Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 197: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Alias,' 'Felicity' & more

Dan and Alan also answer your mail

The

On last week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, we asked you for lots of reader mail questions, and you rose to the occasion, giving us many more good questions than we had time for, even in one of our longer shows to date — and the first one with Dan recording from the new HitFix offices in LA. Hopefully, we'll get some of the acoustic issues there licked, and soon. In the meantime, we answered lots of mail, discussed last night's "Breaking Bad" and did a J.J. Abrams pilot re-watch double bill with "Felicity" & "Alias."  (Up next, either next week or the week after: "Miami Vice," and watch both parts of "Brother's Keeper," please.) 

The rundown:

Listener Mail: Hamm/Cranston Swap (00:01:45 - 00:07:50)
Listener Mail: Gilligan/Weiner Follow-ups (00:08:00 - 00:15:05)
Listener Mail: OnDemand (00:15:10 - 00:20:40)
Listener Mail: ABC Segmenting (00:20:45 - 00:27:45)
Listener Mail: Podcast Show Selection (00:27:55 - 00:34:00)
"Breaking Bad" (00:34:00 - 01:07:15)
Summer Pilot ReWatch: "Felicity"/"Alias" (01:07:30 - 01:38:20)

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.

'In A World...' and my summer at the movies

Looking back on a mix of successful blockbusters and artful indies

<p>Lake Bell in her feature directorial debut, &quot;In A&nbsp;World...&quot;</p>

Lake Bell in her feature directorial debut, "In A World..."

On Saturday, I saw my sixth and almost certainly final movie of the summer: "In A World...," the indie comedy written by, directed by, and starring Lake Bell, about an aspiring voice actress trying to break into the male-dominated world of movie trailer narration. It is, as that description would suggest, a small movie, but also a smart, funny, and at times very poignant one. It also fits into a rich tradition of actors whom the business doesn't quite know what to do with — Bell tends to be cast as the strange woman the hero abandons for his true love interest — deciding that the best way to show what they can do is to write a showcase for themselves. Sylvester Stallone did it with "Rocky," Jon Favreau with "Swingers" (which was also showcasing his buddy Vince), Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with "Good Will Hunting," and here Bell has written the best part anyone's ever given her. There are the usual glitches of any first-time feature director, but Bell  demonstrates — and pardon the terrible pun, given the subject matter, but it's the best word that applies here — a real voice as both writer and director. It's a movie that's about something, in addition to having a lot of good jokes, a sweet romance, etc.

Review: 'The Newsroom' - 'One Step Too Many'

The 'News Night' staff enjoys a night out before Jerry makes a big edit

<p>Thomas Sadoski, John Gallagher Jr. and Olivia Munn in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Thomas Sadoski, John Gallagher Jr. and Olivia Munn in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

A quick review of tonight's "The Newsroom" coming up just as soon as I talk to someone who says he's seen eight reindeer...

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Buried'

Skyler has many questions to answer and Walt and Lydia each visit the desert

<p>Anna Gunn as Skyler White in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Anna Gunn as Skyler White in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I channel Scrooge McDuck...

Review: 'Dexter' - 'Are We There Yet?'

Dexter and Hannah try to help out Zach, while Dr. Vogel has a new plan

<p>Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski)&nbsp;helps out Dexter (Michael C. Hall).</p>

Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) helps out Dexter (Michael C. Hall).

Credit: Showtime

A quick review of tonight's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as we sage the place and hang a crystal in the corner...

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 3, episode 11: 'The Catbird Seat'

Hearst makes a direct strike, and Trixie attempts to respond in kind

<p>Jim Beaver as Ellsworth in &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Jim Beaver as Ellsworth in "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

For the third summer in a row, we're revisiting David Milch's classic revisionist HBO Western "Deadwood," this time discussing the third season.

While I once upon a time posted two separate reviews so people who hadn't watched the whole series would have a safe place to comment, almost no one bothered commenting on the newbie reviews last year, and they've been ditched. If you haven't finished the series, just avoid the comments of this review and you'll be fine.

Thoughts on episode 11, "The Catbird Seat," coming up just as soon as just as soon as I'm used as a weight to be dropped on villains from above...

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'ID'

Sonya struggles to bond with their witness in Diane Kruger's best hour yet

<p>Matthew Lillard and Emily Rios in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Matthew Lillard and Emily Rios in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

A review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I eat my freedom fries...

Review: Netflix's 'Orange Is the New Black' season 1

The women's prison drama was one of the year's best shows — on Netflix or anywhere else

HitFix
A-
Readers
A-
<p>Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks and Jessica Pimentel in &quot;Orange Is the New Black.&quot;</p>

Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks and Jessica Pimentel in "Orange Is the New Black."

Credit: Netflix

I reviewed Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" last month based on the first six episodes. I've since watched the rest, and as I did before with "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development," I have thoughts on the whole season, with spoilers, coming up just as soon as I do to you what the spring does to cherry trees, but in a prison way...

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 195: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange is the New Black,' 'The Killing' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss 'The Wonder Years' pilot and answer your mail

The

After last week's advance review-heavy edition of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, this week had no major premieres of note, so Dan and I instead looked back: on the "Breaking Bad" season premiere, on last week's "The Killing" season finale, on the entire first season of "Orange is the New Black," and way back to the '80s (and then the '60s) as our pilot rewatch stops on "The Wonder Years." Next week: A J.J. Abrams double bill with "Felicity" & "Alias." 

The rundown:

Listener Mail - TV recruiting Twitter writers (00:01:20 - 00:12:05)
Listener Mail - "The Good Wife" flaws (00:12:10 - 00:22:35)
"The Killing" (00:23:25 - 00:40:25)
"Orange Is The New Black" (00:40:30 - 00:58:00)
"Breaking Bad" (00:58:05 - 01:24:10)
Summer Pilot Rewatch - "The Wonder Years" (01:24:30 - 01:39:00)

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 questions for the podcast.

'Breaking Bad' premiere draws 5.9 million for a series high

Premiere more than doubles last summer's; 'Low Winter Sun' and 'Talking Bad' debut modestly

<p>Bryan Cranston in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

After "Breaking Bad" began its final batch of episodes with an audience more than double of last summer's premiere, can we call him The One Who Rates?

Sunday night's (mid)season premiere for the AMC drama drew 5.9 million viewers, by far the most in the show's history, and up 102% over the first episode from last summer, according to AMC. 3.6 million of those viewers were aged 18-49, making it the second highest-rated show on cable in that demographic, after fellow AMC drama "The Walking Dead" (which also happens to be the highest-rated entertainment series in all of television in the demo).

At 10 p.m., the new "Low Winter Sun" premiered to ratings — 2.5 million viewers overall — that "Breaking Bad" would have killed for in its infancy, but that don't seem quite as impressive in light of its lead-in. (And that number includes all the "Breaking Bad" viewers who stuck around for at least half an hour of "LWS" to see the previews for "BB" episode 2.)

And at 11 p.m., the first installment of the inexpensive, Chris Hardwick-hosted "Breaking Bad" discussion series "Talking Bad" averaged 1.2 million viewers.

The hype for "Blood Money" was higher than I've ever heard it for a "Breaking Bad" premiere, and clearly more people than ever before were interested. What I wonder is how many of the new viewers are people who caught up with the series in the year since we last had a new episode, and how many were brand-new folks who wanted to see what all the fuss was about. (And what, I wonder, did they make of trying to tread lightly into the story at this point?)

Get Instant Alerts on What's Alan Watching

Around the Web