - 00:17:20)
"Halt and Catch Fire" (00:17:30 - 00:25:20)
"Hannibal" finale (00:25:40 - 00:43:30)
"Mad Men" midseason finale - (00:43:35 - 01:05:30)
 
As always, send questions to firewalliceberg@hitfix.com. 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, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.

There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.

TCA Awards Nominees include 'Breaking Bad,' 'True Detective' & 'Orange Is the New Black'
Credit: HBO

TCA Awards Nominees include 'Breaking Bad,' 'True Detective' & 'Orange Is the New Black'

The television critics also gave some love to 'The Americans,' 'Fargo' and 'The Good Wife'

A glut of great TV shows makes it hard to recognize every show worth of it, but the members of the Television Critics Association did our best in picking the nominees for this year's TCA Awards.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Night Shift.&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'The Night Shift' brought down by its obnoxious doctor hero

HitFix
C-
Readers
n/a
And what's up with that publicity photo?

Years ago at the Ledger, I did an occasional feature called "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words" where, in lieu of writing a review of some terrible show or TV-movie, I would simply select a publicity still that in some way captured its terribleness, thus allowing me to devote my time to writing about something better.

Read Full Post
<p>Robert Morse in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

Robert Morse in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner on singing, dancing and writing the series finale

How he wanted this half-season to feel like 'all of something'

On "Mad Men," we've seen Don and Peggy and company work on plenty of weekends and holidays. On Memorial Day of 2014, it was "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner's turn to spend the holiday getting things done, as he was supposed to finish the script for the series by the end of the day. He took a quick break to talk to me about the seven episodes of season 7 — including Sunday's eventful, musical mid-season finale — and about what it feels like to be so close to the finish line. That's coming up just as soon as an old man starts talking about Napoleon...

Read Full Post
Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Louie and Janet seek professional help, while Louie tries to advance things with Amia

A review of tonight's two "Louie" episodes coming up just as soon as I don't drink lemonade for two years...

Read Full Post
<p>Yvonne Strahovski in &quot;24: Live Another Day.&quot;</p>

Yvonne Strahovski in "24: Live Another Day."

Credit: FOX

Review: '24: Live Another Day' - '3:00 PM - 4:00 PM'

The good guys finally get on the same page, but is it too late to matter?

A review of tonight's "24: Live Another Day" coming up just as soon as I tell you how to open a socket...

Read Full Post
Funeral Plans for 2013-2014's Network TV New Series Casualties

Funeral Plans for 2013-2014's Network TV New Series Casualties

Saying farewell to 'Dads,' 'Mixology,' 'Trophy Wife' & more

The TV business is built on the idea that most shows will fail, but when you get to the end of a given broadcast network TV season (the latest one ended last Wednesday), it can still be startling to realize just how wasteful it can be. A year ago, the five broadcast networks ordered around 50 new shows. Of those, a dozen were renewed for next season, nearly three times as many were canceled, two will never air and the rest were pushed into this summer, some as part of genuine pushes for year-round programming (FOX's "Gang Related"), some just being dumped where they can cause the least damage (CBS' "Reckless"). There were two different failed shows about prolonged hostage crises in and around Washington D.C. starring one half of Derbel McDillett; both failed.. There were returns to television for the likes of Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox; ditto. There were lazy and obnoxious FOX comedies that failed ("Dads") as well as funny and heart-warming FOX comedies that failed ("Enlisted" and "Surviving Jack"). It's a brutal business.

How many of the shows ordered at this year's upfronts will still be standing when next May swings around? It's going to be ugly, I imagine. But before we push into the summer season, and then start dealing with the fall newbies, it's time for what's become our annual HitFix tradition: making funeral plans for all the new network shows that were born and died at some point in the 2013-14 TV season. Bow your heads, and let's begin.

<p>John Slattery in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

John Slattery in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

Mid-season finale review: 'Mad Men' - 'Waterloo'

Cutler tries to push Don out, Peggy gets a big opportunity, and man walks on the moon

A review of the "Mad Men" mid-season finale coming up just as soon as I have to talk to people who just touched the face of God about hamburgers...

Read Full Post
<p>Mads Mikkelsen as &quot;Hannibal.&quot;</p>

Mads Mikkelsen as "Hannibal."

Credit: NBC

Season finale review: 'Hannibal' - 'Mizumono'

Hannibal plans his escape, Jack makes a stand, and Will and Alana see a familiar face

A review of the "Hannibal" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I move your punctuation mark...

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Normal Heart.&quot;</p>

"The Normal Heart."

Credit: HBO

Review: In HBO's 'The Normal Heart,' Ryan Murphy gets in the way

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
Great performances by Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matthew Bomer and others clouded by 'Glee' creator's direction

What makes Ryan Murphy such a frustrating storyteller is that he has very obvious and impressive strengths, which he then seems to go out of his way to obscure with his very obvious weaknesses. He has great passion for socially relevant drama, for instance, but his point tends to get lost in the ADHD style that eventually plagued "Glee," "Nip/Tuck" and everything else he's done in television. ("American Horror Story," his biggest current hit, at least started out with ADHD, so there was no letdown later when things unraveled.) He works well with actors as both a writer and director, giving them meaty material and pulling excellent performances out of them, but then makes various other choices that distract from those performances.

That "The Normal Heart" — an adaptation of Larry Kramer's 1985 play about the early days of the AIDS crisis — has finally been turned into a film that will air on HBO on Sunday at 9, after decades of sitting in development hell, is a testament to Murphy, who bought the rights with his own money and assembled a cast fronted by Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts. The film wouldn't exist without his belief in it. And yet I wish almost anyone else had directed it.

Read Full Post