Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Firewall & Iceberg podcast, episode 3: Chuck-pocalypse now, Lost, American Idol and more

The third episode of the Firewall & Iceberg podcast has been posted, with Dan and I debating and/or discussing the "Chuck"-pocalypse, last night's "Lost," "American Idol," "Past Life," "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains," HBO's "How To Make It In America" and the end of the DirecTV run of "Friday Night Lights." There's even a little rundown of the timing of each segment so you can, say, skip over the "Lost" talk if you haven't seen the episode yet.


Anonymous said...

Nice call to stop it mid podcast to get the audio issues worked out. I don't know what was happening to Dan but it kept getting worse.

Only 1/3 of the way through, but definitely better than last week.

I still think Dan is a tad too snarky though!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hopefully by next week we'll have figured out this "record separately and then combine the two files in Garage Band" everyone keeps telling us about, so this will cease to be a problem.

Ryan said...

One thing I wish you had addressed.

Not everyone upset about the last episode of Chuck falls into the category of shipper or thinks the season isn't good. My problem is that its the same exact story and characters that are being used to create the tension. I'm all for the journey but not the same one every season. That's always been this shows problem, everything else is handled awesomely(couldn't resist) except when comes to any romantic drama between the leads. And it seems to drag down the rest story.

Andrew said...

Im going to have to boycott all of the future podcasts, just because thats the current thing to do, until the producers give me what I want... conversations about Til Death!

Kevin said...

Are we really sticking with the Firewall and Iceberg name?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Kevin, we are 100% open to another name. Firewall & Iceberg thus far is the best suggestion we've received, and that includes from professional writer-types.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Not everyone upset about the last episode of Chuck falls into the category of shipper or thinks the season isn't good. My problem is that its the same exact story and characters that are being used to create the tension.

Ryan, I would say complaints about repetitiveness definitely fall into the "isn't good" category. There are, of course, degrees of "isn't good," but I tried to make clear that there were a number of different issues at work in terms of people's complaints.

Anonymous said...

As far as names are concerned, how about some celebrity relationship names:

The Sepinberg
The Feinwall (I like that one more)


Two Guys and a TV Set
Straight and Snarky
Alan and Dan's TV Adventure

Unfortunately, that's as creative as I get, haha.

Anonymous said...

I'm absolutely loving the podcast. Alan & Dan play off of each other so well, and they have great opinions. The only problem is that I'm left wanting more Firewall & Iceberg after the end of each episode!

Anon said...

"Shotgun & the Briefcase"

Brandy said...

Sepin Fein

looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Tenspeed and Brown Shoe


Anonymous said...

BJ and The Berg

Alyson said...

I still think Firewall and Iceberg is catchy, you guys should stick with it. Still waiting on the inevitable Jan Hammer theme song though.

Stellar Drift said...

So posters must be polite but the podcaster can call them crazy (and even Alan when push came to shove)

I don't feel the need to call people crazy for thinking it is less than satisfactory for them if chuck runs around kissing on others in between professing deep love for another.

On another note, pray tell bright oracles, when does one complain about the writing:

* "Not now, we've shot all the episodes"
* "Not now we are on hiatus"
* "Not now we are between seasons."
* "Not now we have plotted the arcs"
* "Not now, we are out buying a cheap PC program to normalize and remove noise from sound"

Surely the have mac programs for sound as well - or perhaps do it via Skype, it can be recorded (or go all out and have both speakers sound like they are broadcasting from a trench at the Ardennes )

As for a new podcast name, how about:

What's Alan Saying?

LA said...

How about "The Fien Watch?"

Louis Mastorakos said...

My vote: Fireberg & Icewall.

word verification: wants (so you have to change... word verification wants it too.)

jblount said...

yike the crazies are freaking out here too. who would've thought a year ago that chuck has the worst fans in television?

Matt said...

Wanted to follow up on one point--the brief discussion of NCIS v. NCIS:LA. NCIS: LA has gotten a lot better as the ensemble has gelled and the writers have learned to write to the characters'/actors' strengths (and they lost some dead weight writing out Adam Jamal Craig). Last night's episode in particular was solid--a clever structure (akin to an episode of Leverage), decent jokes (Linda Hunt with a gun twice her size is inherently funny), and even a little bit of nice character work from Daniela Ruah.

