<p>Game of Thrones</p>

Game of Thrones

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Game of Thrones' gets better by bringing people together in season 5

Long-standing characters finally meet as the producers begin deviating from the books

The greatest strength of "Game of Thrones" has always on some level been the HBO fantasy's greatest weakness. Adapting the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels by George R.R. Martin, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have an entire world to play with, filled with rich and memorable characters in all manner of climate and circumstance. It's a storytelling embarrassment of riches, but the sheer number of characters and plotlines, and the great physical distance that separates them, at times makes the series feel like a collection of barely-connected vignettes, or like a guided tour of two continents, stopping in each port of call just long enough to glimpse what the locals are angry about this week.

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Credit: Netflix

Review: Netflix's 'Daredevil' quickly moves to the top of the TV superhero heap

The first series of Netflix's Marvel deal suggests the gamble will pay off big

The last few years, some network TV executives have tried to do away with the pilot process, ordering shows straight to series based on a script, or even an idea, rather than spending a lot of money filming a pilot episode before deciding whether it's good enough to order to series. This is essentially like deciding to build a house on land that hasn't been surveyed yet and hoping that it'll hold the structure. The results have gone about as expected: "Hieroglyph"(!) was pre-canceled before a second episode was filmed, NBC decided to sell "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" to Netflix rather than have to cancel it after three episodes aired, and other straight-to-series orders have been delayed, or similarly pre-canceled, or (as in the case of FOX's "Weird Loners") sent off to die quietly.

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<p>Keri Russell</p>

Keri Russell

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Americans' - 'One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov': Honey, trap

Paige has more questions, Nina finds a secret stash, and Martha gets interviewed

A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I look into the tip of your nose...

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<p>The Comedians</p>

The Comedians

Credit: FX

Review: Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in toothless TV satire 'The Comedians'

FX show would have been cutting edge stuff back in Crystal's Oscar hosting heyday

In 2012, when Billy Crystal returned to host the Oscars for the first time in years, he seemed surprised when so many of his jokes — many of them of the same type he deployed so effectively in his '90s hosting heyday — got a muted response from the audience. Again and again, his face seemed to be saying, They all laughed at this stuff before! What's changed?  Crystal certainly hadn't, but the culture had changed around him. What had killed in the '90s was mostly dying in the '10s. Timing is everything in comedy, including the era in which you tell certain jokes.

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<p>Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep</p>

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep

Credit: HBO

'Veep' stars talk profanity, politics and Timothy Simons' 'first sex scene'

Video of last night's Paley Center panel with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company

"Veep" returns for its fourth season Sunday night at 10:30 on HBO. Based on the four episodes I've seen, this may be the comedy's strongest season yet, as making Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Selina Meyer into the President of the United States — even if it may only be for eight months if she loses the next election — has only increased the enormity of her screw-ups, and raised the comic stakes for the series.

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<p>Patton Oswalt and Joelle Carter</p>

Patton Oswalt and Joelle Carter

Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'Collateral': The ballad of Boyd Crowder

Raylan and Boyd face off, Constable Bob loses his car, and Wynn has a plan

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I have a signed ball from Billie Jean King...

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<p>Agents of SHIELD</p>

Agents of SHIELD

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD' - 'Afterlife': Skye's the limit

Skye meets other Inhumans, Coulson calls in backup, and Fitz takes a walk

A quick review of tonight's "Agents of SHIELD" coming up just as soon as my reinforcements are traveling by clown car...

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<p>John Slattery as Roger in Mad Men</p>

John Slattery as Roger in Mad Men

Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg, Episode 275: 'Mad Men,' 'Better Call Saul' & 'Twin Peaks'

Thoughts on one premiere, one finale, and one potentially dead revival


Happy Tuesday, boys and girls! Like Don Draper, the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast is a bit unstuck in time this week. We're actually doing two episodes — look for reviews of "Daredevil," "Louie," "The Comedians," "Game of Thrones" and more on Thursday — and wound up recording today's largely AMC-focused spoiler podcast out of order over a couple of days, for reasons. (And beyond that, the Skype gods were cruel to us, even though we weren't discussing Dustin Hoffman's Emmy chances.)

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<p>Peter Gould and Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul</p>

Peter Gould and Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Credit: AMC

'Better Call Saul' co-creator on loving Jimmy McGill, and why Mike isn't ready for Gus Fring yet

Peter Gould on why Mike's not ready to meet Gus Fring just yet, how season 1 plans changed, and more

I was really pleased with the season finale of "Better Call Saul," and even more pleased with the first season as a whole. (In my review last night, I suggested it had gone a long way towards the "Frasier" end of the spin-off spectrum than the "AfterM*A*S*H" one.)

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<p>Community Joel McHale</p>

Community Joel McHale

Credit: Yahoo

Review: 'Community' - 'Laws of Robotics and Party Rights': Death tab for cutie

Jeff runs afoul of a convict, while Britta seeks Abed's help in throwing a party

A review of this week's "Community" (available, as usual, on Yahoo Screen) coming up just as soon as I watch magicians bully jugglers...

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