<p>David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in &quot;The X-Files,&quot;&nbsp;which debuted 20 years ago tonight.</p>

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in "The X-Files," which debuted 20 years ago tonight.

Credit: FOX

'The X-Files' 20th anniversary: The truth was out there

Looking back at the legacy and influence of the classic FOX sci-fi drama

Twenty years ago tonight, FOX debuted a strange little show called "The X-Files." Its stars were virtually unknown — Gillian Anderson was only 24 when the pilot was filmed, and if you recognized David Duchovny at all, it was either as the cross-dressing FBI agent from "Twin Peaks" season 2 or as the man who read letters at the start of every episode of "Red Shoe Diaries" — and the format was an odd mash-up of science-fiction and police procedural, as FBI partners Mulder (the believer) and Scully (the skeptic) traveled the country investigating reports of paranormal activity.

Read Full Post

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 200: 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Breaking Bad' & more

Dan and Alan also review Ricky Gervais' 'Derek' and discuss 'The Wire' pilot

The

Only four topics for this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, but they were all meaty enough to add up to a good-length show, including the return of "Sons of Anarchy," the American premiere of Ricky Gervais' "Derek" on Netflix, some contentious "Breaking Bad" discussion and the conclusion of our summer pilot rewatch with "The Wire." 

Note: While this is the 200th episode of the podcast, Dan objects to the notion of it being our bicentennial, since I recorded one podcast with Mo Ryan while he was out of the country. So whatever anniversary things we do (if any) will be on next week's show.

The rundown:

"Sons of Anarchy" (00:00:40 - 00:19:00)
"Derek" (00:19:00 - 00:29:40)
"Breaking Bad" (00:30:00 - 01:03:00)
Summer Pilot Rewatch - "The Wire" (01:03:40 - 01:33:40)

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.
Read Full Post
<p>On &quot;Breaking Bad,&quot;&nbsp;Saul (Bob Odenkirk)&nbsp;counsels Walt (Bryan Cranston).</p>

On "Breaking Bad," Saul (Bob Odenkirk) counsels Walt (Bryan Cranston).

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'To'hajiilee'

Jesse hatches a plan, Walt meets with Uncle Jack, and Saul gets his car washed

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as we flip a coin for the honor...

Read Full Post
<p>In the &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;season premiere, Richard Harrow (Jack Huston)&nbsp;goes traveling.</p>

In the "Boardwalk Empire" season premiere, Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) goes traveling.

Credit: HBO

Season premiere review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'New York Sour'

Nucky brokers peace with New York, Chalky's nightclub opens and Richard hits the road

"Boardwalk Empire" is back for a new season. I published an overall review of the early episodes on Thursday, and I have specific thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I see the second longest contiguous brick wall in the world...

Read Full Post
<p>David O'Hara and Idris Elba in &quot;Luther.&quot;</p>

David O'Hara and Idris Elba in "Luther."

Credit: BBC

Talkback: 'Luther' season 3

What did everybody think of the Idris Elba cop drama's third season?

I reviewed season 3 of "Luther" earlier in the week, and promised I'd put up a second post to allow for full discussion once the entire season had aired in America. Well, it's all done, so let the spoilers fly, ladies and gentlemen. How'd you feel about the portrayal of either of our two killers? Given the limited use of Ruth Wilson, did you feel this was the right limited use of her? Did you feel any sympathy for the internal affairs investigators, or were they clearly strawmen for Luther to knock down? Did you agree with me that the vigilante story was a missed opportunity to actually discuss Luther's ethics? Did you invest at all in the romance with Sienna Guillory's Mary, or did that just feel like an acknowledgment that Idris Elba's a sex symbol and should be used as such? And how did you feel about what happened to Justin?

Have at it. What did everybody else think?

Read Full Post
<p>Rhona Mitra in &quot;Strike Back.&quot;</p>

Rhona Mitra in "Strike Back."

Credit: Cinemax

Review: A memorable 'Strike Back' hurts both the heroes and villains

The mission proves costly for both sides

Earlier in the week, Cinemax announced that they'd finally be airing the original British-only season of "Strike Back" under the title "Strike Back: Origins." Tonight's episode of the Winchester/Stapleton version of the show, meanwhile, was notable for a few reasons, and I have some quick thoughts coming up just as soon as I call you Braveheart...

Read Full Post
<p>Michael Kenneth Williams and Jeffrey Wright in the new season of &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Michael Kenneth Williams and Jeffrey Wright in the new season of "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' is back for season 4

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Jeffrey Wright and Ron Livingston are new faces in the sprawling but satisfying period crime drama

Because HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” was created by one “Sopranos” alum (writer/producer Terence Winter), because it stars another (Steve Buscemi) and is crewed by many more (most notably lead director Tim Van Patten), and because it takes place in Tony Soprano’s home state — albeit way back in the 1920s — it was easy to wonder in the show’s early days if this would finally be the rightful heir to “The Sopranos” legacy. Instead, as “Boardwalk” returns for a fourth season Sunday night at 9, the classic HBO drama it seems to have more in common with is “The Wire.”

Read Full Post
<p>Gus (Carlos Pratts)&nbsp;and Marco Ruiz (Demi&aacute;n Bichir)&nbsp;on &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Gus (Carlos Pratts) and Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir) on "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'The Beetle'

The killer goes after Marco's family in a taut hour directed by Keith Gordon

A review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as we discuss this over a ham salad...

Read Full Post
<p>Richard Armitage in the original season of &quot;Strike Back.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Richard Armitage in the original season of "Strike Back." 

Credit: Sky

Cinemax to air original UK 'Strike Back' season as 'Strike Back: Origins'

The Richard Armitage/Andrew Lincoln season is finally coming to America

Every time I write about Cinemax's "Strike Back" returning for another season, I always have to include a footnote explaining that the show aired for a year in the UK with an entirely different cast, headed by Richard Armitage and future "The Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln. Armitage's John Porter appears briefly at the start of the Cinemax/Sky co-produced version of the show, but Cinemax has largely treated its episodes as the start of the series, while British audiences know the series predates Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and company.

That situation is about to change, as I'm hearing that Cinemax will be airing the six-episode Armitage season later this fall, on Fridays at 10 after the current Winchester/Stapleton season wraps.

Read Full Post
<p>Do you want literal flames for the Firewall &amp;&nbsp;Iceberg video logo, or the podcast's color bars?</p>

Do you want literal flames for the Firewall & Iceberg video logo, or the podcast's color bars?

Help choose the Firewall & Iceberg video logo!

Classic color bars, or literal fire and ice?

Back in the summer, the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast went video, as Dan and I went on camera to discuss the Emmy nominations, and then the TV critics press tour. Over those two shows, we learned all sorts of exciting things about how to talk with our hands, proper eye contact, use of props and more.

Now the plan is for Firewall & Iceberg videos to be a weekly show on HitFix, premiering sometime this fall. We have many questions to answer about the show between now and debut day, and we wanted to broach one of them to you, the audience. Our graphics team has cooked up two different versions of a logo for the series: one based on the podcast's familiar color bars, one taking the heat and cold of the title more literally.

I've embedded a poll in this post, and you guys can vote on which you prefer. We will happily go with whichever one gets the most votes, and we'll share more details about the video show as we can.

Read Full Post