Meanwhile, the mothership has had a bunch of mediocre episodes (yes, we get it, Tony and Ziva knocked boots in Paris, but are too ashamed to deal with it, and not nearly enough Abby or Gibbs).

renton said...

Cool! I was already participating in the Entourage boycott and didn't even know it!

Anonymous said...

BJ and The Berg

I assume you mean "You Know What and the Berg"...

belinda said...

Drop the name portion and just go with "Fire and Ice"? You're fiery passionate, and Dan's icey cool and snarky. :D

For me, I like that Lost is still concentrating on character stories
in some episodes rather than mythology every single episode in its last season - I'm just annoyed it's on probably the most boring character who I care very little about (but for some reason, the writers love to write about). If it were a flashsideways on anyone else - hell, just have the same episode but from Claire's pov (after all, she's a character who was out of the show for a while) would be better than the Kate focus we got - I don't think people would have complained about it being a character episode as much. Here, I'm not sure we've learned anything about Kate that we don't already know from before (she's still a 'benevolent' maybe innocent murderer/fugitive, blah blah blah) in this episode.

What is Dan's fascination with Amanda? For the two seasons she's in, while she's always an important member of the alliance that ends up winning and she's always in the final tribal council, the focus is always on her partner (Todd? Tom? And Pavarti - both smarter players), who is perceived as the leader. Kind of a boring player on her own, even if she is hot.

Anonymous said...

Dan and Alan's Excellent Podcast?

Anonymous said...

I searched for this on iTunes but couldn't find it. How can I download this in iTunes? I'd love to listen but I rarely ever plug my iPhone into my computer, and instead get all my podcasts via 3g/WiFi right from the phone. Is there a way for me to get this through that method, or will I have to download the file on my desktop at home and then import it into iTunes and sync from there?

Unknown said...

Alan, you do realize that no one would have heard of the Boycott Boy if you hadn't taken every opportunity to mention it? He'll be a celebrity in no time, and it'll be your fault.

You don't need to listen to and respond to every single internet comment as if it's the word of the people. Some of them are just stupid and not well-thought out, and not indicative of the fandom even at its most extreme.

Daniel said...

Belinda - I think you're selling Amanda's intellectual contributions to both of those successful alliances short. She's not a dynamic personality, but she played an integral role in both of her seasons and, in fact, was mostly the one responsible for the key strategic moves. Where she failed was that she refused to ADMIT to her role in those alliances at the final tribal council in both seasons. I think she went into both juries with the win in hand and in both cases, she blew it. I find that sort of trainwreck to be intriguing especially when the trainwreck in question is, as you observe, hot.

Also, Amanda playing the hidden idol the producers didn't show us she found was one of my favorite Tribal Councils ever.

It's possible, though, that I mostly think she's attractive.

Yes, Alan told me if I didn't admit to this on my own, he'd expose me.

Go Amanda!


Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, you do realize that no one would have heard of the Boycott Boy if you hadn't taken every opportunity to mention it? He'll be a celebrity in no time, and it'll be your fault.

But his fame will be brief, just like Leave Britney Alone! guy.

Q Ball said...

Sep & the Family Stone?


Sep and the Feinburg Stone?

Probably the best route to go is to not have a pun-themed podcast title.

Bix said...

How are you recording now? Trust me when I say that Skype + Powergramo Pro = peace.

Also, HitFix seems kind of slow (about 50-75 KBPS) so unless Dan is obligated to host it there, you should put the MP3 on

(And since it's still downloading, *if* the file is still 128 kbps stereo, it should really be 64 kbps mono or less. I use 48 kbps mono).

Alan Sepinwall said...

Bix, we've been talking to each other via Skype and recording in Garage band, and the sound on one end of the call sounds terrible because it's just the sound coming from the MacBook speakers being recorded by Garage Band.

