<p>Vera Farmiga in &quot;Bates Motel,&quot;&nbsp;Terry Crews in &quot;Brooklyn Nine-Nine&quot;&nbsp;and Travis Fimmel in &quot;Vikings.&quot;</p>

Vera Farmiga in "Bates Motel," Terry Crews in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and Travis Fimmel in "Vikings."

Credit: A&E/FOX/History

Best of the rest: The TV freshman class of 2013

Critics loved 'The Americans,' but what about 'Sleepy Hollow' or 'Trophy Wife'?

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the Great Quality TV Deluge of 2013 was how much of it came from brand-new series. It was an insanely good freshman class, not just from expected sources, like FX offering up another terrific prestige drama in "The Americans" or Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan's great partnership on "Masters of Sex," but from outlets that had never really made their own shows before. The year's most acclaimed new series was on Netflix — and it wasn't even "House of Cards," which got the most hype, but "Orange Is the New Black" — while channels like Sundance and BBC America  alsogot in on the fun.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 215: Worst TV of 2013

What shows will join 'Dads' and 'Dexter' in our discussion of the creative low points of the year?

The

Happy holidays, Firewall & Iceberg fans! We didn't want to guarantee a Worst Of podcast, just in case there was not time to get it done before year's end, but it turns out that there was time! So Dan and I sat down for an hour and went back and forth on some of the worst and/or most disappointing television we watched in 2013. Lots and lots of Angry Dan in this one! Enjoy, and travel safe, everybody! The rundown: 

TV's Worst of 2013 - 00:00:00 - 01:04:30

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.

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<p>David Morse in &quot;Trem&eacute;.&quot;</p>

David Morse in "Tremé."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Treme' - 'Sunset in Louisianne'

Delmond plays Albert a tune, Antoine pulls an all-nighter and Davis faces a milestone birthday

A review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I open a Young Republicans club...

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<p>&quot;The Returned.&quot;</p>

"The Returned."

Credit: Sundance

Season finale talkback: 'The Returned' - 'The Horde'

What did everybody think of the French 'zombie' series' first season?

The first season "The Returnedjust finished airing on Sundance, though international viewers of course saw it a while back. You know how much I liked the show when I first reviewed it (having seen all the episodes), and now I want to open up the discussion with no worry about spoilers. Keeping in mind that there will be another season, how did y'all feel about the first? 

As I noted in that review, "The Returned" does a lot of things that would drive me nuts in a sci-fi/fantasy series that wasn't this good at characterization, tension and mood, but I'm curious whether any of you wanted to throw up your hands when Adele's cop boyfriend just kept staring at the surveillance monitors, or when other characters showed such a lack of curiosity into what was causing this phenomenon, or when so little was explained at the end. I don't think answers are necessary with this kind of show — often, trying to explain the mysterious does shows more harm than good — but not everyone feels that way.

So did you feel hypnotized by "The Returned" or hustled? Did you come to feel for Victor or just find him the creepiest child of all time the whole time? Do you remain as amazed as I was by the casting of the two redheaded sisters? And are you looking forward to the second season, whenever Sundance winds up airing it?

Have at it.

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<p>Hugh Dancy and the rest of the &quot;Hannibal&quot;&nbsp;gang will be back in February.</p>

Hugh Dancy and the rest of the "Hannibal" gang will be back in February.

Credit: NBC

NBC's 'Hannibal' to return in February

Season 2 of Bryan Fuller's Hannibal Lecter reboot will air on Fridays

Bryan Fuller and David Slade's "Hannibal" was one of my very favorite series of 2013, an imaginative and visually stunning reboot of Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham that managed to shake off all the dust that had accumulated around the characters over several decades, film adaptations and imitators. But it was also a very low-rated show that was renewed by NBC largely because it's an international co-production that costs less than their other dramas.

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<p>We've seen Ted Mosby propose to the Mother, but we probably won't see their first meeting til the end of March.</p>

We've seen Ted Mosby propose to the Mother, but we probably won't see their first meeting til the end of March.

Credit: CBS

'How I Met Your Mother' series finale to air in March

Earlier finale means fewer repeats before the end, and a chance for CBS to settle next year's schedule

After asking "How I Met Your Mother" fans to wait nine seasons for the moment where Ted Mosby comes face-to-face with the woman of his dreams, CBS won't try to stretch that ninth season all the way until May, instead airing the one-hour series finale on March 31.

