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The Alan Sepinwall / Dan Feinberg podcast

Feinberg & Sepinwall The Siskel & Ebert of the 21st Century

Today I caught up on the latest episode of the Alan Sepinwall / Dan Feinberg podcast, Firewall and Iceberg. At the top of the show, they announced that Dan Feinberg will be leaving HitFix.com soon, and this departure leaves the future of the show in doubt. They plan to continue it in some fashion. Here's hoping they do so.

If you haven't experienced their show, you should visit the archives. There, you will find the best criticism of television available on the Internet. You'll find lots of great humor, intelligence and recommendations for things you should've been watching.

Dan Feinberg in particular is an essential critical voice. He engages with material on a level that few critics ever reach: he broadens an audience's understanding of a work, he has an almost superheroic ability to compartmentalize: if a show's got major problems but excels in a small detail: Feinberg will excavate that detail, and appreciate every hidden gem.

Feinberg is also the absolute master of the art of damning with faint praise. But the funny thing about when he employs this technique - it isn't malicious or mean-spirited. He seems to genuinely wish that every time his praise is faint, he's grasping at any opportunity to raise the praise-o-meter but, alas, the work just fell short.

The duo of Sepinwall and Feinberg have the best banter and complementary critical insights since Siskel and Ebert. Among the many things their show is commendable for is the simple fact that they give every show a fair shot. Networks, directors, writers, actors - anyone who's got a new project - even if Feinberg/Sepinwall have loathed their work in the past, you can tell they get a fair shot. Their relentless commitment to finding great stuff - no matter from what platform it arises on - is how they manage to be essential. Several times a year, they'll unearth something unexpected and if I've learned anything listening to their show, if they recommend something, you should give it a shot. This commitment also makes for an entertaining listen each week. They delve deeply into shows and genres that I'd never bother watching, and yet, even when discussing a show I have no interest in, I always find their analysis entertaining and enlightening in and of itself.

Here's to hoping they find a new venue and continue the show for many years to come.

Milton Lawson

Milton is a writer living in Houston. Comics, travelogues. Go Astros. Go Texans.

A short comic about an indie music shop written by Milton Lawson with art by Dave Chisholm

A travelogue about four friends taking their first trip to Europe. Now available on Amazon.com.