Since we did this one, we've experimented with a couple of Skype recording programs that actually sound quite good, even without headsets, so the podcast might not be that awful next week.

Next step: figuring out how to set up a podcast feed so we can put it on iTunes.

Mo Ryan said...

Don't change the name. It's awesome.

Baylink said...

Nothing that involves one end of the cast coming in via Skype is ever going to not be noticeable (and annoying).

There, I said it. :-}

Nicole said...

I almost want to come up with a crazy idea so that I can have my own moniker and be referenced in the podcast.

Anonymous said...

Granted, I just skim, but I've seen it said a few times that Chuck "has done this before", and it confuses me. I thought I'd seen every ep, but apparently I missed the arc where the leads were in separate relationships, and happy for themselves and each other.

If you must change the name, Alan, I second "Shotgun and Briefcase".

Ostiose Vagrant said...

Alan and Dan, you guys might do with some intro music (anything) because it's a bit abrupt. It launches and boom it's Alan's voice. Sponsors? TV theme? Fan submissions (I know nothing of making music so it's not a personal gain thing)

Ostiose Vagrant said...

name suggestions:

FienAl Chatter
FienAl Frontier
Merry and the Pip
DanAl Retentives
The Echo Chamber
Alan and the FienMan
Mark Us Wallberg

just one more:
AlanSeptic Fieneries

KeepingAwake said...

They are getting better! This was a lot tighter, even though the sound needs a bit more work (as you know and are working out).

And for once, I agree much more with Dan! I'm still not understanding all the frustration with What Kate Does. I thought it was extremely unbelievable that Claire would get back into the cab with Kate, but beyond that, I liked the episode.

Like Dan, I prefer Lost: The Experience, to Lost: Final Jeopardy. I like it better when it's slower and better when it's more focused on character.

I never got into the I Hate Kate Club, so maybe that's why I wasn't bothered by the episode. The only time I didn't care much for Kate was in Season 3, when they reduced her from a complex character to a woman who just bounced ridiculously between 2 lovers like a boring sorority pledge. Otherwise, I don't get the Kate Hate.

Kevin said...

Don’t know if it was a conscious choice or not, but Feinberg seemed a little less smarmy this week as opposed to the first two. Approve.

Karen said...

Oh, geez, PLEASE can we keep this thread clear of more discussion of the quality of "Chuck" and the various reasons people claim it's declined? It's getting to be a burden to read the comments here...

dez said...

The Al 'N Dan Show

It's simple, and I can dance to the beat.

Anonymous said...

Al and Dan's Big Gay Boat Ride

I'll be boycotting Lost untill they stop doing Kate episodes. Her only purpose is to appeal to your Chuck commenters.

Jobin said...

Audio problems aside, I like the podcast, but Fienberg... how do I put this politely... should stick to his day job and not ever try to be a standup comedian?

Alex said...

Keep the name. "Firewall and Iceberg" is awesomely hokey in an "It's just crazy enough to work" kind of way.

compain87 said...

Loved the Podcast, except when the audio quality is bad then it is kinda annoying when you have headphones on. I can endure the rough patches though. Have you guys decided to go with one per week or could we get more than one?

Not feeling the name though, it sounds like a Pokemon video game or something. I just can't shake that feeling though so I'll suggest a few.

Shut the Door. Watch the TV (a play on "Shut the Door. Have a Seat")
Wired in Critics
The Mad Wired Men
Wired into TV

As you can tell I'm doing a play on words involving The Wire or Mad Men. That's all I got.

Hoops said...

This is getting over done. Same thing. Why do the writers say Sarah wont hook up with Chuck because of the rules but will run away with him. When they are back at work together the rules apply to Chuck but not Shaw? Come on have more depth in a character and in Sarah. I like the story and story line but let them hook up or seperate them completely.

I am all for the hook up because I think it will be a shame that they dont get together. Heck the Colonel should even bless it to solidify the Assesset. (my wishful thinking)

NJ Mark B said...

Probably the best route to go is to not have a pun-themed podcast title.

The lesson of "Thicke of the Night" ... anything based on a bad pun is doomed to failure.