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<p>Keri Russell on &quot;The Americans,&quot; Emmy Rossum on &quot;Shameless&quot; and Gwendoline Christie on &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Keri Russell on "The Americans," Emmy Rossum on "Shameless" and Gwendoline Christie on "Game of Thrones."

Credit: FX/Showtime/HBO

TV Top 25 of 2013

A year so deep that even a top 20 (or 25) leaves some great things out
As usual, earlier this month we ran a video with my picks for the 10 best shows of the year. (And I was part of our Second Annual HitFix Television Critics Poll.) And now, as usual, it’s time for my written list of those 10, plus the 10 shows that finished just behind it…
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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 214: Best TV of 2013

Dan and Alan discuss their top 10 lists for a very deep year in television

The

Last week, Firewall & Iceberg only appeared in video form due to a scheduling issue. This week, you only get us in podcast form due to technical difficulties torpedoing this week's video show. Win some, lose some. But it's a good podcast this week, as Dan and I go back and forth on our lists of the best shows of the year. And if everyone's lucky, we'll follow next week with the always-popular Worst-Of podcast. The very simple rundown:

Best of 2013 - 00:00:00 - 01:14:45

As always, send questions to firewalliceberg@hitfix.com. 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, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.

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

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'Breaking Bad' tops HitFix's Second Annual Television Critics' Poll

'Breaking Bad' tops HitFix's Second Annual Television Critics' Poll

'Orange Is the New Black' led a field full of exciting newcomers

One year ago today, HitFix published its first-ever Television Critics Poll, in which we asked several dozen of the top North American TV critics to pick their 10 favorite shows of 2012. "Breaking Bad" finished in first place, "Homeland" was in second, and more than 80 different shows got at least one vote. Clicking on the above link will show you all of those results.

For the 2013 Television Critics Poll, which just went live, we added even more critics, who again named "Breaking Bad" the best series of the year. And with so many great new shows debuting this year, we added a second poll for people to pick their 10 favorite debuting shows of the year. As it turns out, half of this year's overall top 10 was made up of new shows — including "Orange Is the New Black," which finished a very distant second to "Breaking Bad" and just ahead of "Game of Thrones") — after the 2012 poll had only a single first-year series ("Girls") in the top 10. (And the overall list has six shows in common with my own top 10 for the year, while three others will be in my top 20, being published later this week.)

Because each critics' taste is different, and because the two polls were done separately, you'll see some quirks here and there. On the overall shows list, for instance, "House of Cards" was the fourth-highest ranked new series, while it finished sixth on the new show list. And as you move further past the overall top 10, you'll see the power (on a weighted ballot with only 10 choices) of being loved by a few over being liked by many. Only four critics, for instance, voted for "Southland" (I was one of them), but two of those votes were for first place, and another was for second, so it finished 23rd overall. "Girls," meanwhile, got more votes, but most of them were at the bottom of critics' ballots, so it finished only 44th. (Shows like that and "Shameless," which I suspect many critics had ranked just outside of their top 10s, finished fairly low as a result, just like "Boardwalk Empire" finishing only 29th last year.) 

So go look at the poll, which allows you to look at individual ballots (click on the name of any critic) as well as to check the vote tallies for individual shows (click on the title of any show). What do you think of this year's results?

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<p>Andrew Rannells and Josh Radnor in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Andrew Rannells and Josh Radnor in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Bass Player Wanted'

'HIMYM' ends 2013 with a whole lot of the Mother; better late than never?

Back when I was still doing actual weekly "How I Met Your Mother" reviews, I started keeping a checklist of things that I had come to expect from this final season, like Marshall being elsewhere, the Mother being absent entirely, an utter lack of recognizable emotion, etc. Well, "HIMYM" closed out 2013 with a kind of anti-checklist episode, as "Bass Player Wanted" offered up a whole lot of Cristin Milioti, finally brought Marshall to the Farhampton Inn, and had some nice moments between Lily and Robin and between Ted and Barney (even if some of it is wrapped up in dumb ideas like Ted's inability to get over Robin).

What did everybody else think? Does seeing Milioti this much please you, or just make you even more frustrated that it took this long? And are you hopeful to see lots of Marshall interacting with the rest of the cast in 2014, or are you expecting some kind of contrivance where Marshall is frequently stuck in an obscure corner of the hotel?

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