Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Firewall & Iceberg podcast, episode 8: Breaking Bad, United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie and more

Fienberg and I just completed another edition of the Firewall & Iceberg podcast, which you can either steam or download over at NJ.com or subscribe to in iTunes (and if you do, don't forget to rate and/or review us if you can).

Long show this week for some reason, despite fewer topics than last week's. Call it babbling, or bantering, or whatever, but there be a lot of talk.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not working

Alan Sepinwall said...

Which part? All the links work on my end.

Anonymous said...

STREAM NOT WORKING ON NJ.COM

Alan Sepinwall said...

Works for me (and Dan), at least at the start. Does it not play for you at all, or does it stop at a certain point?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't play for me at all. I've never had this problem before. I push on the play button and nothing happens, I get "file not found".

Anonymous said...

I'm streaming on another computer and its working now. Thanks!

Flap Jackson said...

Wait, my lowly email was the first read on the internet's hottest new podcast, Firewall & Iceberg? I'm honored!

Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

Flap Jackson said...

And my name was mention not once, but twice on the podcast? I imagine this is the joyous feeling I'll have next week when Lost does a Richard-centric episode.

Flattery can get you places!

MM said...

Your podcast has become my favorite thing about Wednesdays.

And Alan's sighs of pure put-upon exasperation with Dan are second only to Casey's grunts for meaningfulness.

Love you guys - so glad you are doing this each week.

rosengje said...

Originally, I was totally with you Alan on TV not being an overwhelmingly visual medium. But when I thought about it more, I realized I was thinking mostly about standard, generic multi-camera sitcoms which have almost no visual quality. So I think Dan does have a point that maybe bad tv isn't a visual medium.

Loved the Whedon pandering! I would have lumped Once More, With Feeling into the group. And also-- for recent comedy, I think I would have added Conflict Resolution from The Office as just a purely hilarious episode of television.

Bix said...

64 kbps! Yay!

Now all that's left is encoding it in mono.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan,

Love your podcasts; I have listened to every one. Just thought you might want to know that this podcast (particularly the first half hour) was the weakest one yet...

I am not really sure why but thought it might be beneficial to you guys to get some feedback...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Feedback's great. Any particular reason why you felt this one was the weakest?

Daniel said...

"Is there any other St. Louis?" is from the episode where Barney quits drinking and takes up flying a helicopter.

Chris said...

Alan,

I truly love the podcast.

Is there anyway that you can bump the American Idol chat to the end of the podcast? Today's discussion of AI was about twenty minutes and since I was driving I didn't have the facilities to try and skip to the next topic. Based on number of comments on your blog, I imagine more of your listeners watch Lost than American Idol so the spoiler issue probably wouldn't be a big deal.

If not, that's okay, I'll keep listening of course.

Anonymous said...

Will you be reviewing United States of Tara as you do LOST?

Anonymous said...

It's just how you phrase the claim about tv being a writer's medium. If you say it's much more of a writer's medium than movies then almost everyone would agree because the original script is so utterly disposable in movies when it clashes with the director's vision (those directors that you'd personally consider auteurs versus just mercenary/chop shop/hacky directors, anyway).

Mo Ryan said...

I will definitely attempt to steam the podcast. I hear it's great steamed with some sweet and sour sauce.

If that doesn't work, I'll just download it ;)

Kevin said...

Love the podcast, guys. I've liked all the episodes, but I just want to mention you've really hit your stride over the last few, and it's very nice to listen to, even when you're talking about shows I don't watch. I don't have an iPod and don't use iTunes, though. I forget what it was that you get out of it if we subscribe through there instead of another way. I don't know if I could get my podcast to my non-iPod through the iTunes store, though I suppose I could try, if you get significant benefits from it.

My one constructive criticism is probably one you're already conscious of: sometimes, but not too often, you get a little insider-y, and say some things that most listeners probably aren't going to have the background to understand. The part about Idol being a "four quadrant show" (IIRC) is a middling example, since I could mostly figure out what I think you meant, from the context being about "demos". The more extreme examples, I find harder to remember, because I literally have no idea what you're talking about. Some of this is bound to happen, since you're two people who know this stuff well, just having a conversation. I'm sure some of the things I miss are references to TV shows that most of your readers know, and I'm in the minority.

Was expecting/hoping the Whedon pandering to be Firefly - "Out of Gas". And I hear what you're saying about it usually being difficult to point to a whole episode of a comedy, but a pair (originally aired back to back) of Always Sunny episodes stand out in my mind, where the whole is vastly more than the sum of the scenes: "Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare" and "Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom". They were the first two I saw, and they're the ones I always show new people I'm trying to get hooked.

Dan_fan said...

Point to Mo.

Wanted to say that I think Dan is doing a fine job as well as Alan. Team effort. Also, I'd totally still listen to Dan soloing or having a guest.

Come on, Dan, work yourself to the bone for a free podcast like any good critic would.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Kevin, if you don't use iTunes, don't put yourself out. There's still the RSS feed, the streaming, downloading, etc.

But for people who do use iTunes, subscribing directly through them increases our rankings. And if we should one day, say, want to get a sponsor, a higher ranking makes that easier to do so. Etc., etc., etc.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Is there anyway that you can bump the American Idol chat to the end of the podcast?

We're working on inserting chapter breaks into future episodes so it's easier to skip ahead if you're driving or whatnot (you just have to click once for that), but messing around with the order of things is something I've thought about. Idol and Lost make sense as regular features because they're so popular and have both aired the night before. Originally, we did them both upfront, but then I started thinking about spoilers (which is an issue for Lost, but not for Idol), so we turned them into bookends.

I can't decide whether the podcast would work best if we kept the reviews of stuff that's already aired in one half and previews of upcoming stuff in the other, if we should mix things up, or what.

Anybody feel strongly about this?

Hannah Lee said...

Chapter breaks would be great.

Mixing together the already aired and upcoming stuff is fine. I like that the conversation has an outline, but is kind of organic, following a train of thought to some interesting points. I think trying to be too rigid about splitting it up could take some of the fun out of it. Folks who are really afraid of hearing something could just hold off listening till they seen whatever show they're concerned about.

One minor concern I have, with Lost and AI being such Tuesday monsters, and the podcast done on Wednesdays, some of the other Tuesday shows may always get breezed through or skipped because you never have time to really focus on them before the podcast.

LA said...

I would love chapter breaks, that would be great.

If I may say, you guys sound like an old married couple. It completely adds to the humor podcast, don't get me wrong. It's a good thing. Do you go way back to grammar school or something?

Alan Sepinwall said...

We overlapped for a year in college. But you are not the first to make this comparison.

rhys said...

I agree with you Alan that TV is not primarily a visual medium. It is not a completely ignored aspect. But even shows that look really good for TV shows, like Lost and Mad Men, look like crap in comparison to Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad brings it to a whole 'nother level. You are never going to regularly watch a bad show because it looks good.

I also think one of the problems with the sideway flashes is that some of them are intended to be completely standalone epilogues for characters, and others are a part of a larger storyline. Sawyer's didn't have closure because his story in sideways-verse isn't finished. His final story is up in the air. However, I think probably Linus' sideways-verse appearances are at an end.