Matt Roush


Matt Roush's 10 Best TV Shows of the Year

Billy Bob Thornton, Juliana Margulies

1. Fargo
You betcha we loved FX's sensational miniseries, inspired by the iconic film, which triumphantly mined new depths of icy evil amid heartfelt humanism. Noah Hawley's fable gave fabulous star turns to Billy Bob Thornton (a hit man), Martin Freeman (a mousy murderer), and ... read more

Ascension: Syfy's New Mission

Tricia Helfer, Brian Van Holt

While a generation of kids in the '60s (me among them) obsessed on shows like Lost in Space, the U.S. secretly launched a mini-civilization of 600 pioneers into the cosmos on a century-long excursion to find a new world. That's the nifty high concept behind Syfy's potential backdoor-pilot miniseries Ascension, which begins a three-night run Monday (9/8c through Wednesday).

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Ask Matt: Arrow, Homeland, Love for Jane, Sons of Anarchy Finale, Forever and More

Stephen Amell

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: The mid-season finale of Arrow certainly got the fans talking, but it was Stephen Amell's tweet of "It was a good run" that sent the fandom into a tizzy with speculation of his and the character of Oliver Queen/Arrow leaving the series. Amell further fanned the flames when he took to Facebook noting that Arrow was more then just about Oliver Queen. And the executive producer stated this episode would change the series. All of this feels like blatant fan manipulation beyond normal entertainment standards. I'm in serious doubt that we saw Oliver "die," and feel it is all part of the next evolution of his experiences as The Arrow, but it did get me to wonder, can a show like Arrow continue to be successful, even on a smaller network like The CW, should the decision be made to kill off the main character? You've already fielded questions about the "Laurel Lance/Black Canary problem," and there are many out there who feel she is the weakest link when it comes to the Arrow narrative, but there are some strong supporting characters in Arrow's cast. That being said, we've spent the last three years invested in the story of Oliver Queen as Arrow. What are your thoughts on a situation such as this? — Chris

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Marco Polo: The Khan and I

Lorenzo Richelmy

Marco Polo's instructions are clear enough: "Watch and remember what you see," commands the gouty but still formidable Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong), whose Mongol warrior hordes control most of 13th-century China. As if the handsome Venetian (suave Lorenzo Richelmy) would be likely to... read more

Ask Matt: Gracepoint, Walking Dead, New Girl, Dallas RIP, Parenthood, Castle and More

Anna Gunn, David Tennant

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: With just one episode remaining for Gracepoint, our household finds itself perplexed. We never saw Broadchurch, so our opinion can't be influenced by that distinction, but we've completely enjoyed the "Americanized" version. The past couple of episodes in particular have been tightly written and filmed (the atmosphere of the town is palpable). Despite our enjoyment, however, it seems we can't see a review or story about Gracepoint without hearing how inferior a product it is, which is obviously counter to our appreciation of the series. So the question we have is this: If we were to watch Broadchurch AFTER Gracepoint finishes, are we likely to believe the original is "not as good" a series because we saw the adaptation first? — The Galvins

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Review: Peter Pan Flies Again

Peter Pan Live

If it's any consolation, the new Annie movie looks way worse. Though punishingly overlong and occasionally flat-footed, NBC's Thursday broadcast of Peter Pan Live! was another honorably ambitious and sporadically enjoyable attempt to bring the thrill of musical theater into America's living rooms. It helps that Peter's fantastical fairy-tale trappings are an easier sell, even to the loaded-for-snark Twitter audience, than the leaden mechanics of last year's more uneven The Sound of Music Live! (But still, what was NBC thinking, flashing those "Tweet With Us!" banners?)

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Weekend TV: Red Tent, One Child, Librarians

At times, you might mistake Lifetime's enjoyably earnest Biblical epic The Red Tent (Sunday-Monday, 9/8c) for an Old Testament version of Call the Midwife. Adapted from Anita Diamant's novel, this saga of revisionist her-story focuses on willful Dinah (The White Queen's Rebecca Ferguson), the only daughter of Jacob (Game of Thrones' Iain Glen) — he of the many sons, including the sartorially infamous Joseph. read more

Tuesday TV: One for the Family (Toy Story) and One for Adults (Girlfriends' Guide)

Lisa Edelstein

It was only a matter of time before animation's most playful franchise delivered a TV special for the Christmas holiday season, and ABC's new Toy Story That Time Forgot (Tuesday, 8/7c) is the opposite of forgettable, an instant delight that is sure to be a favorite perennial for years to come. While all of the usual Pixar playmates are along for the ride, the focus of this two-days-after-Christmas fable is the adorable dinosaur toy Trixie (winningly voiced by Kristen Schaal), who's longing for her "kid" master Bonnie to see her for the creature she is. But imagination is a funny thing, and Toy Story is nothing if not a celebration of the special bond children have for their toys, which they use (and sometimes abuse, or neglect) as they see fit.

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Ask Matt: Person of Interest, Arrow, Good Wife, State of Affairs, Constantine, CSI and More

Tim Caviezel, Enrico Colantoni, David Valcin

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: Can we get a rave for the writers at Person of Interest? They actually had me worried for Elias, a guy who almost froze a baby to death (not to mention John). And super high praise to Enrico Colantoni for giving such nuance to a villain. Probably will never get an Emmy but doing award quality work. I never ever think "Keith Mars" when watching POI. All this with the continuing story of Samaritan. Imagine Elias with control of Samaritan or The Machine!! — Sharon

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Ask Matt: Elementary, Selfie's Fallen Star, Murder, Sleepy Hollow, Sons of Anarchy, and More

Ophelia Lovibond, Jonny Lee Miller

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: I've been a fan of Elementary, and I really liked the story arc last season with Rhys Ifans playing Mycroft. His involvement with Watson, moving to New York, opening the restaurant, concealing from everyone that he was MI6: The whole season seemed to give a fresh twist to the Sherlock history and move it forward. This season, however, with Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond), I'm not getting what the writers are doing. I think she's beyond boring, probably because she has no real reason to be there, and she's splintering the energy I used to feel between Sherlock and Watson, and each of them to Bell and Gregson. None of the episodes this year has grabbed me. Is it just me? Do they have a story arc buried in there someplace I can't see? I'd rather they go back to a crime-of-the-week if they can't do better than this. I love your column, by the way! I can't believe how long it took me to find it, but now I never miss it. — Kay

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